Veterans at the Martha Jo Leslie State Veterans Home in Kosciusko were reunited with their families on Wednesday.
It’s an event the Mississippi Veterans Affairs office is calling Operation Family Reunion.
“Our four homes, located in Collins, Jackson, Kosciusko, and Oxford, have been closed to face-to-face visitations for over a year now,” said MSVA Director of Communications Ray Coleman.
Coleman said visits have been restricted to virtual visits such as Facetime or Zoom and window visits, where family members and residents can only see each other through a window.
“That’s not the same as in person and being able to reach out touch your loved ones and look them in the eyes and have a real conversation, “said Coleman. “They haven’t been able to do that for a year, so we are proud and excited…..we’re so happy that this day has finally come.”
The re-openings and reunion for Kosciusko, and the home in Oxford, will continue through Friday.
After that, the homes will be closed to visitors for one week to monitor residents and staff for any new cases of COVID-19.
If there are no positive tests, Coleman says visitors will be allowed to schedule a visit moving forward, but that they will still be following all guidelines from the CDC and the MS State Department of Health when it comes to how many people can be in the building at one time. All visitors will also be tested for COVID-19 before being allowed into the facility.
Reopenings for the Collins and Jackson homes were held earlier this month.