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Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement Center restricting visitors because of coronavirus

DeKALB – Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement Center is not allowing its nursing home residents to have visitors amid concerns over coronavirus.

Liz Hoppenworth, residential services administrator for Oak Crest, said the facility, which has about 275 residents, is following the guidelines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set.

She said if the health guidelines from the CDC, Illinois Department of Public Health, or DeKalb County Health Department change, Oak Crest will change with them.

She said there are exceptions to the visitors rule for nursing home residents, but they are on a case by case basis.

“It depends on the reason for the visit,” Hoppenworth said. “If someone were dying, they could come in, but they’d have to have a [health] screening.”

Take note, people younger than 18 years old are not allowed to come in to the facility unless they are healthcare workers, Hoppenworth said.

Hoppenworth said if the visitor goes through the screening and is positive for a fever, shortness of breath, a cough or runny nose they cannot come in. She said the facility also added nausea and vomiting to the list of ailments a cannot have in order to keep the residents safe from health issues.

She said most of the nursing home residents and their families have been very accepting of the visitor restriction and that the response so far has been positive.

“They understand our responsibility is their safety,” Hoppenworth said. “They understand there’s concern.”

Now, whether the residents like the restrictions, Hoppenworth said they don’t, but they understand.

Oak Crest also serves independent and assisted living residents. Hoppenworth said they are free come and go, which makes it challenging for the facility.

“We have a relatively large population of individuals and assisted living community,” Hoppenworth said. “They’re volunteering and working. They’re in and out of the facility.”

She said her staff is reminding those residents to keep themselves safe, to wash their hands and to be careful about contamination.

She said the independent and assisted living residents are also free to have visitors, so long as those visitors pass a health screening.

“If they are symptomatic, they are not allowed into the facility,” she said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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