Two more residents of the Spokane Veterans Home have died, bringing death toll to five

Two more residents who were staying at the Spokane Veterans Home have died of complications related to COVID-19, according to the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

There have now been five residents of the home who have died following their diagnosis of COVID-19. A total of 45 residents tested positive for the coronavirus, as have 23 staff members working at the Spokane Veterans Home.

The first case at the home was found in an employee, who was tested for COVID-19 on March 23, but returned to work after three days of having no symptoms. On March 30, however, the employee's test came back positive.

In previous interviews with the Inlander, Spokane Veterans Home administrator Patrick McNabb lamented the lack of testing available for staff through the month of March. Residents also described sharing rooms with other people who were sick, and many had been mostly isolated in those rooms since February due to other respiratory illnesses.
Since then, 34 Spokane Veterans Home residents who have COVID-19 were transferred to the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center to receive care in a specialized COVID-19 Unit. Several others are being cared for in area hospitals, and one has remained in a private room back at the Spokane Veterans Home.

The Spokane Regional Health District says there are 380 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths locally. Nine people are currently hospitalized, though the health district says that number doesn't include people staying at the VA hospital.

"The people who were transferred to the medical center from the veterans home are considered in isolation," says Kelli Hawkins, spokesperson for the Spokane Regional Health District.

Residents staying at the VA medical center can return to the veterans home after they have had two negative COVID-19 tests in 24 hours. 

Both deaths announced today by the VA occurred at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center. A spouse of a veteran is among the residents who have died.

"We mourn the loss of these brave veterans who selflessly served in our Armed Forces, and the spouse of a veteran, and offer our condolences to their family members and friends," the VA says in a news release.

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About The Author

Wilson Criscione

Wilson Criscione is the Inlander’s news editor. Aside from writing and editing investigative news stories, he enjoys hiking, watching basketball and spending time with his wife and cat.