April 30, 2020
Dear Seacrest Community Members,
We hope this finds you well and we thank you for your calls and support since our communication last evening. We know you have questions and we are here to answer them as best we can with the information we have available.
As our nation, California, and local communities continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, we want to provide you with an update on where we are today, how this has impacted our community, and the steps we’re taking to address it.
As of today, April 30, 2020, one staff member working in our Culinary Department has tested positive and is quarantined at home. We are currently following the “Criteria for Return to Work for Health Care Personnel with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19” guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since we learned of this yesterday, and shared with you immediately, we have begun contacting all people who have come into contact with this employee, and as a result, several more employees have been tested. In addition, as this employee did have direct contact with residents in our Independent Living Community, we began testing residents in that building today.
As the number of overall cases in our country and California increases exponentially, we expect there could be additional cases at our community as this disease especially impacts people who live in communal settings.
Please know that we have followed, and will continue to do so, all guidance set forth for privacy, patient care, employee safety, and efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 as provided by the California Department of Health (DOH) and the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). We remain in constant contact with DOH and CMS.
Prior to each shift, staff are required to wash their hands, take their temperatures, and answer a series of questions to ensure they are not exhibiting any known COVID-19 symptoms. Any employees who develop symptoms during a shift are immediately sent home. At that point, they are directed to quarantine at home. This process is also followed for outside homecare, healthcare, and Hospice providers, though these visits have been curtailed.
We also conduct a rigorous sanitation regimen that follows, and in some cases exceeds, all state and federal guidelines. We have increased the daily volume of cleaning done in common, medical and residential areas. All protective and medical equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Although this can be a challenge at times when providing medical care, our facility continues to practice safe distancing guidelines by limiting the number of people in one area and maintaining 6 feet of separation.
All dining areas are closed with the exception of the Katzin Residence and a part of the skilled nursing dining room for residents who require significant assistance in a supportive setting. As of today, we are requiring that all Independent Living Residents remain in their apartments for the next ten days or until further notice. This is a precaution for their safety. There can be no exceptions to this protocol.
We appreciate your understanding as we continue to vigorously enforce the state’s decision to restrict all visits into the facility at this time. This is certainly frustrating when wanting to see loved ones, but we want to do everything in our power to continue to keep our residents healthy. We encourage family members to communicate regularly through FaceTime or Skype calls, phone calls, and emails. For more information on scheduling virtual visitation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at 760-632-0081.
We will continue to provide you with updates with as much information as we can on our efforts to combat COVID-19. On behalf of the entire Seacrest Family, I want to thank each of you for your continued patience and prayers. It means a great deal to us.
President and CEO
The Melvin Garb Foundation Presidential Chair
PS: While this may seem trivial in the current situation, I want to address the fact that many of you will be receiving a rental increase letter within the next day. We are required by law to give a 60-day notice and thus required to do so now. This is no different than in past years; however, for all of us this feels uncomfortable as we are grappling with the situation at hand. Please support us as we follow our Seacrest Family rules and also the laws by which we are governed as a senior housing and healthcare provider.