COVID-19 Update

April 7, 2020
Categories: Wellness | Public Relations | Community Updates

To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #17 | Dated: 4-07-20

Goes without saying: our #1 priority remains keeping all residents and staff healthy and safe by continuing to focus on keeping the virus out of our communities. That said, we know that our residents’ health and well-being goes much further than just staying virus free. We remain focused on ensuring that our residents remain active, social and engaged even during these most challenging times.

We’re asking that everyone, including residents themselves and family members, help us encourage residents to stay healthy beyond just virus free in the midst of this crisis. Residents can help each other stay accountable. Family members can remind their loved ones of the importance of participating in our engagement programming which has been tailored to ensure their safety during this pandemic. Motivation can come in many forms, all with the goal of keeping residents active and invested in their own health both now and when things return to normal.

Below are a few activities and samples of programming we’re offering our residents in order to stay as engaged and fulfilled as possible:

  • Indoor and outdoor exercising class of 10 people or less led by our wellness team
  • Small walking groups to enjoy the greenspace on campus. These groups are flexible and based on residents desired schedules.
  • Our Chaplin, Hal Cole, has been active in our community and is focusing on engaging on the spiritual side as we all deal with this “new normal”.
  • Opportunities to support connection through technology like Facetime.
    • If you or your loved one needs any additional support on setting up video calls, please reach out to the community directly and we will help coordinate.
  • Engagement/entertainment supplies that are being delivered door to door by our team.
  • Pushing content to each resident’s room through our Touchtown TV channel. This includes exercise videos, Ted talks, and other podcasts/shows through our Touchtown TV channel.

While we believe more challenges will come our way due to this virus, we know the danger that lack of movement and engagement poses to our residents.

Albert Einstein once said, “Nothing happens until something moves.”  So, let’s get moving!

If you have any other ideas or thoughts on what we can be doing to better engage our residents while keeping them safe through this quarantine, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Deana Harris

Executive Director


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #16 | Dated: 4-06-20

As we approach the middle of our 4th week of quarantine, we have some good news to share with you along with a few additional updates, including some on our other communities.

We just received the test results for our resident who was hospitalized on Saturday, April 4th and his/her test came back negative. This resident who tested negative continues to do well at the hospital.

Along with this negative test, no other residents nor staff members have been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus at Sterling Estates West Cobb and there are no other residents or staff who have exhibited or expressed any COVID-19 related symptoms.

This means that we are returning to our previous quarantine procedures and are ending our isolation protocols. Residents may leave their rooms.

We feel incredibly blessed that this was the outcome for this incident and that our practices and protocols are proving to be effective. Thank you for your patience and support over the past 3 days.

Below are a few additional updates:

Updates on East Cobb:

  • Today is day 12 of our 14-day timeline at East Cobb. Day 1 for East Cobb was March 26th, the initial day where a resident reported symptoms; April 8th should end our 14-day quarantine.
  • At this point, no other residents or staff have exhibited or expressed any COVID-19 related symptoms.
  • Reaching the 12th day with no additional infections or reported symptoms is a big milestone as research shows that over 97% of individuals will show symptoms in the first 12 days (if they are to get sick at all).
  • Our resident who initially tested positive for the COVID-19 virus remains hospitalized but has now tested negative for the virus and is anxious to return to Sterling.
  • Our teammate who has been in self quarantine since March 26th continues to be symptom free and looking forward to getting back together with his/her residents and coworkers.

Updates on mask guidelines:

  • Last week the CDC recommended that the general public start wearing facemasks when out in public. This update can be found here.
  • With recent studies showing there is a large percentage of people who have the coronavirus being asymptomatic, wearing a cloth mask is meant to reduce the chances of you getting someone else sick if you are already sick.
  • Wearing a cloth mask is not to keep you from getting the virus.
  • The Epidemiologists with the Department of Health do not think it is necessary for our residents to wear masks while in the community, especially with our care givers wearing masks while providing care.
  • We have already received many donated masks (over 200) from family members, staff and friends of the partners. These masks have been deployed for our staff to use along with their surgical masks. Thus allowing us to extend the useful life of our surgical masks.
    • That being said, if anyone else is interested in trying to make cloth masks to donate, instructions from the CDC can be found here. Please reach out directly to the community if you are able to help.

