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COVID outbreak at Richmond veterans care center

Sitter Barfoot 02.jpeg
Posted at 3:51 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 15:52:44-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Thirty residents and nine staff members at the Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center (SBVCC) have tested positive for COVID-19, Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center spokesperson Tina Parlett-Calhoun wrote in an email.

"The residents are on separate wings at the care center to isolate them from other residents, while the employees are at home in self-isolation and under the care of their personal health care provider," she wrote. "Residents, family members, and staff have been notified of the positive cases."

Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center is located at McGuire VA Medical Center in South Richmond.

Its 340 staff members currently care for 170 Virginia-based veterans and active-duty military with medical needs.

Gene Toler's 93-year-old father is one of the residents who tested positive.

"They contacted me last week I believe it was, saying that he tested positive. He had a cough and some slight congestion," Toler said. "They sent him over to McGuire’s hospital where they tested him in the emergency room.”

Toler said his father served in the navy during World War II and put him in the care center a few years ago.

“In 2018, he started having problems with dementia and skin cancer and some stuff," Toler said.

The care center said they're following CDC guidelines as they continue to take care of residents.

"The health, care, and safety of residents, staff, and families is VDVS’s top priority, and we have put a number of measures in place to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our facilities and treat any resident who becomes infected," the email continued.

“I think the people over there do an exceptional job of taking care of the patients and the residents over there," Toler said.

Toler said now his biggest concern is not being able to see his father.

"Me being an only child and my mother dying almost 25 years ago. Dad is by himself and I can't get over there to see him or visit him and that’s what bothers me more than anything else," Toler said.

The outbreak was one of the biggest contributors to the recent uptick of positive cases in Richmond, according to Richmond Health Director Dr. Danny Avula.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can submit a news tip here.