COVID-19 outbreak at Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Jessamine County

JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) – Kentucky has been seeing a recent surge in COVID-19 cases and health experts are again warning everyone to take extra precautions, especially around those most vulnerable to the virus.

State leaders reported an outbreak of COVID-19 at a veterans center in Jessamine County.

Thomson-Hood Veterans Center has been testing veterans and employees every 72 hours after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 on September 10.

Since then, 22 veterans have tested positive for the virus. One has recovered. Eight have been transferred to the VA Medical Center in Lexington out of precaution. Thirteen are in isolation at Thomson-Hood.

“We had our first veteran that was positive on September 12. The second one was positive on the 23rd, with a third being on the 29th. We had a couple employees that tested positive going into the weekend on Friday and, since then, that’s where the rest of our veterans have tested positive and we hopefully got it contained to one unit,” said Mark Bowman, Executive Director of the Office of Kentucky Veterans Centers.

Bowman says the most of the veterans in isolation are asymptomatic. If their conditions become worse, they will be transferred.

The outbreak has been unsettling for Bertha Sams. She’s been visiting her husband at Thomson-Hood through window visits.

“It saddens me that this is gotten into that place,” Sams said. “Yes, I do worry about him, but I know they will take care of him. But it with this many residents at one time that is a concern.”

Sams says her husband, who is 75, had surgery for skin cancer last week. He’s back at the facility in isolation. So far, he has tested negative for COVID-19.

VA officials are investigating how the outbreak began. They are not sure if the employee who tested positive on September 10 contracted the virus inside or outside the facility.

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