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COVID-19 Information

June 12, 2020

Dear Residents and Family Members,

The past several months have been unlike anything we have ever imagined or experienced. We have learned much and been successful at evolving our operations and protocols in our efforts to keep our residents and team members safe. Thank you for your support and trust in us during this challenging time.

I am reminded of a Bernard Williams quote, “There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.” As we navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not wavered in our commitment, always looking to the sunrise and holding onto hope. The light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to shine brightly, and we are in the process of developing a phased reopening of our communities.

States have started to lift restrictions, and while we are excited about the possibility of our world resuming to normal, we must remember that many restrictions on senior living communities remain.

We understand, and are empathetic, to the impact COVID-19 restrictions have had on our residents and family members. Although our restrictions for non-essential visitors, including family, friends, and non-medically necessary personnel, remain intact related to entering the community, we are excited to provide the opportunity for families and residents to begin to visit and reconnect outside of the community. Please watch for specific information that will be provided to you in a separate communication.

You are encouraged to continue maintaining appropriate physical distancing, and your cooperation is imperative to protecting the environment of our communities and the well being of our residents and team members.

We are also working diligently to reopen salon services within our communities over the next few weeks. The importance of these services cannot be underestimated, to look good is to feel good. More information on this will be forthcoming.

Additionally, we are focusing on our plan to reopen our community restaurants within new guidelines framed around COVID-19 protocols. Our first restaurant is scheduled to open next week, with more openings to follow over the next month. Information is current being provided to our residents about this process, which we are certain will bring smiles to many faces.

As you are aware, we discontinued new move-ins to, and move-outs from, our communities as of March 19. This decision was made in an abundance of caution to protect our residents and team members as much as possible. Our SafeMove task force has developed a move-in and move-out program that strives to maintain our protected environments while supporting resident moves. The task force has established guidelines that follow our currently utilized protective protocols and adheres to guidance provided by healthcare authorities and the CDC.

We are happy to share that we resumed accepting new move-ins on June 1, 2020 for our depositors that have been patiently waiting nearly three months. Again, our strict protocols and policies will provide guidance to protect the environment we have worked so hard to maintain. Our top priority is the health and safety of our current residents and team members, and we will not allow any deviation from our guidelines.

The most consistent question we have received from our residents and their family members is about testing. We thought it important to provide you with information regarding our position.

In accordance with guidance provided by the CDC, we do not require or recommend that residents receive a COVID-19 test unless they are experiencing signs and symptoms compatible with the virus. Most commonly, the test performed will be a nasopharyngeal swab in which a long, flexible swab is inserted through the nasal passage until resistance if felt. Please read more about this invasive testing procedure to understand how it is performed.

  • We do not recommend the antibody blood test, as it should not be used to diagnose someone as being currently sick with COVID-19. This test can only detect if the virus has ever been inside the body. If a positive result is achieved, we do not know how long ago this was, and we will have to place any individual with a positive antibody test on protective isolation for two weeks. This isolation could be unnecessary and unwarranted, and we want to prevent this as much as possible for the mental wellbeing of our residents.
  • We do recommend testing anyone with active symptoms related to the virus. If COVID-19 is detected, we can take immediate action for the well-being of our residents and to protect our environments. This test will likely be completed in a hospital setting by a physician that also agrees a test should be performed.
  • Residents and families have asked about mass testing for every resident in every community. While this would be informative, it would only be valid for that one moment in time. We would need to test every resident and every team member every day for this to be an effective approach, which simply isn’t feasible. Based on guidance from the CDC and the medical community, our protective isolation is more productive in minimizing the spread of the virus. If someone displays any signs of sickness, we immediately place them in sequestration to limit their contact with others and assume, that they have the coronavirus. This measure is significantly more effective than a point-in-time measure. If someone is false today, it doesn’t mean they are false tomorrow.

If you have questions about our position on testing, please do not hesitate to call the Spectrum COVID-19 hotline, and we’ll be happy to return your call.

In our continued efforts to keep you informed about our global COVID-19 impact, and resulting success, we want to share the most recent chart of our interventions and positive cases to date. We have maintained a minimally impacted rate of just 1% of all residents and team members across all 48 communities.

We are appreciative for our team members and their hard work and efforts to hold this percentage steady, as well as for our residents and their families for following our guidance and staying home and staying safe.

For additional information, please refer to previous communications: spectrumretirement.com/covid-19-information/, or leave a message on our 24/7 Spectrum COVID-19 Hotline at 855-758-7010. If you have further questions or concerns, always feel free to reach out to your community’s Executive Director.

Finally, to our residents and family members I say “Thank you.” Your courage, your support, and your love has been felt by our team members. Together, we have kept the sunrise before us and hope held high. While we know this isn’t over yet, we are no longer afraid of the challenge COVID-19 presents.

Again, we sincerely appreciate your positive messages, trust, and strength as we continue to fight this pandemic and remain #SpectrumStrong. Side by side, six feet apart.

Sincerely,

Bradley Kraus
President & Chief Operating Officer

See below for the latest information from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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