Elder care facilities on the Suncoast continue to take necessary precautions following spike in coronavirus

Elder care facilities on the Suncoast continue to take necessary precautions following spike in coronavirus
Long term care facilities precautions. (Source: WWSB)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Governor Ron DeSantis holding another press conference on Tuesday, this one focusing on the elderly and long term care facilities.

“It’s beginning to get really dangerous for the senior citizens, so we have to protect them even more,” said Rusty Blix, Owner of Alderman Oaks in Sarasota.

Blix says when things were looking better with the coronavirus weeks ago, he was allowing more options for the residents at his facility, such as eating in the dining room with no more than ten people and social distancing. Because of the recent spike in cases, the meals are now delivered to their rooms.

“We were beginning to loosen up a little bit as things were looking better, but in the last two or three weeks we really had to tighten up again,” said Blix.

No visitors are allowed inside, but they can pull up in a car to see their loved ones from a distance. The governor says staff at these elder care facilities also still have to be tested once every two weeks.

“By doing the testing, this allows us to isolate the staff member so that they don’t spread it to the residents” said DeSantis. “So all in all, I don’t think any other state in the country has done what we’ve done to protect the vulnerable.”

Workers at Alderman Oaks and other facilities are also asked to answer a questionnairre each day regarding their health. Their temperature is checked two times a day. Residents have their temperature checked at least once a day. Some family members of staff members had recently tested positive for COVID-19, so they have to be extra careful.

“It could really be a disaster if we weren’t taking these precautions, because we know what can happen if precautions aren’t being made or taken,” said Blix.

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