Governor Parson orders external review due to COVID deaths in Missouri Veterans Homes

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FILE – In this July 7, 2020, file photo, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks during a “National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America’s Schools,” event in the East Room of the White House, in Washington. Parson is clarifying comments he made Friday, July 17, that children returning to school will come down with the coronavirus but will “get over it,” remarks that drew criticism, including from the Missouri National Education Association’s leader. Parson said in a radio interview Tuesday, on KMOX in St. Louis, that he “didn’t do a good job” of making his point, but that he never meant to imply he didn’t care about children. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – After four recent deaths in Missouri Veterans Homes, Governor Mike Parson ordered an external review today of all seven veteran homes about their COVID operations.

According to the governor’s Office of Communications, in a briefing with Parson Thursday, the death of four Missouri veterans raised concerns about the nursing homes’ COVID procedures.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the deaths in four of our Missouri Veterans Homes,” Governor Parson said. “As a veteran myself, I care a great deal about the quality of care our veterans receive at the veteran’s homes in our state and have raised an alarm bell more than once when I felt we as a state weren’t meeting the standard of care I believe they are owed.”

Parson says he sent Missouri Veterans Commission(MVC) Chairman Timothy Noonan to conduct an immediate independent, external review of all seven veteran homes to assess their performance and take any steps to improve COVID procedures if need be.

Parson has also sent the new Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests to Missouri Veterans Homes to support immediate testing of all staff and residents under state care.

A shipment of 2,400 tests was delivered to the MVC headquarters Friday to be distributed to priority veteran homes.

The veteran homes will be supplied with enough antigen and PCR (nasal swab) tests to support ongoing testing requirements.

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