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Nursing home residents stage protest of coronavirus restrictions

About 20 residents of a Greeley, Colo., nursing facility gathered to demonstrate against coronavirus restrictions in the state.

The residents, many of them wheelchair users, assembled outside Fairacres Manor Thursday, a local CBS affiliate reported.

“They want to be able to hug their grandchildren, they want to be able to hold the hands of their loved ones,” said Ben Gonzales, an assistant administrator at the facility, according to CBS4. 

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Gonzales said staff members, who were present at the protest in masks and eye protection, “want them [residents] to know that their voice does matter.”

Under current restrictions, residents are forbidden from physical contact, although visits are still permitted, the TV station noted.

“We used to be lucky here at Fairacres to show each other what we mean to one another and we cannot do that anymore,” said Resident Council President Sharon Peterson. “Fairacres follows the rules and, with that, we think they would keep us safe while being able to be with our families again.”

“We absolutely understand how difficult it has been for residents of residential care facilities and their families. Social interaction is essential to physical and mental health, and so we have provided guidance to residential care facilities that allows for that interaction while also keeping residents safe from COVID-19,” Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Barr splits with Trump on election; pardon controversy Fauci says US could have herd immunity by end of summer 2021 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread MORE’s (D) office said in a statement issued Friday.

“Restrictions have been in place previously, but residents are now able to visit loved ones both indoors and outdoors,” Polis’s office added. “In addition, we are doing everything possible to help long-term care facilities mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by working directly with facilities on proper infection control practices that have been proven to slow the spread of COVID-19.”