Covid-19 Response Timeline

None of us could ever have anticipated how Covid-19 would upend our lives. At Senior Living Residences we launched into action fighting on the front lines of the pandemic to protect the health and lives of our residents and associates. This timeline represents how our associates, in partnership with our residents’ families, handled the crisis with leadership, innovation and transparency. In the face of uncertainty we implemented safety protocols often ahead of government direction, we advocated for testing, we kept families abreast every step of the way. Through it all we were guided by SLR’s Right Values philosophy.

Early Response

January 21

US announces first confirmed Covid case — in Washington state

February 26 – 27

Boston’s Biogen Conference — 100+ cases of Covid linked to this event

February 27 – March 1

SLR launches series of crisis response planning meetings among Executive Directors, nurses and Home Office managers

March 2

SLR shares crisis response plan with residents, families and associates

March 2 – March 6

• Daily Directors meetings launch, reviewing all policies and procedures
• SLR Communities conduct all-staff training on infectious disease control practices
• SLR Communities install signage on precautions, proper hygiene and visitor policy
• Public Communication Plan launches addressing families, residents and associates
• SLR publishes Covid Response and Updates as featured section of website

March 4

MA announces first positive case from Biogen conference

March 9

In an abundance of caution:
• SLR Communities withdraw from large-scale events participation
• All bus trips and group transportation is halted
• Shopping trips are suspended (Communities launch online ordering for resident necessities)
• Infectious Disease Control training expanded

March 10

• MA declares state of emergency
• CT issues executive order regarding Covid response; declares public health emergency

March 10

SLR ramps up Public Communication Plan, expanding the Covid website portal and launching Family Communication webpages for all SLR Communities

March 11

• SLR implements Visitor Restrictions, placing limits on non-essential visits
• SLR develops health screening protocol to be applied to staff, residents and essential visitors
• SLR issues directive to Communities to cancel outside entertainers and limit group programming to 10 residents, following physical distance guidelines
• SLR enhances disinfection protocols, issuing comprehensive checklists and mandating the use of EPA registered disinfecting spray

March 12

MA issues first set of guidelines for Assisted Living addressing Covid concerns, curtailing visitation and requiring staff health screenings

March 12

SLR launches opt-in text alerts program for associates and families

National Emergency

March 13

• US declares national emergency
• NH declares state of emergency

March 13

• SLR launches mandatory daily Health Screen, including temperature taking, for all residents, associates and visitors
• SLR Communities urge associates to share information on other places of employment for purposes of contact tracing

March 15 – 16

• Both MA & NH issue guidance suspending long term care visitation within the next 48 hours
• MA, CT and NH close all public schools

March 15 – 16

• All SLR Communities suspend non-essential family visitation
• SLR Communities work with essential visitors to ensure proper safety standards (limiting number of people who see/treat residents, updating contracts/agreements to require pre-screening and necessity of visits, etc.)

March 16

SLR works with local pharmacies on new delivery protocols to ensure residents safely receive prescriptions

March 18

CDC confirmed cases in US pass 10,000

March 18

• All SLR Communities implement “Safer in your Apartment” Policy (self-quarantine) for residents
• Communities suspend all group programming and implement in-apartment dining
• Alternate engagement strategies for residents are put into place (e.g. daily activity pack deliveries, virtual field trips and in-room gardening)

March 19

SLR launches Associate Communication Plan to share Covid-related benefits (access to Telehealth, insurance benefits, perks, emergency child care locations, etc.)

March 20

CT implements “Stay Safe, Stay Home” restrictions on all workplaces and non-essential businesses

March 20

• SLR updates Health Screen to include checking for abdominal pain, diarrhea and nausea (long before CDC adds these to the official Covid symptom list)
• SLR develops and implements revised pre-assessment process for new residents and residents returning from a hospital or rehab stay
• SLR Communities begin setting up apartments and overnight accessory kits for associates who want or need to stay overnight
• SLR publishes direct video message from President and Vice President thanking frontline staff and later issue another thank you message

March 23

SLR issues directive to associates who work part-time at multiple SLR Communities to limit their work to just one community, increasing their shifts to accommodate needed hours

March 24

MA issues “Stay at Home” advisory

March 24

• SLR issues guidelines to staff regarding post-shift virus control practices to keep their families safe
• SLR implements mandatory glove-wearing policy for all associates entering a resident’s apartment
• All Communities implement “Full PPE” protocol for any resident returning from a hospital stay
• SLR instructs Communities to contact local Boards of Health to request assistance sourcing PPE
• SLR holds company-wide conference call with Infectious Disease Nurse Practitioner for additional guidance and support for community managers

March 25

• SLR Communities launch one-on-one “Associate Check-Ins” to assess stress levels and emotional well-being
• SLR implements liberalized PTO policy for associates out of work due to Covid

March 27

• NH “Stay at Home” Advisory goes into effect
• CARES Act is signed into law

March 31

SLR mandatory Face Masks Policy takes effect

April 1

• SLR Community Relations Team spearheads grassroots campaign for homemade face mask donations for staff and residents
• SLR’s Health Screen updated to include checking for loss of sense of smell and taste (Again, before CDC adds symptoms to official list)

April 3

CDC recommends face coverings in public

April 6

SLR directs Communities to implement additional dining options and protocols to combat dehydration or poor nutrition

April 7

SLR increases associate Referral Bonus Program to aid in the event of staff shortages

April 10

SLR removes waiting period for newly hired associates to begin receiving benefits

April 12

First of many Family Drive-by Parades held by communities, these to celebrate Easter

April 16

SLR Communities begin utilizing National Guard Mobile Testing Program for residents and staff

April 17

SLR directs Communities to establish a PT / OT program with outside agency to enhance residents’ mobility and muscle strength due to decompensation

Easing Restrictions

May 1

SLR directs Communities to develop and implement individualized outdoor family visit program and safety protocol

May 4

NH starts lifting restrictions with “Stay at Home 2.0”

May 4

SLR organizes grief support for associates through local hospice agencies

May 18

MA begins Phase I of reopening

May 18

SLR develops plan to enhance safety protocols for reception areas including plexiglass shields and software to help with contact tracing

May 20

CT begins Phase I of reopening

May 24

As medical offices begin to re-open across New England, SLR Communities double down on tele-heath facilitation to help residents who are not yet comfortable leaving the community

May 26

SLR Communities publish webpages to enhance up-to-the-minute notification of visitation changes, and allowing families to schedule outdoor visits online

June 1

MA amends guidelines to allow for outdoor family visits, small group programming and modified communal dining

June 1

• SLR Communities in MA cautiously begin small group programming
• SLR directs Communities to reconfigure Dining Rooms for spatially distant mealtimes
• Families continue to enjoy physically-distant outdoor visits with their loved ones in addition to virtual visits via FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype

June 8

Phase II of reopening begins in MA

June 8

• SLR announces lifting of “Safer in your Apartment” protocol
• SLR develops detailed plan to safely re-open dining rooms; works with each Community to start rolling out on 6/15

June 10

SLR directs Communities to conduct post-Covid assessment of all residents to focus on their health status and what their current needs post-quarantine are

July 2

MA Department of Elder Affairs issues new set of guidance for Assisted Living Residences to allow for in-apartment visitation

July 6

Phase III of reopening begins in MA

July 7

SLR Communities in MA reinstate in-apartment visitation for families

July 9

SLR Communities begin hosting Virtual Town Halls via Zoom for families to hear updates and ask questions

July 14

SLR communities allow provider visits including podiatry, dental and personal care

July 20

SLR communities in MA begin re-opening salons