Hebrew SeniorLife’s senior living communities have been actively responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic since February 2020, proactively doing whatever it takes to keep our communities as safe as possible. Today, we are happy to be turning the corner on our campuses, with nearly all residents and staff fully vaccinated.
We are now focused on safely reintroducing in-person programming on our campuses.
We are grateful to the residents of our communities and their families for being excellent partners in our efforts to protect residents and staff during the pandemic.
Testing and Vaccines
We are conducting routine surveillance testing for all residents at each of our independent living communities through a pooled testing program, which is an efficient and cost-effective system that allows our laboratory partner to process COVID-19 tests in batches. If any batch turns up a positive test, we can quickly follow up with those residents to retest them individually and identify the positive case.
Between January and March 2021, each senior living campus held multiple vaccine clinics for residents and staff, most through the federal pharmacy partnership program. We were thrilled to provide access to the vaccine directly where residents live, and nearly all residents and staff are now fully vaccinated.
Programming and Community Operations
Hebrew SeniorLife residents have not let this pandemic stop them from achieving goals, engaging with their community, and finding purpose. For example, residents have supported local businesses, rehearsed and performed a pilot production of the musical Guys and Dolls, celebrated a late-in-life group bat mitzvah, and piloted a pooled testing program that helped steer the Massachusetts approach to reopening schools.
With nearly all residents fully vaccinated, we are envisioning life post-COVID-19, reintroducing in-person programming, and offering guidelines to residents about activities that are now safer for them to engage in. We have provided extensive virtual programming throughout the pandemic but know that nothing can replace gathering in person with friends and family.
Each community is reintroducing programming, activities, and amenities on individual timelines to reflect the unique needs of the campus. Communities are offering opportunities including performances and lectures in event spaces, opening on-site markets and dining options, providing broader access to fitness amenities such as gyms and swimming pools, and opening common spaces for activities like card playing and resident-driven small group gatherings. We continue to provide virtual programming as a way to provide a variety of options, particularly for those who feel less comfortable socializing in person.
Every decision about our operations is based on balancing residents’ quality of life with preserving the health and safety of the community at large. The pooled testing program for residents continues as we restart programming to ensure that it is being done safely. Specific information about operations on each campus is being shared directly with residents and their families.
All residents, employees, and visitors are asked to adhere to follow CDC public health guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, and to stay home if they are experiencing any signs of illness.