As Louisiana reopens, nursing homes and assisted living facilities will remain closed to visitors

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — When COVID-19 hit the ArkLaTex in March, Bloom at Bossier immediately closed their doors to visitors.

“We started the protocol of taking the temperature of the residents, taking their O2 sats,” says Laurie Manno, who is the Executive Director at the assisted living facility.

It is a move they don’t regret, as it’s kept their residents and staff COVID-free.

“We screen everyone when they get here. We are screening our resident’s three times a day,” adds Manno.

As plans to reopen Louisiana are in the works, assisted living facilities and nursing homes will remain closed because the elderly are at high risk.

“It’s going to be a phased response and so nursing homes will be later in that response and their ability to allow visitors and re-open for group activities and that kind of thing,” says Dr. Martha Whyte, Medical Director Administrator for the Office of Public Health Region 7.

“We all need to stay mindful of the fact that as we all start moving around more, that the chance of us seeing a resurgence and increase in cases is definitely there.”

RELATED: Gov. Edwards expects to announce Monday whether Louisiana should be ready for Phase One reopening May 15

Bloom at Bossier realizes some elderly might not understand all that’s going on and are caught right in the midst of the chaos.

That’s why Manno says they make it their business to give them a sense of normalcy during these difficult times.

“We are setting up a lot of Skype visits and window visits and just doing the best we can to keep them in contact with their family.”

Keeping the elderly safe is a community effort.

If you suspect any nursing home or assisted living facility being negligent or doing anything harmful to staff and employees, you are encouraged to contact the Louisiana Department of Health and report your complaint.

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