By Marlana Smith
Shelby County assisted-care facilities have taken precautions against COVID-19 and have all locked down.
Shelbina Villa took the plunge first, restricting access on Wednesday, March 11.
Administrator Kim Thompson said, “We were required to go on lockdown and we are doing what it takes to protect our elderly residents.”
Salt River Community Care in Shelbina followed on Friday, March 13 at 8 a.m.
Assistant Administrator Paula Smith said, “We decided to reduce the risk that our residents may be facing with the coronavirus. We did notify each resident and their responsible party of the lockdown and told them to call if they had any questions.”
Smith said SRCC is offering FaceTime and Skype with the residents’ families. At this time SRCC is allowing staff to enter the building but only after their temperature is taken.
Clarence Care Center locked down its facility on Monday, March 16 at 10 a.m. and won’t be allowing visitors.
Multiple attempts to contact Administrator Mark Walker were unsucessful.
All nursing homes are suspending visitors except for emergency situations, along with all volunteers and outings.
Shelby County Health Department Administrator and RN Audrey Gough said, “The virus has shown up in ages of 65 years old or older due to their weaked immune systems with certain underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. They are at a greater risk of serious illness.”
Gough said she recommends hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer which most contain alcohol content 65 percent or higher.
“If someone is sick, stay home and stay out of being in a crowd,” said Gough.
Gough continued, “Our biggest push is for people to be calm and stay educated. CDC.gov is the best resource and if someone has any questions, they can call 1-877-435-8411. Also, limit your exposure to national news. It’s driving the fear wagon.”