COVID-19 Update

September 17, 2020
Categories: Wellness | Community Updates

To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #47 | Dated: 9-17-20

We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones doing well. With Fall upon us and Winter just around the corner, we wanted to update you on our planning and preparation for the change of seasons and all that follows.  

First, we couldn’t be more thankful that over the past 6 months we have been able to limit the impact the pandemic has had on our community through our policies, procedures, programming and use of PPE. We are proud of our staff as they continue to remain vigilant while in the community supporting our residents and while away from work with their own loved ones. Our team members remain committed to regular testing in line with the CDC, state and federal guidance. All of this to ensure we do all we can to keep our residents safe…and social!

We are happy to report that, at this time, we do not have any COVID positive residents or staff members with no one exhibiting or displaying any signs or symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.

With these changes of seasons comes the Flu season and maybe a “second wave” of the coronavirus. As such, we are in the midst of reviewing our current policies and procedures both internally and with our contacts at the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). Our goal is to make sure that our communities are prepared to react to any complications that the seasonal flu may present or changes in COVID-19, all while maintaining the engagement activities, family visits and other socialization activities that our residents and their families rely on. This remains a priority for us as we know that these activities, especially family visits, are essential to our residents’ health and wellbeing. As we move towards finalizing our plans, we will share these updates with you.

That said, we continue to have ample supplies of PPE and have been able to setup additional supply chains to supplement our current PPE supplies. Just this month we purchased an additional 10,000 KN-95 masks and 20,000 surgical masks to go along with the supplies that we’ve already deployed.

Update on Executive Order:

Earlier this week, Governor Kemp again extended the Executive Order which details the steps the state is taking to empower a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19. This order extends the shelter in place order for residents of Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities (our communities) through September 30th. This executive order also introduced additional guidance from the DPH which details steps for how and when LTC facilities can ease policies and guidelines tied to the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus in each of our individual communities and larger counties. We will be including new phases of reopening in our updated policies tied to the change in seasons. 

As we were able to define our “new normal” this past Spring and Summer, we are confident that with your support and the partnerships that we have developed with our local experts, we will again be able to define our “new normal” this Fall and Winter whilst ensuring our residents remain both Safe and Social.

We will be back in touch regarding our updated policies and procedures soon. Thank you again and please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Independent Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #46 | Dated: 8-25-20

Good Afternoon –

We were excited to have our independent residents back for small group dining today. We based the decision to restart small group dining on the fact we received additional negative tests results and that it was determined that no other independent residents met primary contact guidelines.

We are also happy to report that the resident who did test positive continues to remain asymptomatic while hospitalized for a separate health issue and his/her significant other has tested negative and remains asymptomatic as well. This couple will continue to self-isolate for the remainder of the 10-day illness period and 14-day incubation period.

Thank you again for your patience and flexibility as we reacted to this latest incident. As we all know, this will not be the last time that we have to change our plans/procedures due to the pandemic, but our hope is that those occurrences are few and far between.

Please review the latest independent event schedule as we have a lot going on during these late summer weeks.

Thank you again and please let us know if there is anything else you need or if you have any other questions or concerns.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Independent Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #45 | Dated: 8-20-20

Good Morning –

We were informed this earlier today that one of our cottage residents has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus after initial hospitalization on August 18th with a condition unrelated to the COVID-19 virus. This resident continues to be asymptomatic and is recovering from his/her other illness while remaining hospitalized.

Up to this point in our contact tracing investigation, we have only one resident (the wife/husband of the resident who tested positive) meeting primary contact criteria as this resident has not taken part in any small group activities, small group dining or Monday outdoor cocktail hours in over a month. The resident meeting primary contact guidance will self-isolate for 14 days from the positive test date.

Out of an abundance of caution and as we continue our contact tracing investigation, we will be discontinuing small group dining and returning to delivery/pickup only service for our cottage residents. Please just let us know which option you prefer.

We will also be suspending the Monday small group outdoor cocktail parties until further notice.

Once our investigation into this latest incident is complete, including obtaining additional testing results, we will follow up with additional details and an expected timeline as to when we will resume small group dining and outdoor cocktail parties.

Thank you again and please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #44 | Dated: 8-10-20

Good Afternoon –

We wanted to reach out to let you know that we were recently informed that one of our residents has tested positive for the virus.

This resident was tested on August 3rd after experiencing minor symptoms. We were notified of the positive test later Friday afternoon. This resident is now asymptomatic and will self-isolate for the duration of their illness period while we monitor her/him for any symptoms that may reappear.

Over the weekend we conducted our contact tracing investigation, below are our findings:

  • This resident has not left their apartment in over 3 weeks and tested negative for the virus on July 13th.  

