Coronavirus in Virginia

Plexiglass Panels Allow Families to Visit Loved Ones at Long-Term Care Facilities

NBC Universal, Inc.

A long-term care facility in Northern Virginia is using plexiglass to allow residents to finally visit their families.

Plexiglass panels that can be rolled in front of the entrance were the idea of Jeramy Ragsdale, founder of Thrive Senior Living, which operates Tribute at One Loudoun and 15 other communities in the country.

Ragsdale said in the weeks after the lockdown began, families were begging for more access to their loved ones.

“I didn’t sleep very well one night after getting those emails, and the next morning I just started sketching out harebrained ideas,” he said.

He enlisted his father, a woodworker, to help, and in just days they’d built 10 of what they call clear connection panels and delivered them.

Coronavirus Cases & Deaths in Long-Term Care Facilities

COVID-19 cases and deaths in long-term care facilities in D.C. and Maryland.

Source: Maryland Coronavirus, DC Coronavirus Data
Credit: Anisa Holmes/NBC Washington

The panels allowed Katie Nelson and her husband, Adam, to sit down face-to-face with her mother, Mary, for the first time in many weeks.

Phones help with the conversation, and Adam was ready with a prison joke.

“We talked to the lawyer and he thinks we could have you out in three to five with good behavior,” he said.

For Mary, a 72-year-old former postal worker, there was another special visit. Her daughter and the Tribute staff surprised her with a visit from her husband, who lives in a different part of the building. They hadn’t been together since early March. There were chocolates for him, roses for her and a card with a love note.

“It was wonderful,” Katie said. “They are such a love story. It’s hard to see them apart even if it is for their own good.”

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