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The Newberg retirement community taking extra steps to keep its residents safe

PHOTO COURTESY OF FRIENDSVIEW - Given the statewide increase in COVID-19 coronavirus cases and potential threat of the virus spreading to the area, Friendsview Retirement Community announced it is taking extraordinary steps to protect its 220 employees and 450 residents.

Given the statewide increase in COVID-19 coronavirus cases and potential threat of the virus spreading to the area, Friendsview Retirement Community announced it is taking extraordinary steps to protect its 220 employees and 450 residents. Given the fact that the elderly are more likely to experience severe symptoms or perish from COVID-19, Friendsview is taking these steps by acknowledging their importance.

"The health and wellness of our residents and the caregiving teams who support them is our top priority," Todd Engle, executive director of Friendsview, said in a release. "Our team is concerned, we are informed and we are providing education and resources. This is a fast-changing situation and we are committed to ensuring that residents, their families, our dedicated staff and our community are aware of our efforts and the precautions required for COVID-19 prevention and containment."

An elderly care center in Kirkland, Wash., was the epicenter of a COVID-19 outbreak in recent weeks. Given the sensitivity of the elderly, those with respiratory illness and healthcare workers to a potential spread of the disease, Friendsview is acting decisively in case the virus makes its way to Newberg.

The retirement community formed an advisory committee and leadership is communicating with state and local health officials. The cadre will also be monitoring instructions from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The facility's plan has a universal approach to the virus that includes plenty of disinfecting and cleaning in its preventative methods.

"The Life Plan Community has also implemented its preparedness plan over and above recommended measures that includes utilizing an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer, curtailing outside group meetings on campus and visitor health screenings," a release from Friendsview stated. "In addition, we are advising all friends and family of our residents to refrain from visiting if they are feeling ill and have symptoms of infection."

Kathy Watson, the Health Services Director for Life Plan, said she recognized the necessity of preventative action and preparedness for an outbreak should it occur in the community. For now, there are no official cases to speak of in Newberg or the surrounding area, but the risk remains real – especially for those who have family members traveling from other parts of the state or other countries.

"These precautions are vital to helping us avoid and minimize the possible spread of all illness, including coronavirus," Watson said. "At this time, we do not have any diagnosed cases of residents or staff being infected with coronavirus. Open communication is crucial. We are providing weekly updates to Friendsview residents and interested parties via email on our community's status."

For more information on the Friendsview community and potential updates to its approach to COVID-19, visit www.friendsview.org.


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