After hitting a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility hard, COVID-19 has continued to spread throughout the Seattle area, with a community that provides independent living and assisted living reporting that a resident has tested positive.
On March 6, Era Living learned that a resident of its Ida Culver House Ravenna community received a presumptive positive test for COVID-19, the company said in a post on its website.
“We are vigilantly working with local public health officials, residents, and staff to prevent this from leading to an outbreak in our retirement communities and beyond,” the online statement read. “We care deeply about the health and well-being of our residents and staff. Our hearts are with our sick resident and their family.”
The affected resident will remain in off-site quarantine for a minimum of 14 days, and Era has taken a number of steps to limit the spread of the disease at its communities, with particularly intensive precautions at the Ida Culver House Ravenna, including canceling all activities and delivering all meals to resident apartments. Era operates eight communities in and around Seattle.
Washington has been the hardest hit state since the coronavirus reached the United States. A Life Care Centers location in Kirkland is experiencing a serious outbreak, with 14 of 17 COVID-19 deaths in the state related to this facility. Other providers with footprints in the state have been implementing policies and procedures to guard against infections.
More than 80 cases of the virus have emerged in Washington, according to The New York Times. In response, the University of Washington has moved to online classes and the large Emerald City Comic Con event was postponed. Given that seniors are an at-risk population, officials have urged those 60 years old and older to remain at home.
Cases of COVID-19 have been increasing across the United States, and senior living communities outside of Washington are being affected, including The Village at Rockville–A National Lutheran Community in Rockville, Maryland.
A person who attended a public event at the continuing care retirement community (CCRC) subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. No cases of the virus have been reported at the CCRC, and the community is taking precautions, including postponing all gatherings and public events until March 14.
“The MDH [Maryland Department of Health] has expressed that the risk of potential exposure during this event was low,” according to a press release issued by the CCRC. “However, taking the best practice in precaution, The Village at Rockville is working closely with the MDH to follow their recommended procedures for monitoring conditions of residents and team members who attended the event through March 14, 2020.”
While senior living providers face enormous potential challenges related to the spread of COVID-19, the industry’s experience in dealing with the seasonal flu creates a strong framework for responding to the coronavirus threat, Welltower CEO Tom DeRosa said last week.