Local senior living facilities take precautions amid coronavirus spread in US

Posted at 6:08 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 22:07:07-05

With senior citizens being more at risk for coronavirus, local assisted living facilities say they are being as proactive as possible.

The main policy change as directed by the state for some centers has been informing the patients' families on which countries are at higher risk and asking them to keep an open level of communication with the facility if anyone in the family has recently traveled to a specified country.

“The challenge, of course, is that this is the home for our residents and we don’t want to deprive them of time with their family but at the same time, we need to ensure that they’re healthy and that they stay healthy,” said Tim Jennings, an administrator for Ingleside Assisted Living.

Another preventative measure includes limiting the exposure patients have to tourists during outdoor activities.

“The main areas that we’re taking into consideration are all of our activities and outings. We do five outings a week with our residents. That can include anything from a picnic at our beach to, during the summer, concerts at the park. So our activities coordinator is just taking this in mind, thinking about the areas that are more trafficked by tourists, for example, to minimize exposure,” Jennings added.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says that while they understand the public's concern, the coronavirus does not seem to be as infectious as other diseases like measles or chicken pox.

“Now measles, for instance, for every one person who contracts measles, they may spread it to 20 people. This disease, however, for every one person, they may spread it to one or two or three people," said Health Director Dr. Penny Borenstein.