I am starting to get somewhat anxious about the coronavirus in relation to the memory care facility my parent is in.

Memory care facilities I think could be hot beds of virus for this sort of thing, due to the low hygiene levels as a result of how the residents themselves are.

I don't want to be a carrier that unknowingly delivers it to the facility and I most definitely don't want to catch it from there.

Any ideas as to how to manage and minimize risk asides from just not visiting?

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The ED of my mother's Memory Care ALF sent out an email asking that anyone who's traveled anywhere to please stay OUT of the ALF for 14 days before visiting a loved one who resides there.

I have no greater fear of the residents contracting this virus than the flu, which has a MUCH higher incidence of death associated with it than corona. Just b/c the media is amping this up does not mean we all have to amp it up.

Here's a list of the viruses that have broken out over the years, in case we've forgotten:

90's: Mad Cow
2004: SARS
2008: Avian (Bird) Flu
2010: Swine Flu (pandemic)
2012: MERS
2014: Ebola
2016: Zika
2018: Ebola

We shall survive the latest in a long line of viruses. Wash your hands & use common sense, that's the best advice ever.
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craftslady1 Mar 2020
lealonnie1, you might want to double check your facts about a higher incidence of death being associated with the flu than with Covid-19 virus. For flu, the death rate is .1%. For this virus, it's estimated to be from 1% to 2%, which is 10 to 20 times higher. This is not media hype, but is the information being put out by the nation's top health departments, such as the CDC.
And yes, I will wash my hands and use all of the other precautions. I would hope that we all will.
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Please do not panic! I will say the media THRIVES on getting everyone whipped up into a panic, especially with an election approaching.

Remember how the world was supposed to go off the rails at Y2K?
Remember West Nile and Zika virus?
Remember SARS, MERS and Avian Flu and how those were the next "pandemic"?
Regular influenza kills hundreds of thousands worldwide yearly.
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Grandma1954 Mar 2020
And the Flu of 1918 killed 5% of the worlds population about a 2% mortality rate. There will always be "something"!
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Wash your hands with soap and water and don't touch your face. Washing hands before and after contact with your loved one is important. Unless you want you or your loved one to live like bubble boy, washing hands, following sneeze etiquette and not touching your face are your best bet.
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The real "funny" thing here about the "new" Corona Virus...
I have a package of Household Surface Wipes that has been in my kitchen cabinet for over 1 year. And the first thing that it lists that it kills is Corona Virus!
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lealonnie1 Mar 2020
I noticed that myself! But now the MSM has something to sink its teeth into and voila, a stock market plunge and mass hysteria is reigning. Don't panic & buy stocks!! :)
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I sent the .facility that my sister is in a note asking them what steps they were going to take. Here is a link to the CDC: .

As to your behavior, assume that you are carrying the virus and that you will come in contact with the virus.

Of course don't visit if anyone in your family has symptoms of a cold. or a fever; check your own fever.

The facility should have everyone stop by a desk and check in. The facilityshouldprovide everyone with a mask and have them wash their hands before visiting. The love one should be provided with a mask to wear doing a visit. Be sure to wash your hands before leaving. Don't touch your face or nose (including removing the mask) until you have used hand santizer. and then wash your hands again.

Don't rely on the facility doing an adequate job. Push them. Because the death rate among the elder is 14%.
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Every hospital and elder care facility I have been in has had sanitizer at the door, masks available for those who have any respiratory symptoms and a sign asking visitors not to enter if they are sick. When there is an outbreak within the facility there will also be a sign at the door (here it is a big red stop sign, hard to miss) with details.
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The residents in facilities will not bring corona virus into this environment. The staff and visitors will be the ones to introduce the virus. So, it will be more of a matter of the staff and visitors keeping up good practices - washing their hands before and after touching clients, not breathing into clients' faces, staying home when they get sick, and using face masks if they have colds or coughs so they don't spread any diseases.... all these are practices that should already be in use.

If the corona virus does get introduced into a facility, then clients will most likely take meals in their rooms, not have "group" activities, and be monitored more closely for coughs, breathing problems and fever. The problem is when a client develops pneumonia - which is makes breathing difficult - and is harder on an aging population with underlying respiratory or cardiac problems. So far, the disease only has a mortality rate of 1% for the general population and 15% for the older population.
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lynina2 Mar 2020
The residents of these facilities often make trips to the hospital where they could be exposed and then return to facility. This happens all the time with other dangerous organisms like MRSA, resistant pseudomonas, and C-diff among others. Of course, we visitors and workers in LTC much be vigilant as well.
I don't have anything to add. Just want to thank everyone who has chimed in with helpful, non-freaked-out suggestions!
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disgustedtoo Mar 2020
Don't Panic! HHGTTG (Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
I really don't think there is a whole lot any of us can do to prevent/avoid this. Some will get it, some won't. Some will get very ill and possibly die, some will hardly feel much at all. Sure, take preventative action when you can, but we can't live in fear of whatever the next "threat" might be!

