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COVID-19 Care Center Lockdown Keeps Family Separated On Mom’s 95th Birthday

SANDY, Utah – One Utah family said they couldn’t show their mother signs at her care facility window as she celebrated her 95th birthday due to a COVID-19 lockdown at the facility.

Emotions were running high for the family of Annie Weight, who turned 95 years old on Wednesday. The problem: The care facility was not letting them see her. Not through a window, not in a courtyard — not even during a drive-through.

“We can hold up our ‘Happy Birthday’ signs and tell her we love her. That’s all we are asking,” said Annie Weight’s daughter Merrilyn Green. “Just totally trapped. She’s on the inside saying, ‘I lived for this day.’”

Annie was born on July 1, 1925. She is the mother of five children, and now has a huge prosperity, more than a hundred strong.
She is one of 81 residents at the Sandy Health and Rehab center along 9000 South.

The facility has lost two residents to COVID-19. Thirty-seven of the residents currently have the virus, and three were recovering in the hospital. Plus, another 20 staff members have tested positive. As a result, the facility is on lockdown — no visitors allowed.

According to the Utah Department of Health, all residents must remain in isolation because of the virus outbreak inside the facility. Even those who don’t have the virus, like Weight.

Green and her sister, Dorothy Callister, showed up with a packaged mini birthday cake, balloons and some outfits, just hoping they could show them to their mom through a window.

Administrators said there was nothing they could do — they have to follow the health rules to protect staff and residents.

“We offered everything we can think of, but they won’t (budge); she’s stuck in that room,” said Green. “It’s a sad state of affairs when the government can mandate policing a 95-year-old woman on her birthday that is not sick.”

The daughters worried the loneliness and isolation may be the symptom that takes their mother’s life.

“It’s like they are prisoners. It’s so unfair. They are not considering their morale and their lowliness and that’s so critical to older people,” said Callister.

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