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January 14, 2021


Assisted living company first to offer unique point-of-care rapid testing of residents, staff and visitors at its six Puget Sound area communities

GenCare Lifestyle, which operates six assisted living and retirement communities in the Puget Sound has launched the first-of-its-kind on-site, rapid testing for Covid-19 and flu with the ability to understand initial results within 15-30 minutes.

The rapid test program administered by CAIPHI EP Testing mobile testing teams can provide results within minutes at each of GenCare’s six assisted living communities. The new rapid tests and the provision of Covid-19 vaccines at the communities in coming weeks are part of GenCare’s ongoing efforts to keep its communities safe and reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

GenCare is the first assisted living company in the nation to implement CAIPHI EP Testing program.

The onsite rapid testing eliminates the need for assisted living communities to ship tests samples to an offsite lab, which often takes three to four days to produce results. It also drastically increases GenCare’s ability to act quickly to prevent infection spread, should a positive test result occur.

“Having rapid tests is extremely important for us to protect the health of our residents and staff,” says GenCare Lifestyle’s clinical leader, Danielle Parker, RN. “The only way to know if a vaccine is working is to test people. Our rapid testing program gives us this clarity.”

CAIPHI’s test includes two antigen tests for Covid-19 and antigen tests for Influenza A and B, which is unlike other tests currently available. GenCare’s rapid tests are more accurate than rapid tests released earlier in the marketplace and as accurate as lab-based testing. The test, made by San Diego-based diagnostic healthcare manufacturer Quidel, recently received Emergency Utilization Authority from the FDA.

“GenCare is the first long-term care facility to implement rapid testing with employees and residents with a test that has been shown to be 96.6% accurate,” said the chief medical officer of CAIPHI’s testing efforts, Henry Grause, M.D.

According to published studies, the test is 95-99% accurate, with significantly less likelihood of a false test result. GenCare has dedicated an apartment for testing at each of its six locations. Each apartment will be equipped with a Quidel Sofia 2 testing device, a cartridge-based rapid diagnostic system for infectious disease testing, which utilizes fluorescent chemistry to detect viruses.

Rapid testing will help bring peace of mind to residents, staff and family members. The test will make it easier for residents to move into GenCare and improve the availability of staff to return to work after learning about a suspected case of Covid-19.

“The pathway to reopening our communities to visitors and family members is through rapid testing and the vaccine,” said Leon Grundstein, Founder and CEO of GenCare Lifestyle. “Having these tests available onsite at each of our communities is critical until our state and nation reaches the necessary vaccination rates needed for herd immunity – as much as 78 percent of the broader population.”

GenCare wants to be ready to welcome family members back into its communities when government restrictions are lifted.

“We know how important family members are to our residents,” Parker said. “This is one reason why testing is so important.”

More normal visitation, that allows family members to come into the community isn’t allowed until phase four of the state’s guidelines. Most counties are still in phase one.

“We anticipate the state will ease restrictions if an assisted living community offers the kind of rapid testing we’re bringing to the Puget Sound.” Parker said. “We want to be ready for that day and look forward to welcoming family members back into the lives of our residents.”

“Our mission at CAIPHI EP Testing is to help our client communities achieve environmental safety through timely onsite test evaluation of staff and residents,” said CAIPHI CEO Ed Jones. “We also want to help communities facilitate safe family visitation, when allowed, by providing timely on-the-spot test results of visitors.”

Rapid-testing will complement GenCare’s Staycation offering – how new residents currently can safely join one of its six retirement communities. Health and wellness leaders at GenCare created the Staycation, reimagining the first few weeks of living in the retirement communities. The Staycation turns what are standard Covid safety measures into two weeks of pampering, luxury and personalized community introduction activities.

“We want people to have an intentional flavor of how life is different here and how we’re ready to serve their needs,” said GenCare Lifestyle at Point Ruston Executive Director Ruthmarie Zimmerman. “Covid safety measures for two weeks are necessary, but we believe it should also be luxurious and fun.”

Other health, safety and wellness measures awaiting new residents include:

  • Drive-thru Covid-19 tests by appointment at the community.
  • GenCare-trained movers to safely help new residents settle into their new apartments
  • Safe resident visitation through customized Plexiglass stations
  • Improved access to medical care through onsite availability of telehealth services for residents
  • Daily health and wellness checks on all residents and staff
  • Specialized programming and seven-day-a-week nursing support for residents needing memory care services or assisted-living services for more complex medical concerns.
  • A daily cleaning regimen in community common areas, including the use of cordless electrostatic sprayers for surface cleaning.
  • Thoughtfully designed dining and group activities following guidelines issued by the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control

“We built GenCare Lifestyle to help residents live healthier and fulfilling lives,” Parker said. “The pandemic has only increased our focus on this important mission and inspired our team to creatively respond with new and innovative ways of connecting to our new neighbors.”

Click here to read more on CAIPHI’s press release

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