Senior citizens say they won't let coronavirus impact their lives, as facilities take preventative steps

Amidst the coronavirus outbreak across the country, facilities in Arizona are taking some steps to try and keep the virus away because of the serious risk it poses to the senior community.

On Tuesday, FOX 10's Steve Nielsen spoke with some senior citizens who say they won't let the coronavirus impact their daily lives.

"I'm not winning, and I have not won all day," said Virginia Goodwin, who is a guest at Grandview Terrace in Sun City West. The senior community, just like many others in the state, are taking concerns of the new COVID-19 coronavirus seriously. 

"I'm trying to be good and practice good health, and optimistic as well," said Goodwin.

The girls disinfected the table before playing, but behind the scenes, bigger choices are being made.

"We're doing trying everything to stop our first case," said Dr. Arun Lakshmipathy, who works for Grandview and other senior communities.

Dr. Lakshmipathy is concerned about a potential spread, because COVID-19 is more serious for seniors.

"I think we can prevent it, but were only as good as the weakest link," said Dr. Lakshmipathy. "All you need is one person coming from a high risk area, and if you get it, it can really rapidly spread."

Dr. Lakshmipathy says larger events are being cancelled, but the decisions are being made day by day. On Monday, state officials made other recommendations to facilities.

"We recommend facilities screen all visitors for illness before visiting," said Dr. Cara Christ, Director of Arizona Department of Health Services.

At Maravilla in Scottsdale, the facility added a kiosk for every resident, vendor, employee or guest to fill out a form before entering. The form asks if they've traveled internationally in the last month.

At Sagewood, also in Scottsdale, all guests will have to fill out a form with several questions related to COVID-19, starting on Thursday.

Doctor Lakshmipathy said he was scheduled to speak to 200 to 300 residents and patients on Thursday about COVID-19 and what they're doing, but they're now preparing to either postpone or do the session online to avoid large gatherings.

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Additional Resources

LIVE MAP: This is where there are confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and around the world


Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ

Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.