By Marissa Perlman

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Protecting patients and staff at medical facilities from coronavirus is a top-tier priority for health experts across the state.

No matter how sound the reason, for families with loved ones inside, the restrictions can be torture.

“I don’t want my dad to be alone as he transitions,” said Rachael Clark in Napa.

She told CBS13 her father, Robert Frank, lies alone inside his room at a hospice care facility in Napa County. For days, his daughter could only visit him from the side window to his room.

“I think it’s really important that you’re there and you’re available,” she said.

Clark says her father has been in an assisted living facility for five years after a traumatic brain injury, but his health has recently started to decline.

READ: Coronavirus Shelter-At-Home: Gov. Newsom Urges People To Check In On Older Californians

“Just out of the blue, during the COVID-19 event he started declining,” she said. “When I went to go see him, they denied me access.”

Hospitals and assisted living facilities are working to limit exposure for patients and staff.

When Clark was denied at the facility door by a security guard, she was in shock.

“I think it’s really important for our seniors who are alone to know that you are loved,” said Clark.

READ: Sacramento Sisters Start Nonprofit To Deliver Groceries To Seniors And Most Vulnerable

She was told the high stakes of being inside, and the potential for exposure, but Clark knew it was her right to see her dad once he enters hospice care.

“He was declining rapidly so we made some calls, I called my Senator, Bill Dodd,” Clark said.

She eventually won the right to see her father, for two hours a day, twice a day. She takes her temperature every time she walks into the facility. She says others aren’t so lucky, and every second with her dad is precious.

“You find a way to tell them that you love them and that they are warm and safe and loved,” she said.

Marissa Perlman


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