Carson City senior living facilities responded early to coronavirus
The first Carson City businesses to respond to the coronavirus pandemic may have been some of the city’s senior living facilities.
“We took enhanced precautions about five weeks ago, when this thing started to blow up with the first cases in the Washington nursing home,” said Tom Stanley, owner, Sierra Place Senior Living, which houses 65 residents.
Stanley is referring to the Life Care Center of Kirkland which first reported coronavirus cases in mid-March. Since then, 37 residents and one visitor there have died from the virus and the facility has been fined $600,000 by state and federal officials for its handling of the outbreak.
Four of Carson City’s nursing homes contacted said they have not reported a positive test inside their facility and Jessica Rapp, public information officer for Carson City Health and Human Services, confirmed that none of the positive cases in the quad-county area are of individuals inside senior living facilities.
“So far we have been fortunate,” said Eric Mager, executive director, Skyline Estates Senior Living & Memory Care, which has 79 residents. “We started lockdown procedures awhile ago and no residents have become sick.”
Those procedures at area senior facilities include no outside visitors except for essential visits; screening of all those visitors for fever; suspending group activities; serving meals in rooms or apartments; and personal protective equipment and strict hygiene routines for employees.
“Family members were upset at first and in that respect it’s been difficult,” said Mager.
Some residents are using mobile devices to video chat via Face Time or Zoom with outside family or friends. Some family stop by to say hello outside facility windows.
Mager said most residents are adjusting, although some have a tough time grasping the situation and why they are being separated.
That may be particularly true at Carson Tahoe Care Center, which provides independent and assisted living, rehabilitation and post-acute care, as well as 54 beds for residents with dementia.
“Our patients, residents and their families place a great deal of trust in us to ensure their safety and well-being. We will continue our ongoing steps to implement safety precautions designed to protect our patients, residents and staff,” said a spokesperson for Prestige Care Inc., which operates the facility.