COVID-19 Delta Variant

We started the year and spent the greater part of 2021 optimistic of brighter days ahead. Most residents chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and vaccines are required for our staff (except for religious or medical exemptions). 

However, with the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in our state and the prevalence of the delta variant, we are moving to some updated procedures to continue our focus on safety.

Ultimately, we want to keep everyone — residents, staff, visitors — safe from COVID-19. We also want to prevent moving to in-apartment quarantines if possible. As a result, we are implementing the following items in the name of safety and in hopes of preventing positive cases in our communities which would lead to quarantine.

We have updated the information on this page to reflect our current procedures in preparation and response to the delta variant of COVID-19. Our approach is to meet or exceed government mandates, which can vary from state to state. Your Arbor Company community may differ slightly from these procedures, so please check with the community if you have any specific questions.

COVID-19 Testing

  • In preparation of the delta variant of COVID-19, we are testing all unvaccinated staff and residents for COVID-19 weekly in assisted living and dementia care communities. Freestanding independent living communities test residents upon request and unvaccinated staff weekly. 
  • In the event we have a positive test result, we will test all staff and residents regardless of vaccination status.
  • While a test is just a snapshot in time, testing gives us information about the potential spread of the virus in a community so that we can make smart decisions toward loosening or tightening quarantine restrictions.
  • Our COVID-19 test samples are taken in the community and are sent to an outside lab. The test results usually are available within a few days and we update residents and their families if there are positive results resulting in changes in operation or community life.
  • We require that outside companies, including non-Arbor caregivers, private duty, physical therapists, hospice staff, and other health care professionals, complete regular COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees as well.
  • If a resident tests positive for COVID-19, we will notify that resident and the resident’s emergency contacts. We also keep all residents and families informed of the community’s overall testing status, typically via email. A resident who tests positive will be placed on apartment isolation protocols for 10 days from the date of the test, unless otherwise required by state or local health officials. 
  • If a staff member tests positive, we follow the CDC guidelines for health care workers who test positive for COVID-19. In general, staff members who test positive are kept out of work for 10 days. As always, any staff members who are sick are not allowed to work.

Dining

  • Where possible and allowed by state-specific guidelines, we will keep dining open, but at a lower capacity at each table. 
  • If we have to return to more restrictive quarantine measures, our dining rooms will close, and we will deliver all meals to each resident’s apartment. 

Engagement

  • We may make changes to our engagement calendars and outings schedules to better promote social distancing.
  • This will include cancelling outings to restaurants and other dining venues for the time being. Our focus will remain on encouraging social distancing and masking.

Visitors

  • We know everyone wants to be able to visit with their loved ones!
  • Where allowed by state and local guidelines, we are able to provide opportunities for visitors in Arbor Company communities. State guidelines vary and can change frequently, so we recommend you check with your community for details.
  • In preparation to the delta variant of COVID-19, we are currently limiting visits to residents' apartments or in outdoor locations, but not in common areas throughout the building or the dining rooms. We ask that families not participate in resident activities. 
  • All individuals entering the community are required to complete our entry screening procedures and wear a mask at all times.
  • Where in-person visits are not available, or if you you prefer, we are happy to help schedule window visits, FaceTime and Zoom calls, and limited socially-distant courtyard visits, based on what is allowed according to state regulations. To ensure the proper support from our staff, these visits must be scheduled ahead of time. Please call the community to learn about our procedures and to schedule a time that is convenient for you.

Around the Community

Every day, Arbor people use a myriad of tools to combat the virus and focus on resident and staff safety. We created the interactive experience below to give you a glimpse into a few of the actions we have taken in our communities in response to the pandemic. Click the image below to explore and learn more.

Arbor-InteractiveInfographic-Dining

Click on image for interactive experience »

Protecting Residents & Staff

Our infection control starts with great processes, based on what we’ve learned throughout the pandemic, along with guidance from experts at the CDC and state and local health authorities. Here’s a look at a few of the processes we have in place:

Committed to Clean

  • All Arbor communities use electrostatic sprayers with a food safe and EPA-approved chemical to sanitize surfaces daily and high-touch surfaces more often.
  • All staff are trained on hand hygiene practices, based on CDC guidelines. Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the communities.

PPE is in Place

  • All Arbor communities have ample supplies of PPE on hand, and we use it every day to prevent the spread of illness.
  • Regardless of vaccine status, all staff wear masks throughout the community and we ask residents wear masks when outside of their apartments or when near a staff member in their apartments.
  • In the event there is a positive COVID case in a community, more extensive PPE procedures are put in place, including the use of disposable gowns, face shields, and N95 masks, following guidelines put in place by the CDC and state and local health officials.

