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Edmonds memory center hit hard by COVID-19

Rosewood Courte Memory Care has seen 12 deaths

Series: Coronavirus | Story 165

Last updated 5/14/2020 at 1:29pm

Brian Soergel

Rosewood Courte in Edmonds.

There's no doubt that the coronavirus has taken a toll on assisted living and retirement homes in Washington state and around the country, Edmonds included.

Of the 23 deaths attributed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, 12 of those have come from Rosewood Courte Memory Care on Edmonds Way.

According to the Snohomish Health District, Rosewood Courte has the second-most cases in the county, trailing only Sunrise View Assisted Living in Everett.

According to the Snohomish Health District, 47 residents have tested positive as of Wednesday, May 6. Like other assisted living centers, many of the residents are elderly and may have underlying health conditions.

After several of Rosewood's residents tested positive for COVID-19 in April, Rosewood asked the Snohomish Health Department to test every resident and staff member at the facility.

"After testing of our entire facility was complete, 26 of our residents tested positive, and 12 have since passed away," said Darah Cooney, vice president of Northwest Care Senior Living, which also has retirement, assisted living and Alzheimer's special care communities in Poulsbo and Sequim.

"The other 14 are now doing well and are without symptoms, and we continue to monitor them closely. Nineteen of our 46 staff members also tested positive and all are stable and following quarantine procedures as issued by the Department of Health."

Facilities that are considered to be at high-risk – more than one positive case – are in contact with the Snohomish Health District's long-term care facilities team, said district spokeswoman Heather Thomas.

"In some instances, we coordinate with them to get swabs to conduct tests themselves. Those are sent to the Public Health Lab. In other cases, and if the facility's administration is interested, we will go in and do surveillance testing of all staff and patients. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, and in coordination with the facility."

The district's communicable disease supervisor is the team lead. Those testing staff are a mix of nurses and medical assistants. Some are Health District staff; others are temporary employees the Health District added.

"We have notified the families of all our residents of the situation," said Cooney, "and we have taken all precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 recommended by the CDC and the Health Department throughout these challenging times.

"This has been an extremely difficult time for everyone. We are heartbroken for the families whose loved ones have passed and for our staff who have also suffered those losses. We have been in regular communication with the families of all our residents and have been so grateful for their support of our dedicated and hardworking staff. We are following all precautionary measures recommended by the CDC and the Department of Health as we have throughout this pandemic, and will continue to do so for as long as necessary."

Here are some of the steps Rosewood has taken since early March to keep the infectious disease from spreading in the community:

– Disinfecting the community multiple times throughout the day

– Canceling all outside excursions;

– Stopping all visitors;

– Giving regular temperature checks of all staff and residents each day; and

– Checking residents regularly each day for any COVID-19 symptoms;

Cooney added that staff showing COVID-19 signs are sent home and encouraged to be tested.

"Any residents who have shown signs have been either quarantined at the community or sent out to the hospital depending on their condition," she said.

Rosewood Courte is a 45-bed dedicated memory care community with 46 staff members.

Sunrise of Edmonds

According to the Snohomish Health District, Sunrise of Edmonds, at 750 Edmonds Way, has six confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 16.

Sunrise, on its website, released the following statement:

"As we navigate one of the most unprecedented and challenging times in any of our lives, we want to reiterate our commitment to protecting our residents and team members from COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

"We understand that reports of any positive cases in your community are extremely concerning. Although no one is immune to this global health crisis, please know that we are working day and night with the support of the entire Sunrise team to minimize the impact COVID-19 has on our residents, teams, and their families.

"We are collaborating with local and state health departments for their guidance on effective prevention measures and to support the health and safety of all of our residents and team members.

"Prior to even confirming a positive case of COVID-19, our community had already implemented precautions against the virus, including prohibiting non-essential visitors, deploying rigorous screening protocols to identify potential symptoms of illness among residents and team members, restricting new resident move-ins, and shifting to individual resident engagement activities.

"We also ceased communal dining and have been serving meals in each resident's suite to promote social distancing.

"Additionally, our community teams have significantly modified programming and activities to ensure that residents continue to experience meaningful days and connect with the world around them.

"Our team members have leveraged their talents, training and experience to create 1:1 tailored programming for our residents, and we recently distributed hundreds of additional tablets, which are preinstalled with Skype and FaceTime, to supplement our communities' virtual programming and communications efforts with families.

"Our efforts to fight COVID-19 endure as we are reinforcing our existing infection controls. We are also providing personal protective equipment for our residents and team members to use as indicated by the CDC. Despite our best infection control efforts, however, the reality is that additional cases will occur.

"We are collaborating with local and state health departments for their guidance on effective prevention measures and to support the health and safety of all of our residents and team members.

"We know this is a difficult time, and we are committed to working together to do all we can to fight this global virus."


Reader Comments(1)

Julie Thomas writes:

I was shocked to read in your story that 12 people had died at Rosewood Courte. My mother is a resident and statement that ALL families have been kept informed is incorrect. We received a call and letter 3/25/20 stating 1 patient and 1 employee had tested positive. Later told that all residents would be tested and then call stating my mother tested negative, no mention that 12 people had died !!!!! this is blatant manipulation of the true picture. I feel totally betrayed by Rosewood Courte.


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