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Thu, 03/19/2020 - 18:01
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Two nursing facilities in Richmond under quarantine to protect residents ‘

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RICHMOND – Two Ray County assisted-living facilities are asking the public’s understanding for a quarantine while the coronavirus, COVID-19, remains a public health threat.

The director of Oak Ridge Assisted Living and Memory Care, and of Shirkey Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Chris Brown, said Monday that the facilities are under quarantine.

The state did not order the quarantine, Department of Health and Senior Services spokeswoman Lisa Cox said.

No one at either Richmond facility is suspected of having the virus. There has been no need to test any resident, Brown said.

“We’ve not had anyone have any signs of it,” Brown said.

Prior to Monday’s announcement, the facilities had planned only to limit visits from the public as a precaution.

“The point of us being so proactive is, we want to keep it out,” Brown said. “This is what every nursing home is doing across the nation, because ... for those 60 and over, and those with underlying health issues, the mortality rate is pretty high.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, states older adults and people with severe chronic illnesses – meaning people with weakened immune systems – are the most likely to become severely ill from COVID-19. The Journal of the American Medical Association found, based on information coming out of China, a fatality rate of 2.3% among those who contracted the virus, mainly in older people. The rate rose to 15% for those over 80.

Oak Ridge has about 45 and Shirkey has about 130 residents, Brown said. They can be visited over the phone, he said, but the option for in-person visits has been removed.

Prior to Monday’s announcement, Brown had said Oak Ridge and Shirkey would not consider a quarantine unless necessary for public safety.

The CDC guidelines changed, recommending against extended-care facilities allowing public visits, except in end-of-life situations.

“I know people want to see their loved ones,” Brown said last week, “but if it is at all possible, wait until this crisis is over.”

Now, for the safety of residents, the suggestion to limit visitation is a mandate – no visitors will be allowed during the quarantine.

‘The point of us being so proactive is, we want to keep it out.’



‘I know people want to see their loved ones, but if it is at all possible, wait until this crisis is over.’