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Manchester VA Monitoring COVID-19 Clusters Among Staff

Peter Biello

The Manchester VA Medical Center is monitoring clusters of cases of COVID-19 among its employees.

In email to staff, Associate Director Julie Vose says the VA's contact tracing linked the clusters to unmasked employees eating and drinking in close proximity to each other.Sign up for NHPR's Coronavirus Newsletter to get updates on the pandemic in your inbox

Vose says VA employees should not be unmasked within six feet of each other and recommends staff members eat alone in empty rooms, or telework if possible.

The VA's online COVID-19 tracker says seven employees at the Manchester VA now have COVID-19. The VA did not respond to questions on which departments at the VA may be experiencing clusters of cases.

A spokesperson says the VA tests any employee or enrolled veteran who exhibits symptoms. This comes as the Manchester VA begins vaccinating veterans living in its Community Living Center, its on-site nursing facility. The VA says no residents there have tested positive for COVID-19.

The facility was among 113 VA medical centers across the nation that were provided with the Moderna vaccine by the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered and Writers on a New England Stage at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer/announcer/host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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