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The challenges of keeping long-term care residents safe during pandemic

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LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WXOW) - Of the 61 people who died from COVID-19 in Minnesota on Friday, more than half, 36, were residents of long-term care facilities in the state.

As part of a news conference with Governor Tim Walz, the executive director of a local long-term care facility spoke about the struggles they're facing.

Christine Dallman of SpringBrook Village in La Crescent detailed the struggle faced by facilities like hers. She said they're dealing with not only preventing the spread of the disease but with the pain of not seeing family members.

"Now we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now is not the time to turn our backs on how we can help and how we can help each other in the process. The faster we can come together for the good of all our citizens, the faster we can overcome this," said Dallman.

Prior to the recent surge, SpringBrook Village was able to have visitors. Dallman said they've dialed back to allow only essential caregivers.

She ended her remarks, "Thousands of seniors in long-term care facilities and thousands of family members across Minnesota want to see one another. They want to stay connected. We can't make that happen when community spread is so rampant. Hang in there, Minnesota. Be safe, be smart, and help our treasured seniors stay close to their families."

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