Addressing Concerns About COVID-19

Updated: 3/27/2020 – 9:00 AM PST

 

We are working to maintain open lines of communication for the families we serve and are posting periodic updates.

Across the globe, people are working to cope with COVID-19.  We have tremendous appreciation and respect for our employees who are selflessly working every day for the benefit of our residents. We have the highest confidence that during this difficult time, our communities are as prepared and focused as it is possible to be.

 As of today, we are fortunate that none of our current residents or staff have tested positive for COVID-19. 

We continue to follow all state mandates and CDC guidelines in all of our communities and we have comprehensive plans put in place not only to protect our residents and employees but also to continue providing the best quality of life possible for our staff and residents.

All of us care deeply for our loved ones and we know that our loved ones need to interact with the people they care about the most. To that end, we are utilizing technology to facilitate virtual visitations and host events in all of our communities to maintain the overall wellbeing of our residents.

We do all of this recognizing we are in a time of crisis. We ask that you help us by reconsidering visiting in person unless critically important or an end of life situation. If a visit is absolutely necessary or to find out more about our virtual visitations or events please contact your communities Executive Director.

 


 

Updated: 3/17/2020 – 5:00 PM PST

 

The COVID-19 situation is very fluid and changes occur daily, if not hourly.  We remain vigilant and on high alert. This situation and the safety of our residents and staff is our highest priority.

We have received inquiries regarding our protocols on visitation. We want to clarify these protocols for all of our communities outside of states that have given us the approval to restrict all visitations. We are following all state mandates and CDC guidelines in all states where we have communities.

ALL visits should be critically important.  All of us care deeply for our loved ones and we all know that our loved ones need to interact with the people they care about the most. But we are in a time of crisis. Our caring staff are coming to work in the face of this COVID-19 risk. Our residents are courageously facing this risk. Please don’t increase the risk by visiting unless critically important. We ask you to reconsider your visit unless at an end of life situation, or if a missed visit would lead directly to an end of life situation.   

Our staff are working very hard, and are doing their best to provide comfort in this time. If you must visit, please contact your Executive Director first.

 


 

Updated: 3/13/2020 – 5:00 PM PST

 

The COVID-19 situation is very fluid and changes occur daily, if not hourly.  We remain vigilant and on high alert. This situation and the safety of our residents and staff is our highest priority.

This week, the states of Washington, California, and Texas have issued mandates for enhanced protocols for Long-Term Care Communities. Most of these protocols were already in place at our communities, and we have added a few new protocols to comply with these requirements.

These new requirements are the strictest of any state where we operate and we have implemented most of them in all our communities in other states. Again, the new protocols contain a few enhancements to what we were already doing in all communities.

Some highlights:

  • Varying visitation restrictions based on State location. (check with your community Executive Director for details).
  • Single point of entry and exit for all visitors.
  • Photo ID must be presented.
  • Visitor’s log showing time in/time out with contact information for visitors.
  • No one under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit. (WA only)
  • Limited use of Common Areas. (CA only)
  • Enhanced COVID-19 screening, including exposure to COVID-19 inquiries, temperature checks, signs of cough, shortness of breath or other respiratory conditions and recent areas of travel inquiries, as well as cruise ship travel.
  • All visitors will be required to apply community provided hand sanitizer and/or wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Additionally, every community level staff member is screened every day before every shift.

We know that these protocols can be inconvenient and disruptive for all of us.  However, in the interest of the health and safety of our residents and staff, these protocols are necessary and, in some cases, mandatory. We ask you to please be patient with our staff as we enforce these protocols. They are on the front line and there to serve our residents.  We thank you for your cooperation and consideration.

 


 

Updated: 3/12/2020 – 4:30 PM PST

We have been informed that the first resident to have tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away.  We offer our sincerest condolences to family and friends.

 


 

Updated: 3/12/2020 – 12:00 PM PST

 

Dear Residents, Families, and Friends of Koelsch Communities,

This morning, we were notified that a second former Life Care Center of Kirkland resident who lived at Madison House tested positive for COVID-19. This resident had shared a room with the individual who tested positive previously. Below we have explained in detail the timing and events of both confirmed COVID-19 cases.

FEBRUARY 25, 2020:

  • A resident was admitted to Madison House from Life Care Center of Kirkland.

FEBRUARY 27, 2020:

  • A second resident was admitted to Madison House from Life Care Center of Kirkland. This resident shared an apartment with the resident who was admitted on 2/25/20.

FEBRUARY 29, 2020:

  • Madison House received news of COVID-19 cases at Life Care Center of Kirkland.  Our community immediately quarantined both residents that were from Life Care Center of Kirkland.

MARCH 2, 2020:

  • Madison House entered quarantine for Influenza-A completely unrelated to COVID-19.

MARCH 3, 2020:

  • The resident who was admitted to our community on 2/27/20 was transferred from our community to the hospital for health issues, none of which matched any of the symptoms CDC or Health officials relate to COVID-19.

MARCH 9, 2020:

  • We were notified by a CDC doctor representing the hospital that the resident who was admitted to our community on 2/27/20 has tested positive for COVID-19. That resident has remained at the hospital. 
  • Madison House residents and their families were informed of the positive COVID-19 test and the circumstances surrounding it.
  • The resident who was admitted to our community on 2/25/20 and who was living in the same apartment as the resident who tested positive for COVID-19, was sent to the hospital for COVID-19 testing per CDC direction.
  • Our community enacted protocols to continue quarantine for an additional 14 days with all procedures for COVID-19.

