Twenty-four veterans have died from the coronavirus since October in a state-owned longterm care facility close to Lexington, Ky., Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced Friday, according to the New York Times.
Thomson-Hood Veterans Center has experienced a deadly outbreak of COVID-19 affecting both veterans and staff. A total of 86 veterans and 63 staff members have tested positive for the virus, the Times reported.
“This is the toughest spot we’ve been in thus far,” Beshear said of the outbreak, according to the Times.
“You must do your part and folks, this is now to the point where you need to be wearing your mask simply to protect yourself. It will also help others around you, but if you are not wearing a mask, you are putting yourself at personal risk of this virus.”
Nursing home and longterm care facilities have proven to be a breeding ground for the coronavirus, with older, high-risk patients living in close, indoor quarters.
In September, inspections performed at New York state nursing homes found that lapses in health and safety protocols after the virus took a punishing toll at the facilities, according to The Associated Press.
Of those who have tested positive for the virus, 48 veterans have recovered. Five remain in the hospital and nine are still being treated at the center. Fifty-two staff members have recovered, though 11 cases are still considered to be active, according to the Times.
“We are still battling,” Thomson-Hood center wrote in a post on Facebook. “Keep praying for our incredible, warrior staff and our precious veterans. We are heartbroken over our losses. Please wear your masks and make smart, safe choices as you go about your daily lives. What we do out in the community matters.”
In just the past week, cases of the novel coronavirus have reached over 2,200 cases per day in Kentucky. The state overall has seen 135,855 reported COVID-19 cases and over 1,700 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Times.