  • This resident has 24/7 care provided by a 3rd party company. We are coordinating with the company to have the companions assigned to this resident tested. Once we receive these test results, we will notify you of the results.

  • Other than these 2 companions (who do not work with any of our other residents) no other residents or staff meet the primary contact guidance.

  • That said, we are having one additional private companion tested as they did work one day with this individual while in her/his infectious period. This companion was in full PPE (meaning he/she doesn’t meet primary contact guidance) yet we still are asking for a test and for her/him to isolate until receiving their result.

  • The resident that this nonprimary contact companion works with will also abstain from taking part in small group activities and will self-isolate.

At this time, no other residents or staff members are expressing or exhibiting any COVID related symptoms and no other residents or staff have tested positive for the virus.

As we test results from these three 3rd party companions are returned to us we will update you.

We also wanted to let you know that starting Wednesday of this week, August 12th, we will be resuming small group dining during breakfast hours to go along with our small group dining during lunch and dinner hours. Staff will be reaching out directly with additional details in the coming days.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #43 | Dated: 8-03-20

Good Afternoon –

As we start the week, we wanted to update you on Governor Kemp’s latest Executive Orders which were published the evening of Friday, July 31st:

  1. The first Executive Order (found here) extends the statewide state of emergency through September 10th. This Executive Order also extends the guidance specifically tied to Long Term Care Facilities (no non-essential visitors, screen staff, etc.)
  2. The second Executive Order (found here) extends the shelter in place order through August 15th for various individuals, including residents of senior living communities.

We continue to have our staff members tested through the Department of Public Health (DPH) on a regular basis. At this point in time we have no staff members testing positive for the virus or expressing/exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

As an organization we recently made another large purchase of masks (both KN95 and surgical masks) in order to continue to ensure we have ample supplies on hand as we head into the late Summer and early Fall seasons. Along with this large order, we continue to have sufficient supplies of PPE at each of our communities. This latest order only continues to strengthen that position.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Thank you again,

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #42 | Dated: 7-24-20

Good Afternoon Residents, Families Members and Staff–

We have received our test results from the tests which were completed the week of July 13th.

  • 84 residents were tested the previous week
  • 1 resident returned a positive test
  • 83 residents returned negative tests

This is encouraging news as the resident who tested positive has and continues to remain asymptomatic. This resident has remained in their apartment since small group dining was suspended on July 5th. Due to this fact, contact tracing centered on our Sterling care staff. All staff have been in PPE while administering care, which means none of our staff met the primary contact guidance issued by the Department of Public Health (DOH) and the CDC.

Based on the fact that this resident has remained asymptomatic, with their 10 day illness period (from their positive test administered on July 14th) ending yesterday and the fact that no other residents have either returned positive tests or expressed/exhibited any COVID related symptoms; we will be resuming our small group dining procedures this upcoming Monday, July 27th.

Along this this positive news, we are excited to share that the resident who was hospitalized on July 4th (who ultimately tested positive for the virus) has returned to her/his home here at Sterling with a negative clearance test and a resolution of all symptoms.

We want to thank Transitional Care Partners of America (TCPA) and their Nurse Practitioner Hila for their support in ensuring we were able to test all of our residents. We have had multiple debriefs with their team since testing and if/when we need to conduct universal testing in the future, we expect that the process of administering the tests as well as returning results to go even better.

We also want to thank each of you for your patience as we awaited results and your dedication to continuing to stay safe. We are excited that our porch visits have proven to be so successful, in both keeping our residents engaged while also healthy.  

We are proud of these latest test results, as they show just how effective our use of PPE and our policies/procedures have been at limiting the spread of the virus. During these challenging times, especially as the pandemic continues to increase its breadth of impact on our state and nation, we remain confident that Sterling Estates is the safest and best option for our residents, their loved ones and those in the community looking to live in a safe and social senior living environment.

Thank you again,

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #41 | Dated: 7-09-20

Good Afternoon Residents, Family Members and Staff Members –

We wanted to follow up our communication earlier regarding a resident testing positive for the virus last week

Update on Latest Incident:

  • The resident who tested positive, continues to remain asymptomatic while hospitalized.
  • No other residents or staff express or exhibit any COVID related symptoms.
  • The resident who met contact tracing guidelines continues to quarantine and remains asymptomatic.
  • A staff member was identified as meeting contact tracing guidelines and has not worked since the day they had their last contact with the resident (July 2nd) and continues to remain asymptomatic.
  • No other residents or staff have met contact tracing guidance.

Universal Testing:

Although the testing environment has improved since the pandemic came on the scene earlier this year, the national testing infrastructure continues to be stressed. The National Guard no longer provides testing resources to Long Term Care facilities and the Department of Health (DOH) is now providing tests when only critically needed as the state continues to strain under increased testing needs. With that, we wanted to provide an update on the work we have done to ensure there we have access to multiple pathways to testing for our residents.

