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'If a resident is exposed, the consequences could be deadly.' Nursing homes prepare for Thanksgiving amid pandemic

The Indiana State Department of Health is recommending that families visit the long term care facilities, preferably outside, but inside if it can be done safely.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — The holidays this year will look different for everyone, especially those in long-term care facilities.

At the Indiana State Department of Health's recommendation, long term care facilities are advising against residents leaving to visit family. If a resident is exposed, the consequences could be deadly, according to health officials. 

"It's a group housing situation that a resident comes back to, that is what we really want families and residents to understand. They aren't just coming back to an individual apartment but potentially a spread of one hundred to two hundred people," said health facility administrator Jill Robbins.

If residents do choose to leave, a strict 14-day quarantine will be required upon return. But isolation can have extremely negative consequences on residents. 

That is why some nursing homes are providing virtual games and activities for residents to play during the quarantine. 

"This type of isolation, if we don't provide things during those quarantines and isolations, you can deal with things such as anxiety and depression on a climb and you don't want to add to an already bad time," said Robbins. 

The State Department of Health is recommending that families visit the long term care facilities, preferably outside, but inside if it can be done safely.

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