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Coronavirus Update

COVID-19: What we’re doing, and what you can do

Living at The Willows means living engaged with community. At this moment more than ever, community counts. We are committed to taking care of our people.

Our leadership team is meeting daily to assess the rapidly changing coronavirus situation and make decisions to protect the health and safety of our residents, staff and visitors. We appreciate your grace, understanding and partnership as we implement prudent courses of actions to protect everyone affiliated with The Willows. Our latest updates are posted here as well as all of our communications regarding COVID-19.

If after reading the information below you still have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the management at (360) 671-7077 or info@thewillowsbellingham.com.

 

The Latest Update



Thursday May 7th

Every Life Matters!

We wanted to take a moment and bring you up to date on some very encouraging developments at The Willows! 

We are not aware of any new COVID-19 cases since our last posting on April 4th, for either residents or staff! Since our last update, we have developed a relationship with a local lab, Anesis Spine/Atlas Genomics to provide testing for all residents and staff.  This past Tuesday they brought a team to The Willows and tested every resident and staff member.  We are pleased to report that every test returned NEGATIVE!!! 

Isolation has been very challenging in many senior communities.  The Willows Residents have risen to the occasion!  Understanding that, at this moment in time, all residents and staff are negative gives us the opportunity to take some baby steps as we move toward our new normal, slowly.   In the coming days, residents will have an opportunity to get outside, walk and enjoy a blooming spring! We are all excited at the prospect of this!

All our protocols remain in place as we continue to monitor focus and ensure the health and well-being of all our residents and staff. Every Life Matters!

 


 

The country has entered a state of emergency and the state of Washington has taken measures to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus in our area, as have we. Here are some related updates and information specific to The Willows.

Social Distancing Guidelines

  • Voluntary Self-isolation - We have asked our residents to participate in community-wide, voluntary self-isolation by staying in their apartments.

  • Limited Visitation - We have limited visitation to once a day for one adult family member who passes screening, in order to deliver essential support services to their loved one.

  • In-Room Dining - All dining services have shifted to complimentary, in-apartment room service. The venue might have changed, but the taste remains the same.

  • Group Activities Cancelled - Out of an abundance of caution we are canceling all group activities. Our teams are strategizing creative ways in which we can encourage resilience and still engage each other while developing great LifeMinded programs during this time of social distancing.

 

Prior Developments


 

Saturday April 4th

Our amazing residents and their families, in concert with our dedicated staff, continue adhering to the difficult protocols and procedures put in place over the last month.  We are all challenged in this effort and are grateful for everyone’s cooperation. We are happy to report we have had no new cases of Covid-19 at The Willows.

We were deeply saddened to hear that our resident who had been in the hospital and tested positive, passed away two nights ago. Our entire Willows Family grieves his loss. We hold his family deeply, in our thoughts and prayers.

We will continue this battle on behalf of ALL as we learn how to live and practice LifeMinded Living in new and inventive ways.

As always, we are grateful for your support.


 

March 25th

Management became aware late yesterday afternoon, that one of our Willows residents, while at the hospital for unrelated reasons, tested positive for COVID-19. The resident remains under hospital care. This is the only positive COVID-19 test of a Willows resident or staff member to date.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our resident and their family.   

We are encouraged that our protective protocols currently in place permitted our staff to address this situation quickly and professionally. These protocols ensured that our residents remained safely in their apartments.

We continue to advocate for testing for all our residents and staff.  Additionally, we encourage our residents to aggressively advocate for testing with their Primary Care Provider.

Our number one priority at The Willows has been and remains the health and safety of our residents and our staff!  To that end, we are grateful for the manner in which all have embraced the establishment of these protective protocols.   We remain focused on the battle against COVID-19!


 

March 16th

The situation surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve rapidly, and we are following up with new information today to keep you apprised. At this moment in time, we have no reported cases of coronavirus at The Willows.

As we expected, Governor Inslee has just announced the immediate statewide closure of all restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities. Additionally, he recommended, in the strongest of language, that folks over the age of 70 self-isolate, starting now!