  • We have been approved from the DOH for testing, but we are still awaiting those testing supplies and do not have a firm date as to when we can expect them.
  • With the DOH unable to provide a concrete timeline, we are moving forward with scheduling testing through a separate provider, Transitional Care Partners of America (TCPA). Over the past few years TCPA has been a trusted partner at our West Cobb location and we are pleased that they will be able to now support our East Cobb residents. This testing will be available for all of our residents and will go through each individual’s health insurance, with no out of pocket costs to our residents. Sterling staff members will be distributing additional information that will detail what is needed for testing, including a consent agreement which will need to be signed and can be found here. Over the coming days we will be reaching out directly to some resident family members in order to receive this signed consent agreement. Most residents will be able to complete this form with the assistance of our staff.
  • We are planning on testing all residents the afternoon of Monday, July 13th.

If you have any immediate questions or concerns about the testing scheduled for this upcoming Monday, please do not hesitate to reach out to:

Ann White: Executive Director: [email protected]

Marshall Gill: Chief Operating Officer/Partner: [email protected]

Nathan Madigan: Vice President of Operations: [email protected]

Thank you again,

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #40 | Dated: 7-05-20

Good Morning Residents, Family Members and Staff Members –

We wanted to reach out to let you know that we were recently informed that one of our residents has tested positive for the virus.

This resident was sent out to the hospital yesterday afternoon due to a fall and had symptoms unrelated to the virus. Out of an abundance of caution the hospital performed a COVID test which ended up being positive.

We are currently conducting our contact tracing investigation. Per our protocol for when a resident tests positive, we are scheduling universal testing for our residents and staff. Our hope is that we have this testing scheduled in the coming week. Up to this point of our investigation, we have no staff members meeting primary contact criteria and only one resident. This resident and their family have been informed of this contact and the resident will self-isolate for 14 days. The reason the number of primary contacts to this point is so low is due to the fact that this resident did not regularly leave their apartment.

We want to be very clear that based on our investigation and what we know, there has been no contact in the past 2+ weeks with the staff member who tested positive last week and this latest resident. Currently, we do know that this resident did the leave our community in the past week for an extending period of time.

At this time, we are suspending all small group dining and will again be delivering all meals to residents’ apartments.

We will continue to offer small group activities as well as continue to support the scheduling of outdoor visitations. We cannot stress enough how important it is for anyone who participates in these offerings to universally wear their masks. NO EXCEPTIONS. We also want to stress that when leaving our campus, you cannot let your guard down. Although it is not mandated you must wear a mask it is of the upmost importance that you do.

With the national trend showing an increase of cases in many states, as well as our residents needing to leave our buildings for necessary medical appointments, we knew that it was a distinct possibility that we would again have a member of our Sterling family test positive. We have spent much of the past two months since our last resident tested positive preparing for when this would occur. We remain confident in the effectiveness of our PPE as well as our policies and procedures and know that we will be able to again get through this latest incident together.

We will follow up with when we get any additional information from our contact tracing as well as when we have our universal testing scheduled.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #39 | Dated: 7-03-20

We hope everyone is having a good end to their week. As we approach the holiday weekend, we wanted to send you an update on a staff member who recently tested positive.

One of our staff members went in for a test through a Department of Health (DOH) testing site this past Monday. We received word yesterday that this individual tested positive.

In following the DOH and CDC guidance on contact tracing, which is defined as:

  • Anyone who was within 6 feet, for more than 10 minutes, with anyone who is known positive for the COVID-19 virus; beginning 2 days before to the individual first becoming ill or who first tests positive but remains asymptomatic.

We went back over this individual’s contact with any residents or staff members over the prior week. We identified no residents and three staff members who met the above contact tracing guidance. The limited amount of exposure is tied to the fact we continue to follow our policies and procedures around social distancing as well as our universal use of PPE.

We sent these 3 staff members to get tested through a rapid test clinic yesterday and received word late last night that all 3 staff members tested negative for the virus.

That said, all 3 staff members will self-isolate for 14 days since their last primary contact with the positive individual.

The individual who tested positive continues to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms and will go in for another test after their 10-day illness period early next week.

As a reminder:

  • Our last resident to test positive was May 1st 
  • And halfway through our 4th round of staff testing all other staff members continue to test negative

On another topic, the porch visits continue to go well. Please continue to reach out to the community to schedule a time to visit with your loved one safely outside.

If you have any additional questions or concerns please continue to reach out to:

For the coming days, you can reach out directly to Laura Kelly, our manager on duty.

Have a safe and relaxing 4th of July.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #38 | Dated: 6-23-20

We hope everyone is having a good week thus far. Midway through our 15th week of quarantine procedures, we wanted to follow up with a few updates.

