An independent investigation into the COVID-19 deaths at Missouri veterans homes has found that the Missouri Veterans Commission headquarters failed to recognize the outbreak. Armstrong Teasdale’s report says MVC should have recognized the presence of an outbreak in the Cape Girardeau veteran’s home by September 2. MVC Chairman Tim Noonan says a tremendous amount of data was coming in.
29 veterans have died from COVID at the Cape Girardeau veterans’ home since September 1, and there have been at least 109 deaths at veterans’ homes statewide during that timeframe. Armstrong Teasdale’s report makes dozens of recommendations, including calling on MVC headquarters and homes to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 outbreak plan.
Armstrong Teasdale’s report says MVC headquarters “was lulled into a false sense of security and failed to capitalize on its early successes” in the spring. MVC Chairman Tim Noonan has read the report.
Armstrong Teasdale’s recommendations include a “COVID-19 reset” and making sure that veterans in the homes receive priority when a safe vaccine becomes available. Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC) Chairman Tim Noonan is reviewing the recommendations.
The report notes that COVID cases among veterans at the homes jumped from two in August to 173 in September and that some veterans have roommates and share toilet/shower facilities. Armstrong Teasdale recommends that veterans reside in private rooms with private bathrooms, “to the extent possible.”