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Hugging stations: How some Michigan nursing homes fight despair amid COVID

Jackie Sowa had no idea what her mother was saying as they wrapped their arms around each other for the first time in nearly a year. But she knows Ruth Youngs, 90, was comforting her as she patted her arms.

“I just sobbed through every second of the hug,” she said of their visit at McFarlan Home in Flint, where as of Monday the state had linked no deaths to COVID. “I had everyone in the place crying. I just couldn’t hold it together.”

Five ways to open Michigan nursing homes for visits during COVID

A few places are getting creative, employing hugging stations or visiting booths to help alleviate the isolation and loneliness felt by residents. But some argue more is needed