Update on Staff Testing:

  1. Through our 3rd round of testing we have tested 42 of our 49 staff members (the last staff members are getting scheduled for later this week) with all 42 staff returning negative test results. 
  2. We are starting our 4th round of staff testing, and we will update you on those results as they become available.

As a quick reminder, we are still under Governor Kemp’s executive order providing guidance for Long Term Care Facilities (found here) through July 12th.

We also wanted to encourage everyone to continue to stay vigilant and follow the guidelines as articulated by the State as well as the DOH. We know that these practices are getting “old” and harder to follow especially seeing so much of our state return to pre-COVID practices. That said, as we see cases climb nationally, we all have a responsibility to not only ourselves but our neighbors to continue to do all we can to keep one another safe. Our PPE, practices and policies are working and will continue to do so if we all continue to stay smart and vigilant.

We continue to be proactive in defining our operations during this time, including scheduling regular outdoor visits for our residents and their loved ones, providing safe opportunities for small group dining, ensuring we continue to offer engaging programming in small groups for all of our residents, and the continued screening of all essential visitors and staff. 

Please continue to let us know if there is anything else we can be doing to better support you and your loved ones.

Thus far, our policies and procedures, as well as your dedication to adhering to the guidance on how to remain safe in this “new normal” have been successful in keeping the virus out of our building since May 1st. Please continue to do so and please do let us know if there is anything else we can be doing to better support you and your loved ones.

We continue to get through this unprecedented time together. Thank you.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #37 | Dated: 6-12-20

We hope everyone is having a good end to their week. Through our partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) we are proud of the fact that we have been able to remain proactive in our policies and procedures which have allowed our residents and staff to feel safe while remaining socially engaged.

Updated Procedures (starting Monday, June 15th):

  • As we mentioned in our communication last week, we have been working with the DOH and their team of Epidemiologists to update our policies and procedures around small group activities and dining. These updates reflect the latest guidance from the DOH as well as Governor Kemp’s most current executive orders.
  • Governor Kemp issued an Executive Order yesterday that extended the shelter in place order for 2 additional weeks for at risk individuals, in the state’s definition this includes our residents. This order can be found here.
  • That said, we know that this has been an incredibly challenging 92 days since we started our quarantine procedures. After such a long time and with the opening of the state we understand that there are more and more “essential” activities our residents would like to take part in both inside and outside of our community. Please know that we want to support you in those activities so that you can continue to stay engaged while staying safe. When those instances do come about, please coordinate these plans with your Executive Director.
    • Updated Dining Procedures:
      • As of now, communal dining is still prohibited through mid-July; however, by working with the DOH and following guidance provided by the Georgia Restaurant Association (found here) we are able to roll out small group dining while following social distancing measures.
      • Residents will be able to eat in groups not to exceed approximately 25 individuals in any one location with at least 6 feet of separation between tables.
        • Our assisted living residents will be able to meet in small groups for dining in the following locations: our main dining room, front porch and outdoor courtyard patio.
        • Our independent living residents will be able to meet in small groups for dining in the downstairs Legacy Terrace.
      • More detailed guidance on dining procedures can be found on Touchtown or by reaching directly out to the community: 678-946-4454.
    • Additional Guidance:
      • The executive order providing guidance for Long Term Care Facilities (found here) continues to be in place through July 12th. We continue to follow the guidance articulated in this order which includes:
      • Only allowing essential visitors into the community
      • We continue to offer small group activities (now defined as fewer than 50 individuals in one place with 6 feet of separation) both inside our community as well as outdoors.
      • Outdoor visits continue to be the main and best visitation option for most visitors. If a situation comes about where an inside visit would be deemed necessary, please coordinate these visits and plans with your Executive Director.

As we continue to get your feedback on our procedures and as the DOH/state releases additional guidance, we will update our policies and procedures and communicate those changes to you and your loved ones.

Update on Staff Testing:

  • Through our 3rd round of testing we have tested 36 of our 44 staff members with all 36 staff returning negative test results.  We will continue to have our staff tested regularly, approximately every 14 days.

We hope everyone has a good weekend and please do not hesitate to reach out if there is anything further we can be doing to better support you or your loved ones.

Sincerely,

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #36 | Dated: 6-04-20

As we approach the end of the week, we wanted to pass along a few updates.

