New Wake County restrictions partially aimed at protecting senior citizens

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Senior citizens are one of the most vulnerable populations to COVID-19, which is why the county added restrictions to assisted-living facility and nursing home residents on Sunday.

“Residents ages 65 years and older and those with underlying health issues are at most at risk at becoming seriously ill if they contract COVID-19,” said Wake County Manager David Ellis, Wake County.

Wake County officials required all facilities to stop hosting gatherings.

They limited residents to one visitor a day — unless it’s an end-of-life situation. Those visitors are to first be screened for a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

“We’re putting these measures in place to protect the residents of these facilities who are most at risk and prevent an overwhelming of our health care system,” said Ellis.

The North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association is asking nursing facilities to restrict all visitors, except in end-of-life situations.

“It’s important that we do everything we can to protect the residents of our nursing facilities, and that includes restricting visitors. While we know that family members desperately want to see their loved ones, we strongly encourage everyone to avoid in-person visits at this time to protect our residents,” said Adam Sholar, President and CEO of the North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association.

Two residents in senior living facilities in Wake County have tested positive for COVID-19.

The first case was reported at Woodland Terrace in Cary. All assisted-living residents there are quarantined in their apartments.

The second case was reported at Sunrise Senior Living of Raleigh. They’re no longer allowing visitors, having in-room dining, and moved all residents to their rooms.

County officials said they’re monitoring all cases closely.

“We do check in with them on a regular basis and ensure that we understand where they are in the process of the disease as well as their recovery for those that are positive,” said Darshan Patel, Wake County emergency management director.

The new restrictions are in place until April 30 but can be adjusted.

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