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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – An Update from Mark Ricketts, President & CEO

Recent News | December 17, 2020

caregiver taking temperature of a resident

Dear National Church Residences Family,
As we look to 2021, we do so with great anticipation of the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine and the hope it brings around the world. We are grateful that the seniors in our healthcare communities will receive priority access to the vaccine. We laud the efforts of the scientists, government agencies and logistics experts who have come together to create, test, approve, and now finally, distribute this vaccine. It has been a remarkable global feat.

While we do not have all of the specifics as yet, we do know that the vaccines are on their way from our pharmaceutical partners, and that some vaccine clinics for our communities have already been scheduled. We expect numerous more to be forthcoming in the new few weeks and months.
Given the nature of this virus, and newness of the vaccine, we know there are likely many questions: Is the vaccine safe? Who gets it first? What do I need to know about this vaccine? Both the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have information about the vaccine, its effectiveness and other important facts.

We encourage you to become informed and hope you, too, will roll up your sleeve for a healthier future.

Over the past few months, we have been in the fight against COVID-19. We have implemented plans that included restricted visitors, adding personal protective equipment, additional cleaning of our campuses, The Mask Crusaders, where we are encouraging the wearing of masks and more. See our COVID-19 timeline here.

We continue to deliver the rapid turnaround of COVID-19 testing for vulnerable seniors in post-acute settings, through the PARRT program. We have administered over 2500 tests in the central Ohio area. Read more about the PARRT.

At some of our higher-risk campuses, we are now taking additional steps to reduce the risks to our seniors and our staff. This week we started testing employees in both skilled nursing and assisted living. Those campuses are in both Ohio and Florida. While some of this testing is required by the state, and government agencies we have chosen to do much of it proactively. Our goal is, as always, to save lives.

Our staff continues to keep the residents engaged in the most creative ways. From TV and Hallway Bingo to Dance Parties and Food deliveries, they are going above and beyond to take care of our seniors. We have been doing all in our power to keep the seniors we serve and the seniors in the community safe. Hear more stories here.

As restrictions are being lifted all across the nation, National Church Residences, in collaboration with our media partners in Ohio, Georgia and Florida, launched our second Public Service Campaign to encourage the wearing of masks. As an organization, we are charged with not only protecting our seniors but protecting our front line staff, our families, and the communities in which we live and work. To help us protect one another, and stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we must encourage a culture of mask-wearing. Join us in our fight and become a Masked Crusader.


How can you help?

While there are a lot of things you can’t do right now, there are many things you can do to help the cause.

  • Stay Connected. During this time, we encourage families to communicate with each other and your senior loved ones by calling, texting, posting on social media, video chatting, and setting up family gatherings in online meeting rooms. Here is a post with other ideas on staying connected to a senior.
  • Stay Calm: If you or a loved one is impacted directly by the virus, the best thing to do is to remain calm, relaxed and know that our care teams are working diligently to prepare for the prevention of infection.
  • Stay Compassionate. Help a less fortunate senior by donating to our Resident Emergency Fund.
  • Stay Informed: Please visit the CDC website for current coronavirus information. For information about restrictions in your area, check your State Department of Public Health.
  • Stay Covered: During this COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we do all we can to protect ourselves and protect one another. The CDC recommends wearing face masks to slow the spread of coronavirus.
  • Contact Us: If you should have a concern regarding a specific resident or one of our campuses with regard to the virus, please contact your specific community.


What are we doing?

  • Our physician-led, COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet daily, adjusting Infection Prevention Plans in response to new CDC and state guidelines as well as changing senior community situations.
  • To help support our senior residents in need, we’ve launched a national Rapid Response Service Coordinator program to arrange for services and supplies.
  • To help support our front line staff, we launched a COVID-19 Staff Support Hotline. This provides immediate access to guidance and needed resources.
  • In recognition of the financial impact the coronavirus is having on our frontline staff at a time they are going above and beyond for our seniors, our Board agreed to provide additional Crisis Compensation through July 4, 2020.
  • Every day we’re gaining new wisdom, discovering new ways to do things, uncovering staff talents and re-allocating our resources to best adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. We are committed – and determined – to save lives.

To all of our National Church Residences family, be safe, and may God Bless you as we continue this journey together.


Mark Ricketts

Mark Ricketts Signature




Mark Ricketts, President & CEO

Disclaimer: Please be aware that due to the rapidly evolving situation, recommendations regarding Coronavirus are constantly being updated as our organization becomes aware of the latest government recommendations and as the situation changes.  The information in this message may become quickly outdated so we advise you to always consult with the CDC and your local health department for the most up-to-date information in your area. National Church Residences is not providing medical or legal advice through this communication and shall not be liable for the action or inaction of third parties based upon the information provided.

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National Church Residences does not discriminate against individuals based on race, color, disability, familial status, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, payment source, or any other class protected by applicable law, whether in employment or its activities, programs, or services. National Church Residences also does not discriminate based on age, except as required by government entitlements or permitted by applicable law for seniors.