  1. We received updated guidance from the Department of Health (DOH) regarding how we approach individuals who have tested positive for the virus. This updated guidance can be found linked here for residents and here for staff. 
    • Previously, it was recommended that individuals who tested positive for the virus (including those who remained asymptomatic) should test negative for the virus after their 10-day illness period/resolution of symptoms.
    • Over the past few months the CDC has gathered more information and has now recommended changing this approach as individuals can continue to test positive for the virus (for more than 6 weeks after initial positive test) and not be infectious.
    • Moving forward we will follow the new DOH guidance and not require testing clearance for staff or residents if they do test positive for the virus. We will follow the clinical clearance guidance which is:
      • Symptomatic persons with confirmed COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 can return to Sterling Estates/end isolation quarantine procedures:
        • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); AND,
        • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
      • Asymptomatic persons with confirmed COVID-19 can return to Sterling Estates/end isolation quarantine procedures:
        • At least 10 days have passed since the positive laboratory test and the person remains asymptomatic.
        • Note: asymptomatic persons who test positive and later develop symptoms should follow the guidance for symptomatic persons above
  2. We have been working with the DOH and their team of Epidemiologists and feel confident that we will have updated policies and procedures around small group activities and dining soon; we hope to share those in the coming week.
  3. Our team has started the 3rd round of staff testing. We will provide those results as they become available next week.
  4. Finally, we are happy to report that our last resident who initially tested positive for the virus on April 27th and was hospitalized is able to return to Sterling Estates after being cleared by the hospital as no longer viral and in concurrence with the updated guidance from the CDC and DOH.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any additional questions or concerns. Have a good end to your week.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #35 | Dated: 5-29-20

We hope everyone is having a good end to their weeks. As we begin our 12th week of quarantine procedures, we wanted to follow up with a few updates.

  1. We had the last of our 2nd round of staff testing completed this week. All 48 of our staff members returned negative test results.
  2. As we mentioned to you last week, we are working to finalize a partnership with a private company in order to provide as-needed testing for residents. We have a meeting early next week to discuss the details of a possible partnership with one of our current providers. Our hope is that we will be able to finalize the details of this partnership soon. We will be sure to follow up with updates next week.
  3. As many of you may heard, Governor Kemp issued additional Executive Orders addressing the state’s state of emergency declaration and giving additional guidance for reviving a healthy Georgia. We are actively working with the DOH to review our current policies and procedures and what our dining, wellness and visitation procedures will look like as we continue to adjust to our “new normal”. We will have additional updates and details for you as those conversations continue into next week.
  4. A successful part of our “new normal” has been the fact that our new touring procedures for interested individuals are going extremely well. We are hosting one on one meeting in outdoor setting (as possible) while observing all safe social distancing measures. Tours of our community are mostly conducted outside of our buildings where the parties spend no more than 15 minutes inside and consist of fewer than 4 people (including our staff), where all parties wear masks.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. Have a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff Members:

Update #34 | Dated: 5-22-20

We hope everyone is having a good end to their weeks. As we begin our 11th week of quarantine procedures, we wanted to follow up with a few updates.

  1. As we mentioned in an earlier communication, we have been supporting our staff members in getting tested for a 2nd time. We are happy to report that 46 of our 48 staff members have been tested.
    • All 46 have now returned negative test results.
    • Even though all 46 staff who have been tested now have negative test results, 2 staff members did return positive tests prior to retesting and returning negative results. Due to the fact that both staff members were asymptomatic we had both staff members retested and both returned negative test results the following day. Although we feel as if the initial test was flawed, we have treated these staff members as if they were positive and have asked that they remain home and quarantine for 10 days.
    • We will continue to have our staff tested regularly, approximately every 14 days.
  2. Access to more universal testing for our residents continues to be a challenge. We are looking into other private organizations to provide additional testing on a more regular basis for our residents. We should have an update on our progress on that initiative later next week.

Although this crisis has caused a tremendous disruption for all of us, we look to the future with a hopeful eye. Thank you again for your continued trust as we have navigated the challenges this pandemic has thrown our way. Looking back over the last 70 days we feel incredibly blessed to have each and every one of you as part of our community. As the state and our community gradually “open up for business” you can rest assured that we remain committed to your health and safety.

We hope everyone has a good Memorial Day weekend and please do not hesitate to reach out if there is anything further we can be doing to better support you or your loved ones.

Sincerely,

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff:

Update #33 | Dated: 5-15-20

We hope everyone is having a good end to their weeks. As we begin our 10th week of quarantine procedures, we wanted to follow up with a few updates.

