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Nursing home limits visitors to protect residents from coronavirus

Mar 12, 2020

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Local nursing facilities are putting plans in place to protect their residents from the coronavirus.

As of Thursday morning, St. John's Home in Rochester is not allowing any visitors to enter the building unless the family member they are visiting is critically ill and in hospice care.

"I've been doing this for about 37 years, and this is probably the most unsettling situation I've probably seen in that time because the folks that we take care of are the most vulnerable with this most recent virus," said Charlie Runyon, St. John's president and CEO.

The Highland Avenue nursing home has about 390 residents. Runyon said residents aren't being isolated from one another, but any group gathering is limited to 15 or 16 people.

In addition, all staff members, vendors, and visitors will be screened at a separate entrance for fever and other symptoms. They will also be asked about their recent travel history.

St. John's is making laptops and other devices available to residents so they can stay in contact with their family members through email or platforms such as Skype or FaceTime.

The visitor limitations only apply to St. John's Home, not St. John's independent senior facilities -- Penfield Green House Homes, St. John's Meadows, or Brickstone by St. John's.