Friendship Village Senior Services’ Update and Response to COVID-19 as of Friday, August 7, 2020

Dear Friends, Residents and Families of Friendship Village:

What a blessing the weather has been this week in St. Louis and Friendship Villages as we end the week on this Friday, August 7th, 2020.

“Double Zeroes!” To get to the main event right up front, both Villages, Chesterfield and Sunset Hills, have no Residents with COVID-19 at any level of care and no employees who are confirmed positive for COVID-19. We do have 2 employees from each campus being tested due to potential symptoms, but no results back at this time. They are in quarantine at home until test results are reported. We pray that they are negative.

Please pray with us that this condition persists. It has been more than 2 months since there have been positive residents residing on our campuses. We know that this can change instantly, and so we continue to do what we can to fend it off. We continue to emphasize our prevention and protective protocols and Residents are responding very favorably.

As a summary of our Visitor and Activity protocols:

Visitation: Independent Living Residents may have visitors on campus and in their apartments in accordance with current public health guidance.

  1. All visitors are screened upon entry into the building. Please note on your campus which doors visitors must enter in order to be screened according to public health guidance.
  2. All visitors MUST wear a mask if over 2 years of age, practice social distancing (6 feet) and perform hand hygiene.
  3. Visitors are not permitted in the dining rooms.
  4. Group gatherings are not permitted at the present time.

Friendship Village Sponsored Activities are planned in accordance with current public health guidance.

  1. Activities must assure at least 6 feet social distancing between residents, residents MUST wear masks when participating in activities and frequent hand hygiene is encouraged.
  2. Whenever possible, single use items are provided to each person by the activities staff or, if reusable items are used, they are disinfected by activities staff after activity and prior to use by another.
  3. Number of persons able to participate in the activity shall be determined by the size of the room.
  4. Bus trips will continue to be provided with social distancing and resident wearing a mask.

We will continue to monitor St. Louis County guidance and talk with our local public health resources and adjust protocols as required. We anticipate these restrictions for at least 3-4 more weeks.

We appreciate everyone’s ongoing understanding of the situation. Our foremost concern is for the safety of our Residents and our employees. We thank you for your cooperation.

We are not alone. God is with us. Together, we’ve got this!

Friendship Village Senior Services’ Update and Response to COVID-19 as of Friday, July 31, 2020

Dear Friends, Residents and Families of Friendship Village:

Finally! A cool end to a couple of hot weeks in St. Louis and here at Friendship Villages on this Friday, July 31st, 2020.

We are truly blessed to be able to report that for several weeks now, and today, we have had no residents who are positive with COVID-19 in any of our levels of care (Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care or Skilled Nursing) in Chesterfield and in Sunset Hills. Our Residents are thriving even under the circumstances of the constant threat of the coronavirus.

Just as exciting, the number of employees who are quarantined at home as positive for COVID-19 is shrinking. Friendship Village Chesterfield has, at least for a moment in time, reached the highly vaunted “double zero” goal of having no Residents and no employees who are positive for COVID-19. Sunset Hills is approaching that goal with no Residents and only 3 employees, who are currently at home, positive for the virus.

Knowing that this status is tenuous, at best, given that COVID cases are on the rise throughout St. Louis County and the State of Missouri, we thank God for this moment of reprieve and pray that we get to “double zeroes” on both campuses and then hold on with His grace.

As part of our routine, our Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing facilities on both campuses continue to undergo regular, periodic blanket testing for COVID-19 for residents and staff.

As you may be aware, because of the increasing presence of COVID-19 cases in St. Louis County, the County Health Department has reinstated some of the limitations and restrictions on group gatherings and visits to Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living facilities throughout the County. Despite the success our Residents and families have demonstrated, we are required to follow these more restrictive rules and, so, visitor policies have become more restrictive, again. Please contact your respective facility if you have questions. We will do everything we can to loosen the visitor policies again, as soon as we are allowed. We understand your frustration and we appreciate your understanding.

Friendship Villages are truly blessed to be able to report what you have read, above. Our Residents are safe and well-cared-for. We believe that strong adherence to the measures, below, contribute to this condition:

As always, we URGE all Residents and Staff to adhere to prevention protocols, which are:

  • Wear a close-fitting mask at all times when not in living units, including on or off campus
  • Wash hands or hand-sanitize frequently
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others
  • Avoid making contact with others
  • If symptoms are detected, immediately contact the Care Navigator or Employee Health Nurse

We appreciate everyone’s ongoing understanding of the situation. Our foremost concern is for the safety of our Residents and our employees. We thank you for your cooperation.