  1. A big thanks to all of those families and loved ones who have participated in our outdoor visitations. It has been wonderful getting to see so many of you. Please continue to coordinate with our front desk to set a day and time for your visits and continue to practice safe social distancing.
  2. As we mentioned in an earlier communication, we have started to schedule our 2nd round of staff tests. We will have an update on those test results early in the coming week.
  3. We are working to schedule an additional deep cleaning through the National Guard in the coming weeks. We will communicate the date and time of that cleaning as soon as it is scheduled. We will of course continue our own rigorous cleaning procedures.
  4. Based on our collaboration with the Cobb County Public Health Long Term Care Facility Support Team, the DOH, the National Guard and the state Healthcare Associated Infection team we have developed a plan for the intake of new residents to our community. Unlike many communities, we have held off admitting any new residents to any of our 3 Georgia communities for over 2 months. That said, we feel that based on the guidance from these experts, the strength of our current quarantine policies and procedures, as well as our ability to effectively use PPE; we are in a good place to move forward implementing these guidelines. The safety of our residents and staff members has and continues to be our top priority and we wouldn’t be moving forward implementing this plan if we didn’t believe we could do it effectively. With that, any individual who is moving into our community will be required to have a negative clearance test prior to moving in.

We hope everyone has a good weekend and please do not hesitate to reach out if there is anything further we could be doing to better support you or your loved ones.

Sincerely,

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff:

Update #32 | Dated: 5-08-20

As we begin our 9th week of quarantine procedures we wanted to follow up with a few updates.

Updates on Our Residents:

  • We are happy to report that one of our residents who has been hospitalized with the virus is returning this afternoon after testing negative. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome them home!
  • Our other residents who went out with the virus remain at their respective hospitals. As we get additional updates, we will be sure to communicate those to you.

Update on Staff Testing:

  • We worked with the DOH to set timelines for our regular retesting or our staff members. We will be conducting these retests through the CVS and Georgia Tech partnership starting next week.
  • Moving forward we will endeavor to have our staff members retested approximately every 14 days.

Update on Department of Health Meeting:

  • We met with the Cobb County Public Health Long Term Care Facility Support Team (a partnership between the DOH and Wellstar) this morning, to again review our policies and procedures as well as talk through what some of the “new normal” will look like.
  • The Support Team was complimentary of our policies, procedures and levels of PPE in our buildings.
  • Their official write-up will be delivered sometime next week. That said, we have started the conversations with their group regarding what our community procedures will look like after June 12th (the end of Governor Kemp’s shelter in place order). One of main focal points are our dining procedures in particular and are excited about having the opportunity to again serve you in our award-winning dining room and outdoor areas.
  • We’ve also had in depth conversations on the policies and procedures of allowing new residents to join our community.
  • As these plans are finalized, we will be sure to communicate those to you and your loved ones.

Update on Supplies:

  • We continue to have ample supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning, food, and other supplies in all of our buildings. 
    • We have been able to procure and deliver: surgical masks; N95 masks; cloth masks; gloves; face shields; other eye protection; gowns; thermometers; hand sanitizer, etc.
      • Shipments continue to arrive at our communities on a weekly basis

Family Visits:

  • It has been incredible to see so many of our families and loved ones coming to our community to partake in outdoor visits.
  • Please call the front desk (678-946-4454) to set up day/time for your visit.

Please continue to reach out to us with any additional questions or recommendations as to what we can be doing to better support your loved one.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff:

Update #31 | Dated: 5-06-20

We’re happy to report that we’ve received all of the residents’ test results from our May 1st universal testing:

  • 61 individuals were tested on May 1st. 
    • 60 individuals returned negative results
    • 1 resident tested positive and remains asymptomatic
      • This resident lives with a resident who tested positive on April 27th and remains hospitalized. We’ve been caring for this resident as if he/she has the virus. Thus, receiving this test result does not change any of our policies/procedures
  • As a reminder:
    • All 20 of our residents who were tested on April 23rd returned negative tests
    • All 48 staff members have now tested negative
  • We are awaiting updates from the families of our residents currently hospitalized. Once we receive those, we will follow up

Even though having any of our Sterling family test positive for the virus is concerning, we’re happy to report that at this time we have no other residents or staff members have exhibited or expressed any COVID-19 related symptoms.

In consultation with the Department of Health (DOH) and based on these latest results, the effectiveness of our PPE and our policies and procedures, we are returning to our previous quarantine procedures:

  • Residents are no longer required to isolate in their rooms
  • Activities and wellness programs will take place in groups of 10 or less with social distancing
  • No visitors are permitted in our community
    • We will continue to support you in scheduling outdoor visits with your loved ones
  • We will continue to provide meals to residents’ rooms
  • All residents will continue to wear masks while receiving care
  • All residents will continue to wear masks while not in their rooms
  • All staff will continue to wear masks while in the building
  • We will continue to monitor residents at least 2x a day for any symptoms
  • We will continue to screen staff members 2x a day for any symptoms
  • We will continue to follow all other procedures that were distributed on March 18th

This was a challenging time for all of us here at Sterling Estates; we want to acknowledge and thank our residents as they confined themselves to their rooms. We know that their dedication, perseverance and fortitude had a lot to do with us getting to this point. Looking forward to better days ahead. Thank you.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team

Contact Information:

Ann White: Executive Director: [email protected]

Marshall Gill: Chief Operating Officer/Partner: [email protected]

Nathan Madigan: Vice President of Operations: [email protected]


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff:

Update #30 | Dated: 5-04-20

We wanted to give you an update since our last communication this past Friday.

