Senior Centers take precautionary measures in light of COVID-19

NOW: Senior Centers take precautionary measures in light of COVID-19

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) – The latest developments on the corona virus also have senior living facilities taking precautionary measures.

Senior centers in and around the Milwaukee area are echoing similar protocols like the ones taken at Oak Hill Terrace. None so far have restrictions on visitations, but they are asking those who are sick to stay home.

A new CDC guidance warns elderly and sick people should avoid traveling or circulating in crowds.

Senior centers like Oak Hill Terrace are already taking precautionary measures.

“We have instituted some heightened awareness, as we’re calling it,” says Beth Anderson, vice president of Laureate Group Senior Communities. “This is influenza season so for us as well as norovirus as a concern. So this is a continuation of our typical protocol.”

Aside from stocking up on hand sanitizer they’re also doing things one wouldn’t quite expect.

“For example, the poker chips are being run through-that we play bingo with-are being run through the dish machine with regularity more than usual,” says Anderson.

With eight locations between Waukesha and Milwaukee they’ve also stopped sharing staff between sites, and are closely monitoring their residents.

“We are doing some investigation on some residents who may have been traveling recently and are returning home,” says Anderson. “On Friday we had several people who had come home from Las Vegas for example. So we double check that they’re not showing symptoms of any illness.”

Several other senior facilities in and around Milwaukee, like West Allis and Greenfield, echoed these protocols. None say they’ve restricted visitations, but are asking people to stay home if they are sick.

“It’s more likely that somebody will bring that virus into our facility, and so this is the wrong time to visit if you’re not feeling well,” says Anderson.

Several centers said they’re regularly checking on updates from the CDC.  Overall, they’re asking everyone to wash their hands and properly cover their cough.

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