Senior living communities confirm 3 residents test positive for coronavirus | News | Palo Alto Online |


Senior living communities confirm 3 residents test positive for coronavirus

Two tenants have COVID-19 at Vi at Palo Alto; Man at Lytton Gardens under quarantine

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The new coronavirus has infected a man at Lytton Gardens downtown and two residents at Vi at Palo Alto, representatives for the senior living communities said.

Vi at Palo Alto, located on Sand Hill Road near Stanford Shopping Center, said in a statement that two residents have tested positive for the virus. No other information about the cases is being released due to privacy, the company said.

The Lytton Gardens case has led residents of the downtown senior living center to ask management to remove the man from the property, according to an email shared with the Weekly.

The man, who lives in an apartment in the center's Arbor neighborhood independent-living facility is quarantined in his unit, said Mary McMullin, a spokeswoman for Covia Communities, which owns Lytton Garden. Management staff informed residents, their family members and staff on Wednesday after learning about the man's infection.

The man, whose age is not being released, had difficulty breathing and went to the hospital on March 11. After he was given a test for the coronavirus, he was instructed to go home and isolate himself. The resident's son reported the positive test result to Lytton Gardens' housing administrator on Wednesday. The administrator immediately reported the case to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and began implementing the agency's recommendations.

"The resident reports that he has not had any other contact with any residents nor has staff been in his apartment for any work orders for the past seven days, Covia Communities noted in a statement posted on its website Wednesday.

Some residents have asked the administration to move the patient to a safe area to prevent the coronavirus infection from spreading to other residents.

"Lytton Garden apartment complex is not a closed building environment, with multiple rooms connected to each other. The COVID-19 is very easy to transfer to other residents through the common area within the complex and the central air condition. The residents (sic) here are full of senior people, which is the risk age group to be hit by the virus," they wrote in an email.

The residents said they "strongly demand" the man's removal and for the administration to thoroughly sanitize the whole complex, provide proper education or instructions to the senior residents on how to prevent the infection and designate the infected patient's room as a dangerous area to prevent residents from visiting or passing by his door.

"Early action will prevent COVID-19 spreads to other residents in the community. Don't start the action after it is too late. Please take your responsibility right now," they wrote.

McMullin, Covia's spokeswoman, said the administration can't move the resident because he is in an independent-living unit and not a skilled nursing room.

"There's a higher bar under HUD ( Department of Housing and Urban Development) subsidies," which pays for the apartments. "You have to enforce their housing regulations," she said. Having COVID-19 is not grounds for a just-cause eviction.

Covia is enforcing social distancing among staff and is making extra efforts to clean and sanitize all community spaces, McMullin said. Residents and staff are being apprised of any additional training and county health department protocols. Each housing community has a resident services coordinator who links residents with resources and creates plans for each housing community, she said.

Covia has banned visitors from making in-person visits to residents but encourages people to connect by phone or online. The company has established screening guidelines for all staff, vendors and delivery people coming to its communities, she said. Covia has also posted information regarding its response to the virus on its website.

The Vi has heightened safety precautions, which include encouraging residents to stay in their apartments, closing all common areas, canceling all events and programs, screening people who enter the building, closing the facility to outside visitors and frequent sanitizing and disinfecting, the company said.

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11 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 21, 2020 at 12:59 pm

Palo Alto's housing shortage is going to make situations like this common. We need to solve it now before it becomes unsolvable.

33 people like this
Posted by Trump fired the national pandemic team
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 21, 2020 at 1:05 pm

America had a two month head start. The administration had pandemic training exercises in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Here we go - this all relates back to not being prepared, primarily not having massive testing early on in this crisis, well after we were warned by events elsewhere. America turned down tests and procedures offered by the WHO in January.

See how Singapore and South Korea used early massive testing and social distancing to fight the virus.

Thoughts and prayers to all our first responders and the folks over in LG.

15 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 21, 2020 at 1:58 pm

He shouldn't be evicted, but perhaps he could self-isolate at a hotel? Lots of vacancy lately.

14 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 21, 2020 at 2:15 pm

It doesn’t say where he might have gotten to virus. Did he travel? Or did someone who is a symptomatic bring it in? Would e helpful to know if he has any idea how he got it.

8 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 21, 2020 at 2:25 pm

[Post removed.]

23 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 21, 2020 at 2:42 pm

The "bureaucracy" doesn't seem to be doing such a hot job beyond perpetuating racism by calling it "the Chinese virus."

23 people like this
Posted by Trump fired the national pandemic team
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 21, 2020 at 2:56 pm

bu·reauc·ra·cy - a system of government in which most of the important decisions are made by state officials rather than by elected representatives.