The week got off to a good start:

  • We are happy to report that the last of our first 20 resident tests came back negative. This means that all 20 residents tested on April 23rd have tested negative.
  • The National Guard completed cleaning of all common spaces today. There were 14 guardsmen on site with cleaning lasting approximately 2 hours. The guardsmen used antiviral misters to help clean all fabric as well as spray and scrub disinfectants for all other surfaces.
    • We will continue all of our additional cleaning procedures throughout the building which include: 3x a day cleaning of all high touch areas and common areas, regular cleaning of all door handles, medicine cabinets, etc.

Regarding the universal testing which occurred on Friday:

  • We expect the results by the end of the week. We will be sure to communicate these results directly to you and your loved ones as soon as we receive them.
  • Once we get these results, we will be able to put together a more concrete plan that will allow us to set firm timelines for next steps for keeping us all safe while returning to our “new normal.”

For the assisted living families wishing to see their loved ones during our more rigorous quarantine procedures:

  • Starting tomorrow Tuesday, May 5th, we’re introducing protocols for outdoor visits. Of course, we’ll make sure everyone has all the necessary protective gear and meets all social distancing measures but know these “reunions” are way overdue. If you do have your own mask and gloves, please bring it for these outdoor visits. Please call the front desk (678-946-4454) to set up day/time for your visit.
    • These visits will be outdoors on either the front porch or back patio. At this time, we are still not accepting any visitors inside our buildings.
    • We will be taking your temperature prior to your visit.
    • We would like for these visits to be 20 – 30 minutes. This will then allow us to clean and disinfect between visits. 

For the cottage residents, please arrange your own visits, whether outdoors or in your own cottage. Again, we continue to urge the use of facemasks and social distancing.

We are working to get our residents out to enjoy this incredible weather and get some much-needed Vitamin D. We hope that you have the opportunity to do the same. Please continue to reach out to us with any additional questions or recommendations as to what we can be doing to better support your loved ones.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team

Contact Information:

Ann White: Executive Director: [email protected]

Marshall Gill: Chief Operating Officer/Partner: [email protected]

Nathan Madigan: Vice President of Operations: [email protected]


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff:

Update #29 | Dated: 5-1-20

This is a very difficult letter to write and one that we’ve worked very hard to try and avoid. We’re heartbroken to report that two of our residents, a husband and wife, passed away peacefully yesterday.  We’ve been in regular contact with the family and out of respect for these residents and their families, we aren’t in a position to mention names. We will honor these residents in the right way at the right time.

We know that hearing this news is very sad and causes worry. We too feel this anguish; just know that it continues to motivate us to do all we can to further protect our residents and staff.

We took a big step towards that today by taking part in universal testing for the virus. This will allow us to better care for those who may test positive but remain asymptomatic, if any, by giving us more information to support their care. It will also allow us to identify those who continue to be virus free and ensure that we keep them that way. This testing won’t change our procedures or policies but will allow us to better focus the full brunt of our resources in stamping out this virus. We should have all the results by this time next week.

Since this past Monday, we had no other residents or staff exhibiting or expressing any COVID-19 related symptoms.

As a reminder, we have scheduled another deep clean for all of our communal spaces, this time through the Georgia National Guard. The cleaning is scheduled for the morning of May 4th.  

As you’re probably aware, Governor Kemp has allowed the initial statewide shelter in place order (signed on April 4th) to expire for most of the state of Georgia. That said, he has extended the executive order (signed on April 8th) that pertains to the medically fragile, people older than 65, or residents who live in long-term care facilities through June 12th by signing the executive order yesterday found here.

We will continue our rigorous quarantine procedures based on this renewed shelter in place order through at least June 12th. We will also require our staff members to continue to follow our policies and procedures around staying safe and vigilant while both in our communities and out through that time as well.

We’re pleased to report that starting next Tuesday, May 5th, we’re introducing protocols for outdoor visits between our assisted living residents and their loved ones. Of course, we’ll make sure everyone has all the necessary protective gear and meets all social distancing measures but know these “reunions” are way overdue. If you do have your own mask, please bring it for these outdoor visits. Please call the front desk (678-946-4454) to set up day/time for your visit.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team

Contact Information:

Ann White: Executive Director: [email protected]

Marshall Gill: Chief Operating Officer/Partner: [email protected]

Nathan Madigan: Vice President of Operations: [email protected]


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff:

Update #28 | Dated: 4-30-20

We wanted to reach out to give you a few updates since our last communication earlier this week.

