Nursing homes juggle hurricane evacuations amid virus fears

This satellite image released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows Tropical Storm Laura in the North Atlantic Ocean, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. Laura formed Friday in the eastern Caribbean and forecasters said it poses a potential hurricane threat to Florida and the U.S. Gulf Coast. A second storm also may hit the U.S. after running into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. (NOAA via AP)

By MATT SEDENSKY, the Associated Press

About 1,500 residents of long-term care facilities in Texas have been evacuated as a powerful Hurricane Laura nears its coastline. The decision of whether to stay or to go is always a fraught one for administrators of nursing homes and similar facilities, but has been doubly complicated by the threat of the coronavirus. Those that have evacuated have needed to take into account social distancing measures for residents sent to other facilities on buses. Evacuations can be traumatic for the most vulnerable residents, particularly those with serious medical problems or who are living in a haze of dementia.