Visitors being turned away from Symphony Care facilities as coronavirus concerns grow

CHESTERTON — Symphony Care Network, which operates senior-care facilities throughout the Region, is limiting visitation of guests and non-essential visitors at locations in Indiana and Illinois in response to growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 within these centers, the organization is taking necessary measures to protect vulnerable patients, and the communities it serves,” according to a response to an inquiry by The Times.

A family member of a guest at the Chesterton location told The Times Tuesday he had been turned away from the facility.

“The organization understands that restricting visitation to their guests, while in the best interest of their well being, can be extremely worrisome to families and loved ones,” the company said. “Knowing this, measures have been taken to bring additional communication devices into these centers to keep families connected and to provide greater peace of mind.”

Other non-essential visitors being turned away include volunteers and maintenance staff, according to the company.

Visitors at the Rittenhouse Village senior living facilities in Valparaiso, Portage and Michigan City are being screened with health questions before they are allowed to enter, according to Anne McGoldrick, business office manager at the Valparaiso location.

“If they have any markers that alarm us, we just don’t let them into the building,” McGoldrick said.

There has also been an increase in sanitation at the facilities and employees are screened each day, she said.

“They’re all very understanding,” McGoldrick said.

Symphony is also watching its employees closely.

“Healthcare providers for Symphony facilities have been advised to stay home if they suspect they are ill,” the company said. “Asking staff to self-quarantine is essential to ending the spread of this virus.”

Symphony operates facilities in Chesterton, Crown Point and Dyer, as well as St. Joseph, Michigan, and several locations in nearby Illinois, according to its website.

Franciscan Health reports it is maintaining visitor restrictions enacted in December at its Crown Point, Hammond, Dyer, Munster and Michigan City facilities to combat the spread of flu.

Those restrictions include a cap of two visitors at a time and no children under the age of 16, according to the healthcare provider.

Officials at Symphony said they are in close contact with state and local health officials.