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Senior care centers restrict visitors to prevent Coronavirus spread

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KION

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. Events are being cancelled, schools shut down, and now signs stop visitors from entering senior care facilities.

Several centers on the Monterey Peninsula have encouraged people to refrain from seeing their loved owns. Some have banned it altogether.

"I don't know if it's fair, but if they say it's in your best interest not to be near these folks, at this time, it's probably in your best interest not to do it," said a Pacific Grove visitor.

Cypress Ridge Care Center in Monterey is assessing the situation day-by-day. While there are currently no cases of COVID-19 in Monterey County, administrators said they are taking the advice of the health department and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

"We have requested that any visitation that happens in our facility, if it could otherwise happen over the phone or on another platform, that we take that opportunity first," said Cypress Ridge Care Center Administrator, Ryan McCormack.

But what happens if an immediate in-person visit in necessary?

Cypress Ridge is allowing visitation on a case-by-case basis, but attorney, John Coniglio, said completely cutting off interaction with family and friends could bring up legal issues.

"Totally freezing people out raises serious legal concern. I encourage someone who is in that situation, who has a loved who is in a high risk situation and can't see them, to reach out to administrators and see if they can come to a happy medium," said Coniglio.

Coniglio encourages open communication between everyone as concern over the Coronavirus continues to rise.

Under the newly enacted state waiver, nursing facilities have the option to limit visitation until June 1, 2020.

"It's extremely worrisome, when we live in a free society, to have the government make these types of decisions. I'm hopeful that this is very temporary, but it is also scary at the same time," said Coniglio.

Health / Monterey County / News
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Megan Meier

Megan Meier is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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