Nursing homes and long-term care centers across North Carolina are taking extra precautions to protect residents from the coronavirus. The limitations put in place are causing concerns for many families. 

Earlier this week, South Carolina announced it's first COVID-19 related death — an elderly nursing home patient. It's a situation North Carolina is working hard to avoid. The state has issued guidelines for facilities. Those include prohibiting visitors and conducting health screenings for staff and anyone else that enters the building.

Kathy Deleon of Yadkinville worries about her 74-year-old mom, who she hasn't seen in two weeks and has dementia. 

“She's good and then she forgets that I can't come and she gets really upset,” says Deleon. “And the lady that's with her will say we're locked down, she can't come in, if we weren't she could come in, so that's what she's having a hard time with it.”

Deleon says she understands why the protective measures are in place but hopes they will come to an end soon.

In the meantime, she tries to maintain phone contact with her mom but says it's not always easy to get through on the first try. 

State health officials say there are some visitor exceptions, like end-of-life care or other situations determined by a facility to necessitate a visit.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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