Protecting our residents and staff
At Era Living, our number one priority has been helping to protect our residents and staff from COVID-19. We do have evidence that our overall approach has worked to limit the impact of the virus:
- Our approach featured in two academic articles, one in the Journal of American Medicine and one published by the CDC
- Early efforts lauded for averting an outbreak by UW Medicine researchers and a former CDC director.
- Limited number of current cases across our eight communities
I am completely convinced that my being here has been my greatest safeguard. I don’t feel like I could be in a safer place.
–Van A., Resident
We have taken a number of steps to help contain the virus, including achieving high vaccination rates in early 2021 other precautions outlined below:
- Following our existing policies and procedures related to preventing the spread of communicable disease among residents and staff.
- Following county and state guidance on restrictions in retirement communities, such as visitors, group dining, and in-person group activities. Read about what we currently can do here.
- Asking everyone in the community to practice physical distancing, maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others (except in the cases of caregiving that requires closer contact with residents).
- Requiring face masks in our retirement communities, for all staff, residents when they are outside of their apartments, and any visitors.
- Maintaining a clean environment to help reduce the spread of germs, with double the normal frequency of surface cleaning in common areas.
- Screening and taking temperatures of all staff, visitors, and vendors who enter our community, to prevent higher-risk individuals from entering our communities. We screen above and beyond CDC recommendations.
- Actively communicating with staff and residents regarding precautions to protect themselves and the community.
- Implementing additional precautions when there is a positive case identified in the community.
- Urging all residents and staff to report any sign of illness and conservatively treating anyone with any symptom of COVID-19 as positive until they can be tested.
- Performing contact tracing on any known or potential exposure and testing targeted individual residents, staff, and in some cases, private caregivers and family members.
- Performing targeted testing based on potential exposure and periodic broad testing of all residents and staff.
Additional precautions and support:
- Engaging residents with virtual activities and when possible, outdoor or indoor, distanced activities, outdoor, or small group, distanced activities
- Reminding residents of mental health support available from our on-site counselors and nutrition support available from our in-house dietitian
Staff safety protocol:
- Asking staff members to consider taking extra precautions in their personal lives given the vulnerability of the residents we serve, such as: avoiding large groups of people, wearing masks, etc.
- Screening and taking temperatures of staff at the start of their shifts. Those with temperatures above 100.4 degrees will be denied entrance and remain out of the community until it has been deemed safe to return.
- Providing ongoing refresher training and supplemental training materials regarding cleaning protocols and infection control guidelines.
Additional precautions if we learn of a positive case:
If a resident currently residing in one of communities is positive, then we will enact strict isolation procedures for that resident. Additionally, we will:
- Rapidly identify potential exposure and take appropriate action.
- Ask all higher risk staff members to stay home.
- Proactively screen each resident to at least once a day.
- Conservatively treat any resident with any following symptoms as COVID-19 positive until they are tested:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Chest pain associated with breathing
- Feelings of exhaustion or weakness
- Loss of energy
- General body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or bloody mucus
- Presence of confusion or changes in mental status, such as confusion, loss of alertness, disorientation, defects in judgment, or strange or unusual behaviors
- Changes in sense of smell or taste
- Change in appetite
- Red eyes
- Muscle pain
- Bluish lips or face
- Unexplained falls or increase in falls
- Depending on our assessment of the risk and/or recommendations of public health officials, we may test all consenting residents and staff; move from in-person dining to food delivery; cancel activities; cancel indoor visitation; and/or ask residents to remain in their apartments except for essential outings. Typically, restrictions are applied for two weeks and lifted if there are no additional cases identified.
- All other precautions will remain in place, and we will continue to follow any additional guidance from the CDC or King County Public Health.
We are pleased to share that our residents and staff at Era Living retirement communities were among the first priority for the COVID-19 vaccine, and vaccine clinics were held in each of our communities starting early in 2021. As of February 12, 89% of all residents and staff have received at least their first dose, including 98% of all residents and at least* 75% of staff. We expect to be offering a booster shot on-site to residents when they become available. Additionally, as of October 17, 2021, all staff are required to be fully vaccinated, or have an approved medical or religious exemption, in order to be employed by any of our communities.
Please note that these pages are not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.
Media inquiries should be directed to our publicist, Natalie Quick 206-779-0489.
* We test residents and staff for COVID-19 when we have reason to believe they may have been exposed.