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Bridgewater Retirement Community suspends all visitation to nursing households and assisted living residences

Budd said they had more than 900 people participate in the survey that represent different parts of the community.
Budd said they had more than 900 people participate in the survey that represent different parts of the community.(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 13, 2020 at 1:55 PM EDT
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Amid ongoing concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, which is especially dangerous for the elderly and the immunocompromised, at least one local retirement center is suspending all visitation to assisted living areas.

In an announcement posted Friday afternoon, Bridgewater Retirement Community said they've been following the spread of the virus since early January and making precautions throughout their campus to mitigate all risks of exposure for their residents.

On Friday, they determined it was time to take additional steps.

Until this point, their preparations had been behind the scenes, including stockpiling supplies of food, medical, and hygiene equipment while reinforcing proper handwashing protocol for their team members.

But as the virus grew to 30 presumptive positive and positive cases in Virginia on Friday, they decided to implement new, significant measures.

"We have made the difficult decision to suspend all visitation to our nursing households and assisted living residences. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis for end-of-life care," the facility said in a statement. "Village residents are highly discouraged from hosting off-campus visitors in their homes or attending large off-campus gatherings. We encourage you to stay in touch with your loved ones via phone, video conferencing, email, social media, and other means."

The facility said the changes will be personally difficult, as they understand, especially for residents' families, but they say it's the best way to safeguard their residents' health.

They'll be posting daily updates to their website at

and through their Coronavirus Prevention Hotline (540-828-2444).

The following changes are going into effect at BRC immediately:

· All campus events and community gatherings are canceled until further notice.

· All school group visitation (including clinical internships) has been suspended.

· All outside vendors and contractors will follow prevention protocols and are restricted from certain areas. Anyone who enters buildings where residents live or gather will be screened (including temperature readings).

· Residents and team members must report travel plans to Resident Services or their respective team leaders. Residents and team members will be monitored upon their return.

· BRC will screen and collect a temperature reading for every person (including team members) who enters the Huffman Health Center, Assisted Living, or the Administrative Center.

· Admissions and move-ins will continue, with appropriate preventive measures and protocols.

· Everyone is encouraged to continue practicing good infection control by washing your hands and using hand sanitizer regularly; covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze; maintain social distances of around six feet from people who show symptoms; and avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.

They also encourage everyone who wants to receive the most timely updates from the retirement center to share their email address with them at info@brcliving.org, including your name and the name of the family member at BRC.

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Elsewhere, all Sentara nursing centers, rehabilitation centers, and assisted living villages are limiting patients to two visitors a day, who will be screened on their travel history and state of health before being allowed to enter.

Local hospitals, including Sentara RMH and Augusta Health, have restricted visitors to two at a time per patient, with screening for people visiting patients in the ICU, Emergency Department, and Labor and Delivery.

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