Nursing facility implements restrictions due to coronavirus

One senior living facility owner is taking precautions in case the virus spreads to Huntsville.

Posted: Mar 11, 2020 9:27 PM

The Alabama Department of Health said one of the populations at high-risk for getting the coronavirus is elderly. Health officials urge them to stay indoors and avoid contact with others. 

Facilities that house seniors are taking precautions. This includes Katie Fairchild's facility in Huntsville. She runs a at-home care facility for elders that only houses two seniors at a time. 

With the spread of COVID-19, on Wednesday Fairchild put into place new policies, so she can continue taking patients. 

"I don't just do this, it's not like I make a whole lot of money anyways," Fairchild said. "I do this because of the problems my mom had in a facility."

Fairchild always had an inkling she had been helping elderly in some way. It was not until after her mother passed that she wanted to open a senior living facility, but she wanted it to feel more like a home. 

Right now, Fairchild does not have any new residents and is questioning whether or not she should take in any at all right now. After discussing her options, she decided she will take in one. 

"They're not going to be able to have their families come visit until more of this is under control," Fairchild said. "They could like Facebook and Skype."

The home is also stocked up on cleaning supplies. Fairchild said they will be making sure the next resident does not have flu-like symptoms, and has had their flu shot.

"We're really concerned with what it's going to do to just this business alone," Fairchild said.

She added she is worried about staff getting sick or exposed, but knows for now, she needs to keep helping a group she feels is often under-served. 

"If they're fairly healthy, its the safest place for them to go, and I'm willing to take that risk for them," Fairchild said. 

When it comes to testing for coronavirus, the state is prioritizing elderly patients.

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