Media Statement as of September 16, 2020
It is an honor to be entrusted with the care of patients and residents in our centers; it is a responsibility and privilege that we do not take lightly. The safety and well-being of our patients, residents and team members is our number one priority. To that end and in alignment with CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) guidance on COVID-19, Diversicare is restricting ALL visitors and non-essential health care personnel except in compassionate care situations. We have an interdisciplinary team monitoring and reviewing information about the virus and its prevalence. We are doing our best to take precautionary measures, follow guidance from the CDC, and have response protocols, if needed. Diversicare has pandemic policies and procedures in place, and our team is working around the clock to be as prepared as possible. Each of our affected center webpages are being updated with pertinent information for that center. We invite you to look at those pages through the Locations (link it) feature on our website.
Our goal is to test as many of our patients, residents and team members as possible when a center is affected by COVID-19. As an industry, however, we have received lower priority for testing than other healthcare providers. We have found when we have been able to complete mass testing that a significant number of residents and team members who tested COVID-19 positive were asymptomatic, meaning that they do not demonstrate any symptoms of their infection. These asymptomatic carriers are important to be identified so that we can effectively cohort our patients and residents as well as the team members caring for them.
The CDC has instructed physicians to report deaths of those who are COVID-19 positive or presumed positive as a ‘COVID-19 death’. Our patients are elderly, frail, and often have co-morbidities. Many of these patients may also be receiving end of life palliative care. It is very difficult, if not impossible, in many cases to accurately determine that COVID-19 was the cause of death for many of our patients who passed away after testing positive. To date we have had 311 patients pass away who tested positive for COVID-19. We are unable to say how many of those deaths were primarily related to the effects of COVID-19.
At this time the Company has team members and patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 at certain of its centers as summarized in the table below. The patients, residents and family members of the affected centers have been notified. Due to privacy regulations, we are only permitted to contact the responsible party or an emergency contact listed as provided in the resident’s medical record and admission documents.
It is expected that the Company will be caring for COVID-19 positive patients in many of our markets before this crisis passes. We will continue working with the CDC and state Departments of Health to coordinate the care for these patients.