Statement on Coronavirus
At The Villages, the health, safety and comfort of our community members are always top priorities. Never has that been more true than right now as we all deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) having arrived on the Central Coast.
Our staff and leadership team are doing everything in our power to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents and keep our entire Villages community informed, and are updating our response plan daily according to unfolding CDC, Federal, State and County guidelines.
In response to the confirmation of local coronavirus cases, we have implemented the following policies, which we ask all residents, friends & family, and anyone else involved with our community to follow:
- NO VISITORS – We are asking that no visitors (including family & friends) or vendors enter The Villages property. Absolutely necessary visitors will need to check in at the reception desk in the lobby to complete a health screening before entering the property.
- VOLUNTARY SHELTER IN PLACE – California Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for home isolation for all Californians age 65+, and we are asking our residents to follow that recommendation as much as possible.
- CANCELLED GROUP ACTIVITIES – All group life enrichment activities have been cancelled for now. Our life enrichment team is offering a door-to-door service with a cart of suggested activities than can be conducted independently (cards, puzzles, word searches, crosswords, books, videos, etc.).
- ESSENTIAL-ONLY TRANSPORTATION – We are asking that all residents avoid public settings and stay on community grounds. Transportation service will be available for essential needs only (doctor appointments, etc.). Our Villages team members will “run errands” for residents to pick up essentially needed items (pharmacy medications, etc.)
- REDUCED OCCUPANCY & USAGE OF DINING ROOM – Chair counts in the dining room have been reduced to increase social distancing. We are also encouraging residents to utilize our in-room tray service, and have waived the fees normally associated with that service.
- REDUCED STAFF CONTACT – While we will always work to ensure the comfort and safety of our residents, we are asking them to self-limit housing & maintenance requests to absolutely criticial needs in order to reduce contact with staff.
- DAILY STAFF HEALTH SCREENINGS - Villages team members will be health-screened daily and sent home for any respiratory symptoms, including coughing, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, or fever.
Here are additional steps our staff members are taking:
- Monitoring & following CDC, Federal, State & County COVID-19 guidelines, and updating our response plan regularly as new guidelines are issued.
- Ensuring our housekeeping department is regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Maintaining hand sanitizer dispensers in various areas throughout our communities (as we regularly do throughout the year).
- Communicating with and educating our residents. Here are some examples:
- We are frequently reminding residents that the first defense against coronavirus is proper handwashing, which includes 20 seconds of rubbing all skin surfaces of the fingers and hands with soap. Residents are reminded that 20 seconds is approximately how long it takes to hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice, from beginning to end.
- We are urging any resident who is sick or exhibiting respiratory symptoms to stay in their apartment, where we will deliver their meals and ensure that they are being treated properly.
- We are encouraging residents to avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- We are instructing residents to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth and cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue which is then immediately disposed of, or to cough or sneeze into an elbow or upper sleeve, not into hands.
- In-services and Q&A sessions were provided through Lisa Hulse, our VP of Operations, who is also a registered nurse.
- Providing printed information to our residents (available for review upon request).
- Posting educational infographics from the CDC to simplify information about respiratory hygiene (cough etiquette) and hand hygiene.
- Maintaining an appropriate stock of emergency disaster supplies such as food, water, and first aid supplies
- Preparing our community to follow shelter in place procedures if the need for isolation or quarantine occurs.
- Staying in contact with our County Office of Emergency Services (which is well-informed and coordinating preparation and response efforts among local agencies), and the SLO County Public Health Department (which is working with all local hospitals regarding implementation procedures according to individual facility policies).
- To stay informed yourself about emergency preparation activities in San Luis Obispo County, visit https://www.prepareslo.org/ .
We understand that nothing is more important right now than maintaining the health, safety, and wellbeing of our entire community, and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that is the case. We are confident in our preparation and practices, and will continue to provide updates as needed. As always, if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact us at your convenience.
Vice President of Operations