As previously communicated, we are taking the additional preventive measure of testing associates at all Elmcroft Senior Living and Embark Senior Living communities for COVID-19. This is an important step in the ongoing mitigation of the virus in our communities. At this point, we have tested more than 4,600 associates across 102 communities. Fewer than 0.7% of the associate test results have come back positive. The associates who have tested positive were not exhibiting symptoms of the virus and, per our protocol, self-isolate at home for at least 10 days prior to returning to work in the community. As each community receives their test results, we communicate the overall results and status of the community to all residents and families.
In addition, many states are providing COVID-19 testing for residents in senior living communities. We gladly participate in these opportunities and help coordinate them any time they are presented. Of course, we communicate to residents and their primary contacts promptly to alert them of the upcoming testing, and again when the results are received. Primary care providers are kept apprised of this information as well.
We are watching closely as states and counties progress through various phases of re-opening, and we know everyone is anxious to visit their loved ones in-person again. We too are anxious, but we are also cautious and want to make sure we move forward in a safe manner, prioritizing the health and well-being of our residents and associates. We have defined steps for our Elmcroft and Embark communities to progress through opening stages as well. It is important to realize that these stages are different than the state and county re-opening phases. Each of our three steps has gating criteria and progressive protocols to move us through from what we call our Restrictive Step, to our Recovering Step, and finally to our Revitalizing Step. Our structured process for loosening restrictions, such as visitation and group activities, considers the health of the residents and associates, state and local regulations, community preparedness, and the testing of all community associates. Our residents and their primary contacts will receive communication from their community as they begin to progress through these steps and modify protocols. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we take a measured and safe approach to relaxing current protocols over time.
*Please note, re-opening plans are subject to change based on evolving state and local regulations
While each community makes its way through these steps to Revitalization, please know that our associates continue to be very creative and compassionate, ensuring we keep residents socially engaged, while physically distanced. We have included some recent photos at the end of this letter for your enjoyment. Our communities have tablets to facilitate virtual visits between residents and loved ones. These are conducted frequently and are loved by all. Window visits and outdoor visits are also an option at many communities. We will keep our residents and their families apprised of details related to restrictions on our communities being relaxed, especially related to visitation.
We understand how difficult this situation is, especially for our residents and their loved ones. Their patience is very much appreciated, as we continue to operate in a safe way for the best interest of our residents. Thank you to all of our residents and families for your trust, partnership, and understanding. We would also be remiss if we did not recognize our associates across the country. Thank you for everything you are doing every day for our residents and for each other. You are caretakers, you are joy-givers, you are heroes. You haven’t missed a beat, and we appreciate you more than you know.
Previous COVID-19 updates:
COVID-19 Updates - May 19, 2020
COVID-19 Updates - April 29, 2020
COVID-19 Updates - April 14, 2020
COVID-19 Updates - March 27, 2020
COVID-19 Updates - March 17, 2020
COVID-19 Protocol Updates - March 15, 2020
Letter From CEO, Kai Hsiao - March 10, 2020