A little over 100 days ago, the COVID-19 pandemic took full hold over life in the U.S. Our diligent, deliberate implementation of protocols included regular communication with residents and families. To date, we have sent hundreds of e-mails to our nearly 4,000 family and responsible party contacts. We have shared our COVID-19 protocols as they have been amended from time to time as well as information regarding any positive cases among residents or associates.
Resident joy, health and well-being have been our top priority – resulting in less than 1% of resident positive cases.
We continually evaluate COVID-19 cases and spread in each of the markets and states where we operate as well as global and national research regarding spread characteristics of the disease. Our monitoring of the CDC, State, and local Health Departments helps us determine best practices on individual locations. Our research and tracking information informs how we may begin to implement a move toward more normalized environment with joyful experiences such as measured communal dining, small communal activities, and structured family visitations.
At this point in the pandemic response, we recently developed structured plans to begin a reopening process of our communities on an individual basis. Timing and practices will be different for each location based on data and on local regulatory limits. As we implement a more open environment, we may adapt our protocols in response to changing circumstances such as renewed spread in the city, testing outcomes, and outcome from guest practices. You may find our protocols differ from other senior living providers. With the senior population accounting for over 60% of COVID-19 related deaths, we will always err on the side of caution. We look forward to residents interacting and enjoying their friendships with residents and families.
Today, however, we must all work to safely transition to the next level of “openness” within our environments. For this we need your help.
Healthcare workers in senior living communities and hospitals are at risk when they go out in public to get groceries, medications, gasoline, etc. Your personal practices in mitigating the spread – wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing – are paramount in protecting these heroes. Your personal choices can endanger others. It is not so much a choice of freedom as it is a choice of respect. Respect for other people and particularly for healthcare workers out in public and others more vulnerable than you. Let’s openly demonstrate our appreciation for healthcare works and first responders and wear masks in public. Encourage people to wear masks in public. It does reduce the spread.
We have learned a lot during this time not only about the disease but new ways to serve residents and families. New ways to serve and lift up caregivers. We are excited for what the future holds. It will be different, not in negative way but in new and better ways. We look forward to sharing this future with you. We have worked hard to prepare Legend Senior Living communities to move toward “normal” as soon as possible in measured and incremental steps.
We have been doing a lot of strategic thinking and planning about how we “get better.” I’ll soon share ideas for new ways to help residents live their best lives, in all circumstances, and give a glimpse into our plans for the future of our business.
The reality is this crisis is not over. There is no vaccine; there is no cure. Good research, testing and public behavior will determine our future. We are grateful that the rigid protocols we have implemented and the diligent work of our caregivers has reduced the spread in our communities. Continued diligence by residents, associates and visitors will be key to our future.
We pledge to keep families, residents and associates informed as we take each step of our journey together. We cannot see over the horizon but we are sailing toward it with careful planning and preparations.
President and CEO