LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Atria Senior Living, Inc. estimates it has achieved COVID-19 vaccination levels approaching 90 percent for its U.S. communities, administering more than 54,000 doses to date.
The high vaccination levels, along with continuing de-escalation of state restrictions, are enabling the expansion of resident groups from 15 to 20, and expanding visitor capacity (including families, external guests, or potential residents) from 3 to 5.
This expansion comes as a result of Atria’s successful "Sleeve Up, Atria" vaccination campaign, with nearly 90% of current residents & employees taking the vaccine. Vaccination rates are expected to increase as the company’s May 1st deadline for mandatory staff vaccination approaches.
"Atria was the first large senior living provider in America to mandate the vaccine for our staff in early January. The results make us glad we made up our minds early. So far, the breakdown is that more than 92% of our U.S. residents and 85% of our staff have taken the vaccine," said John Moore, Chairman and CEO of Atria Senior Living.
For Atria’s more than 18,000 residents, the high vaccination rates translate to confidence in enjoying every day meals and programs together. Jansie Farris, a 75-year-old Atria at Foster Square resident, has most enjoyed virtual music performances and virtual lessons with nearby 7th grade students throughout the pandemic. Now, she is seeing her friends and making family plans in-person again. "Knowing that our community is vaccinated makes me feel very comfortable to put on my mask and visit people, carry on conversations and participate in activities every day," Farris said. "The pandemic is not behind us yet, but now I feel safe to be with people, even though I still have to be careful. I have plans to visit my family in Seattle and see my grandchildren again."
"It is as if a weight has been lifted off our shoulders. The vaccine provided me with the peace of mind in knowing that we have reached a new level of being able to protect our staff and our residents," said Seba Samuel-John, Executive Director at Atria Briarcliff Manor in Westchester County, New York. "We are seeing the buzz of activity return. I feel safer coming to our community, which is almost 100% vaccinated, than I do being anywhere else."
For Beverly Riley, an 81-year-old resident at Atria Rancho Peñasquitos, the vaccination levels also mean the promise of reuniting with her family once again. "Knowing we are no longer in the thick of it and getting back to normal makes me sleep better at night. I’m still staying safe, but now getting out and about again, and feeling freer. My next stop is our salon," Beverly said.
"We know the health benefits of a social living environment, full of expression and engagement. So many of our residents and staff have expressed their excitement to put many of the restrictions of the pandemic behind us and take on a beautiful life ahead. We’ve entered a ‘COVID Watch’ period where we are still observing our safety protocols but are also able to expand group dining, the use of community amenities and increased family visits as regulators allow. But this phase also equips us to escalate back to higher protocol levels if necessary," Moore said.
"Our goal is a ‘Post COVID-19’ protocol where there are no restrictions on community amenity usage, all visitors are allowed pending screening questions, and PPE requirements are relaxed or in some situations eliminated. We are ready for a world where we’re poised to react but where we also have greater freedoms as disease activity wanes and immunity takes hold through the vaccines," Moore said.
"The decline in disease activity in our communities gives us hope, and the protection afforded by the vaccine, continuing safety protocols, and the things we have learned in managing through the last year, give us confidence in our plans to turn the page and spring into life at its fullest," he added.
About Atria Senior Living
Atria Senior Living is a leading operator of independent living, assisted living, supportive living and memory care communities in more than 200 locations in 28 states and seven Canadian provinces. Atria is the residence of choice for more than 18,000 older people, and the workplace of choice for more than 13,000 employees. The company creates vibrant communities where older adults can thrive and participate, know that their contributions are valued, and enjoy access to opportunities and support that help them keep making a positive difference in our world. For more information about Atria, visit AtriaSeniorLiving.com or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. For career opportunities and more information about working for Atria, visit AtriaCareers.com.
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SOURCE Atria Senior Living