We are not alone. God is with us. Together, we’ve got this!

Friendship Village Senior Services’ Update and Response to COVID-19 as of Friday, July 24, 2020

Dear Friends, Residents and Families of Friendship Village:

Cooler, hotter, wetter, dryer. Ah, the end of another summer week at Friendship Villages on this Friday, July 24th, 2020.

The most important point first: there are no active cases of COVID-19 among residents at any level of care (Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care or Skilled Nursing) on either the Chesterfield campus or the Sunset Hills campus. God is truly with us.

Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing facilities on both campuses continue to undergo regular, periodic blanket testing for COVID-19 for residents and staff.

Occasionally, an independent living resident will inform us that they may have been exposed to a friend or family member who may have been exposed to the coronavirus. When this happens, we encourage the resident to get tested and to self-quarantine until the test result comes back or for 14 days with no symptoms. Residents have been cooperative and helpful in this measure, which we very much appreciate.

Also, occasionally, an employee informs us of potential exposure risks they may have had, or we discover them during daily screening. When this happens, the employee is immediately removed from the work schedule, contact tracing is performed among other employees or residents, the employee self-quarantines at home, gets tested and, when cleared, returns to work. There are 4 employees from Chesterfield and 6 employees from Sunset Hills currently in quarantine and undergoing this process.

As everyone knows from the news reports, COVID-19 is clearly not going away. We hear it’s becoming even more prevalent around the country.

Friendship Villages are truly blessed to be able to report what you have read, above. Our Residents are safe and well-cared-for. We believe that strong adherence to the measures, below, contribute to this condition:

As always, we URGE all Residents and Staff to adhere to prevention protocols, which are:

  • Wear a close-fitting mask at all times when not in living units, including on or off campus
  • Wash hands or hand-sanitize frequently
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others
  • Avoid making contact with others
  • If symptoms are detected, immediately contact the Care Navigator or Employee Health Nurse

We appreciate everyone’s ongoing understanding of the situation. Our foremost concern is for the safety of our Residents and our employees. We thank you for your cooperation.

We are not alone. God is with us. Together, we’ve got this!

Friendship Village Senior Services’ Update and Response to COVID-19 as of Friday, July 17, 2020

Dear Friends, Residents and Families of Friendship Village:

It is the end of another warm week and everyone is ready for the weekend at Friendship Villages on this Friday, July 17th, 2020.

As is everyone, we are watching the news of the surges of COVID-19 all around the country. Our local area is no exception. Friendship Villages are in the middle of the battle and we, too, have our challenges.

In our skilled nursing facilities, we are blessed to have no active cases of COVID-19 among the residents in either Chesterfield or Sunset Hills. Our teams in both facilities are doing an exceptional job of keeping the virus away and we pray for God’s continued intervention.

Residents in our Assisted Living facilities, at this time, show no signs of active COVID-19. On the Sunset Hills campus, however, we are monitoring residents very closely due to potential risk from employees who have tested positive from exposure off campus. There are currently a small number of staff from the Sunset Hills assisted living facility who have been exposed to the coronavirus off campus and a couple of them have tested positive. All positive and presumed-positive employees are under quarantine at home where they will remain until cleared. In the meantime, the staff continues to monitor resident temperatures and other symptoms at least twice per day and, at this time, no residents are exhibiting signs of COVID-19. As a further step, we will be conducting a full blanket-testing event for all residents and staff beginning on Monday, July 20th in order to know if any spread of the virus has occurred.

Independent Living residents on the Chesterfield campus were gleefully released from their voluntary quarantine on Thursday, July 16th, after two weeks in seclusion, as a precaution from potential exposure on campus two weeks ago. Two residents who had tested positive, possibly from attending an off-campus social event, have remained off campus since their test result came back. A third resident had likely contracted the virus from one of the other two before anyone knew anyone was positive. This third person has shown no illness, is doing well, is tightly quarantined, and is monitored in their living unit on campus. While the rest of the campus is no longer under quarantine, we regret that the no-visitor policy remains in effect until further notice, as a continued precaution.

On the Sunset Hills campus, there are no COVID-19 cases among Independent Living residents, and no quarantine, and visitors are allowed, but under strictly controlled conditions that include a comprehensive screening upon entering the buildings.