Finally, very pleased to report that we’re in receipt of 10 additional infrared thermometers.

As always, we’re here for you. Please let us know if there is anything more we can do for you or your family.

Sincerely,


Marshall Gill

Chief Operating Officer/Partner


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #15 | Dated: 4-05-20

Late yesterday afternoon one of our assisted living residents at Sterling States of West Cobb was hospitalized after exhibiting symptoms tied to the COVID-19 virus. After our team assessed her, we reached out to emergency medical services (EMS). EMS determined that it was in the resident’s best interest to be hospitalized. A COVID-19 test has been administered, and we are waiting on those results.

The resident remains hospitalized. As we await the results of the test, prudence dictates that we proceed as if the resident does have the virus. Thus, we are implementing additional procedures and protocols in order to ensure we do all we can to keep our residents and staff safe.

At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Sterling Estates West Cobb.

We are following both local and CDC protocols and have been in direct contact with the Cobb County Department of Health and their epidemiologists. Details of these protocols are summarized below.

We have conducted an investigation to identify staff who have had direct contact with the resident who was hospitalized. At this time no staff meet the CDC/Department of Health guidelines on contact tracing. This resident had chosen to self-isolate for over two weeks with 24hr private duty care provided by a 3rd party organization and thus has had little interaction with our care staff or our other assisted living residents. We have been in touch with the 3rd party organization and they are monitoring their staff and staying in contact with us.

That said, we continue to monitor all staff for:

  • Feverish/temperature over 100.4
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • sore throat
  • stomach pain

We are conducting a cleaning of the resident’s apartment and will continue additional cleanings of our common areas.

Our job as a management team is to put further safeguards into place to protect everyone while on our campus, and we are committed to taking the necessary steps to do so. Those include implementing the plan that we’ve implemented at East Cobb after a positive test:

Residents:

  • Residents must now remain in their apartments until further notice.
  • Residents’ temperatures will be taken twice a day.
  • We will continue to provide in-room meal services.

Staff:

  • All staff will wear a mask and gloves as recommended while in the community.
  • All companions will continue to wear PPE (gloves, eye protection and mask) while providing care for our residents.
  • Staff members will receive symptom screenings three times a day, including a temperature check.

If the test comes back negative, we will return to our previous quarantine procedures and end our isolation protocols. If the test comes back positive, residents must remain in their apartments for 14 days, until April 18th.

As we’ve written previously, we believe in our plan and our incredible team. It is working at East Cobb: over the past 11 days we’ve had no other residents or staff showing any symptoms. The resident who did test positive continues to do well at the hospital.

Deana is onsite and communicating with our residents and staff. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. We will be back in touch as soon as we have the test results.

Thank you again for your continued support, encouragement and prayers.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team

Contact Information:


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #14 | Dated: 4-04-20

Yesterday marked a big milestone in our fight against this virus, the end of our 3rd full week under quarantine (we started these procedures on March 13th). These are without a doubt difficult times, and we’ve received our fair share of challenges. However, we’ve had only one instance of the virus entering a community limited to only one individual thus far. Along with some careful planning and a little luck, our staff’s efforts, dedication, professionalism and bravery have enabled us to be in this position.

Thank you again for all your inspiring notes commending our teammates. These notes of support have sustained our staff as they continue to come to work each day and serve you and your loved ones. In fact, we’ve constructed a “Wall of Praise” where staff members can read the emails, letters, messages, etc. that you’ve sent…a welcomed boost at the end of a hard day.

Below are a few updates that we’d like to share as we enter our 4th week of quarantine:

Updates on East Cobb:

  • Today is day 10 of our 14-day timeline at East Cobb. Day 1 for East Cobb was March 26th, the initial day where a resident reported symptoms; April 8th should end our 14-day quarantine.
  • At this point, no other residents or staff have exhibited or expressed any COVID-19 related symptoms.
  • Our resident who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus remains hospitalized and is doing well.
  • Our teammate who has been in self quarantine since March 26th continues to be symptom free and looking forward to getting back together with his/her residents and friends.

