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Gray nursing home shares heartwarming photos, facility closed to visitors during COVID-19 outbreak

Health officials are urging people to avoid contact with senior citizens as COVID-19 spreads.

GRAY, Georgia — An Eastman nursing home is on lockdown after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

It happened at Eastman Healthcare and Rehabilitation on Chester Highway.

According to executive director Megan Gibbs they are monitoring their 97 residents, and their staff, for symptoms.

So far, they have not recommended any of them for testing.

Gov. Brian Kemp and other public health officials are urging the senior population to stay at home. They are also urging people not to visit their elderly friends and family, since older people are more at risk of contracting COVID-10.

That is why dozens of nursing homes across the state are also restricting visitors, like Lynn Haven Memorial and Rehab in Gray.

Their nursing director, Stephanie Ford, says the goal is to keep germs out of the home and keep residents healthy.

"It's been a change for everybody. Everyone has had to adjust," Ford said.

Ford also says their staff is helping to arrange Skype and FaceTime calls with residents and their loved ones if requested.

They also shared photos on Facebook, so people know their loved ones are doing okay.

Resident Linda Preast says she is still able to do rehab from a social distance and enjoy hot meals from inside her room.

“Enjoy your staff. They've got a lot on their hands and they've got a lot on their minds, but they're going to make the best of it for us,” she said.

During a Thursday news conference, Kemp also said Georgia must start prioritizing COVID-19 tests for the elderly, those in assisted living centers, healthcare workers, and first responders.

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