The bigger issue is the media hype on this right now. Fear mongering. Every time some new "disease" pops up, that's all we hear about. Should we have some concern? Sure. Given the fact that it is a virus (think cold, but more virulent), there are no real preventatives. This one seems to be transmissible even without/before symptoms, so what are we all supposed to do, shut ourselves in for weeks, just to be sure? No need to get panicked, just be aware, keep hands clean and hope for the best! Those like MidKid58 and hubby and others (aged, infirm) do have to be more concerned, but the rest of us, not so much.

As for a "plan" in MCs, NHs, ALs, there really isn't much that can prevent infection. Even if the residents remain shut in, the staff is NOT shut in and they have to tend to residents, prepare and deliver foods, clean rooms, etc, so there is no way to isolate any of the residents really. That cruise ship was "isolated" so as to not bring infection onshore, but 640+/- on board became ill and several died. I'm sure many just stayed in their rooms, but once Pandora's Box is opened, it will spread.

For all we know, this "scare" can disappear as quickly as it showed up. SARS was big in the news, and then it seemed like it just vanished. Although it "infected a little more than 8,000 people, and killed 774 people" and this virus seems more virulent, it could still go away. Ebola is also a virus and was spreading like wild-fire, HUGE media hype, yet now you hear almost nothing about it ("More than 28,000 people were infected, and 11,000 people died before the international public health emergency ended in 2016.) MERs "has infected 2,442 persons and killed 842 worldwide..." Yet, where are these now? In the article below, it does mention that SARs hasn't been seen since 2004, although MERs is still around, a bit. Never hear anything about either. Ebola has been around for a long time, and isn't likely to go away - hopefully that one will STAY away! One take-away from the article is that a coronavirus (SARs and MERs are this type) is more like a cold on steroids. These are "new", typically some virus that mutated from an animal virus, and therefore our bodies might not have the antibodies needed to fight it off yet. Typical of all viruses, they mutate. They could mutate themselves out of human disease, or become worse. Only time will tell.

Good sum up/comparison:
It does mention that this "version" appear to be more apt to "stick" into the lungs deeper and lead to pneumonia, so perhaps ensure your loved one has had the pneumonia shots?

(I don't recall which "scare" it was (might have been one of the "flus"), but at work were signs everywhere telling you basically if you looked at someone who was ill, you HAD to stay home for 2 weeks!!! If not ill, would I get paid then? Geez... Masks, sanitizers, etc. No thanks.

Also, we went to see a movie around the early days of SARs, and one preview had shadowy figures moving about, monkey sounds, etc and my son says "SARs, The Movie"! Turns out it was a flick called 28 Days Later. What I found scary was the extras on the DVD, talking about how diseases spread and showing/talking about the "Mad Cow" epidemic in England. THAT was real and THAT was scary!!!)
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LesleeCares Mar 2020
First, viruses CAN be prevented using vaccines specifically targeted to the specific viruses. An Ebola vaccine was created, and of course there are vaccines for many strains of flu. NEXT, the US preparedness and response was effective in containing previous international epidemics. We are seeing less coordination of communication between the medical, scientific and on-the-ground responder communities than during previous epidemic threats. Simply because we don't "hear" about epidemics anymore doesn't mean they just "ran their course on their own". We don't hear about polio anymore because enormous effort was inacted to end it, not because it fizzled out on it's own. The method of transmission of communicable infections greatly varies including from droplet and aerosol transmission and contact transmission because the length of time a virus remains viable on a surface also varies from disease to disease. The pneumonia vaccine will provide no protection from COVID-19 or its symptoms. There is a great deal that can be done to help limit the risk of infection in every residential setting. Preventing some people from acquiring the illness is better than giving up and taking no additional precautions even if they aren't effective 100%. Until more is known about COVID-19 and a vaccine is developed to prevent it we are right to be concerned. The earliest a vaccine can be ready is estimated to be a year and a half and that's without human trials. Production in quantities sufficient to vaccinate everyone on the planet will be impossible of course. In the US the cost to individuals to get vaccinated is estimated to be quite high, even prohibitively so for many. We've got a lot to think about.
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I have to admit. Some of the responses here seem so cavieler. There are pleny things the long term care facility should be doing and that you can do. Saying that people are going to get sick from something and die is mind-blowing. Here is a link to what the CDC recommends

With a current 14% mortality rate among people over 70. the virsus is no small risk.
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Rafaela Mar 2020
I agree. Having a husband and parents all age 70 and over, and being a Type 1 diabetic myself for 49 years, I’m getting very tired of the comments indicating this is media hype and not a big deal. I hope they are right, but what if they’re not? Those of us in the high risk category cannot afford to be cavalier.
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