OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - Mississippi Veterans Affairs (MSVA) is wrapping up Operation "Family Reunion" this week in Kosciusko and Oxford.
Residents were allowed to physically meet their family members for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
Kathy Ramsey visiting her stepfather. Photo Date: April 15, 2021
This is possible because of vaccinated residents and staff. According to MSVA, more than 90 percent of the approximately 430 residents at the four State Veterans Homes in Collins, Jackson, Kosciusko and Oxford received a COVID-19 vaccine.
"On the drive over here I just bawled, like a baby,” Kathy Ramsey said about visiting her stepfather. “Just to be able to spend time, more than just a few minutes."
She had previously been allowed to talk with him through a wall or on the phone.
Brad and Shamari Wilbanks visited from Memphis, Tennessee. Like Ramsey, the only contact the Wilbanks family had with their loved one was through a window.
Spokesman Ray Coleman said the Kosciusko and Oxford homes reopened this week. The Collins home reopened two weeks ago and the Jackson home reopened a week ago.
Kosciusko and Oxford end their family reunion three-day event on Friday. The two locations will then begin a one-week shutdown. The locations can resume full-time visitation in two weeks if there are no positive cases during the shutdown.