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Waterloo mom looking forward to seeing son after restrictions are lifted on long-term care facilities

Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 5:15 PM CDT
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WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) - As the state issues guidelines for reopening long term care facilities, some people say they can’t wait to get back with their families.

This includes a 3-phased approach to allow residents and visitors more freedom with each step. In order for a facility to start to lift restrictions, they must take part in baseline testing where staff and residents are checked for the virus.

A woman from Waterloo is among those waiting to see her son. Ruth Bracket-Cripe’s son has autism. He lives at Harmony House in Waterloo and his mom hasn’t seen him since March 2nd.

Bracket-Cripe said, “I’m looking forward very very much to getting to see him again, to fatten him up a little bit. He’s always been on the small side and he’s lost 10 pounds in the last few months. He’s down to 117 so I have to fatten him, it’s my job as a mom.”

He’s one of more than 60 residents and staff diagnosed with COVID-19 as of early May. He was in the hospital and now is doing okay.

Bracket-Cripe’s primary concern is his safety because although it’s been widely publicized that the virus can be dangerous for older people, her son is also vulnerable.

The state’s medical director announced this week that they are working to reopen long term care facilities. That guidance will come soon, but the doctor said increased testing would be part of the plan.

On June 4th, Dr. Caitlin Pedati stated, “We’re going to be offering baseline testing assessments to residents and staff in facilities. We’re going to continue to prioritize testing for any symptomatic staff or resident and also continue to offer testing for individuals who are transferred from an acute setting to a long term care setting.”

Dr. Pedati said when a case is identified the state will offer facility-wide testing and repeat weekly testing to manage clusters.

A handful of long term care facilities are no longer on the state’s outbreak list. That happens after the facility has not seen any new cases among residents and staff for 28 days.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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