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Visitors allowed in Smithers assisted living facilities

Assisted living facilities in Smithers are now allowing visitors for residents, after the province announced last month it was easing restrictions in long-term care facilities.

Only one visitor per resident is allowed in the facility and they have to make an appointment with the facility.

According to Smithers Community Services Association Executive Director Cathryn Olmstead, there is a designated area where the resident and their visitor will meet, the facility will record the visit and sanitize the area when the visit is complete.

Earlier on in the pandemic visitors were not allowed in the facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to Olmstead, the SCSA asked the tenants if they would like visitors and the tenants decided against the visitors.

Olmstead said family members would gather around the facilities and have a remote visit with their loved ones.

“Visitors were still able to talk to them [residents] through the windows and we made sure we had computers available for people to Skype and as the weather got better some tenants’ families would sit on the lawn and the tenants would sit on their balcony,” she said.

Olmstead added that it helped residents get through the time without having any residents in the building.

She also said residents are now allowed to leave the building but it’s concerning because they have no control over what people do when they’re not in the building.

“Hopefully, when seniors are going out their family members are respectful of their health and the other people that they live with within the housing facility so, then you hope they guide themselves appropriately,” she said.

Earlier on in the pandemic community members would participate in a car parade to the hospital and the long term care facilities.

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