What are senior living facilities doing to prepare for coronavirus?

Published: Mar. 2, 2020 at 5:08 PM EST
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As of Monday there were six reported deaths from coronavirus -- four of them were residents in the same Washington state nursing home. What are senior living facilities in our region doing to prepare?

Cathedral Square, which manages independent living for seniors and assisted care in the Burlington area, says they're already taking precautions, warning visitors to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when they come in the building.

They're also educating residents on what the virus is and how they can help stop its spread.

"The basics they are talking about is not visiting if you're sick, asking your friends and family not to if they're sick, washing their hands, and reaching out to us via phone if they do get ill so that we can keep in touch with them to the point of bringing food to their door and making sure that they are staying well and in touch with their doctor," said Cathedral Square's Laura Wilson.

She says they are also talking about plans for if the virus shows up in Vermont. If it does, they might consider limiting community meals or other activities that bring people together. And if it becomes an extreme emergency, they might have to consider having providers stay away. But they would have to see a resident or a staff member get sick to have those happen.

She also said they would reach out to the health department, which is already keeping them updated with information about the virus.

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