Coronavirus pandemic has had a terrifying impact on care facilities. In Washington state, nearly all of the 31 deaths were linked to one of five long-term care facilities. 26 people died at the Life Care Center of Kirkland since Feb. 19, 2020.
Care facilities have been largely left on their own to decide how to respond to coronavirus, absent clear guidance from state or federal authorities.
Some shut down visitation entirely and restricted patients’ movement within facilities. Others restricted the number of visitors permitted. Visitations are restricted, because of the fear that someone who appears healthy could come into the building and infect residents.
Ridgmar Place, an independent living facility in Fort Worth, limited visitors to one a day per patient. They also asked visitors to sanitize their hands and had staff take visitors’ temperatures before entering the facility.
The facility on Green Oaks Road replaced many of their table linens and dining ware with disposable materials, such as paper tablecloths, to more easily sanitize eating areas.
However, relatives of patients report that some facilities appear to have failed to take any extra precautions.
Josh Tipton’s 90-year-old grandfather lives at Legend Senior Living, and Tipton said he was concerned with the facility’s lack of response. He visited his grandfather every day, and nobody has asked him questions about his health or to sanitize his hands. A lobby off the main entrance still provides donuts, cakes, and cookies out in the open, “there for anybody to touch,” he said.