Three tests, no positives, at COVID victim’s housing

No positive tests for the coronavirus have come back from among residents and workers tested at the Ridgefield assisted living complex where an 88-year-old died Wednesday from COVID-19, according to the company that owns the facility.

“No one else within the community has tested positive for COVD-19,” a spokesperson for Benchmark Senior Living said Thursday, March 19.

Three residents had been tested as of late Thursday at the assisted living facility, Benchmark Senior Living at Ridgefield Crossings, the spokesperson said. There are 140 residents and 156 employees who work at the site on Route 7 in Ridgefield, the spokesperson said.

Ten residents were in quarantine, as a result of having had more exposure to the man who died, and four employees are not working at the facility due their level of exposure to him.

The statement that no one has tested positive for the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 applies “to both staff and residents,” the spokesperson said.

“We are monitoring associate and resident health very closely; and if an individual develops symptoms, we engage healthcare authorities to have them tested,” he said.

He also said that staff at Ridgefield Crossings doesn’t rotate to work at other company facilities. The rotation of staff among senior citizen facilities has been discussed as potentially having helped spread the coronavirus among the elderly population in Washington State, which has had one of the nation’s most serious outbreaks.

The spokesperson provided this how events unfolded at Benchmark Senior Living at Ridgefield Crossings.

“On March 13, the resident wasn’t feeling well and was sent to Danbury Hospital, where he was tested for COVID-19 and remained until his passing. We were notified on March 16 that he had tested positive.

“On March 16 the community received a second application of a CDC-approved, non-toxic spray designed to kill the virus on all surfaces.”

The spokesman shared the following statement shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday evening, March 19:

“We have no presumptive-positive or confirmed cases of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) at Benchmark Senior Living at Ridgefield Crossings at this time.

“Ten residents were determined to have had high exposure to our resident who tested positive. These residents remain in quarantine and are receiving personal care by our resident care team, who are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). We continue to have sufficient stock levels of all supplies as well as access to additional supplies.

“Also, four of our associates were determined to have had high exposure to this individual and will remain out of the community for 14 days.

Since late February, we have been actively following guidance from state and local governments, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our industry organizations. On February 18, we activated our Incident Management Team (IMT) to reassess and adjust our existing infection control procedures to address the new coronavirus (COVID-19). At that time, we began several proactive measures at all of our communities. These measures included a company-wide inventory of supplies and stocking up on large amounts of PPE, hand sanitizer and other supplies. We also increased associate training; began closely monitoring residents, associates and visitors