Dogwood Village celebrates residents’ COVID-free year

“The second biggest challenge was making sure our staff were safe,” she continued. “When people are out and about, you can’t guarantee they didn’t pick up COVID. So, we started screening people daily. You have to get your temperature taken, answer questions about travel, answer questions about fever, sore throat, headaches or any symptoms that you might have. If you had any of those symptoms, you would be tested and sent home until we got the results back.”

The staff at Dogwood had to experiment with different testing and tracing strategies to ensure that any cases that did appear were immediately monitored. This meant a near-constant cycle of testing and waiting.

“First we started doing face-to-face testing and then switched to the drive-thru method since you didn’t really want to be too close to the person doing your test,” Talley said. “A lot of our tests were donated, but we had to buy thousands and thousands of tests. There’s no way to budget for that.”

According to Talley, Dogwood did everything in its power to address the social and emotional deficits created by the pandemic for their residents.

“We continued to do some activities, some dining and outside visits,” she said. “We set up little booths for people so they could visit safely. The booths had to be created out of a transparent product, so that you could visit and see your loved one but couldn’t touch them or breathe the same air. It was like a PVC apparatus with a transparent dome on top. Our maintenance department built them for us.”

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