Dear Bloom Residents, Families & Friends:
We reported on May 9, 2020 that an associate of Bloom at Kokomo in Kokomo, IN tested positive for COVID-19. That associate works in Memory Care and has not been in the community since May 5, 2020. One other Memory Care associate, who worked with that associate, also tested positive yesterday, May 14, 2020. No other associate or resident is experiencing symptoms or has tested positive. We continue to diligently monitor the residents and associates. We are also taking additional precautions, including but not limited to: test kits have been delivered to Kokomo to test all Memory Care residents and associates, residents in semi-private units are being moved to private units, dedicated staffing is being assigned to Memory Care (and not accessing Assisted Living), a separate entrance is being created for Memory Care and additional personal protective equipment is being delivered to last 14-days. We've received 2 resident tests back and both were negative. We called all our Memory Care families last night. We are doing everything we can, around-the-clock, to keep the residents safe.
Other than these two associates at Kokomo, we still have
no other known cases
of COVID-19 in our 9 Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care communities serving over 750 residents. We are adding a table below for this, and future, updates reflecting the number of active associate and resident cases by community.
We think it bears mentioning that this pandemic arrived at our doorsteps during a time when our organization has never been stronger clinically, culturally and financially. This should be important for our families and friends living at, or considering, Bloom. We're not a new operator just starting in the senior care business, a new build still worried about the pressures of lease-up or answering to impatient investors, a company with many different product lines or a large company with inefficient bureaucracies. To the contrary, we're a conservative family company - with no outside partners or investors and little leverage - that has exclusively been in the senior care business for over 50-years with mature management, ownership intimately involved in operations, strong local leadership, sound policies and a stable financial footing, which provides us the flexibility and wherewithal to always
Do The Right Thing
(an important Bloom Belief) in the best interest of our residents and associates, as well as, the long-term interest of the company. All we do is eat, sleep and dream Bloom and its aspirational mission inspired by our personal story. Our founder grew up during the Great Depression and our family model was designed to thrive and grow in the face of uncertainty. Indeed, our company grew during the last recession and came out of it stronger than ever. This is partly why you chose Bloom and is a major differentiator. Hence, our current financial health - combined with the fact that this horrible pandemic continues to bring our teams even closer together and strengthen our already strong culture; our proven corporate and local leadership; and our growing stronger by the day operational / clinical programs - gives us great confidence that we're well-positioned to manage through these unusual times better than anyone.
Specifically, the Bloom owners and corporate directors continue to meet daily with our on-site teams and review our comprehensive Pandemic Rapid Response Plan. Our communities continue to restrict visitor access, screen vigilantly, track anyone experiencing symptoms, isolate, test anyone experiencing symptoms (on-site at Bloom through our FDA-approved laboratory partnership), social distance and provide the care and services our residents expect. As discussed in prior communications, we've also intensified our clinical programs (becoming an even better caregiver) -- consistent with our Bloom Belief to
Be Better Each Day
-- and our data through May continues to reflect that Telehealth (which Bloom can now help facilitate), our frequent temperature and O2 checks, more aggressive monitoring and re-assessments are allowing Bloom to intervene sooner and reduce physician / laboratory visits, hospitalizations and transfers to higher levels of care. In other words, we're keeping residents safe in their Bloom home. But we're not stopping there - everyday we try to do something special for each resident consistent with another Bloom Belief,
Bloom is also in the process of ordering a large amount of additional personal protective equipment.
We also want to take a second and discuss "re-opening." We're aware that other providers in certain markets may have already prematurely announced re-opening, which is not only incredibly risky in our opinion, but in violation of local and regulatory orders. As a company very involved in the seniors housing industry at large with access to our trade organizations, we would be highly suspect of any organization telling you they're ready to re-open their senior living community today. Another reason you've hopefully decided upon Bloom is we're not only very strategic and balanced in our approach, but also appreciate that you cannot afford to botch something so important and economics will never be sacrificed for safety -- another Bloom Belief is to
. We will not be irresponsible.
With that said, while we've made no final decisions yet on relaxing internal or external restrictions, that's not to say we haven't been thinking about (and designing) a plan. We've held many internal discussions, and we're beginning to get our arms around what a phased re-opening may ultimately look like -- things are becoming clearer. As crazy as these times are, we're feeling a sense of excitement about what we can do to get our residents back to a new normal routine within the communities and ultimately our families back in the communities when it's safe and appropriate. That said, we believe senior living will be one of the last sectors to re-open given this invisible virus is contagious, can be spread by asymptomatic people and our residents are an at-risk population. We'll be making formal announcements when it's appropriate.
You've heard us say it before, but please take some time and watch
our videos (below) and visit our
page, so you can hear and see for yourself what we're feeling and seeing. We want you to hear and see life at Bloom, which is far different than the isolated incidents at skilled nursing fac
ilities you may hear about on the nightly news.
We also want to make sure you know that our intention is not only to be pro-active and aggressive operationally, but to be transparent. Communication is a key component to our operation -- consistent with our Bloom Belief to
so while our updates are longer and more substantive / comprehensive than what others are putting out, we want you to feel like you're on our daily calls.
These updates provide a summary and glimpse into how we're thinking internally.
On a related topic, our consistent communication is a way to stay connected. We've had to learn there are different ways to be together. The one we obviously miss so much is being together physically, reading each other's faces, talking and giving hugs. It may be awhile before we can do that again. That's uncharacteristic and unnatural for us at Bloom. But, at the same time, we can learn during this time to be together in different ways and share our love and hope through our writings, technology, telephone calls, etc. We think about our Bloomers everyday, and we can continue to be together in community even though were physically separated from each other for a little while longer. It's imperative that we keep our community together.
In closing, we would like to borrow some words from a dear industry friend of our family who owns one of the largest portfolios of senior living communities in the Country and relies on operators (like Bloom, but not Bloom) to run his buildings:
"Reputations are made during a crisis and I see operators making good decisions and taking action based on the principles they value; selflessly caring for their residents, nurturing a company culture that appreciates employees and providing leadership and comfort to the employees and families of their residents. I believe that when history reflects back on our industry and its practices during this time there will be operators that are hailed as heroes.
We'd like to think that Bloom and its team of dedicated associates will fall into that camp. We hope you'll find that our five Bloom Beliefs:
Do The Right Thing
Be Positive and Deliver Wow
Be Better Each Day
are not words on a website or a marketing brochure. These are the beliefs that sets Bloom apart; the soul of our company; the framework for which we base decisions; and the guiding principles that are organically driving Bloom's culture and helping our company and associates overcome this virus with as many positive outcomes as possible.
With that, we'll continue to communicate with you regularly and transparently. Please continue to look for further communications from us by e-mail and simultaneous posts to our
. Our daily updates in Indiana to our Indiana families will continue.
Wishing everyone yet another positive weekend and week ahead. We're in this together and getting closer to the end than the beginning --
Be Positive and Deliver Wow
even in these uncertain times. We are at Bloom!
Scott and Tony Kantor, and Bradley Dubin