After a surge of post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 cases in the Bay Area, Silverado Berkeley Memory Care Community experienced an outbreak among its residents and staff.
The memory care community, which provides assisted living to those who are memory-impaired, identified the first cases of the outbreak in early December. As of press time, 38 residents and 12 associates have tested positive, according to Silverado Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Jeff Frum.
Frum said two residents have died due to COVID-19-related complications. Two other residents who were “nearing the end of their battle with dementia” before testing positive have also died, Frum added.
“Our hearts go out to families who have lost a loved one to this virus, those dealing with someone who is battling through it, and those worried about how it will affect their family,” Frum said in an email.
When a resident begins to show symptoms of COVID-19, the family members of the resident are contacted immediately and are updated continually until symptoms disappear, Frum said. Staff members who test positive are instructed to isolate at home. He added that staff and residents would continue to be tested weekly.
Up until December, Silverado Berkeley was one of the few assisted living facilities in the area that had no cases of COVID-19, according to Frum. Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, guidelines for cleaning protocols, the memory care home has had a “steady supply” of personal protective equipment for staff since May.
As a facility housing those with memory impairments, Silverado Berkeley had the unique challenge of caring for residents who are potentially unable to comprehend the risk of the virus, Frum noted.
“This unique risk compelled the CDC to recommend residents in long term care facilities be the first to receive the upcoming COVID-19 vaccination,” Frum said in the email. “We have provided the documentation required to have our residents and staff in the queue to receive this vaccine in the Tier 1A distributions being made in the coming weeks.”
According to Berkeley Digital Communications Coordinator Echa Schneider, the city has been made aware of the outbreak at Silverado Berkeley and is working with the staff there.
The Berkeley Public Health Division has been collaborating “closely” with city nursing facilities throughout the pandemic and plans to continue, Schneider added.
“The City’s work to contain COVID-19 spans many fronts, including identifying and isolating cases, contact tracing and quarantine for those who have been exposed … working with local businesses, providing health and safety information to the community, and much more,” Schneider said in an email.
She added that community members should follow health protocols such as staying at home and avoiding gatherings in order to combat the spread of COVID-19.