In addition to the protocols already in place, the following protocols are effective as of 1:30pm Tuesday March 17th.

What one does impacts the health of the entire community. We are implementing community-wide, voluntary self-isolation in residents’ apartments. We ask you to focus your life in your apartment for a two-week period, understanding this time frame may be extended. This is the best way to safeguard all from the spread of the virus.

Avoiding contact is the best way to protect our residents and staff. No visitors, including family, will be allowed into the community, except for essential visits and end-of-life situations. An essential visit is defined as a visit by an adult family member or paid caregiver, who passes screening, and is providing necessary personal service, such as groceries, medication, laundry or personal assistance with basic needs of health and safety.

All family members must contact the front desk in advance to coordinate an essential visit. It is imperative that all family members and visitors enter only through our front doors for the safety and health of all! Please do not use any other means of entry and exit. If a family member or visitor walks in any other door, that person impacts the health of the entire community!

It is vitally important to the safety and health of our community that all family members and residents understand and follow these protocols.

Dining Services

  • The dining room will close immediately following lunch on Tuesday, March 17th for a minimum of two weeks.

  • Complimentary room service will be provided for all meals. To go service will not be offered.

Programs

Out of an abundance of caution and following social distancing guidelines, we are canceling all group activities. We remain committed to providing LifeMinded® programming in very personalized ways, reflecting our commitment to the Seven Dimensions of Wellness – Physical, Intellectual, Social, Emotional, Spiritual, Vocational and Environmental.

Salon

We have made the prudent decision to close our Salon and Spa until further notice.

It will be challenging as we all learn to adapt to the new normal created by the spread of COVID-19. Please know that our teams are rising to the occasion and strategizing creative ways in which we can encourage resilience and still engage each other while developing great LifeMinded programs during this time of social distancing and isolation.

 


 

March 12th

Here at The Willows, our number one priority is, and has been, helping to protect you from exposure to COVID-19. There have been several pronouncements from Governor Inslee as well as additional requirements from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), many of which are already in place here at The Willows. In recognition of these new requirements, we are updating our protocols immediately.

Beginning Thursday, March 12th, we will be adjusting our dining services in the evening in order to accommodate social distancing guidelines. At each reservation time, we will seat fewer tables and the table configuration will be spread out.

  • If you plan to dine in the dining room, you may find that your usual table is not available at your usual time. We will be seating until 6:00 in order to accommodate those who wish to dine in the dining room.

  • In-apartment dining is a great option, and we are happy deliver your dinner free of charge during the adjustments to our dining room capacity.

  • In order to have our dinner service run as smoothly as possible and to accommodate fewer seats at each reservation time, we would ask that you would make a reservation in advance. We thank you for understanding if your preferred seating time is not available. We will do our best to accommodate you under the new protocols. As we implement good social distancing, we ask that you not congregate in the dining lobby but arrive at the time of your reservation.

We are also looking at social distancing and its impact to all our in-house programs and activities. Changes to those events and programs will likely be prudent. We will have additional updates later today or tomorrow.

Additionally, we will continue to follow all previously implemented changes to protocol and want to reiterate the importance of prevention – hand washing, avoiding close contact, staying home if sick, coughing into your elbow/tissue among others.

Lastly, it may be a prudent time to consider, if the option exists, whether it makes the most sense to spend extended time with local family. We are closely monitoring all announcements from the relevant jurisdictions and governing bodies, but it changes daily, thus necessitating changes to our daily living here as well.

 


 

March 10th

As the situation surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) rapidly evolves, we want to keep you apprised of some changes in protocols here and how you can help partner with us in protecting all of our residents and staff. Our leadership team is meeting daily to assess the situation and make decisions with the health and safety of our residents, staff and visitors to our community in mind. We appreciate your grace, understanding and partnership as we implement prudent courses of actions to protect everyone affiliated with The Willows.

To that end, we have already implemented several changes to our daily life:

  • Upon arrival, we are asking all non-residents to enter and exit through the main lobby door only. We recognize this may be an inconvenience, but it will help us better monitor and connect with all who come through our doors.
  • We will ask you to wash your hands per the recommended guidelines from the CDC (a full 20 seconds or more) before you go to visit your loved one. We will also ask a few questions to check in on how you are feeling.

