VINELAND — The Vineland Veterans Memorial Home is on quarantine due to an outbreak of a highly contagious virus among several residents late last week and over the weekend.
The presence of norovirus was confirmed Monday by Kryn Westhoven, public affairs officer for the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
There are about 300 veterans in the home ranging from those who served in World War II to those who served in Operation Desert Storm, who are taken care of by about 400 employees, Westhoven said.
Officials at the home implemented the quarantine to prevent the spread of norovirus, according to a department spokesperson. It was determined the best way to control the virus was to limit residents’ contact with visitors from the outside.
Signs are put on the doors, and relatives of the residents should have received a message if they opted into the building’s text notification system, Westhoven said.
The building should reopen somewhere between seven and 10 days after the last documented case, Westhoven said. As of Tuesday, he was not sure whether the building would be reopened for visitors for Thanksgiving, and discussions are taking place on how to handle that if it is.
Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes inflammation in a person’s stomach, intestines or both, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, fever, headache and body aches. Most people with norovirus get better within one to three days, according to the CDC.
The Vineland Veterans Memorial Home is the oldest state-operated veterans home stretching out over 215,000-square-feet in a two-floor building on 27 acres of property. Over the decades, several wings and additions have been added, Westhoven said.