ATLANTA — An operator of numerous Atlanta area senior living homes is restricting all visitors during the coronavirus outbreak.
The virus has shown to be especially dangerous for older people.
In China, a study found that nearly 80% of cases occurred in people aged 30-69, and the death rate among those aged 60 and older ranged from 20-30%. Italy's older population has also proven to be seriously vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19.
Closer to home, Phoenix Senior Living says on its website that "no visitors will be permitted at any community until further notice," in an effort to defend against the spread of the coronavirus.
Phoenix Senior Living operates 19 homes in Georgia, many of them around Atlanta, as well as a handful of others in Southeast.
Their Georgia locations include Albany, Milton, Buford, two in Canton, Conyers, Cumming, Dallas, Dunwoody, Fayetteville, Gainesville, Hoschton, Jasper, Loganville, Marietta, Roswell, Savannah, Tucker and Warner Robins.
The operator said "limited exceptions" to the no-visitors rule would be made for adult family members in the case of "extreme emergency." Even then, the family member must be "pre-screened according to CDC guidelines" and will need approval in writing from the executive director of the home.
"Children under the age of 16 are not to visit any community until further notice," the company says.
Home health and hospice care providers will also need confirmation they've been screened and are presenting no symptoms before being able to enter a community.
The operator says staff will be equipped to complete onsite screenings for healthcare workers.
"The health and wellness of our residents, caregivers, families, and staff in Phoenix Senior Living communities is our highest priority," the company says on its site. "Phoenix executives and managers remain in close communication with the respective Boards of Health and other public health officials to make informed operational decisions. As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and concerns continue to evolve, we will follow the guidance from the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to implement health recommendations and share updated information with our PSL team as it becomes available."
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