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Bozeman rest home administrator reflects on nine-month lockdown

“You have to think about what it would be like to not be able to hug or kiss your husband, your wife, your daughter, or son for nine months.”
Posted at 1:48 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 15:48:18-05

BOZEMAN — Nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Gallatin County have been working extra hard to make sure residents and staff stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a press conference last week, Darcel Vaughn, an administrator with the Gallatin Rest Home provided an update on how the last nine months have been in their facility in Bozeman.

“You have to think about what it would be like to not be able to hug or kiss your husband, your wife, your daughter or son for nine months,” said Vaughn, who told reporters the facility has been in lockdown since March 13th.

There have been 23 cases of COVID-19 at the rest home, including 15 staff members and 8 residents.

We were able to keep COVID out of the building until our first positive staff case which happened on the 26th of October,” said Vaughn.

“Our first resident case didn’t happen until the 2nd of November.”

Vaughn said there were a handful of asymptomatic cases and one hospitalization that resulted in the death of a resident.

“We have started testing all of our staff at the beginning of every shift, besides doing the screening for the temperatures and symptoms, the County is awesome in that our staff knows we don’t want them here if they are sick,” said Vaughn.

Vaughn said it’s the social and emotional toll the pandemic has placed on families that continue to weigh heaviest on residents in lockdown.

Vaughn asked the community to help look out for one another during the challenging times.

“I know that there are those people that don’t believe that this is an issue. That don’t believe that they should be told by the government what they should or shouldn’t be doing. I understand that,” said Vaughn.

“But if you can’t wear a mask and keep your social distance and do the right thing for yourself, could you please do it for our elderly?”