DENHAM SPRINGS -- With nursing homes unable to accept visitors due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, one local nursing home found a way to give residents a memorable Father’s Day.
Harvest Manor Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Denham Springs held a Father’s Day parade for its residents on Sunday, June 21.
This follows the nursing home’s Mother’s Day parade it held in May.
Without a cloud in the sky on a bright, sunny day, Harvest Manor residents circled around the facility's winding driveway — stretched at least 6 feet apart, wearing face masks, and under umbrellas for shade — as around two dozen vehicles drove by.
Family members gathered at nearby Denham Springs High for the procession, which started at 10 a.m. Many of the cars were decorated for the parade, and several family members held up signs and posters as they hung out of their windows, waving at their loved ones.
Many of the signs read “Happy Father’s Day,” “We Miss You,” and “I Love You, Daddy.”
For many of the parade participants, it was their first chance to see their family members and loved ones in around three months.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, health officials have warned that senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions are the most vulnerable to fatal consequences from COVID-19. In response, Gov. John Bel Edwards banned all visits to Louisiana nursing homes in mid-March to protect those vulnerable communities.
To date, there have been 1,307 COVID-19 related deaths among nursing home residents. That accounts for 43.5 percent of the state’s total number of deaths (3,004).
Nursing homes will be allowed to take in-house visitors when the state moves into Phase Three of reopening. Louisiana is currently in Phase Two, which is scheduled to expire on June 26 unless Edwards extends the order.