ADVA Commissioner speaks with 48 News regarding Tut Fann

Updated: Sep. 21, 2020 at 5:51 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On Monday, the State Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner said the outbreak at Tut Fann State Veterans Home is an ongoing battle.

In the last 24 hours, ten people have been removed from the active case list at the Tut Fann State Veterans Home. However, as of September 21, 12 residents remain in the isolation ward recovering from the virus.

Nursing homes across the country have been struggling to beat the pandemic. Tut Fann in Huntsville is no different.

“It has been a difficult battle and it is a long way from over, and we know that,” said Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs Commissioner W. Kent Davis.

Since July 24th, 54 residents and 35 employees have tested positive for the virus. Thirteen deaths are currently under investigation by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Commissioner Davis invited the CDC, Alabama Department of Public Health, and a team of infectious disease experts to visit and analyze ways to improve the facility during care for COVID-19 patients.

“I started asking pretty early on for outside help," said Davis. “We have had the National Guard come in, decontamination and sanitizing teams have visited all our homes. They have used hydrogen peroxide for decontamination in the homes. We’ve also hired commercial firms to do the same type of decontamination in the homes.”

Commissioner Davis said the federal agencies' feedback claims the facility’s policies are thorough and complete.

They reviewed the way food is delivered, how the screening process to enter the facility is operated, and whether personal protective equipment is being properly used.

“Some of our residents undergo nebulizer treatments, some of the recommendations was to discontinue those so it does not containment the air quality," said Davis.

Commissioner Davis understands the stress families have endured in the last six months. He said his team is doing everything it can to ensure Alabama veterans are safe and receiving the best care possible.

“There is a lot of interest still, I’ve answered a lot of personal questions from families still wanting to get their loved ones into homes. I think that is a testament to our quality of care and we do have a reputation that is a pleasant outside of covid-19 that is a pleasant environment," he added.

Davis said the president of the managing company HMR will be at Tut Fann next week to visit with staff and residents.

Moving forward the team hopes to be more transparent and improve internal communications with families and staff.

If you have any concerns about what is going on at Tut Fann you are encouraged to contact the Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs.

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