COVID-19 Outbreak Reported At Claremore Veterans Center

Tuesday, July 28th 2020, 9:24 pm
By: Sawyer Buccy


More than 60 people at the Claremore Veterans Center have tested positive for COVID-19 and 10 of them have died. Now, the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs hopes the outbreak is contained.

Officials with the VA said they are hopeful, since they have had just 2 more positive tests in the past 72 hours. 

Since July 1, 21 employees have also tested positive at the Claremore Veterans Center. Those employees are isolating at home.

"The third floor has been temporarily converted to serve essentially as our COVID positive ward within the center," said Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Executive Director Joel Kintsel.

The VA said 3 residents have made full recoveries and 10 have died. 

"I want to be clear about something: this doesn't mean that those who passed away did so because of COVID-19 but only that they had previously tested positive," said Kintsel.

They said they think an employee, who didn't have any symptoms, might have passed the virus onto a resident at the Claremore Veterans Center, despite their safety measures in place.

"We check temperatures as people come in the door, we don't allow visitors in, all the CDC suggestions and guidance for wearing PPE has been followed," said Kintsel.

They have been working the Oklahoma Department of Health and with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to control the outbreak.

"Since this began our Governor, Governor Stitt has stressed to us the need for transparent and timely and accurate information be provided to the public and we be available to answer questions," said Secretary of Military and Veterans Affairs Ben Robinson, "These veterans are absolutely precious to us."

The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs has 7 centers and care for thousands of veterans. Three of those centers have not had any positive cases of COVID-19.