New Executive Order for Georgia:

  • Governor Kemp issued an Executive order (linked here) on Thursday, April 2nd issuing a state-wide shelter in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 starting at 6pm April 3rd and running through 11:59pm April 13th.
  • All Sterling staff are considered essential employees and are under special guidance to continue to work.

Below are updates on supplies and supply chains:

  • Supply chains continue to be disrupted due to the high demand caused by this virus; like many others, we’ve had some delays in obtaining additional supplies. That said, we continue to purchase and supply personal protective equipment, cleaning and care supplies for our staff and communities. Just yesterday, we received a delivery of 20,000 surgical masks that will be distributed amongst our communities.
  • We are in contact with the state Department of Health as we seek to obtain access to any national stockpiled supplies. We are considered a priority, and we speak with them regularly.  That said, due to high demand and a limited supply, we’ve yet to receive any of those supplies.
  • We’re centrally managing many of these critical supplies and making centralized purchasing decisions as needed. This approach allows us to deploy additional resources to our East Cobb community during their 14-day quarantine while still continuing to have ample care and cleaning supplies at our other communities.

    As you well know, things are incredibly fluid as we learn more about this virus and the CDC and local health authorities distribute more guidance. We will continue to do everything in our power to communicate information to you as it becomes available as quickly and efficiently as possible in this very dynamic environment.

    We’re here for you if you should have any additional questions or concerns, or if there’s anything that we can do to better support you or your loved one.

    Sincerely,

     

    Mike, Steve, Marshall, Bryan, Pete, Ray and Nathan

    The Sterling Estates Partners


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #13 | Dated: 3-31-20

On March 26th, a resident at our sister community Sterling Estates of East Cobb reported abdominal pain. There was no fever, cough or shortness of breath but out of an abundance of caution we reached out to EMS. EMS determined that it was in the resident’s best interest to be hospitalized. While there, a COVID-19 test was administered. We learned on March 28th the resident tested positive with the COVID-19 virus.

At this time, no other residents or staff have exhibited or expressed any COVID-19 related symptoms at any of our other communities.

Six days have passed since the resident first reported the abdominal pain. Since that time, no other residents or staff have exhibited or expressed any COVID-19 related symptoms. The resident continues to be in stable condition at the hospital.

Based on guidance from the Department of Health and their team of epidemiologists, we looked into who had come in contact with the resident. We have identified one companion who meets the exposure guidelines. This companion went to the hospital for evaluation where the hospital determined a test was not warranted. That said, he/she will remain quarantined for 14 days, self-monitoring for any symptoms.

We’re in regular communication with the Department of Health and their team of epidemiologists. They have been very supportive of all the policies and procedures we had in place prior to the incident as well as the additional safety measures we have implemented since Saturday.

The additional safety measures that are now in place at Sterling Estates of East Cobb are:

Residents:

  • Residents must now remain in their apartments until further notice.
  • Residents’ temperatures will be taken twice a day.
  • We will continue to provide in-room meal services.

Staff:

  • All staff will wear a mask while in the community.
  • All companions will wear personal protective equipment (gloves, eye protection and mask) while providing care for our residents.
  • Staff members will receive symptom screenings three times a day, including a temperature check.

If the virus should enter any of our other communities, we will implement these same procedures.

Along with these procedures for Sterling Estates of East Cobb, we also implemented a new policy at each of our communities where care staff wear masks and gloves while delivering care to residents. We implemented this change to be extra cautious and to ensure we take the appropriate steps to keep both our residents and staff safe.

Prior to this incident, the only staff member who was shared across our communities was our community Chaplin Hal Cole. As of this past weekend, Hal is no longer entering our East Cobb community but is instead available for phone calls, FaceTime sessions and videos on Touchtown.

We have continued to focus on our supply chains in order to stay as well-resourced as possible. We have utilized the strength of our network of communities and deployed additional resources to our East Cobb community. That said, we continue to have ample cleaning and care supplies at all of our communities. *However, we’re in need of additional temporal thermometers; specifically, we’re looking for non-contact infrared thermometers. Please let us know if you can help.

Our staff continue to answer the call to serve each day, even during these difficult times. Their efforts have been without a doubt heroic. Many of you have reached out over the past few days and your words of encouragement and support have sustained our staff as we enter this new phase of our battle against the virus. In fact, we have been printing out your emails and distributing to our team, so they can see for themselves how much their work means to you and your families. 

