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Virus hits second area senior-living facility
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Virus hits second area senior-living facility

A second senior living facility in Albemarle County has confirmed the presence of COVID-19 in its community.

In a Friday letter to independent living families and residents at The Colonnades, Executive Director Craig Wagoner said they were notified of the “presence of COVID-19 in our community.”

“All residents and team members are being closely monitored for signs of illness daily,” he said in the letter. “Even before this development, we implemented extra infection control precautions to prevent the spread of infection, including additional trainings for all team members, limiting visitors and screening our residents and team members daily for possible exposure.”

The Colonnades has independent living residences, as well as assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, according to its website.

When asked if a resident or team member had tested positive for COVID-19, a senior communications manager for Sunrise Senior Living, which operates The Colonnades, said she was unable to provide additional information.

In a statement, Denise Falco, Sunrise Senior Living regional vice president of operations, said they are restricting new resident move-ins, shifting to individual resident engagement activities and are serving meals in each resident’s suite to promote social distancing.

“The community has completed a deep cleaning by a professional service and we continue closely tracking our team members’ interaction with residents, documenting which individuals they serve,” she said in the statement. “Our team members are providing all necessary care to our residents at this time with no limitations or changes. Additionally, the community is employing personal protective equipment for resident and team member use when needed to minimize the spread of infection.”

Earlier this week, a resident at The Lodge at Old Trail in Crozet tested positive for COVID-19.

The Thomas Jefferson Health District reported that, as of Saturday afternoon, there have been 42 test-confirmed COVID-19 cases and four clinically diagnosed cases in the health district.

Albemarle County leads the way, with 21 cases. Charlottesville follows, with 10 cases, and Louisa County has eight cases.

School facilities

Albemarle County Public Schools is asking community members to stop using outdoor school facilities — including playgrounds, tracks and trails — while current public health measures are in place.

In an email to families, the division’s chief operating officer, Rosalyn Schmitt, said she wanted to address recent social media posts about people who have been congregating at school facilities, often in large numbers, despite limits set by the state.

“We understand the frustrations that social distancing can present, especially now that the weather is warming,” she said. “Being outdoors to exercise can help and it can be healthy. There are, however, very good reasons why athletic clubs and gyms are closed and why Albemarle County has taken restrictive measures in public spaces, including the closing of park restroom facilities, playground equipment, pavilions, tennis courts and basketball courts.”

Schmitt said it’s important to maintain a social distance of six feet in public and to limit interactions.

“Public health experts tell us that, together with frequent hand washing, social distancing is the most proven effective measure available to us to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19,” she said.

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