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Assisted Living Facilities Strengthen Policies To Combat COVID-19

Joanne Bauer

Assisted living centers in Utah are reinforcing policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I think the policies will be pretty much the same because when you’re dealing with the elderly, if you’re sick, you shouldn’t come visit them anyway,” Tami Harrison said.

Harrison is the owner of an assisted living center, Beehive Homes of Logan. She said policies in place in nursing homes are already meant to protect the elderly from disease. Most policies will not change but will be reinforced amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults are at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus. 

“We’re just trying to reiterate that policy now. We’ve got signs on our doors reminding people that if you’re sick don’t come in, and when you come in try to avoid touching things with your hand and just the common sense type stuff,” she said.

Some nursing homes are opting for a change in visitation policy to limit the number of people coming in. Tim Torkildson is a resident at Valley Villa in Provo, and said the assisted living center is only accepting visits from family and medical personnel following the global COVID-19 outbreak. 

“It hasn’t made an impact on me, but I am concerned that it may impact me quite a bit,” Torkildson said.

Bryan Erickson is the CEO of the Sunshine Terrace Foundation in Logan, a non-profit senior care community.

Erickson said it is important to be in communication with employees and families to make sure everyone is more aware of how to best protect patients.