Just to illustrate that no person is exempt from the effects of COVID-19, even the CEO is now under quarantine at home due to possible exposure of a family member who had been in contact with someone who has since tested positive for the virus. The nose swab has been done, results are forthcoming, and quarantine is imposed until cleared. Every person is in the fight.

Still, as always, we URGE all Residents and Staff to adhere to prevention protocols, which are:

  • Wear a close-fitting mask at all times when not in living units, including on or off campus
  • Wash hands or hand-sanitize frequently
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others
  • Avoid making contact with others
  • If symptoms are detected, immediately contact the Care Navigator or Employee Health Nurse

We appreciate everyone’s ongoing understanding of the situation. Our foremost concern is for the safety of our Residents and our employees. We thank you for your cooperation.

We are not alone. God is with us. Together, we’ve got this!

Friendship Village Senior Services’ Update and Response to COVID-19 as of Friday, July 10, 2020

Dear Friends, Residents and Families of Friendship Village:

It’s the end of a warm week and everyone is ready for the weekend at Friendship Villages on this Friday, July 10th, 2020.

We have read the news stories about the upsurge in COVID-19 cases all around the country and the area around us is no exception.

On our Chesterfield campus, there have been no positive cases in the skilled nursing facility for a few weeks now and we are grateful for this status. In Chesterfield independent living, however, there are currently three residents who have contracted the coronavirus, which caused a quarantine to be initiated last week and will last one more week, as long as no more signs or symptoms emerge. Of the three residents, two are staying with family off campus and the third is under strict quarantine in their living unit on campus. The strict quarantine of this individual, along with the blanket quarantine for all other residents, is doing its intended job of keeping everyone separated, sequestered, and inhibiting any further spread of the virus while our team continues to monitor whether any other residents may have contracted COVID-19. No other residents have exhibited symptoms at this time and we are hopeful and praying for a successful outcome and an anticipated release from quarantine on July 16th that will reinstate the allowing of visitors on campus once again. Please pray with us for a successful conclusion to this episode and for giving strength to our Residents during this challenging time.

On our Sunset Hills campus, there are no active cases of COVID-19 among residents at any level of care and we thank God for this blessing.

Still, in all ways, we URGE all Residents and Staff to adhere to prevention protocols, which are:

  • Wear a close-fitting mask at all times when not in living units, including on or off campus
  • Hash hands or hand-sanitize frequently
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others
  • Avoid making contact with others
  • If symptoms are detected, immediately contact your Care Navigator

We appreciate everyone’s understanding of the situation. Our foremost concern is for the safety of our Residents and our employees. We certainly did not wish this to happen and we continue to pray that the situation is resolved quickly and that everyone remains healthy. We thank you for your cooperation.

We are not alone. God is with us. Together, we’ve got this!

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Friendship Village Senior Services’ Update and Response to COVID-19 as of Thursday, July 2, 2020

Dear Friends, Residents and Families of Friendship Village:

Summer is here at Friendship Villages on this Thursday, July 2nd, 2020, as all of us prepare to celebrate the 4th of July and the birth of our great nation.

Our Residents at all levels of care have enjoyed a couple of weeks reprieve from COVID-19 cases. Along with the State and County, some of our voluntary restrictions have been relaxed. Residents have been permitted to visit family and friends off campus, visitors have been permitted on campus, group activities have begun picking up again, all under the urging of practicing the face mask, hand washing and social distancing protocols.

HOWEVER, with freedom comes risk. The presence and risk of COVID-19 is on the upswing all around us and now one, and possibly two, independent living residents on the Friendship Village Chesterfield campus have contracted the coronavirus. Through initial contact tracing, it is believed that the virus may have been acquired at a recent off-campus social event that the residents attended about a week ago, and that will be investigated by the County Health Department.

Because of the known exposure among the independent living residents on the Chesterfield campus, and in coordination with the County Health Department, we are implementing a 14-day voluntary quarantine for all residents on the campus. In addition, we will be enforcing a “No Visitor” policy that will prohibit any non-essential visitors on campus for any reason other than to drop-off needed supplies to residents at the main entrance. There will be a checkpoint established at the campus entrance. We are also strongly urging residents to limit travel off campus, at all, except for essential trips, such as to a doctor’s appointment. The campus has done this before. Systems are in place. Activities are still available to everyone using technology. Morale calls will resume. Wonderful meals will continue to be delivered to living quarters as it has been for more than three months. Residents will be asked to monitor their health and temperatures and report abnormal signs to the Care Navigator immediately. Spiritual care activities will continue to be provided in electronic venues. The 14-day Chesterfield campus-wide quarantine is our plan. If we are blessed with absolutely no signs or symptoms, that could be reduced. If other residents begin to show signs or symptoms, it may be extended.

