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Family member upset over COVID-19 outbreak at Claremore Veterans Center

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jul 28, 2020

CLAREMORE, Okla. — A daughter is upset after she said she was not told about a COVID-19 outbreak where her father lives.

Crecia DeVore has not been in the same room as her father, Jack Cates, since March.

“His birthday was in June," she said. "I took him a present, made him a video and they were able to play it for him. But I haven’t seen him in four months.”

Cates lives at the Veterans Center in Claremore, where it was recently announced as the location of a coronavirus outbreak.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreak at Claremore Veterans Center

62 residents and 21 staff members tested positive since July 1. Ten residents passed away. The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs said COVID-19 isn’t necessarily the cause of their deaths, but those who died did test positive.

DeVore said she’s been getting monthly updates about coronavirus case numbers at Veterans Centers across the state, but she was shocked to see how high the cases were now compared to the last update she received.

“I’ve been operating under the impression yes, they had a positive case, but not that they had that many positive cases," she said.

With numbers rising, DeVore is worried about her father’s health.

“I am worried about, will he be safe there?" DeVore said. "Will they be able to keep him from getting it?”

Staff members tell us they’re taking extra cleaning precautions inside. Wearing full PPE, getting temperature checks and social distancing. The third floor of the facility now acts as the COVID-19 positive floor. They’re also taking extra time to clean and sanitize every day.

DeVore said her father isn’t sick, but she worries about him living in isolation — and when she’ll see him again.

“Physically, I think he’s fine," DeVore said. "Mentally, I think it’s taken a toll.”

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