Entrance & Health Screenings

  • Everyone who enters Arbor communities is asked screening questions about their health and symptoms. We also take everyone’s temperature to check for fever.
  • The screening procedure is in place for all individuals entering the community, including residents, staff, visitors, essential caregivers, health care personnel, home health, private duty, hospice staff, and others.
  • We check residents for symptoms at least daily in assisted living and dementia care neighborhoods. Independent living residents can request this service.

Social Distancing

  • We work to maintain social distancing throughout the community.
  • We follow state and local guidelines on when and how we can host in-person visitors and hold group activities and dining in the community.
  • When socially distanced in-person visits are not possible, we are delighted to help residents connect with their friends and families via video visits using tools such as Zoom and FaceTime, or through scheduled window visits.
  • Transportation and outings are considered based on state and local guidelines and community needs.

COVID-19 Vaccines

We believe the COVID-19 vaccines are the best tool available to us to prevent the spread of the virus in our communities. Residents and staff members have all had the chance to get the vaccine in the initial phase of the vaccine clinics, and we are happy that many chose this option. 

Across the nation, as senior living operators and other health care providers are focused on encouraging staff members to get the vaccine, we have made the decision to require COVID-19 vaccines for all staff members as a condition of continued employment. Staff members had a deadline of June 30, 2021, to get the vaccine or file a medical or religious exemption.

This was a difficult decision to make, but we know it is the best option to protect the health and safety of all residents and staff members.

New Residents

  • We are accepting move-ins unless the community has been otherwise instructed by public health officials.
  • Our move-in guidelines vary based on state regulations. In general, for all communities except standalone independent living communities, new residents must be tested for COVID-19 prior to move-in, and then again after moving into the community.
  • Please contact your community for additional details.

Info for Residents

If you are a resident at an Arbor Company community, we have compiled this page of information and resources for you. As always, please reach out to a staff member if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help you!

Do I need to wear a face mask?

Face masks are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. All residents in Arbor Communities are asked to wear a face mask when you are outside of your apartment or when a staff member is inside your apartment with you.

What are some COVID-19 warning signs that residents should be aware of?

Tell a member of your community's staff if you feel any of the following:
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea or nausea
  • Respiratory problems

Source: CDC.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. 

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

The virus spreads easily between people

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggest that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.

The virus may be spread in other ways

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html 

How can I protect myself and others?

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread.

  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Maintain good social distance (about 6 feet). This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Follow our signs and reminders throughout the community.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when outside of your apartment or when a staff member is in your apartment.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html 

News & Updates

We update this page on our website with general information about The Arbor Company as it becomes available. Executive directors at individual Arbor Company communities send updates often to residents and families. If you do not receive these updates, please contact your community for details about being added to the contact list. 

Media

Please direct media inquiries to Chris Harper at media@arborcompany.com or 678-725-1955.

We ask that media avoid visiting communities because we recognize that members of the media have higher levels of exposure to COVID-19 and we do not want to put our residents and staff at increased risk. Sending your inquiries to the email address above is the fastest way to get a statement.

General Media Statement

At The Arbor Company, our priority is the health and safety of our residents and staff. Therefore, we take matters like the worldwide COVID-19 situation very seriously. We have an internal task force in place and are making decisions to change the operations of our communities as needed, following guidance from the CDC, state health departments, industry associations, and also drawing upon our own 30 years of experience in caring for seniors. 

As our focus is on prevention, we have placed limits on who can visit our communities. We are screening all guests, vendors, and staff by asking questions and taking their temperatures. Inside the communities, we have increased the frequency and thoroughness of our cleaning and sanitization processes.

We are thankful senior living communities were prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As we continue forward, we have decided to require the vaccine for all Arbor Company staff members. We believe the vaccine is the best tool available to help keep our communities a safe place for residents to live and for staff members to work.

For our residents, we host group activities and dining based on  what is allowed by state and local guidelines. Our engagement and activities teams are focused on keeping life within the communities as normal and fulfilled as possible. We are helping residents and families connect via virtual video call visits if they wish. As always, if residents show any sign of being sick, we ask that they stay in their apartments while we assist them with getting the proper medical attention they need. 

If there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in any Arbor community, we will follow all CDC guidelines and work closely with the local and state departments of health.