Seniors get a lesson in face mask safety

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 4:03 PM EDT
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As Vermont continues to open up and resume a new normal, residents at Shelburne Bay senior and assisted living center say they are ready.

"We want to get through this, get past this and get back to our great community life here. We have lost a lot by not being able to socialize," said Mike Kessler, a resident.

The Residence at Shelburne Bay has just under 200 senior citizens and 100 staffers, meaning hundreds of people can be in and out of the buildings at any time.

Because of strict guidelines, like no visitors during the pandemic, nobody at the facility has tested positive for coronavirus.

"They are very strict but they are working," said Rodolfo Parra, the executive director.

On Tuesday, a class was held throughout the day teaching how to properly put on, fit and store N95 masks.

"Just in case we do have an outbreak all the staff are trained on how to use it and have the proper gear," Parra said.

Members from each department participated in the training that also included homemade PPE hoods if an outbreak happened.

"It was very informative, a little more to it than I thought there was going to be," said Wanda Sadler, a nurse.

The masks were paid for by the facility and are just arriving now since supplies were not available earlier.

"We have been following all the protocols put out there-- proper hand-washing, wearing regular masks-- have not used the N95 mask cause we have not had any positive cases here," Sadler said.

Residents say they have been wearing masks but to have something better than a surgical or cloth mask is something they appreciate.

"It makes you feel just a little safer," said Flo Klausner, a resident.

"It's a more comfortable mask because we do wear them all the time," Kessler said.

As restrictions lift, residents here tell me they are excited to get out and about safely now that they know how to properly use their masks.

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