On Friday, March 27,* administrators at The Greens at Cannondale notified residents and their family members that a resident had tested positive for COVID-19. The news came in an email letter signed by Ronald Bucci, The Greens’ senior executive director, and Ellen Casey, administrator of Wilton Meadows.

“Since our last communication to you, we have just learned that one of our Greens at Cannondale residents tested positive yesterday [Thursday, March 26],” they wrote.

According to the letter no other residents are suspected of being infected with COVID-19, “as of [Friday] morning,” in either facility.

Bucci and Casey explained the timeline of events in their letter:

  • “Per our policy, the resident was isolated to his/her room immediately after he/she presented with symptoms. Hours after first symptoms appeared, he/she was seen by a doctor and treated under the advisement of the local health department in the isolated room.” Bucci tells GMW this was on Thursday, March 19.**
  • “On Sunday [March 22], this resident was transferred to the hospital, with personal protective equipment (PPE).”
  • The positive test result for The Greens resident was reported on Thursday, March 26.
  • Bucci and Casey emailed their letter on Friday, March 27.

The administrators described interactions between the affected resident and staff, noting that anyone who is at risk after coming in contact with the resident will not return to The Greens until cleared by Wilton and CT health officials.

“From the onset of symptoms, this resident only had ‘intimate’ contact with the staff caring for him/her. Even though this resident’s staff members were wearing PPE, we have, as an added precaution, removed all the staff from our schedule who were in close contact. At-risk staff or hospitalized residents will not be returned to The Greens until the local and state health departments advises us that it is safe to do so,” they wrote.

Officials at both facilities are working in close coordination with health department personnel. According to the letter, The Greens and Wilton Meadows have been told what they are doing is what they should be doing to minimize the chance of infection for both residents and staff.

The measures being implemented at the facilities–many “before state and local health department mandates or recommendations,” according to Bucci and Casey–include but are not limited to:

  • Daily monitoring of all residents and staff at The Greens at Cannondale (more often when medically appropriate) for any signs/symptoms of infection.
  • Restricting visitation in all buildings:  Only “essential” caregivers may enter and only after they undergo a questionnaire and health screening, including their temperature.
  • Regular and deep cleaning with EPA-approved cleaning agents recommended by the CDC to kill coronaviruses. Special attention is given to doorknobs, handrails elevator buttons, etc..
  • Providing frequent instructions to staff on procedures:  “…in-servicing to staff on our policies including copious and thorough handwashing, our isolation policies and proper use of PPE.”
  • Quarantining residents suspected of COVID-19:  Residents with COVID-19-like symptoms will be quarantined to their rooms until further instructions from their physicians and the local health department, and will be cared for by staff using PPE. Residents may require hospital transfer (under strict precautions) if symptoms cannot be managed in their apartment.
  • Ensuring social distance and limited activities:  In-room visits are limited to skyping/FaceTiming and/or one-to-one visits. Some small group functions permitted “only if a strict six-foot social distance arrangement can be maintained.”
  • Providing ample sanitizer in all areas where hand-washing is inaccessible.
  • Limiting staff dining to room-service or other strict six-foot social distancing arrangements.
  • Providing free soap to all residents
  • Limiting resident transportation to medically necessary and urgent matters only.
  • Suspending routine outpatient visits.
  • Suspending live tours and move-ins to assisted living; Wilton Meadows admissions are only allowed after thorough screening and mandatory 14-day quarantining post-admission.
*Bucci says the letter was dated and sent on March 26; an email with the letter forwarded to GMW is dated March 27, as is the letter in the email (shown below). The timeline in the article is built on the email forwarded to GMW.

**An earlier version of the story incorrectly identified the date this happened as Saturday, March 21. GMW regrets the error.