Although we’ve been hopeful that the virus would not make it into our communities, we have been preparing for weeks as if it would. Now that it has occurred, we’re confident in our team, believe in our plan and without question remain resolute in our dedication to keeping all of our residents and staff safe.

Sincerely,

Mike, Steve, Marshall, Bryan, Pete, Ray and Nathan

The Sterling Estates Partners


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #12 | Dated: 3-30-20

As we approach the midpoint of our 3rd week of quarantine, we are happy to report that none of residents or staff have been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus.  We also wanted to update you on a few changes we are making to ensure that we are doing everything in our control to keep our residents and staff safe.

Over the weekend, our care team began wearing masks and gloves while providing care for residents and increasing the frequency of taking resident and staff temperatures. We are doing this out of an abundance of caution in order to both protect our residents and staff.

We’re also working on additional ways to engage our residents while they’re in their rooms. We’re hosting additional activities of 10 people or less in our assisted living building, where all participants will maintain 6 feet of social distancing. We’re also encouraging more outdoor activities for all of our residents to get some fresh air and sunshine (Vitamin D).

We’ve received some very positive reports from both our residents and families regarding our push for additional video calls through technology like Facetime. We know that not being able to see loved ones is incredibly difficult. Please reach out to us directly as we would love to support you on setting up these calls.

We have had many requests from both residents and family members asking how they can help. Now that we are taking more temperatures a day, we are in need of additional thermometers. In particular we are looking for: Non-contact infrared thermometers [NCIT]. We have multiple orders dating from over two weeks ago, but they are currently on backorder. Please reach out directly to the community if you are able to help.

 

Sincerely,


Marshall Gill

Chief Operating Officer/Partner


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #11 | Dated: 3-28-20

As we enter our third week in the fight against the virus, we wanted to ensure that you and your families understand our policies and procedures if the virus should enter one of our communities. Below is a summary of the steps we would take, the detailed procedures (following both the CDC and state guidelines) are linked at the bottom of the summary. Please click there for more details. At this point, we feel blessed that none of our residents or staff have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

As you know, we are monitoring both our residents and staff members for symptoms of COVID-19 on a daily basis. We are taking both assisted living and memory care residents’ temperatures once a day and our staffs’ temperatures every time they report to work or return from leaving the building.

If a resident should register a fever of 100.4° or higher, our care team will coordinate with that resident’s primary care physician and our Nurse Practitioner from Transitional Care Physicians of America to determine next steps and if a COVID-19 test is warranted.

If a test is not determined to be necessary, we will provide care for that resident in his/her residence. The resident will be quarantined in his/her room until:

  • There is no fever for 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)

AND

  • other symptoms have improved (for example, no cough or shortness of breath)

AND

  • at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

If a test is determined to be necessary, a test will be ordered and performed onsite. The resident will be cared for in his/her place of residence by our care team and our Nurse Practitioner. Our staff have been re-trained on the policies and procedures necessary to keep both themselves and the rest of the community safe as we care for a resident with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis.

If a staff member should register a temperature of 100.4° or higher, he/she is asked to return home and call his/her primary care physician to determine next steps. We will then conduct and internal investigation to determine any additional steps that may need to be taken (including additional quarantines for staff and residents) if the individual has a confirmed COVID0-19 diagnosis.

As you have read in our earlier communications, we have procured the necessary personal protective equipment for our staff, cleaning supplies and additional care supplies to care for all of our residents safely.

Please see more detailed information as to steps in case there is a confirmed or suspected incident linked here.

 

Mike, Steve, Marshall, Bryan, Pete, Ray and Nathan

The Sterling Estates Partners


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #10 | Dated: 3-27-20

It’s the end of our second full week of quarantine at Sterling Estates, and we are still virus free. I wanted to take a moment to reach out and thank each of you for your continued support, encouragement and prayers as we continue our fight against this virus.

To say that these past few weeks have been difficult would be an incredible understatement. And, while things may look different in our communities due to COVID-19, the feeling of a warm and vibrant environment continues to live on. We have shifted operations in our communities to ensure we all remain safe. But we also know that socialization and keeping an active body and mind are vital for our residents.

