Neillsville Retirement Community adjusts to COVID-19

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NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (WEAU)-- The impact of COVID-19 has been felt by many. For western Wisconsin's senior population, there's been an adjustment as isolation in retirement communities comes with challenges.

At Neillsville Retirement Community, residents have been in lockdown since mid-March. Families and other visitors have been restricted, one of the many changes at the facility.

"We have families come and visit outside of windows or they have come outside and have visits outside and maintain that six foot distance," says Sheryl Zeitler, Executive Director at the community.

Social activities have also been altered to maintain social distancing, such as sitting six feet apart for BINGO and eating either in rooms or spaced out in the dining area.

"We are trying to keep spirits up trying to remain as normal as possible with the situation that we have," Zeitler says.

Zeitler says they have also stepped up cleaning at the facility in another effort to keep the virus out.

"We are wiping down doorknobs, handles, the hand sanitizer stations are throughout the building," she says. "We have done it before as protocol but now we are doing it even more."

Some local businesses have even been delivering essentials since residents can't get out to run errands.

"We still have a lot of community and family support which has been wonderful," Zeitler says.

The only visitors inside are a home health service. Some residents have even been visiting with doctors virtually so they do not have to leave the facility.

Zeitler says facility directors are keeping an eye on guidelines from DHS and the CDC along with county government recommendations before lifting any restrictions.