  1. We are awaiting updates from the families of our residents currently hospitalized. Once we receive those, we will follow up you.
  2. We have received 19 of the 20 test results from the resident testing that was completed at the end of last week. We are happy to report that all 19 have come back negative!
    • We will update you once we receive the last result as soon as we get it.
  3. As a reminder, the National Guard will be on site tomorrow morning supporting us in the testing of the untested residents.
    • Testing should begin around 9:30am and we hope to be complete by midday.
    • The National Guard will look like they are from Mars wearing “space suits”. This is standard operating procedure for the Guard. Although it may look scary, the Guardsman are wearing this equipment to keep both you and themselves safe. One of our staff members, who will be in our regular PPE equipment, will accompany the Guard as they test each resident. 
    • We expect the results of these tests by early to mid-next week. We will of course communicate those results out to our residents and families once we receive them.

We know that having the National Guard come tomorrow to support our testing may cause some anxiety. That said, we engaged the National Guard as it was the fastest and safest way to get universal testing at our community. Once we are able to get these results, we will be able to put together a more concrete plan that will allow us to set firm timelines for next steps for keeping us all safe while returning to our “new normal.”

If you should have any questions or concerns about tomorrow’s plan or anything else for that matter, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team

Contact Information:


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff:

Update #27 | Dated: 4-28-20

We wanted to follow up on our last communication with additional updates.

  1. A resident was hospitalized yesterday with a fever and tested positive for the virus.
    • With this latest development, we now have a total of 9 residents who have tested positive for the virus with 6 of the 9 remaining hospitalized.
  2. All three of our staff members who tested positive early in the month (again, two never experienced any symptoms) have since met all quarantine timelines recommended by the Department of Health (DOH) and have received clearance tests showing that they are now negative for the virus.
    • Each of these employees will be returning to Sterling this week.
  3. We are awaiting the results of the 20 resident tests performed this past Thursday. We will follow up with an update on those results once we receive them.
  4. We have been able to schedule testing for all remaining residents through the DOH and National Guard. This testing will be completed this Friday, May 1st. We will be reaching out to each resident and their family over the coming days to confirm your desire/permission to be tested.
  5. We have scheduled another deep clean for all of our communal spaces, this time through the Georgia National Guard. The cleaning is scheduled for the morning of May 4th. That said, we continue all of our additional cleaning procedures throughout the building which include: 3x a day cleaning of all high touch areas and common areas, regular cleaning of all door handles, medicine cabinets, etc.

As we recognized early in our fight against this virus, this quarantine is incredibly difficult on all of our residents. While our team is focused on the health and safety of our residents, we’re also focused on keeping every resident as engaged and fulfilled as possible.  Of the 5 key areas that we have been focusing on during our quarantine (Spiritual, Physical, Social, Nutritional and Mental Stimulation / Entertainment needs), we wanted to share a new initiative that we’ve started to roll out to better serve the physical and mental needs of our residents.

We’re supporting our residents in getting out of their rooms and outdoors as regularly and safely as possible during our more rigorous quarantine:

  • This is done on a one on one basis with a staff member supporting each resident and ensures that we are meeting all social distancing requirements.
  • All residents and staff members will be wearing personal protective equipment.

Our goal in getting our residents out of their rooms and outdoors is:

  • Better connection with others to decrease isolation in a safe manner.
  • Increase movement to support the health of all of our residents. Regular exercise will decrease muscle loss, fatigue and improves circulation.
  • Enjoy the beautiful weather (Vitamin D) that we’re experiencing.

We also continue to offer programming in all of our residents’ rooms based on the activity calendar that was shared earlier and can be found here.

We have updated our website so as to curate both these letters and other helpful information regarding our response to the pandemic. Please visit our website here.

Please continue to reach out to us with any additional questions or recommendations as to what we can be doing to better support your loved one as we quarantine.

The Sterling Estates Partners and Management Team


To Our Residents, Family Members and Staff:

Update #26 | Dated: 4-23-20

We want to provide you with updates since our last communication:

  1. Our residents who tested positive over the past week continue to be hospitalized.
    1. Two residents have improved to the point where they will be discharged to a rehabilitation center soon; the hope is that they can rejoin our community as soon as possible.
    2. Another resident has begun physical therapy at the hospital with the hope that the improvement continues and that they can return to Sterling once testing negative.
    3. We are awaiting updates on our other two residents currently hospitalized.
  2. Two residents who were hospitalized and initially tested negative for the virus have again tested negative. One resident rejoined our community yesterday and the second will be coming back to Sterling in the coming days.
  3. We are happy to report that 100% of our employees have been tested through the CVS and Georgia Tech partnership.
    1. A total of 48 staf

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