It has been a long wait but it is finally almost over for parents and loved ones to visit with residents of Murray Developmental Center.
Center Director Lori Demijan says the Illinois Department of Human Services and Illinois Department of Public Health has cleared the way for limited outside visitation.
“We will have different areas set up around the campus that will be our designated visiting sites. They will have to schedule those visits 24 hours in advance so we can comply with only having 2 people per individual at a time and maintain social distancing. Of course, the guardians will be asked the questions that staff is asked every day when they report for work. To look for any signs of symptoms of COVID and to screen any visitors we have before they come on campus.”
Demijan says the center has a number of outdoor pavilions that can be used for the visitation.
Murray Center Parents Association President Rita Winkeler says the organization has been pushing to have personal contact.
“I think its a wonderful start. We have missed them so much. March 12th is the last day we’ve seen any of them. I mean we’ve face timed and talked on the phone, but it will be so wonderful to see them. Yes, we will have to be 6 feet apart and wear a mask, but it will be so wonderful to see them.”
Winkeler says parents have not been allowed on the Murray Campus since it was closed to the public in March. They still won’t be able to bring any gifts as those need to be routed through administration and sanitized before being given to the residents.
Demijan reports only one additional COVID-19 problem since Grape Cottage went completely off quarantine earlier this month. A resident who had returned from an out of state hospital for another medical issue later tested positive for COVID-19. However, she was already in isolation as a precaution and is staying in Apple Cottage which has negative air pressure and was set up to handle such cases. The resident is due to be released from isolation on Friday.
The visitation policy established for Murray Center is similar to the outside visitation now being allowed at nursing homes around the state that have also not allowed visitation since March.