People living in assisted living facilities in Tulsa will soon get to see their loved ones in person, for the first time in a year. The number of COVID-19 tests that come back positive are finally below 10 percent in Tulsa County.
Executive Director of Aberdeen Heights Anita Beatt said she's already fielding calls from family members and friends excited to visit.
"We've already had them call from out of state saying, 'When can I come?' It's like, book your flight, get in the car, come on. We're ready," Beatt said.
Beatt said they've already developed a plan to safely allow visitors back inside the building for scheduled visits.
"Now we've gotten our protocol and now we know what we can do so I'm just excited for tomorrow so I can start letting the families know," Beatt said.
Beatt said every resident is fully vaccinated, and there hasn't been a positive COVID-19 test in two months. It's an example of a larger trend experts with the Healthier Oklahoma Coalition are seeing.
"Tulsa's finally below 10 percent at 8.6 percent positivity," Dr. David Kendrick, the founder and CEO of MyHealth Access said in a presentation to the HOC. "Everybody is below 10 percent age group wise, but in particular the 50 and up and the 65 and up have had a very nice decline in their positivity rates."
For many, this closes a chapter of intense longing, hoping, and waiting for real, face-to-face connection with the ones they love.
"I see pure joy, you know, they'll be like, 'Oh my God, when's she going to be here? I can't wait,' so this is really exciting news for all of us," Beatt said.
There will still be requirements for visitors. They will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, have to wear masks, and have their temperatures taken.