ORLANDO, Fla. - Vice President Mike Pence waved at people along the sidewalks as his motorcade drove into the Westminster Baldwin Park active senior living center and nursing home on Wednesday.
“We’re honored that we were the facility chosen,” said Shirley Schultz, director of nursing at the facility.
Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis joined Pence as he hand-delivered some personal protective equipment to the staff.
“It’s very difficult to get these supplies, so we’re really thankful for Vice President Pence and Ron DeSantis to give us the supplies we need to protect our residents,” said Fanley Romelus, Health Services Administrator at Westminster Baldwin Park.
So far, staff members at the senior living center have successfully kept COID-19 at bay. During the visit, Pence asked Schultz what steps they have been taking.
“We come in street clothes. We’ve set up a changing room, lockers, dressing rooms, change into facility provided scrubs. And, if they work on the transition unit, they stay on that floor their entire shift. When it’s time for their shift to end, they come back down without ever coming into contact with others change and leave the floor,” Schultz explained.
She said her staff is screened every day, and that’s not all.
“We separate our new admissions for the hospital on a separate unit and self-quarantine our residents for 14 to 15 days before they mix with the general population of our long term residents,” Schultz said.
The staff was touched when the Pence autographed two of the boxes that the PPE came in.
“We’re going to keep this box as a memory of all the hard work we put in keeping our residents safe,” Romelus said.
The next stop was lunch at Beth’s Burger Bar, which is locally owned and has four Orlando-area locations. Owner Beth Steele spoke with Gov. DeSantis and Vice President Pence for around 15 minutes. She said Pence was very interested in getting her take on reopening more in the tourist district and the theme parks.
“I think there’s got to be a lot of protocols in terms of distancing and hand sanitizing and all the things everyone’s working on, definitely something we need to keep working with and not allow any slacking at all,” Steele said.