Wheelchair-bound residents at a nursing and rehabilitation facility, Fairacres Manor, held an outdoor protest against the state’s COVID-19 safety rules in Greeley, Colorado on Oct. 8.
The seniors held signs that said: “Rather die from COVID than loneliness,” “Prisoners in our own home,” and “Give us freedom.”
Ben Gonzales, an assistant administrator at Fairacres Manor, told KCNC that the elderly are able to see visitors, but have to stay six feet apart and can’t have any physical contact, per the state health department:
They want to be able to hug their grandchildren, they want to be able to hold the hands of their loved ones.
The office of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued a statement in response:
We absolutely understand how difficult it has been for residents of residential care facilities and their families. Social interaction is essential to physical and mental health, and so we have provided guidance to residential care facilities that allows for that interaction while also keeping residents safe from COVID-19.
Restrictions have been in place previously, but residents are now able to visit loved ones both indoors and outdoors. In addition, we are doing everything possible to help long-term care facilities mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by working directly with facilities on proper infection control practices that have been proven to slow the spread of COVID-19.