Separation between loved ones over Thanksgiving due to COVID-19 guidelines in nursing homes

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – As we give thanks this Thanksgiving, some are struggling as the coronavirus restrictions are reshaping how we celebrate.

For almost two years, cousins, Chris May and Laurie Hoyer have made time to spend together on the holidays. Hoyer lives in a local nursing home, but, because of COVID-19, this Thanksgiving will include an empty seat.

“Thanksgiving was a big family tradition for us and she’s probably struggling mentally, emotionally, I know currently she is in a lot of pain,” May said.

May said the decision to spend Thanksgiving without Hoyer was difficult but necessary in order to follow state guidelines and protect her health.

“We’ve been doing a lot of FaceTime,” May said. “Her brain, memory is spot on, her body has escaped her but not her mind.”

Residents are not required to stay in their facilities over holidays, but, health leaders across the state like Dr. Jose Romero and Rachel Bunch, who oversees Arkansas nursing homes, encourages they do stay in.

While May knows following guidelines is the right thing to do, it does not make her worry any less for her cousin, especially this Thanksgiving.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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