‘Farewell to COVID’: Amarillo senior living facility celebrates new visitation rules with a car parade

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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Today classic cars paraded around Good Life Senior Living and Memory Care of Amarillo to bid a “farewell to COVID.”

This as the state has released the final updates in visitations rules for long-term care facilities.

Prior to the pandemic, Pam Workman would take her 93-year-old mother out once a week.

“Her favorite thing is to get a hamburger and we eat in the car, she doesn’t really like to go in anywhere,” said Workman. “She just likes to stay in the car so we ride around and then stop to get a burger, that’s her favorite and a coke, she loves Cokes.”

When COVID-19 hit, the senior living facility stopped allowing non-essential outings, and visits were done through a window.

“I still tear up about it,” said Workman. “It was difficult for the both of us, I think.”

Workman says she was ecstatic about the recent updates on visitation for long-term care facilities released by the State’s Health and Human Services Commission.

“I talk to her and just love on her,” said Workman while smiling. “Sit beside her, hold her hand.”

The new rules will allow fully vaccinated residents to have in-person visits with family members and friends who are not designated essential caregivers, as long as proper safeguards are in place.

“Families have received a letter this week and so, they are aware that they can come in, they have to have an appointment still,” said Mackenzie Knight. “But they’re allowed two at a time now and they wear a mask through our home and if they are vaccinated, they can take the mask off in the room.”

“The last year has been hard on everyone,” said Workman. “She declined some, but I think she’s bouncing back a little bit just to have family with her again.”

Another applying similar rules is The Craig Amarillo. According to their administrator, visits also have to be schedule but for those COVID negative, four people are allow to visit and non-essentials outings are also allowed.

Workman is now anxiously waiting for next week, when she gets to enjoy a burger and a coke while sitting on a car with her mom.

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