  • We have asked all residents and staff to report respiratory symptoms (including fever, cough, and shortness of breath) to the front desk. We will ask any resident or employee with these symptoms to speak with their doctor, if they haven’t already, and based on that information, they may be asked to stay in their apartment or stay home from work.

  • We are encouraging family members and friends to reduce visits and when possible, limit them only to visits of necessity. If you are not feeling well, please stay home.

  • As we have recommended that residents curtail their travel out of the community to reduce their exposure, they may need further assistance in several areas that our staff will not be able to manage without family member assistance. These may include grocery shopping and transportation to doctor appointments.

  • We are asking any residents who have travelled either domestically or internationally on commercial airlines to self-quarantine off site with local family for 14 days. Airports, particularly SeaTac, have now been identified as high-risk venues.

  • Likewise, if you have travelled either domestically or internationally on commercial airlines, we ask that you postpone your visit to The Willows for 14 days.

  • Any staff members who have travelled either domestically or internationally on commercial airlines will not be allowed to return for work for 14 days.

  • We are also following the guidelines of our local jurisdiction, county health, the Washington state government and the CDC as far as limiting events to outsiders and minimizing our large gatherings that would include those who do not reside at The Willows.

We want to thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding as we process the latest information and formulate appropriate protocols for how best to protect our residents and staff.

 


 

March 4th

As we continue to gain further knowledge of the virus’s characteristics, we must add additional measures to assure your well-being and to decrease your risk. To that end we are implementing the following for the foreseeable future:

  1. We will be deferring all bus and travel trips, except for medical appointments which are determined to be absolutely necessary.

  2. We are suggesting that you curtail all travel outside of the community whenever possible to reduce your exposure to added risks. In that regard, we will be implementing grocery ordering and delivery service to your door. (Details should be available by tomorrow morning.)

  3. We are asking that family members curtail visits unless absolutely necessary. If they do visit, they will be restricted to entry only through the front lobby doors and will be restricted to only going to and from to your apartment. As they enter the building, they will be required to thoroughly wash their hands.

  4. All family and essential visitors will be required to enter and exit through the main lobby doors.

  5. No guest meals will be available at this time.

We will also make enhanced inquiries of all visitors upon entry as to their physical health and prior contacts to reduce the possibility of the spread of infection. Additionally, a member of our team will likely contact you every day just to say hi and make sure you are faring well.

We recognize these measures may add to your overall inconvenience but your personal health and well-being are our first priority.

 


 

March 1st

We continue to respond to the challenges of the Coronavirus in this area, there is no higher priority than your safety and well-being. In order to maintain that, we continue to work closely with staff and residents alike to ensure we are following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for prevention of any communicable disease. We have already implemented rigorous procedures for cleaning and sanitizing, and we continue to encourage the use of effective hygiene practices, such as handwashing.

As we continue to gain further knowledge of the virus’s characteristics we are implementing the following for the foreseeable future:

  1. We will be deferring all bus and travel trips, except for medical appointments which are determined to be absolutely necessary.

  2. We are suggesting that you curtail all travel outside of the community whenever possible to reduce your exposure to added risks. In that regard, we will be implementing grocery ordering and delivery service to your door.

  3. We are asking that family members curtail visits unless absolutely necessary. If they do visit, they will be restricted to entry only through the front lobby doors and will be restricted to only going to and from to your apartment. As they enter the building, they will be required to thoroughly wash their hands.

  4. All family and essential visitors will be required to enter and exit through the main lobby doors.

  5. No guest meals will be available at this time.

We will also make enhanced inquiries of all visitors upon entry as to their physical health and prior contacts to reduce the possibility of the spread of infection. Additionally, a member of our team will likely contact you every day just to say hi and make sure you are faring well.

We recognize that the measures that we have established today may add to your overall inconvenience but your personal health and well-being are our first priority.

Thank you so very much for helping keep us all healthy.