PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A second military veteran who had been living at the Alexander Nininger State Veterans Nursing Home in Pembroke Pines died of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs announced Tuesday afternoon.
The death of William Tetrault, 89, comes about 10 days after the highly contagious illness killed another military veteran who also lived at the 120-bed facility. Eight symptomatic COVID-19 patients remain hospitalized and four asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are in isolation, according to retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. R. Steven Murray, a spokesman for the FDVA.
Danny Burgess, the executive director of the FDVA, released a statement saying the second Alexander Nininger State Veterans Nursing Home resident to die of COVID-19 suffered complications with a related illness.
“Our heartfelt condolences go to our resident’s family and friends, and to our health care professionals at the state veterans’ nursing home who shared in his memories during his stay with us,” Burgess said. “We share with them in his loss.”
Murray also said the VA conducted about 90 tests at the 120-bed facility. Both residents and staff were tested and no health care professionals at the home had been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of Tuesday evening, Murray said.
“Our home administrator continues to communicate with family members and guardians on a daily basis about the status of our residents and the home,” Murray said in a statement, adding visitations are still prohibited and enhanced guidelines on cleaning and use of personal protective equipment continue.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection has confirmed 48 cases of COVID-19 in Pembroke Pines.
State authorities reported about 9% of the COVID-19 cases the CDC has confirmed at long-term care facilities in Florida are in Broward County and nearly 20% are in Miami-Dade County.