Senior living facility starting in-person visits a year into the pandemic

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 10:27 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Southlake Village Rehabilitation and Care Center isn’t following the CDC guidelines but rather the Center Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Officials with Southlake said this relies mainly on the county positivity rate staying below 10% so visitors can continue going inside. According to CMS, Lancaster County’s positivity rate is at 3.7%

Katherine Pollock-Peterson hasn’t been able to be in the same room as her aunt for a year. But, that all recently changed.

“This is the first time in a while we’ve been able to get into her room and pick things up,” Pollock-Peterson said.

Throughout the pandemic, she did window visits with her aunt.

But, to her, nothing beats seeing her aunt inside her home.

Pollock-Peterson said, “To see how happy she was when I walked into the door. it brightened her day.”

For others living at Southlake, seeing their family also means they’re getting extra help.

Southlake resident, Rita Vrchota, said, “It’s really been a joy to have them come in and see how messy my room is.”

Southlake Village said visits still look different than a year ago. People can schedule visits twice a week for right around an hour.

Southlake public relations coordinator Jen Wolf-Wubbles said, “Our residents are able to have 2 to 3 visitors come in per visit and just spend time with their loved ones and it has just brought so much joy and laughter and love into this building.”

According to the CDC, people who’ve been vaccinated can meet without wearing a mask or social distancing.

But, Southlake Village follows CMS, which requires both masks and social distancing.

“As we see more people in the community get the vaccine, and as that positivity rate continues to go down,” Wolf-Wubbles said, “I hope sometime in 2021 well see that change.”

Change is what a lot of residents and their friends and family hope for as many say this pandemic has been a long road and everyone needs these visits.

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