ARLINGTON, Texas, March 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today, the 80 residents and 75 staff of Heartis Arlington will undergo tests to detect coronavirus (COVID-19) among its population, whose residents range in ages 70-100. Two positive COVID-19 cases have been identified from Heartis residents who were transferred on March 18 and 22, respectively, to Medical City Arlington after exhibiting symptoms and where they are now being treated and improving.
Heartis Arlington enacted advanced staff training to detect symptoms and established protocols in February, and they put visitor restrictions in place shortly thereafter. Upon learning of the positive cases, the staff immediately implemented Center for Disease Control (CDC) infection control guidelines. However, leadership became concerned when they realized that communication of the two patients' positive statuses was never relayed by the Medical City Arlington to their community, but rather, Heartis learned from communication with the families of those impacted — a full six days after their loved one was transferred for testing.
Most troubling with the lack of official or expeditious notice, is that, despite the strict adherence to quarantine by most residents and diligence by staff, a significant number are part of the memory care population, and delays in information combined with the inability to fully ensure compliance by these residents mean a significantly greater likelihood of coronavirus spread in those interim days. While thus far no other resident or staff member has exhibited symptoms, the seeming systemic breakdown doesn't bode well for containment among elder populations housed together in non-nursing facilities.
"Our team from Frontier Management reported the positive cases to the Arlington Health Department as soon as they were made aware per our regulatory responsibility under the Texas Department of Health and Human Services," said Jason Signor, chief executive officer and partner for Caddis HealthCare Real Estate, owner of Heartis Arlington. "Our concern was if we weren't hearing from the hospital, they weren't either. In fact, they weren't."
The Arlington Health Department determined the risk warranted the unusual step of proactive testing of all on the Heartis campus, which will begin March 27 and continue over several days until complete with all residents and staff.
"While we know it feels a bit disconcerting to have these extra medical personnel here for many of our residents, we are thrilled to work with the health department to ensure the safety of our community and each and every member of our family here. If testing everyone is what it takes, we are happy to partner to do so," adds Valarie Zito, executive director of Heartis Arlington.
About Frontier Management, Operator of Heartis Arlington Assisted Living
Frontier Management, LLC. was founded in 2000 and currently operates 108 Retirement, Assisted and Memory Care communities in 16 different states. The company was founded on the principle that it could and should be different. To learn more about Frontier Management, LLC. please visit www.frontiermgmt.com. For more information please call (800) 260-9973) or emailing [email protected].