With that, I had a colleague share a quote that resonated with me the other day:

 

“Going outdoors is not canceled; listening to music is not canceled; reading a book is not canceled; singing out loud is not canceled; laughing has not been canceled; sharing HOPE with others has not been canceled. Let’s embrace what we do have.”

Each morning on our call with the Executive Directors, I have the privilege to hear many stories that illustrate the resiliency and hope so many of our residents and staff members display daily. Hearing how our communities continue to live out the values that have made Sterling such a special place by focusing on what we do have, steels all of our reserve to continue to do all we can to ensure the best possible outcome for our residents and staff members.

Thank you again for your support. Let’s continue to embrace what we have and do what we can to get through this together.

Sincerely,

 

Michael S. Brown

Chairman, Partner


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #8 | Dated: 3-24-20

We want to touch base and let you know what we’re doing to continue to keep our communities safe and virus free. As we enter day one of Governor Kemp’s shelter in place decree and approach the end of our second week of quarantine, we’re reaching important milestones every day. By making it through the end of this week and keeping the virus out of our buildings, this will prove to be a significant achievement in our fight.  

Across our three communities, we’re responsible for approximately 450 residents and 235 employees. The health and safety of the nearly 700 people we care for and work with every day is at forefront of each and every decision we make.

Many of you have reached out asking if there is anything that you can do to support our staff during this time. First, thank you for that as we too recognize what fantastic team members we have. Secondly, we implore you to stay vigilant, as we’re all in this together; if we all remain steadfast in our efforts to keep this virus out of our communities, we will all get through this together.  Along with that, we’ve attached a letter to our staff from earlier today which speaks to some of what we’re doing to ensure that our staff stays safe, healthy and whole during this challenging time.

Supply chains throughout the country have been stressed. As we’ve mentioned before, we’ve utilized the strength of our network of communities to make sure we’re well supplied. To that end, we’ve had deliveries of additional antiviral cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment and care supplies already this week and have plenty more on order. When we’ve encountered disruptions in supply chains, we’ve been resourceful, inventive and creative, making our own supplies: from face shields to home-made hand sanitizer. Link to face shield.

The partners and our Executive Directors connect every morning to talk through how things are going in the community and to discuss what we can do to better support our teams as we focus on the safety, health, and welfare of our residents and staff.

Along with following all implemented policies and procedures, many of our residents have figured out different ways to make it through this challenging period. You can see some of these stories here.

As always, we’re here for you. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you or your family.

 

Sincerely,


Marshall Gill

Chief Operating Officer/Partner


Letter to staff on 3-23-20

Dear Staff –

We feel blessed that both our policies and procedures and your diligence have been effective in keeping the virus out of our communities, as we have no cases of COVID-19 in any of our communities. It will be your diligence and vigilance in following all of our policies and procedures and practicing safe decision making when not in our buildings, in keeping this virus out. We don't expect this crisis to pass quickly and the only way that we are going to get through this is by working with and relying upon one another.

Halfway through our 2nd week of quarantine we are hopeful that the worst will pass without the virus entering our communities. You are the key to ensuring that this hope is turned into a reality.

Having said that, the timeline is obviously uncertain. But we know that by making it through the end of this week and still keeping the virus at our gates will prove to be a significant milestone in our fight against this crisis.

Thus far, you and your teammates have done an incredible job implementing our new policies and procedures and staying disciplined when not in our buildings. We know that this discipline and sacrifice is not an easy thing to do, and that it has created many personal hardships for both you and your loved ones. With that, we are paying you a bonus to help get you and your loved ones through this difficult time. You can expect this bonus by the end of the week, in a separate check from your normal pay.

We must all continue to answer the call to serve each day, with the health and safety of our families, residents and co-workers top of mind. Stay the course, be smart and we will beat this thing. 

If you have any additional questions or concerns, or if there is anything that we can do to better support you and your family, please do not hesitate to reach out to your manager/Executive Director.

 

Sincerely,


Marshall Gill

Chief Operating Officer/Partner


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #7 | Dated: 3-21-20

With the COVID-19 crisis evolving daily, we are continually evaluating what we must do to meet the needs of our residents while also keeping our community and staff safe. We are thankful that, to date, we have kept the virus out of our communities. That said, we know that this time is creating significant personal hardships for you and your families. We want to help mitigate those pressures with things that we can control.

