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WDVA COVID-19 messages and status updates for family members of Veterans Homes residents

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WDVA Update on COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Updated March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

Dear Veterans Home Family or Representative,

We are sending this letter in our continuing effort to keep you informed of how our Homes are modifying services during the COVID-19 crisis. 

As of today, we have no cases of COVID-19 in any of our Veterans Homes.  Our priority remains keeping our residents, our staff, and you safe and healthy.  The changes we’ve had to make to do this have been hard on everyone, especially our residents and you their family and friends. 

Testing Update as of March 24 at 8:40am:


    Residents with a positive COVID-19 test:

·       WA Veterans Home in Port Orchard: 0

·       WA Soldiers Home in Orting: 0

·       Spokane Veterans Home: 0

·       Walla Walla Veterans Home: 0

     Residents with a negative COVID-19 test:

·       WA Veterans Home in Port Orchard: 4

·       WA Soldiers Home in Orting: 1

·       Spokane Veterans Home: 3

·       Walla Walla Veterans Home: 0

     Total number of residents tested:

·       WA Veterans Home in Port Orchard: 5

·       WA Soldiers Home in Orting: 1

·       Spokane Veterans Home: 6

·       Walla Walla Veterans Home: 1


     Staff with a positive COVID-19 test:

·       WA Veterans Home in Port Orchard: 0

·       WA Soldiers Home in Orting: 0

·       Spokane Veterans Home: 0

·       Walla Walla Veterans Home: 0

      Staff with a negative COVID-19 test:

·       WA Veterans Home in Port Orchard: 2

·       WA Soldiers Home in Orting: 0

·       Spokane Veterans Home: 1

·       Walla Walla Veterans Home: 0

      Total number of staff tested:

·       WA Veterans Home in Port Orchard: 5

·       WA Soldiers Home in Orting: 3

·       Spokane Veterans Home: 2

·       Walla Walla Veterans Home: 1


This information is updated frequently on our website at

Also included with this letter is a list of frequently asked questions regarding visitors, COVID-19 testing, and other topics.

Staff in our homes are doing the very best they can to keep residents active and engaged by offering new in-room or appropriately socially-distanced activities in the Homes.  They are also working hard to schedule and assist with virtual visits using technology.  We ask for your patience as we continue to learn some of this new technology along with you and our residents!  We might not get it right the first few times, but over time, we will all get better at this!

Here are some of the things our Activities and Social Work staff are doing to work with residents and provide emotional support:

WA Soldiers Home:

·       Modifications to many programs to be suitable for 1:1 visits.

·       Distribution of supplies for use during residents’ free time.

·       Music programs using I-Pods, resident radio/stereos & TVs.

·       Cards and word puzzles are being distributed.

·       Mobile exercise equipment that can be sterilized between resident visits is being used.

·       Computer class is implemented on an individual basis.

·       Craft kits and other arts & crafts supplies are being distributed.

·       Newspaper articles are being copied and distributed.

·       Trivia questions are also distributed.

·       Bus drivers are assisting with personal shopping for resident’s personal snacks and beverages.

·       Reminiscing is provided using residents’ personal belongings, as well as supplies that can be mobilized.


Spokane Veterans Home:

·       Activity carts throughout the facility including Talking books and Music and Memory I-Pods

·       Dress-up days once a week such as western day, ugly sweater/shirt day, mis-match day, crazy hat day, sports day, etc.

·       Fun facts handouts and posters giving veterans and staff interesting things and quotes to talk about.

·       An arts contest is in the works! 

·       For families with Apple Phones, we now have an I-Pad and can schedule a Face Time call with you!  If you have another device, just let us know how we can set up a virtual visit.

·       If you’d like to send photos for staff to share with your resident, please send them to JeanetteS@DVA.WA.GOV.

·       Our activities team is hear for you so let them know how else we can help!


Walla Walla Veterans Home

·       Additional smart phones, iPad minis, and surfaces available for virtual visits;

·       In addition to our regular activities staff, other employees are assisting in each house to ensure residents have access to activities;

·       We’ve started room bingo;

·       Activity cards throughout the facility;

·       Individual arts and craft kits are available; and

·       Staff are observing residents and making referrals to social work as well.


Washington Veterans Home, Port Orchard

·       Modified the popular exercise group – Core Building – to offer it 3 times a day on Friday’s. Those who want to participate have an assigned class times so they have plenty of social distance between each other.

·       A weekend room to room gourmet coffee and hot chocolate service.

·       Spring activity packet including a short story writing prompt and contest, word search, maze and crossword puzzle.  (2 levels of difficulty offered, very difficult and easy)

·       A Sunday spiritual packet including Books of the Old Testament word search, Easter Trivia, the Lord’s Prayer and a Walk by Faith coloring sheet.

·       Once a week, room to room fresh baked cookies using a toaster oven.

·       Room to room Nail care day. 

·       In the Memory Care Unit, our focus is on hand washing, which assists with good hygiene and provides 1 on 1 social interactions.

·       Streaming different live cameras in the activity rooms. Examples are the Monterey Bay Aquarium Penguins, and a Panda-cam.  The channels offer relaxing out-of-room activities, but don’t draw large crowds like a movie or entertainment group would.

·       We have opened our DVD video lending cabinets so residents can access the 100’s of DVDs we have without a staff member needing to open the case.

·       Other creative activities include room bingo and individual arts and craft kits


While you’ve probably seen some very heartwarming stories about residents ‘visiting’ through the windows with their family members, now that we are under a Stay Home, Stay Healthy order from Governor Inslee, we ask that you please follow this order.  We will only prevent the spread of COVID-19 if we all do our part to limit the opportunity for the virus to spread, which includes staying home unless travel is essential.


I want to thank you for your cooperation and understanding through all of the changes that are taking place.  Our staff are working hard to keep your loved one safe and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate their work.  We will continue to update the WDVA Website with messages like this as well as updates on COVID-19 tests performed and their outcomes. 


If you have questions, please contact us.

To view responses for FAQs and the latest updates of testing numbers for residents and staff, please visit: