Local veterans home continues to battle COVID-19 outbreak as cases rise

Posted at 6:37 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 19:37:17-05

UNION GROVE — The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs says they’re doing all they can to stop the spread of a COVID-19 outbreak after the number of positive cases continues to grow at the Veterans Home in Union Grove.

"As long as it continues to spread in the general population, it can continue to reoccur in homes," said Diane Lynch, the Homes Division Administrator with the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.

An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Veterans Home in Union Grove continues to worsen. The home now has 24 active cases between members and staff. That's seven more since last Wednesday.

"We are screening staff every day that they come to work, we are limiting visitors, no communal dining or activity," said Lynch.

TMJ4 reached out to the DVA last week after hearing from the widow of retired marine and Racine police officer, Joesph Nosalik. Susan Nosalik said the state never reported her husband's death which she called, "not truthful". Lynch says because Joseph Nosalik died away from the Union Grove facility, his death was not immediately made public.

"That individual was not on our campus when he passed and it's not common for us to share that information."

In an update, late Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs commandant did acknowledge two deaths at the Union Grove home over the past couple of weeks. State Senator Van Wanggaard said Monday that Joseph Nosalik was his partner in the Racine Police Department for nearly 20 years. In a statement to TMJ4, Senator Wanggaard's office wrote, "We are aware of the outbreak and are concerned about our veterans, especially as the virus cluster is bigger this time (as compared to August's)."

In the Jan. 4 update, the commandant said employees and members received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and she says the second dose is expected to be given out later this month.

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