This page is meant to provide our families and friends with a summary of how Los Alamos Retirement Community is addressing the challenges presented by COVID-19, commonly called the “Coronavirus.” This page will be updated regularly. Please contact the individual facilities with any questions.


Posted August 10, 2020

Consistent with guidance from the NM Dept of Health, the Los Alamos Retirement Community has begun implementing a plan that will allow limited in-person visitation between residents and family members.

Please visit the NM Dept of Health website for more information.


Posted August 3, 2020

Since our last update, the Los Alamos Retirement Community has completed a mandatory and comprehensive testing process, which revealed no COVID-19 infections in residents or employees beyond the single instance of a positive test result for one of our staff members.  At the conclusion of this process, the NM Dept of Health declared LARC free of COVID-19 and returned our facilities to standard surveillance.


Posted July 10, 2020

For several weeks now, the Los Alamos Retirement Community has been conducting routine COVID-19 testing of our residents and employees. On 7/5, we received notification of our first positive test, an employee who works at Sombrillo Nursing & Rehabilitation. In response to this, we have instituted strict resident isolation and other temporary measures recommended by CDC and CMS and implemented in partnership with the NM Department of Health. In addition to these precautions, we will test 100% of our residents and employees to determine whether there was any spread of the infection. LARC will issue an additional statement if there are additional positive test results.

The LARC Board would like to praise the incredible work of its staff, who have been committed and proactive in their response to COVID-19, and continue to show up every day, selfless and determined to give their all to fighting back this virus for the good of our residents – true heroes.


Posted March 12, 2020

“WHAT IS COVID-19?”

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2). This virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). Source: CDC. Click here for more information.

“HOW ARE YOU RESPONDING TO THIS THREAT?”

Each facility has taken numerous steps to prevent COVID-19 from entering its communities such as:

  • Immediately placed advanced orders of supplies to ensure our employees had the tools they needed to take care of your loved ones due to world-wide shortages.
  • Immediately assigned mandatory on-line education in multiple areas of infection control and requested employee competencies to be re-done in an effort to ensure correct techniques were being used in all areas.
  • Facilities are participating in State and Local Department of Health calls when scheduled.

Reviewed/revised our policies, procedures and subsequent forms specific to:

  • Infection Control and created one for COVID-19 with a signs and symptoms tracking log for daily reporting for both residents and employees
  • Personal Protective Equipment policy revision, education and reporting of supplies daily to the New Mexico Department of Health Monday through Friday.
  • Visitation (see more below)
  • Quick decisions flow-chart mapping for employees and other helpful reminders/posters.
  • Screening checklists for potential new residents, re-admissions of current residents
  • Daily health screenings for all employees and those visitors considered essential to each resident’s plan of care
  • Hiring process during COVID-19
  • Environmental Protection Agency listing of chemicals, including registrant number, product name and other vital information as approved for COVID-19
  • Dining and Activities will be held in each resident’s room
  • Limiting appointments to emergencies only that are determined by the resident’s attending physician
  • Facility’s Disaster Plans have been reviewed and updated to reflect response measures
  • Staffing During Emergencies
  • Completing CMS Self-Assessment for COVID-19 Infection Control
  • Developed a policy and procedure specific to a COVID-19-only wing for each center in the event we would have a resident test positive or be asked by the Department of Health to admit a COVID-19 resident. I want to stress that this is for planning purposes only, and that we do not have this in place at this time.
  • Implemented processes for residents receiving mail, packages and other goods to have a quarantine period of 48 hours prior to delivery of any items or mail.
  • Resident and Employee testing is ongoing weekly to the total of 15% of our current population pending the availability of tests.
  • Launched a “Adopt a Resident” program at each location to encourage our local communities to get involved with helping to bring joy and communication to our residents on at least a weekly basis.

We have also sent communication to families via email, mailed to each responsible party’s address, as well as given a copy to residents. In addition, we have posted any new information at the front entrance to help with communication to families. This is something that we will continue to do in addition to asking you to reference our resource page. In addition, we have asked our centers to work on contacting Responsible Parties to update them on what is going on and allow them to ask questions, using that time to make sure we have correct contact information to include phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

“WHAT ABOUT VISITATION?”

Most cases of COVID-19 will show only minor symptoms, not requiring hospitalization or even treatment, and will simply require those affected to ‘self-isolate’ until symptoms resolve themselves. Unfortunately, our patients generally have multiple clinical conditions and diagnoses that leave them extremely compromised and not as able to fight off this virus, even with hospitalization and further treatment.

Considering the above, and with the guidance issued by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the Centers for Disease and Control, our state and local health departments, and our Medical Director, we have decided to restrict all visitation at our Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities.

This means that only essential personnel will be permitted inside these facilities. The only exception to this is where patients on Hospice Services (end-of-life) who are experiencing significant decline – in these cases, family members and approved vendors will be permitted in the facility at scheduled times. This will require the approval of the Administrator and/or Executive Director with health visitor screening and the requirement to use personal protective equipment issued by the facility to ensure resident safety.

Additionally, this means that all non-emergent appointments will be deferred to a later date. Activities outings and in-house vendors for scheduled events will be cancelled along with all volunteers. Please know that we understand that this will be difficult for everyone involved. To help bridge this gap and help with communication, we have proactively purchased iPads for each location that the Activities Director will oversee with scheduling of Skype, Facebook Messenger, Facetime or other video calls to help keep in touch. While we know this isn’t the same, our hope is that it will help ease concerns and ensure an open line of communication to your loved ones for the time being.

“WHERE CAN I FIND THE LATEST INFORMATION?”

You can review the most up-to-date information from Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC).

For updates specific to New Mexico such as the number of COVID-19 tests administered and of those tests, how many are negative, presumptive positives and confirmed positives you can visit the New Mexico Department of Health’s website.