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Local nursing home limits visitors due to coronavirus concerns

On March 11, the Knolls of Oxford, an assisted and independent living community for elderly community members, began restricted access for outside visitors due to the novel coronavirus. 

Older individuals face a higher and potentially life-threatening risk if they are infected with the novel coronavirus, The Washington Post reports. In a time where older individuals are more vulnerable, extra precautions need to be taken. 

In a press conference Sunday, March 15, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said that the state will be issuing guidance shortly to close Ohio’s senior centers and adult daycare facilities.  

Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, such as with those who have family members in end-of-life care. The Knolls has asked families to limit visitors to other sections of the facilities as well, especially if they are experiencing common symptoms of the coronavirus or have travelled to heavily-affected countries.

One member of Oxford Talk, a Facebook page for the Oxford community, Julie, has a family member under nursing home care.

“Wouldn’t you rather know that your parents will stay healthy because of this lockdown?” she commented on a post. “It’s going to be very hard … But it’s in the best interest.”

Laura Lacy, director of marketing at the Knolls, said a new Skype program has been set up to keep residents in contact with loved ones, and extra activities have been added to the schedule to combat restlessness.

All staff, including medical personnel and vendors, are now required to enter the facilities through a secure location. Each of them are screened and cleared prior to entry.

The Knolls is following guidelines released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The CDC released an extensive checklist as well as additional guidance for facilities like the Knolls so that they may develop a response plan.

Miami’s coronavirus information page can be accessed here. The CDC also has a comprehensive coronavirus page. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms can call the Student Health Service at 513-529-3000. 

Students with questions about the coronavirus and the university’s policies can reach out to Associated Student Government.

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calderjm@miamioh.edu 

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