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COVID-19: Country Oaks Care Center gets approval to receive visitors during pandemic


SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Tom Stevenson misses his wife who is currently at Country Oaks Care Center.

"Being married in love with somebody as long as we have I can’t sleep at night without putting your arm across the bed and missing your partner," said Stevenson.

Now that visitors are allowed at the care center Stevenson feels relieved that he’ll finally get to see his wife on the patio.

"It’ll be the nicest thing in a long long time. Most of the residents haven’t seen their family and friends for six months due to the pandemic," said Stevenson.

Owners of the care center say so far the visits are going well.

"This is our patio ... we have it marked so it’s safe and they know what 6 feet is a residence can be sitting 6 feet away with their family members ... everyone’s wearing masks and they’re close enough but far enough away so they can see each other," said co-owner Sharon Henning of Country Oaks Care Center.

Owners say with visitors now being able to come to this patio they’re finally feeling a sense of normalcy during the pandemic.

The Santa Barbara Public County Health requires residents visiting the care center to be screened and get their temperature checked.

"And they can visit up to two family members or friends can visit the resident for up to 30 minutes," said co-owner John Henning of Country Oaks Care Center.

While staff members work to maintain the health and safety at the care center and the patio, Stevenson is just grateful to know he’ll get to see his wife.

"It’s pretty important to the patient and the family ... I mean you can talk on the phone all you want but it ain’t saying the same thing as seeing the expression on their face when they answer a question or anything like that," said Stevenson.

Visitors must be on the patio.

Each resident can have one session of visitors per week, and they must wear a mask and keep a physical distance.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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