Aware of COVID-19 threat, Fil-Ams go about caregiving business with caution

Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2020 04:28 PM

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SAN BRUNO, Calif.--A Filipino-American care homeowner in San Francisco Bay Area shared precautionary steps community members are taking to keep staff and senior residents safe from the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Dorie Paniza, who owns and operates Araville Residential Care Homes, said she has been following the news closely and understands how seniors at nursing homes have a higher risk to contract COVID-19 due to their age and health and their close living situation. 

“Next to my door entrance door, I have alcohol. I have the sanitizer, I have the wipes and also masks. Every time I have visitors, family and all those medical services like all visiting nurses, I always ask them where they came from and also we asked them to sign their names and phone number,” Paniza said.

Her staff has also been briefed on the precautionary steps.

“Of course, it's scary, but what we're doing right now we make it sure that we're all safe especially with the residents. Cleanliness, that's the first thing,” Amy Flores said.

This after news broke that the contagious illness emerged at the Life Care Center, a skilled nursing facility in Kirkland, Wash., and left behind 4 elderly residents dead and about 50 people at the facility being tested for the virus.

The number of COVID-19 cases across the nation have surged to more than 100.

Paniza is part of 6Beds, an organization of care home owners who have been communicating amid the outbreak.

“This morning we have a group text that all of them they're concerned about the coronavirus. So they're asking what were the precautions we are supposed to do. So we exchange our ideas and experiences about our business. And we're so happy that all the 6Beds and different members of the care home they are all together for protection, for our business, and also for our clients,” Paniza added. 

Meanwhile, during a press conference Monday afternoon, American Vice President Mike Pence, who was appointed by President Donald Trump to lead the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, gave an update on a possible vaccine.

He said a vaccine may be going through clinical trials in the next six weeks but might not be available till late this year or early next year.

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