NORWICH – A World War II veteran living at Valley View Manor in Norwich turned 100 years old over the weekend, with only a few friends and family allowed to visit him due to the coronavirus.
According to Valley View Manor Events Coordinator Valarie Kennedy, World War II Veteran Chester Smith joined the facility last year, and a large party was held for his 99th birthday. Kennedy said unfortunately because of the risk of spreading coronavirus to an at-risk population, only two people were allowed to visit Smith this year, a good friend and his daughter.
“Chester is a wonderful man, who has been very friendly with everyone, and is alert and just as sharp now as the day we met him,” said Kennedy. “While we wanted to be able to do another large party for his 100th birthday, we were just starting to allow people from outside of the facility back in to visit, and only a few at a time.”
Kennedy said only two visitors are allowed to visit residents at a time, which started just last week. She said prior to that for approximately six months no in-person visits were allowed, only visits through a window or behind barriers.
“The visits are still very restricted, and they’re only allowed at three specific times each day.” she added. “The visitors are also asked to remain six feet away from each other and residents.”
“We’re doing that for the safety of everyone at our facility, and to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.”