Knoxville retirement community in protection mode against coronavirus

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Source: WVLT) - Doctors say people older than 60 are at the greatest risk of suffering serious consequences related to the coronavirus.

Family and service deliveries will be limited in their visitations (Source: WVLT)

People are gearing up against the coronavirus pandemic, and now senior living facilities have taken precautions.

"The coronavirus has, I think, brought to our attention a new level of what we need to be doing to make sure our residents are safe and that our employees are safe," said Tim Howell, the CEO of Renaissance Terrace, an assisted living facility in the Happy Holler Historic District.

"We've been advised by the state of Tennessee now to kind of limitations for the people coming into the facility to for different reasons," said Tim.

Only essential staff are allowed in the facility that cares for 48 residents.

"We have activities here. We want our residents to have a great place to live so activities are a big part of that. But we are going to refocus on how we can do activities so people are not coming into our facility," said Howell.

Staff purchased items for the residents to limit exposure outside.

"We have gone ahead and ordered extra gloves. We have ordered extra hand sanitizers. We're trying to get the wipes in that we need. All the cleaning supplies," explained Howell.

But they also have a home care program that spans 16 counties in East Tennessee where staff help seniors living at their own homes.

"We're encouraging all of our caregivers to make sure they're looking for the signs and symptoms of anyone that might have that disease. And if they do then we're telling them to refer them onto their doctors, their health care folks, to get them tested for it," said Howell.

His main goal was to educate staff and residents so no one panics.

"We are being vigilant to make sure that they are safe and that our people--our employees are safe, as well," said Howell.

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