March 12 2020:

  • The resident who was admitted to our community on 2/25/20, and who was sent to the hospital for testing of COVID-19 on 3/9/20 per CDC direction, tested positive for COVID-19.  Neither resident had shown symptoms of COVID-19 while at our community, and both remain in the care of the hospital.

We are again working to contact all residents and families with the news of a second positive test.

The COVID-19 situation is very fluid and changes occur daily, if not hourly.  We remain vigilant and on high alert. This situation and the safety of our residents and staff is our highest priority.

New State Regulations

Tuesday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a Proclamation mandating enhanced visitor and employee screening protocols. Most of these protocols were already in place at our communities, and we have added a few new protocols to comply with these requirements in our Washington State Communities. The new requirements are the strictest of any state where we operate and we have implemented most of them in all our communities in other states. Again, the new protocols contain a few enhancements to what we were already doing in all communities.

Some highlights:

  • Only essential visitors will be allowed to visit.  Essential visitors includes families, healthcare providers, key suppliers, and certain state oversight personnel.
  • Single point of entry and exit for all visitors.
  • Photo ID must be presented.
  • Visitor’s log showing time in/time out with contact information for visitors. 
  • No one under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit. (WA only)
  • One visitor per day for residents, except in end of life situations, which will be addressed on a case by case basis. (WA only)
  • Enhanced COVID-19 screening, including exposure to COVID-19 inquiries, temperature checks, signs of cough, shortness of breath or other respiratory conditions and recent areas of travel inquiries, as well as cruise ship travel.
  • All visitors will be required to apply community provided hand sanitizer and/or wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Additionally, every community level staff member is screened every day before every shift.

We know that these protocols can be inconvenient and disruptive for all of us.  However, in the interest of the health and safety of our residents and staff, these protocols are necessary and in some cases mandatory. We ask you to please be patient with our staff as we enforce these protocols. They are on the front line and there to serve our residents.  We thank you for your cooperation and consideration.

 


 

Updated: 3/10/2020 – 5:00 PM PST

 

Dear Residents and Families of Koelsch Communities,

Out of an abundance of caution and in the spirit of transparency we wanted to share news that yesterday, March 9th, we were notified that a former Life Care Center of Kirkland resident who briefly lived at Madison House from February 27th until March 3rd tested positive for COVID-19 while at the hospital for health concerns unrelated to COVID-19. This resident was at no point re-admitted to Madison House after testing positive and remains at the hospital.

In light of this news, yesterday Madison House enacted protocols, consistent with CDC guidelines, to enter quarantine for COVID-19.

We communicated to the residents and the appropriate family members of Madison House with the news of the positive COVID-19 test result on the day we received it.

We continue to keep all of those affected by coronavirus in our thoughts and prayers.

 


 

Updated: 3/9/2020 – 9:00 AM PST

 

Dear Residents and Families of Koelsch Communities,

The COVID-19 situation has our full attention. Many organizations are taking steps to prepare for potential outbreaks. We at Koelsch are no exception, particularly since we care for a population of vulnerable adults who rely on us for care and services.  Our highest priority is always the health and safety of our residents and those who care for our residents.

While the virus has been identified in our home state of Washington and other states where we operate, as of today none of our residents or staff have tested positive.  We are monitoring and if this situation changes we will provide the notification. 

 

We have taken or are taking the following measures to ward against infection or transmission:

  • As of Tuesday, February 25, all Koelsch Communities are following the CDC protocols for COVID-19, the protocols were updated on March 1, 2020, in accordance with updated CDC guidelines.
  • Ongoing and enhanced monitoring of residents and staff for signs of infection.
  • Enhanced deep cleaning /sterilization protocols in each community.
  • Bolstering our supply of personal protective equipment (gloves, masks, gowns, wipes, sanitizers, etc.)
  • Reduced the normal or typical number of social activities provided by outside vendors.
  • Until further notice, asking family or visitors to limit or restrict visits to essential visits only and then to follow infection control protocols posted in each community.
  • Asking anyone exposed to COVID-19 to stay away from the community until the 14-day incubation period has lapsed without symptoms.
  • The CDC has identified China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran as high-risk areas --  we are asking anyone who has traveled from high-risk areas, or anyone in contact with such persons, to stay away from our communities.
  • Fortifying our food, beverage supplies, as well as paper products for foodservice, should the need arise.
  • Canceling all non-essential business travel for our leadership team.
  • We are asking that everyone in our communities engage in basic infection control practices such as frequent and thorough hand washing and avoiding the expulsion of bodily fluids through unguarded coughing or sneezing
 

Please know that as the owners of Koelsch Communities and on behalf of our entire leadership team, we each are personally and deeply involved in this process.  In closing, let me restate that we are on high alert.  As always, we are honored to serve you, and together we will work through whatever challenges come our way. 

 
Sincerely,
Aaron Koelsch
President & CEO
Koelsch Communities

 

For Media inquiries, please contact Eric Hanson at ech@koelschsenior.com or at 360.867.1900