Colorado Veterans Community Living Center at Rifle records 15 COVID-19 deaths among residents

Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in Rifle. File photo

A state-run nursing home in Rifle has so far racked up 15 patient deaths caused by COVID-19, a Colorado department spokesperson confirms.

Colorado Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Director of Communications Madlynn Ruble said the deaths are believed to be from the facility’s “memory care area.”

“Sometimes it is difficult to control the actions of certain residents,” she said. “We cannot lock them in their rooms. It’s not the quality of life.

According to a previous email sent to the Post Independent, Ruble said the nursing home quickly and the residents who died had multiple comorbidities and were very elderly.

The first two deaths at home occurred on November 25 and December 1. They involved a 98-year-old man and a 96-year-old woman.

On the other hand, the E. Dene Moore Care Center, which is adjacent to the Fifth Street Veterans Retirement Home, has so far recorded four total COVID-19 related deaths among its population.

The Post Independent previously reported in early December 2020 that Elizabeth Mullins, division director of Veterans Community Living Centers statewide, said staff at Rifle Veterans Homes continue to wear gear. personal protective equipment, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDPHE. .

She said the facility also continues to work closely with the CDPHE twice a week to review ongoing infection control policies to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, facility residents and staff are routinely tested, and staff are receiving daily antigen testing due to the high prevalence rate of COVID-19 in Garfield County, she added.

Amid the most recent deaths, however, Ruble said the Veterans Life Center has now vaccinated 86% — or 25 people — of the patient population. Meanwhile, 51 staff – or 46% – have also been vaccinated.

To further mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Ruble said the facility continues to take precautions.

According to the email, this includes:

“Enhanced infection control precautions, daily Binax testing of care staff, twice-weekly PCR testing of all staff and residents, no outside visitors, limited activities or meals in small groups with a (minimum of 6 feet) between people, CDPHE meets weekly to consult on the outbreak – currently being resolved.

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