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Gov. Doug Ducey tightens coronavirus protections at senior living facilities

The governor's orders require visitors at senior facilities to be screened and for employees to wear protective gear.

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey ordered statewide measures Tuesday to protect seniors and vulnerable adults living in assisted living homes. 

As of Tuesday, 77 coronavirus cases and 13 deaths were linked to long-term care facilities in Maricopa County. 

The governor's orders require visitors at senior facilities to be screened and for employees to wear protective gear. 

Another directive came as a bit of a surprise: It is meant to give an emotional boost to seniors in quarantine. 

RELATED: Ducey issues 4 new orders, requires quarantine for travelers from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey

It states that such facilities must provide the option of video conferencing, such as Skype or Facetime, between quarantined residents and their loved ones. 

A recent study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that loneliness and isolation are tied to an increased risk of heart disease, dementia and poor health in general among older adults. 

RELATED: Here is everything you need to know about the coronavirus in Arizona on April 8

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