This situation has also been very challenging for our dedicated staff and their families. We are incredibly proud of our team who continue to answer the call every day to execute on the promises we have made to you, our residents: to provide the highest possible quality care. Every day. No matter what.

Along with our staff’s incredible work ethic, we have taken a few additional steps to both ensure we remain safe and maintain some sense of normalcy as we continue to traverse this crisis:

  • We have updated our care plans to include inquiring / assisting calling a loved one in order to help families stay connected.
  • We are encouraging the use of more video calling tools (i.e. Facetime) so that both our residents and their loved ones can connect on a more personal level as we take our social distancing procedures to heart. We have even setup Facetime support tables where residents can come, and our staff can assist in setting up calls.
    • If you or your loved one needs any additional support on setting up video calls, please reach out to the community directly and we will help coordinate.
  • We continue to offer programming for our residents: from activities that are conducted outside to those in our buildings where there is at least 6 feet of separation (we even have a separation stick we use to remind everyone what 6 feet looks like!). We know how important this type of engagement is to our community.
  • We have continued to focus on our supply chains in order to stay as well-resourced as possible. We have utilized the strength of our network of communities and aggregated many supplies with the ability to redeploy as necessary.
  • We have conducted staff re-training on how to respond to an incidence of suspected infection which will allow our staff to continue to focus on providing the utmost care while keeping themselves and the community safe.
  • As we are now delivering over 750 meals a day, we have moved to 1 food delivery per day for our independent residents where lunch and dinner are delivered at the same time. We are doing this so as to limit unnecessary contact for our residents and staff (in line with our social distancing policies/procedures), to save on waste, and allows for our staff to better focus on care needs as they arise throughout the day.

Thank you again for your trust as we continue our efforts to ensure the best possible outcome for our residents, staff, and the community at large. Please continue to reach out with any additional questions or concerns. We are here for you, and we'll get through this together.

 

Sincerely,


Marshall Gill
Chief Operating Officer/Partner


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #6 | Dated: 3-19-20

We wanted to take a moment to reach out and thank you. My partners and I have spoken to many of you over the past few days/weeks and your words of encouragement and offers of support have been incredible and heartening as we face the COVID-19 crisis head on.

While we know that the preventative measures, we have put in place are often inconvenient, we trust you see our actions as we do – prudent and necessary to fulfill our purpose to keep our residents and staff safe and healthy. As we continue to monitor and heed guidance from relevant state and federal organizations, we’re also looking outward into our communities, monitoring needs, and responding where we see opportunities to help.

Our staff members have been supporting residents in making video calls to loved ones in order to stay in touch and grounded on what is the most important in times like these, family. Our communities are utilizing our technology infrastructure to engage residents while in their rooms in order to ensure that residents remain safe but also connected to one another as socialization is so important. Our wellness teams have been conducting small group sessions outdoors while practicing appropriate social distancing as fitness needs don’t rest during a crisis.  We’ve established food banks and helped arrange for day care for team members who may have needs develop.

We will continue to look to improve what we do every day and will continue to stay in close communication with you. On behalf of the entire Sterling team, thank you for trusting us and allowing us to be your community of choice.

 

Sincerely,


Marshall Gill
Chief Operating Officer/Partner


To Our Residents and Family Members:

Update #5 | Dated: 3-18-20

At Sterling Estates, we are striving to keep our residents and staff safe during these unprecedented times, while ensuring that we are continuing to provide the highest possible care for your loved one. As you most likely saw on the news yesterday, Georgia has had its first reported case of the COVID-19 virus in an assisted living community. To be clear, so far, no Sterling residents, staff or family members have had confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19. That said, we take this development very seriously.

As the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak seemingly changes daily, we have continued to reevaluate our policies and procedures to react to the ever-changing conditions posed by this virus, as well be proactive in our efforts to ensure the best possible outcome. Much of what you will see detailed below is what you yourselves will/would be doing in your own homes as we all strive to follow the guidance provided by the CDC and state/federal government agencies.

