Sunshine Retirement Living Adds COVID-19 Testing to Strengthen Infection Prevention And Mitigation Protocols

Sunshine Retirement Living Adds COVID-19 Testing to Strengthen Infection Prevention And Mitigation Protocols


BEND, OR (APRIL 20, 2020) – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately impact seniors across the country, Sunshine Retirement Living (www.sunshineret.com), a Bend, OR-based, family-owned senior housing company with 32 premier communities in 16 states, has announced that they will begin testing residents and employees who are exhibiting symptoms or who may have been exposed to the virus. The Vikor Scientific Respira-ID test will also be given to all new residents before they move into any of the company’s communities.

Produced by Vikor Scientific, a high complexity CLIA certified and CAP-accredited molecular diagnostics laboratory in Charleston, SC Respira-ID tests for over 40 pathogens known to cause respiratory illness including COVID-19. Vikor Scientific will provide in-depth virtual training to the community nursing staff, who will administer the tests and oversee the shipment of samples back to Vikor Scientific for analysis within 24 hours. The testing will be conducted via the QuantStudio 12k Flex Open Array from the Thermo Fisher, which is an industry-leading instrument for PCR testing and has the capacity for high throughput, allowing Vikor Scientific to test a high volume of patients daily. Vikor Scientific is now working closely with the FDA for continued guidance on expediting approval.

According to Luis Serrano, CEO, Sunshine Retirement Living, the tests are a critical factor in sustaining the company’s ongoing, stringent, and proactive infection prevention and mitigation protocols.

“Even before the CDC issued its mandates and guidelines for COVID-19 infection prevention and control procedures, Sunshine Retirement Living proactively began implementing heightened measures to help protect our residents and employees,” said Serrano. “After weeks of urgently researching when and how we could begin testing within our communities, we chose Vikor Scientific’s Respira-ID testing solution because of the lab’s superior reputation, expeditious testing process, high throughput capacity, and approaching FDA approval. For more than 20 years, the health and safety of our residents and employees have been our highest priority and these tests will help us, monitor, detect, and prevent COVID-19 infections in addition to dozens of other acute respiratory infections that may be the source of disease symptoms.”

Last month, Serrano also issued a written and video statement communicating the company’s vigilance in regard to COVID-19 and relentless focus on caring for and protecting its senior residents and their caregivers. Among the key and essential protocol now implemented at each community:

  • Residents, who may feel ill or are beginning to exhibit any symptoms, are asked to remain in their apartments and alert their community’s health management team, who will follow all CDC protocols to prevent any illness from spreading.
  • Visitation is restricted at all Assisted Living and Memory Care communities to protect the most vulnerable seniors. Visitors to Sunshine’s Independent Living communities are limited based on guidelines from the CDC. All people entering the community will be screened at the front door, including residents and staff
  • To alleviate the stress around this situation, each community continues to help to facilitate video conferencing and other virtual communication tools between residents and loved ones.
  • To enable social-distancing and decrease person-to-person contact, in-room activities are encouraged and all home-made meals are hand-delivered three times a day to resident apartments. Dining and activities at the Memory Care communities remain in-place as these communities are already in restricted mode.
  • To maintain the highest priority of health and safety at each community, Sunshine is now hiring and training more staff, especially among those who may have recently lost their jobs due to this unprecedented crisis.
  • For those seniors who now seek or need a new home at one of Sunshine’s communities, all tours are conducted digitally, and additional strict screening processes are being implemented for new residents to ensure everyone remains as safe as possible.

About Sunshine Retirement Living

Based in Bend, OR Sunshine Retirement Living manages 32 retirement communities in 16 states, offering senior apartments, independent living, assisted living and memory care. A family-owned business with more than 20 years in the senior housing industry, Sunshine Retirement Living’s mission is to be the preferred senior living provider offering value, choice and independence while promoting health and social interaction that exceeds residents’ expectations and enriches the lives of both residents and staff. By providing meals, housekeeping, activities, transportation, utilities and in-house management staff, Sunshine Retirement Living continues to build an unparalleled community feeling in each property. For more information, visit www.SunshineRet.com or connect socially, @SunshineRetirementLiving.