COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Senior living communities in mid-Missouri began to loosen restrictions in April and May when the vaccine was accessible and case numbers were low, but now some are becoming more strict.
The Terrace Retirement Community updated its restrictions in July limiting visitors to caregivers.
The Terrace guidances say, “CDC and local orders recommend people at risk, which includes all Terrace residents, continue to stay home and limit interaction with others, and continue physical distancing to the greatest extent possible. “
At Terrace, residents are able to visit outside while maintaining social distancing, and masks are highly recommended. Within the building, residents, staff and caregivers are to maintain 6 feet social distancing, wear face masks, and follow recommended precautionary measures.
Laura Reynolds says the community has only one resident that is unvaccinated and several employees, but they are aware of the breakthrough infections so they brought back certain restrictions.
One item that was brought back to communities in April and May of 2021 was being able to dine in the dining halls. Since the recent surge, the Terrace is delivering breakfast and dinner to residents’ apartments and offering a scheduled To-Go lunch pickup.
Activities such as exercise classes, discussion groups, charades, and writing classes are resuming but in a safe manner. Residents can enjoy participating while social distancing and wearing masks.
For a period of time, Reynolds said vaccinated visitors could be maskless if vaccination was proven, but that changed. “We just decided that everyone needs to wear masks, we don’t know where you’ve been, we don’t want to make you prove you’ve been vaccinated,” Reynolds said.
Others have continued to ease up on Covid protocols and return more to normal. Colony Point has brought back in-person visits, community tours, group dining, and group activities.
According to the state health department website, Boone County is averaging 1.28 new cases per day in the past 7 days in the 80 and over age group, compared to 7.57 in December.
Some senior communities in Jefferson City are also loosening restrictions. Primrose is allowing residents to eat in dining halls and also welcome visitors. According to the Primrose website, they are still taking precautions when it comes to new residents.
“All other new residents will undergo a 7-10 day transition period upon move-in,” says the communities Covid-19 guidelines. During this time, new residents will receive their meals delivered to their apartment and cannot participate in any indoor small group activity or outdoor activity.
Chezney Schulte with the Cole County Health Department said, “563 positive cases have been reported in Cole County in the month of August. 17 have been 80+ years old; 36 have been 70-79 years old; and 52 have been 60-69 years old.”
According to the state health department website, Cole County is averaging one new cases per day in the past 7 days in the 80 and over age group, compared to 5.71 in November.
Health experts attribute this steep decline to the vaccination rates in the older population. Currently, in the state, the 65 and older population has the highest percentage of people that have completed vaccination at 75%.
Some communities are even taking extra steps to make sure residents are staying safe. All Lutheran Senior Services employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 1 and all new employees will be required to show proof of vaccination or be vaccinated as part of the employment process.
“During the height of the pandemic, our residents missed time with their family and friends due to visitor restrictions. Having a fully vaccinated staff will greatly reduce the opportunity for COVID-19 outbreaks within our communities allowing them to remain open for visitors,” says the statement from Lutheran.
Check back for more on this developing story or watch ABC 17 News at 10 p.m.
Originally Appeared Here