BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) – A resident and staff member at the R.I. Veterans Home have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The resident tested positive on Friday and was transported to the VA Hospital in Providence, according to David Levesque, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
“The resident is being treated at the VA,” Levesque said in an email.
The Veterans Home, which is home to nearly 200 wartime veterans, quarantined 16 residents who “live near” the diagnosed resident, Levesque said.
“The quarantined residents will be cared for by designated staff who will not have contact with other residents,” Levesque said. “These staff members will arrive and leave work through an entrance in the neighborhood, instead of the main entrance.”
In an afternoon conference call with reporters, Gov. Gina Raimondo also said a staff member was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“It was only a matter of time,” Raimondo said. “We’re obviously very focused and concerned on this.”
She said every staff member and resident at the home will be tested.
“We’ve got to stay on this,” she said.
R.I. Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said the “resident is not mobile and had little or no contact with other residents in recent weeks.”
The staff member became sick on April 11 and later tested positive for COVID-19, according to Levesque. The employee works in a different part of the building from where the resident with the disease lives, he added.
The news comes as the Veterans Home in Holyoke, Mass., is dealing with a surge of cases. More than 50 veterans at the Holyoke facility have died from the coronavirus since the first case was discovered on March 22, and nearly 100 residents there have contracted the disease.
Eli Sherman contributed to this report