Mercy Ardmore is still restricting visitation in the wake of widespread flu and other care facilities are dealing with the threat as well.
Veterans Center Administrator Shawn Kirkland said the center, which has 165 residents and 250 employees, has been hit by the virus. The center isn’t enacting guidelines for visitors but is urging families to use their best judgement and stay home if they even suspect they may be sick.
“We’re just kind of recommending caution,” Kirland said. “We haven’t had to mandate anything just yet. (The flu) is out there in the community.”
Kirkland said about 22 employees and 10 residents have come down with the flu in the last month.
“It has affected us, mostly my staff,” Kirkland said.
Masks, gloves, disinfectant and good hygiene are the facility’s first line of defense.
“We’ve had to put some things in place for isolation purposes,” Kirkland said. “You have to stay on top of it to prevent it while you can.”
Kirkland said for facilities like the center, the risk and danger of an outbreak are slightly more complex.
“We are a 24-hour care facility, there’s always people coming and going and employees go in and out all the time,” Kirkland said. “There’s never a time of shutdown.”
Sharon Patton, the administrator at Whispering Oaks, said the nursing home has been relatively unaffected by the outbreak so far.
“We’ve been very lucky,” Patton said. “We haven’t had any flu as of now, and we haven’t had any employees with it yet.”
Patton said the center offered free flu vaccines to patients and staff at the start of the season, which may have helped the center stave off the virus. She said the center isn’t taking any measures to limit visitors, but is asking sick family members to stay home.