AURORA | Despite strict protocols to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak, two people have died at the Veterans Community Living Center on the Fitzsimons campus in Aurora. Many others have been infected.
The Colorado Department of Human Services runs the veterans nursing home, which has a capacity of 180 residents. There are currently 146 at the facility, according to department staff.
Perry May, the agency’s deputy executive director of health facilities, told Aurora City Council members on a call briefing Wednesday the facility started screening staff early on in the pandemic because the elderly residents of the facility are “extremely vulnerable.”
Those precautions included limiting visitors and taking temperatures of staff twice per shift. So far, 3 percent of the facility’s 250 employees tested positive for the coronavirus, May said. Six percent of the current residents tested positive.
The Colorado National Guard conducted testing for every resident and staff member on Wednesday. May said that totaled 405 tests. Those results are expected within 24 hours and will better help the staff prevent further outbreak inside the facility. Positive cases are already “cohorted,” he said.
The first resident started exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms on April 16 and was confirmed to have the virus the next day.
The two residents who died were bed ridden and living in the severe dementia unit, according to Yolanda Webb, who heads the Office of Adult, Aging and Disability Services within the department of human services.
Seven more patients on that unit have tested positive, she said.`