YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The COVID-19 pandemic has been very hard on older Ohioans. Monday, nursing homes and assisted living facilities can start allowing visitors inside.
Right now, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties are at the red level for coronavirus spread, and because of that, some facilities decided to wait while others are going ahead with their plans.
Getting ready for this day took months of preparation, and Shepherd of the Valley had a plan.
“We actually built visitation stations in all of the common areas of our facilities,” said Danielle Procopio, spokesperson for Shepherd of the Valley.
But everything turned upside down last Thursday when Governor Mike Dewine revealed the latest health advisory map. Mahoning and Trumbull Counties turned red. Covid cases are spiking and these facilities, along with their residents, are at a greater risk.
“We started scheduling visits with family members, so to have to call them over the weekend and let them know that due to the county turning red we were going to have to reschedule that visit for a later date is very frustrating,” Procopio said.
Frustrating and heartbreaking. Procopio said keeping residents away from their family members is very hard and they don’t want them to be isolated.
While Shepherd of the Valley decided to pause visitation plans for now, Windsor House is pushing ahead, but spokesperson Dan Rowland said they have to be mindful and careful about how they approach the next phase.
“After discussion with our leadership and keeping in mind the emotional and psycho-social needs of our residents, we decided to move forward with the indoor visitation,” Rowland said.
Under state guidelines, pre-scheduled visits will be limited to two people at a time for 30 minutes in a designated area of a facility, stressing the importance of health and safety.
“Social distancing, the masks and disinfection that will take place. We ask that any families if they are experiencing any symptoms or temperatures to please call and reschedule,” Rowland said.
If community spread continues to be an issue and the numbers keep going up, indoor visits at Windsor can and will change.
“We’re taking it in stride and taking it day by day,” Rowland said.
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