Updates to our policies and procedures:

  • To avoid close contact during meals, our main dining rooms will be closed for at least the next 2 weeks. Meals will be delivered to each resident moving forward.
  • Any resident returning from a necessary medical appointment outside of the community will be required to stay in his/her apartment for 14 days upon their return and will be closely monitored.
  • We know that social distancing is difficult. In order to ensure that we keep everyone in our buildings safe, please only deliver necessary items for you loved ones.
    1. Call ahead before coming to the community.
    2. A staff member will meet you outside the building to receive your package.
    3. The package will then be sanitized with an antiviral cleaning agent before being delivered to your loved one.
  • All residents are monitored daily for: fever or any other symptoms of the infection (body aches, dry cough, etc.).
  • In following the guidance of our home health partners, all non-essential physical, occupational and speech therapies have been suspended at this time. These changes should also be communicated to you directly by your home health provider. Sterling will work directly with you and your loved one to offer necessary supports until those services resume.
  • We have updated our activity plans and calendars to adjust for smaller group (under 10 people at a time) activities, more outdoor events, as well as utilize all available technology in order to ensure our residents remain safe but also engaged.

Below is a reminder of the steps we are taking in order to combat COVID-19 in order to keep the virus out of our communities (as updated on March 16th):

Visitor & Access Policy

No visitors are permitted in our community until further notice.

  • We will make limited exceptions in extreme or emergency cases. These must be expressly approved by the Executive Director. Anyone entering the community under these circumstances will be screened upon arrival.
  • Only essential health care providers, including home health, private duty, nursing services, physicians, physical therapy, and hospice staff will be granted access to the community once they have completed our entry screening procedures.
    • All of these caretakers will check in with the front desk, screened and will have their temperatures taken.
  • The assisted living building now only has one entrance as all secondary access points have been secured ensuring there is only one point of entry (still ensuring that the community meets all state safety codes).
  • Assisted Living residents are required to remain on community grounds, except for necessary medical care. And our Independent Residents are encouraged to limit their public exposure by staying on community grounds.
  • Deliveries of packages will be made outside the assisted living building and a staff member will accept them.

Community Life

Our staff is committed to maintaining as much of a normal life in the community as possible with a few temporary exceptions:

  • We have eliminated all group outings.
  • All group gatherings, such as book clubs and religious services, will be hosted by our staff or held via virtual means.
  • Transportation services are limited to necessary medical appointments only.
  • The salon will be closed until further notice.

Dining (updated 3/18/20)

Landmark Dining:

  • The main dining room will be closed, and all meals will be delivered.

Independent Dining:

  • We have closed the dining rooms at both the Grille and the Club.
  • For the time being we will be offering a limited menu available for deliveries.
  • Independent residents will now be offered both lunch and dinner meals as opposed to only one meal a day in hopes that people stay on community grounds.
  • We will be publishing menus in advance and will be asking for orders to be turned in every 5 days in order to ensure we meet each resident’s expectations.

Wellness Center

  • Moving forward the main wellness center is closed to independent residents.
  • Exercise equipment will be available in the Hampton building. After using any piece of equipment, we are asking that you please wipe down the machine with sanitizing wipes.

Staff

  • We are proud to have some of the best staff members in the senior living industry who treat our residents as part of their own families (and in some cases they are).
  • We take all staff members’ temperature every day. If anyone has a fever or has cold-like symptoms, we do not allow them to work until they are symptom-free.

Additional Updates: 

  • We have increased cleaning frequencies, including common areas and surfaces: Including the hiring of outside cleaning services to come in for deep cleans.
    • We are tracking these cleanings in order to ensure that they are done regularly and consistently.
  • We have purchased additional hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies and have placed these supplies throughout our buildings.
  • We have reached out to our vendors to confirm our supply chains are intact (including our food vendors) and we have continued to purchase additional supplies above and beyond our normal practice.

We thank you again for your trust, partnership and encouragement as we work to keep all of our residents and staff safe. We will continue to update you as additional information becomes available. We’ll keep doing everything we can to deliver on our mission to keep all of our residents safe and healthy. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Executive Director, Deana Harris, [email protected], 770-255-7000 ext. 108.

Sincerely,


Marshall Gill
Chief Operating Officer/Partner

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