By the Grace of God, there remain no residents currently with COVID-19 in the Chesterfield skilled nursing facility and we pray that this continues.

The Sunset Hills campus, at the moment, remains COVID-19-free campus-wide and a 14-day quarantine is not necessary at this time. However, considerations are being made to revert back to smaller groups in fitness classes and other activities and dining programs to minimize the potential for exposure or spread.

In all cases, we URGE all Residents and Staff to adhere to prevention protocols, which are:

  • Wear a close-fitting mask at all times when not in living units, including on or off campus
  • Hash hands or hand-sanitize frequently
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others
  • Avoid making contact with others
  • If symptoms are detected, immediately contact your Care Navigator

We appreciate everyone’s understanding of the situation. Our foremost concern is for the safety of our Residents and our employees. We certainly did not wish this to happen and we continue to pray that the situation is resolved quickly and that everyone remains healthy. We thank you for your cooperation.

We are not alone. God is with us. Together, we’ve got this!

Policy for Visitors as of Monday, June 22nd, 2020

We are very happy and excited to open our buildings to our visitors in Sunset Hills and Chesterfield once again! Effective Monday, June 22, 2020, beginning at 12:00 noon, we will begin to allow visitors in the buildings and residents’ apartments. We must still keep in mind the threat of COVID-19. It has not diminished. For us to be safe and be able to allow visitors we ask that all visitors comply with the following:

  • Maintain social distancing while waiting to enter the building.
  • Enter through the Clubhouse (at Sunset Hills and Chesterfield) during the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. seven-days-a-week.
  • Enter through the Crossing (at Sunset Hills) during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven-days-a-week.
  • Sanitize hands upon entering.
  • Wear their own well-fitted face mask (loose face cloth not acceptable.)
  • Be screened by the check-in attendant. Screening includes taking temperature and questions about symptoms and exposure.
  • Upon successful screening, visitors will receive a sticker identifying him or her as having been screened. The sticker must be worn while in the building.
  • Sign in at the Reception Desk or Concierge Desk and have the visit announced. (We will call the resident for approval.)
  • Maintain six feet social distancing throughout the visit.
  • No physical contact.

In Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation (care center) and Assisted Living & Memory Care (Fountain View), outdoor visits are permitted, but no indoor visits at this time.

Friendship Village Senior Services’ Update and Response to COVID-19 as of Friday, June 26, 2020

Dear Friends, Residents and Families of Friendship Village:

We are enjoying a beautiful, but very warm, day at Friendship Villages on this Friday, June 26th, 2020.

To get to the main point first, God has blessed us that there are no COVID-19 positive residents at any level of care on either Village. Independent Living Residents remain free of COVID-19. Assisted Living Residents remain free of COVID-19. Skilled Nursing Residents remain free of COVID-19.

Our teams do continuously monitor every Resident and tests are ordered and quarantine precautions are implemented whenever there is a question or doubt, until COVID-19 can be ruled-out. Both skilled nursing facilities are participating in routine, periodic Resident and employee blanket testing in cooperation with the State of Missouri. Early detection is key so that actions may be taken swiftly and the staff is seasoned and conditioned to take immediate actions when a potential threat arises. Occasionally, one of our employees will exhibit a symptom or report that they may have been exposed while out in the community and our employee health nurse immediately engages to ensure the risk of bringing the coronavirus to campus is minimized.

Residents in our skilled nursing facilities are enjoying outdoor visits with Residents and families on a scheduled basis, following all appropriate protocols and guidance from the Departments of Health. Indoor visits are still prohibited. Both facilities were subjected to a no-notice State inspection of their infection control programs last week and both facilities came through the inspections with “no deficiencies noted” and we are very pleased with that result.

Assisted Living Residents continue to enjoy balcony and outdoor visits with their families, and it appears that life is going very well, under the COVID-19 circumstances. Indoor visits remain prohibited.

