Dozens of cars snaked around the entrance to The Villas Senior Care Community in Sherman Wednesday. Staff in scrubs and facemasks waved as the cars slowed and honked, while some of their passengers hung out of the windows or sunroofs shouting thanks and encouragement.
Staff and public health officials have been battling since late April to respond to a coronavirus outbreak at the long-term care facility near Springfield.
Sharon Reynolds, the administrator for the facility, said she was “overwhelmed” with the show of support, which was organized in just a day. She said they’re doing everything they can, but morale has been low.
“It’s been exceptionally hard because we love these people, these are our families. And we have to get through this together,” she said.
Sherman Village President Trevor Clatfelter said he and Lisa Hinsey, who started a Facebook group to help neighbors in Sherman during the pandemic, organized the parade to bring the staff and nursing home residents joy.
Clatfelter said he wants to make sure those who live or work at the facility know they’re appreciated.
“Let all of the residents that are there, let all of the staff that are there, all of the families that are there know that the community has their back and that we’re here for them,” he said.
More than 100 staff and residents of The Villas have tested positive for COVID-19, and 21 residents have died.
This post will be updated.