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6 more residents at Oregon veterans' home test positive for coronavirus

The new results mean eight people at the Edward C. Allworth Oregon Veterans’ Home have tested positive for COVID-19.

LEBANON, Ore. — Six more residents at a veterans' home in Lebanon have tested positive for COVID-19, Oregon health officials announced Thursday night.

The new results mean eight people at the Edward C. Allworth Oregon Veterans’ Home have tested positive for the virus. Two people previously tested positive on Wednesday.

Of the six new cases, five are men who are 75 or older. The other is a man between the ages of 55 and 74. The two people who tested positive on Wednesday were men who were at least 80 years old. All eight men have been placed in isolation at the facility.

While the new cases are considered linked to the earlier cases, the sources of their exposures is not yet known, Oregon Health Authority said.

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An official with the veterans' home said staff are working tirelessly to provide care to everyone at the facility.

"Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this rapidly evolving pandemic, but we can’t help but feel special concern for what is happening at our Veterans’ Home," said Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs director Kelly Fitzpatrick. "These residents are our nation’s heroes. They protected our freedoms and way of life that we now enjoy. It is nothing less than our sacred duty to now fight for them. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect our residents and staff, and mitigate the spread of this virus within our facility.”

Earlier this week the Oregon Department of Human Services issued guidelines to limit visitors and exposure of COVID-19 at long-term care facilities, where people are more vulnerable to have severe complications to the virus.

Fitzpatrick said 28 tests from the facility have come back negative. 

The outbreak at the veterans' home comes after an outbreak at a nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, that has killed at least a dozen people.

The six new cases bring Oregon's statewide total to 30 across 11 counties. No deaths have been reported.

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