Four residents of a Dunwoody senior home have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, as has an already hospitalized resident of a Buckhead senior tower, according to Jewish HomeLife, the operator of both sites.
“We aren’t the first and we won’t be the last,” said Shari Bayer, chief marketing and communciations officers at Jewish HomeLife, about the pandemic’s impact on senior residences. She said the Buckhead-based nonprofit was already taking COVID-19 precautions at its five residential facilities and has notified all residents and families at the affected sites.
At the Berman Commons assisted living and memory care home at 2026 Womack Road in Dunwoody, Jewish HomeLife learned March 26 that a staff member who was last in the building on March 14 had tested positive for COVID-19, said Bayer.
At the time, Berman Commons had five memory-care residents who had “low-grade fevers” and already had been placed in isolation by staff nurse-practioners as a precaution, Bayer said. After learning about the infected staff member, Jewish HomeLife immediately had those five residents tested for COVID-19.
“Last night, we learned four of the five had tested positive,” said Bayer. The four have “literally no other symptoms than low-grade fever at this time,” she said.
Berman Commons has 90 units, of which 83 to 85 are occupied, Bayer said. Residents have been isolated to their units, she said.
Meanwhile, Jewish HomeLife learned March 25 from a family member that a resident of its Zaban Tower tested positive for COVID-19 while hospitalized for another condition. Zaban Tower is a 60-unit affordable, independent-living residence at 3156 Howell Mill Road within the same complex as the Jewish HomeLife headquarters and its Jewish Tower and William Breman Jewish Home.
The Zaban Tower resident who tested positive has not returned to the building, Bayer said.
“As soon as we learned from the resident’s daughter there was a positive test, we immediately notified the residents and staff,” she said.
Jewish HomeLife is a network of care services and communities that has five residential sites, also including the Cohen Home in Johns Creek.
The nonprofit has taken various precautions against the coronavirus pandemic in its residences, said Bayer, including screening all visitors.
“This is an emotional time for all of us,” said Harley Tabak, Jewish HomeLife’s president and CEO, in a written statement. “We are doing everything in our power to bring the best medical expertise, testing and protective equipment to protect our most vulnerable population, to protect our staff who are on the front lines every day. We are not the first and will not be the last senior care community to face this crisis, and sincerely appreciate the community’s support in our efforts.”