Nearly 120,000 people in the United States died in the first half of 2020 from COVID-19. As the country opens back up, cases are again on the rise in 20 states. This includes Texas, where numbers admitted to hospitals are increasing daily. Of particular note to some was that the virus has been especially lethal to the elderly. Many eldercare facilities are closed to visitors, but they are now considering reopening.
It is good news for those wishing to see elderly relatives, but they may have increased exposure to the virus from visitors. According to NPR, most transmissions of the virus occur because young people are careful and then bring it into a household where it affects older and high-risk family members.
Caution remains essential
Businesses have reopened, but families should still be cautious about expanding their pod or group. Some suggestions from the CDC for those wishing to see elderly loved ones include:
- Go into a quarantine mindset 10-14 days before visiting their home – this means visitors work from home and limit outings and playdates.
- Check-in with the front desk, which can assess visitors for symptoms.
- Visitors should not visit if they feel ill or display symptoms of the virus.
- Inform the facility if a visitor contracts the virus within 14 days after the visit.
- Have an alternative plan if the facility puts restrictions on visitors.
Governor hits pause
The governor is responding to the record increases in cases here in Texas by suspending any further reopening. Elective surgeries have also been halted here in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Austin.
In light of these updates, families should take extreme care in visiting elder care facilities. They should, nevertheless, still monitor the quality of the care provided to their loved ones. Families should note any lapses in judgment by staff, particularly if it puts a victim in life-threatening danger.