Protecting our most vulnerable from COVID-19

The Center for Disease Control has identified older people as being more at risk for serious complications from COVID-19. Group home and care settings are also hot spots for COVID-19, which makes older Minnesotans living in nursing homes more at risk.

Nursing homes across the state have placed their residents in quarantine as a result, with some banning visitors with few exceptions, closing down communal dining, and cancelling community programs as we aim to protect our most vulnerable Minnesotans. Facilities are also screening employees before they start work to ensure no one is working while sick.

Facilities are working on finding creative ways to keep their residents connected to their loved ones, setting up virtual visits, encouraging phone calls, and encouraging people to mail letters and notes. Minnesotans have been stepping up to make sure the residents don’t feel isolated or forgotten, with many dropping off notes, artwork, and treats for both the residents and staff.

For those looking for activities to keep themselves or their loved ones busy during this time, drawing pictures or writing notes to people living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities might be a good way to reach out others and ensure them that we are all one Minnesota.

While older people and those with other health issues are more at risk, anyone can catch and spread COVID-19, and complications from the virus have developed in people of all ages. Senate DFLers encourage all Minnesotans to follow CDC advice on hand washing and social distancing, and to stay at home as much as possible while the governor’s shelter-in-place order is in effect.