Independent Living Residents are now permitted to have friends and family visit inside the buildings and their apartments and Villas and there is a visible and renewed spirit all over the campuses with this restriction lifted. Of course, all visitors must adhere to the protocols we have come to expect on campus with wearing a mask, sanitizing hands, maintaining no contact as well as social distancing, following an initial screening at the entrances for temperature and an exposure risk questionnaire.

Activities are beginning to spring back to life as groups are now permitted to gather, mindful of masks and social distancing, but the energy from seeing and visiting with friends is wonderful to witness.

We are grateful that God has brought us through to this end of the “curve” and that his blessings of protection continue to be strong.

As always, we sincerely thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Friendship Village Senior Services’ Update and Response to COVID-19 as of Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Dear Friends, Residents and Families of Friendship Village:

We are enjoying a beautiful day at Friendship Villages on this Tuesday, June 16th, 2020.

While Friendship Villages enjoyed an entire week having no COVID-19 Residents on our campuses, this status has changed somewhat since then.

On the Sunset Hills campus, a new rehabilitation patient was admitted from a local hospital who had previously tested negative twice before leaving the hospital. Upon admission, our staff detected a mild fever and so sent for another test, which came back positive. It has been several days since this discovery and no others have shown any indications of symptoms. In the meantime, the skilled nursing facility is conducting full blanket testing on residents and staff this week with results to be determined.

On the Chesterfield campus, the skilled nursing facility, in concert with the State program, conducted full blanket testing of all residents last week and, while there were no residents exhibiting symptoms, two residents came back positive. Both residents are still symptom-free but being quarantined and monitored closely as a precaution and anticipated to be released in the next few days. No other residents or staff are known to have been affected at this time.

Both facilities are now beginning to facilitate outside/outdoor visits with family and friends as planned. Shelters are in place to protect everyone from the sun and rain. Please contact those facilities to schedule a visit.

Independent living residents on both campuses have seen controls lifted on trips off campus to take care of personal business or to visit with family and friends in their off-campus homes. There remain restrictions regarding inside visits on the campus.

As always, we sincerely thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Visitor Policy Modified

We do, now, allow visitors to Independent Living Residents on campus for OUTSIDE/OUTDOOR visits with Residents. Visits with Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing facilities must still be coordinated in advance with those administrations. Outdoor visits are now available upon scheduling with the appropriate facility.

Visitors are still prohibited from coming indoors to visit.

To still maintain COVID-19 preventive measures, we ask that you and your visitors:

  • Wear your mask
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Do not make physical contact
  • Residents use hand-sanitizer when coming back inside
  • Residents allow the door screeners to take their temperature at least once each day if visiting outside

As always, all of us thank you all for your continued prayers as we continually ask our Lord Jesus Christ to enable us to do our best to fend-off the COVID-19 coronavirus and to maintain the safety and protection of our Residents and staff.

Other Friendship Village News

COVID-19 Resources

Essential Construction Guidelines
New Department Of Homeland Security Guidance Clarifies Construction’s Role In Supporting Essential Critical Infrastructure

March 28, 2020

Construction Officials Say New Federal Guidance Should Signal to State and Local Officials the Need to Allow Construction Activity to Continue, or Resume, During Coronavirus-Related Work Stoppages

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to the release of new guidance (link is external) from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency that clarifies construction’s critical role in supporting essential infrastructure.

“Federal officials have, wisely, heeded our advice and opted to release new guidance that makes it clear that construction activities are included in its list of essential critical infrastructure workers. This new federal guidance should help eliminate the confusion and ambiguity that has led several state and local officials to needlessly order halts to construction activity that is clearly essential.

“Specifically, federal officials have opted to identify construction and related activities, including the manufacture and delivery of construction supplies and safety equipment and the permitting & inspection of projects, in 25 different parts of its guidelines, compared to four times in its prior iteration. That is because federal officials understand the essential role construction plays in supporting our critical infrastructure and economic activities. They also understand that construction activity can continue to occur in a way that protects workers and the general public from the spread of coronavirus.

“Moving forward, we are eager to work with state and local officials to help them better understand how to heed this new federal guidance so they can continue, or begin, to allow construction work to proceed in their jurisdictions.”

Click Here for Friendship Village’s Construction Protocol Statement.

Video Update

with Lynn Meyer, Infection Preventionist

A Message from Terry Walsh, President and CEO

Thank You To The Heroes