Health officials say older adults should ‘stay at home as much as possible’ due to coronavirus


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The elderly population is at the highest risk of becoming infected. The elderly are advised to keep away from large crowds.

At the Stillwell Towers they’re making sure their residents are following all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to reduce the chances they’ll get the virus.

“We’ve had a meeting with the residents to discuss the coronavirus because it’s been everywhere,” Executive Director at the Housing Authority of Savannah, Earline Davis said.

The 20 story building is home to many elderly, handicapped and disabled residents who are at a higher risk for contracting the coronavirus.

“We’ve not had anybody come to the office or call to say that they’re concerned that they’ve been exposed or anybody they know has been exposed. We’ve not closed the building,” Davis said.

They’re sticking to their original policies by identifying everyone who comes in and out. This independent living facility leaves the residents responsible for the cleaning of their own apartments but the staff is making sure all other surfaces are wiped down regularly.

“We’re waiting to see if anybody in Savannah tells us that there has been a confirmed case and I think if people hear there’s been a confirmed case you’ll have a heightened sensitivity awareness that it could be where you are,” Davis said.

While there are no confirmed cases in Savannah, Dr. Maulik Patel at Memorial Health said the elderly should be taking care of their essential needs now.

“For seniors and for the elderly, the number one thing is that our immunity isn’t as good as it use to be when we were younger and so fighting off any infection could be much more difficult,” Patel said.

He said while staying away from people may feel like a form of self-isolation this could be the one thing that saves a life.

“I’m all about having the elderly be out in the community doing physical activity, getting involved socially as well that’s important for health but in cases like this it’s important to try to do those things but maybe in your own home,” Patel said.

Doctors say if you have underlying medical issues you should definitely avoid large gatherings because people carrying the virus could be asymptomatic and show no signs of feeling ill.

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