Shelby County rolls out new virtual visitation plan for nursing home residents


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The coronavirus continues to take a toll on nursing homes across Memphis and Shelby County.

With 98 deaths, the pandemic has hit nursing homes in the area very hard. Additionally, it created another problem, social isolation. The county is rolling out a new virtual visitation plan for nursing home residents and their families. Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said the pandemic has caused a lot of problems for nursing homes, and the goal is to continue doing whatever is needed to protect those who are vulnerable.

“Our seniors at nursing homes have been particularly hit hard by the pandemic,” Harris said. “They have required intensive treatment and seen too often death. The program to be administered by the health department will provide resources to provide $5,000 to help pay for digital devices such as iPads, webcams, and headphones.”

In addition to the complications the pandemic has presented to nursing homes, concerns continue to grow at area high schools. Bruce Randolph, Shelby County Health Officer said though many people are wearing their masks in public areas, this trend must continue for the foreseeable future. Additionally, he said, it will be up to the school’s’ discretion on how they move forward if a COVID-19 cluster forms.

“We will advise,” Randolph said. “We will give guidance, but the decision to determine whether a classroom will close is a decision the school themselves of the officials of that schools must make.”

Lastly, the Memphis Tigers will open this Saturday against Arkansas State for its first football game of the season. Health officials said they want Tiger fans to enjoy themselves, but they said, they want them to be mindful there is still a pandemic going on and to continue doing the safety measures they have been enforcing and recommending since mid-March.

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