March 23, 2020 – COVID-19 Update
Gov. Kate Brown’s Stay at Home Order Announced
Resident Q & A
Our resident’s health and safety are our top priorities. An important “Stay at Home” public health order has been announced by Gov. Kate Brown to fight the spread of COVID-19. It requires everyone to stay at home except for essential needs. This measure will go into effect March 23, 2020, will last for a minimum of two weeks, and maybe extended. Events in recent days have been fast-moving and we want to be sure you have the answers to important questions about this order:
What does the “Stay at Home” order mean?
Washington residents are required to stay home except to get food or medical care. Taking a walk outdoors is permitted as long as you are alone or practicing social distancing if you are out with others. When outside for any reason, stay at least six feet away from other people. For more information, visit https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19.
What is still open?
Essential municipal and health services are open, including hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations; police and fire stations; public transit; and public utilities. Other open services include pharmacies, grocery stores, food banks, pick-up and delivery restaurants, banks, and gas stations. More information is available at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19.
Is the community staff still working?
Yes. We are dedicated to our residents and communities, and our services on your behalf are defined as essential under this order. In our efforts to adhere to social distancing, we ask that if you need to talk to a staff member, please reach out via phone, email, or by calling (971) 229-4243 during normal business hours.
Will the building be maintained?
Yes. Key services are continuing, including emergency and urgent work orders, garbage and recycling, and disinfecting and cleaning of common areas. To submit a work order for an urgent need, please call us at (971) 229-4243. Callers: Be aware that the Contact Center team may be experiencing higher than normal call volumes at this time and that there may be a wait.
Is community transportation available?
Yes. Limited transportation to grocery stores, banks and pharmacies will be provided.
Can I use community amenities?
No. Unfortunately, we need to close amenity spaces and lobbies for the health and safety of everyone living and working in the community to prevent and to reduce the risk of unintentional exposure.
Will there be move-ins and move-outs during this time?
Moving out is permitted. We will limit move-ins only to those who have no other housing options.
What if I need to talk to a staff member?
In our efforts to adhere to social distancing, we ask that if you need to talk to a staff member, please reach out via phone by calling (971) 229-4243 during normal business hours.
How do I pay my rent?
Rent can be placed in the rent drop boxes or given to the concierge.
Where can I get more information on the public health order and on COVID-19?
Information on the latest state mandates, public health orders, and resources can be found at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19.
We are being careful. Why do we have to take such drastic measures?
We know the COVID-19 pandemic is concerning and that this public health order will cause temporary changes to daily life and routines for our residents. We also know these restrictions are highly inconvenient and disappointing for residents. Preventing our residents from gathering goes directly against our mission.
Please understand that we would rather be overcautious with the health of residents than under-react and need to manage an outbreak in the community that may put lives at risk.
We understand that extreme social distancing is a huge sacrifice to make – but these sacrifices could prevent spreading this deadly virus to your friends, neighbors and family members.
Health officials confirm that the more we adhere to these practices now, the sooner we can get back to our normal lives.
We are all in this together and we appreciate your understanding and cooperation in keeping our neighbors, friends and loved ones safe.
March 11, 2020 – COVID-19 Update
We understand your concern for our residents and team members as this COVID-19 health issue evolves. I want to assure you that their health and safety is our greatest concern.
Please know that we are following the guidelines of the CDC and local Public Health Department to actively minimize the impact on our residents, team members, partners, vendors and the community at large.
While The Heights at Columbia Knoll does not operate any assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, we are striving to follow the strict new requirements set forth by Gov. Kate Brown for those environments.
The precautionary measures we are taking include:
- Asking residents to restrict all visitors.
- Cancelling all community events.
- Limiting transportation to necessary grocery runs.
- Requiring any team members and residents who are feeling ill to stay home and contact their physician for guidance.
Increasing the housekeeping and janitorial hours of part-time staff up to a full-time status to ensure cleaning and sanitizing efforts are taking place throughout the day.
These efforts include:
- Wiping down all high-touch surface areas throughout the day
- Community rooms cleaned daily
- Amenity spaces cleaned daily
- Lobby areas and areas where people sit and gather cleaned daily
- Common area laundry rooms cleaned and sanitized daily
- Common area restrooms cleaned and sanitized multiple times a day, frequency depends on location and frequency of use
- Community vehicles disinfected after every trip
- Staff members have access to hand sanitizer and Clorox or similar wipes at their desks and are using them appropriately throughout the day
- To support our residents, visitors and team members’ own efforts, we increased the number of hand sanitizers throughout the community for all to use.
- We continue to encourage frequent hand washing and good hygienic practices.
The precautionary measures we are asking residents to follow:
- Stay in your apartment if you are experiencing any illness.
- If you have health concerns, call your physician for guidance.
- Use a tissue for coughing or sneezing and dispose of it immediately.
- Practice thorough and frequent handwashing – washing your hands in warm water for 20 seconds or longer several times a day.
- Frequent use of hand sanitizer that contains more than 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Social distancing – Avoid shaking hands and keep 6 feet away from others. Now is not the time to host gatherings at the community.
- Restrict your visitors. If you must have a visitor, host them in your apartment instead of community common areas.
Where we need support
- We understand that some residents are concerned about neighbors who are ill but are not seeking coronavirus testing or are putting themselves in home isolation. The concerned residents have requested we intervene and require these measures – which we cannot.
- We continue to follow the protocols and recommendations from the CDC and local Public Health Departments, but at this point in time, there are no legal, forceable rules or regulations that can be put in place for COVID-19.
- Only public health officials have the authority to legally enforce monitoring, restrict movement, or quarantine of an individual or group to protect the public’s health via a Public Health Order.
- Essentially, organizations and companies cannot require a resident or team member to be tested or to self-quarantine.
We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and communicate with you until it is fully resolved.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in helping us manage this very serious public health issue.