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"We have no visitors allowed" | Nursing and assisted living facilities implement new procedures

Several businesses and services have changed their structure during the coronavirus outbreak. This includes restaurants, child care facilities and nursing homes.
Credit: Chloe Bradford

TYLER, Texas —

Several businesses and services have changed their are making major changes during the coronavirus outbrak. This includes restaurants, child care facilities and nursing homes. 

People at one East Texas assisted senior facility gathered together for the last time. Many will not be able to gather again until the outbreak is past. 

"We have no visitors allowed except for the essential health care providers and certain providers," JoAnne McMeans, community liason for The Prestige Estates, said. 

RELATED: Texas Health and Human Services recommends restricting nursing homes to staff, certain medical professionals and essential services

According to Health and Human Services, nursing facilities have new requirements for residents, visitors and staff.

"It's a little bit more difficult because we feel the responsibility but it's because we care," McMeans said.

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Under the direction of Governer Gregg Abbott, visitors are discouraged from visiting facilities. Only under severe circumstances, such as the end of a resident's life, will visitors be allowed. If family and friends would like to speak to their loved ones, they will have to contact them through video or voice calls. 

"We are making sure that they're going to be busy having fun and still can stay in touch, whether it's Skyping, or, you know, Whatsapp or whatever they want to do and be in touch with their families as well," McMeans explained.

Signs are required at the entrance of buildings about access restrictions. All residents, staff and possible visitors are required to be screened for fever. 

Staff is required to isolate and monitor residents who show signs of a fever or respiratory symptoms. Everyone must frequently wash their hands, have personal protective equipment and know how to control infections.

"We're being very mindful. It is a little hard, you know, because we're not cutting corners, or taking every precaution with each of them," McMeans said. "We're not slacking or you know, just kind of going through the motions."

Tuesday is St. Patricks Day. Although the seniors at the Prestige will spend majority of their time isolated, that will not stop a pot of gold from stopping by their rooms. McMeans says since they cannot party together for the time being, individual parties will be brought to them.

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