Chelsea Senior Living Pres. Roger Bernier updates efforts to return to business while staying safe
May 28, 2020
Long term care and senior living communities nationwide have felt the brunt of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With residents in their 80’s and 90’s, many with pre-existing medical conditions, even the most stringent surveillance and isolation protocols haven’t been able to completely stop some residents from getting sick. In some cases, deaths have followed.
Our policy has always been to initiate appropriate and indicated isolation (respiratory and contact) for any resident with symptoms of infectious disease followed by a building-wide quarantine. This policy is in place at all 18 of our operational buildings. We have had a strict no-visitation policy in effect since March 12th. Communication with families is done through text, email, telephone and video venues. Telehealth is utilized to ensure the residents’ physicians are able to continue their medical oversight of their patients. Psychiatric telehealth is provided to ensure the mental health and emotional support for residents. Our residents no longer take their meals in a communal dining room. Their meals are delivered to their apartments. Group activities have also been suspended. The New Jersey and New York Departments of Health and the local health departments are constantly updated on the conditions of our residents and staff.
In May, we received further direction from the New York and New Jersey Departments of Health requiring regular testing. We are implementing that plan now. According to the CDC, these new testing requirements do not supersede existing infection prevention and control interventions.
All personnel at Chelsea communities have the personal protective equipment they need including masks, gloves, face shields and hand sanitizer. Employees are screened before each shift and in some communities at the start and end of their shift. Those who don’t feel well are sent home. No employee who is sick can return to work without being certified by his/her physician.
The health and safety of our residents and employees have always been and remain our number one priority. We are deeply saddened by the passing of some residents at some of our communities. We are doing everything possible to protect our residents and staff from this awful disease.
Our corporate team, based in Fanwood, New Jersey, is in daily, sometimes hourly contact with Chelsea communities, which are all prepared to respond quickly to new developments.
(Updated May 28, 2020)