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Senior facility in Wichita opens its doors after months of being closed

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – After months of not allowing in-person visits, one senior living facility in Wichita is opening its doors and allowing families one-on-one interaction.

“I just feel like they’ve done a really good job, you know, and I’m glad family can come and we can visit and kind of catch up,” said Grasslands Estates resident, Zetta Blay.

Grasslands Estates general manager, Sheila Stegink, says they haven’t had a single COVID-19 case.  

“Happy that the residents have cooperated with us — with those guidelines and now we’re able to open activities and dining and bus transportation to medical appointments and shopping again,” said Stegink.

She says the facility is currently on phase two of its phased-in approach. Only allowing two family members in at a time with scheduled visitations.

“Everyone, no matter who you are, that comes into our building gets a little questionnaire, they get their temperature taken, and then they are allowed access as long as they pass that questionnaire,” said Stegink.

Epidemiology program manager for the Sedgwick County Health Department, Kaylee Hervey, says these recommendations are standard for many Senior living facilities in the area.

“There’s a lot of recommendations for how you allow them to interact, having more one-on-one family time or having it outside,” said Hervey.

KSN called 10 senior living facilities in Wichita. Two of the senior centers, including Grasslands Estates, say they will allow in-person visitations. The facilities say families will need to follow their recommended guidelines whenever visiting family members.

Residents at Grasslands Estates say they are happy to get back to their regular routines. 

“It makes you feel pretty good. You get pretty tired of looking at four walls, you know, all the time. People are really ready to get out,” said Blay.

Stegink says they are waiting to hear from local and national health officials to learn when they can move into phase three of their reopening plan.

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