Let's look at the difference between an elected official and a bureaucrat. Trump has proven he makes terrible decisions - leave the decisions to the experts, not elected buffoons, who whenever they are asked simple questions, go off on some emotional disorder tangent.

- "What do you say to Americans who are scared?"

- "I say that you are a terrible reporter, that's what I say." ...saying he asked a "nasty question." "You're doing sensationalism, and the same with NBC and Comcast. I don't call it Comcast. I call it 'Con-Cast.' Let me just tell you something that's really bad reporting. And you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism."

That was the answer to the *softball* question: "What do you say to Americans who are scared?"

Give me an accomplished expert any day. Let's call him/her a bureaucrat if it makes little snowflakes feel superior.

4 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 21, 2020 at 4:10 pm

[Post removed.]

12 people like this
Posted by Mimi
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2020 at 9:37 pm

The residence service coordinate should have done more communication with the senior residents to comfort them once they found out the issue. The seniors are worry about the situation. They have the right to know the situation and the management need to provide extra instructions to ask for cooperations from the residents to prevent the spread of the virus.

21 people like this
Posted by Loreto
a resident of Southgate
on Mar 21, 2020 at 11:34 pm

Santa Clara or Palo Alto (or California) should have a plan for this type of situation where many vulnerable people are at risk. Ideally, we need to have a place to take coronavirus patients who do not need hospitalization but should be quarantined away from their homes, especially if they live in a group situation where many vulnerable people are in danger. This is one of the steps China took to successfully solve this problem - no home quarantine. China realized that the majority of new infections were occurring at home where a coronavirus family member was in quarantine. Here in the US, the government should have a similar protocol when a patient in a nursing home is infected.

18 people like this
Posted by John D
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 22, 2020 at 12:10 am

It's impossible to thoroughly quarantine this person, Lytton Gardens, in that setting. Others will acquire the disease and Lytton Gardens will be sued into bankruptcy over deliberate negligence and harm. Just goes to show how stupid professionals can be.

16 people like this
Posted by If we don't fix things now
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Mar 22, 2020 at 12:17 am

Enough about Trump and politics, social media junk and whoever says what on Twitter.

If we don't fix things now, it will be our own Californian Suicide.

Hope you reserved your gravestone because even those have long lines awaiting those, too.

24 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 22, 2020 at 9:10 am

I wish those afflicted a speedy and healthy recovery.

The lack of compassion by some in this community is astounding. Evicting those with coronavirus is illegal and immoral. If those afflicted isolate themselves and do not come into contact with others, there is no risk to spread this disease. We have seen this once before with the AIDS panic. There is no need to panic, we know how this disease spreads. Those with the disease are humans and deserve compassion, not eviction.

16 people like this
Posted by SafetyFirst
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 22, 2020 at 10:40 am

@JR: Respectfully, we do not know how it spreads. Specifically, there is concern about whether droplet or airborne precautions are needed. Pictures of medical professionals precautions show a range from simple surgical masks, to N95 masks, to face shields, to full PAPR gear. Which is it? How careful should one be around the infected? Do you know for a fact?

Some hospitals are putting COVID19 patients in negative pressure rooms - to vent anything airborne out of the room. Is this necessary to prevent spread? Are Lytton apartments negative pressure rooms?

Is the HVAC spreading this? Do you know for a fact? How about food delivery? Medical delivery?

Is this person's family visiting? Are they also infected and contagious, but symptom-less?

Who is providing meals for this person? Are they using proper protocols for interaction? For self-cleaning when they exit Lytton via the hallways, doors, elevators?

Who is taking out this person's garbage? Is there a biohazard garbage receptacle at Lytton? Is there a properly trained staff/contractor to remove the biohazards?

Of course those with disease deserve compassion. So do the other, non-sick residents of Lytton, an older, vulnerable population with a host of underlying health conditions that accompany the aged.

It is also important to note that there aside from independent living, there is a skilled nursing facility right next door. There are patients recovering there from many different things. They are also vulnerable if their is cross-traffic of staff between independent living and skilled nursing.

This resident and any future COVID19 positives should be moved out immediately until he recovers for the safety of all residents, patients and staff at Lytton.

16 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 22, 2020 at 3:07 pm

"Palo Alto's housing shortage is going to make situations like this common. We need to solve it now before it becomes unsolvable."

This pandemic is the strongest possible argument AGAINST the "mass housing near transit" mantra. Disease spreads most rapidly in high population densities which are periodically brought into close mutual contact at transit centers and in mass transit vehicles. The best housing in this case is suburban sprawl, but there is no more room for it here. Solution: lower the local population.

8 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 22, 2020 at 4:30 pm

SafetyFirst, your post is filled with misinformation and panic. It reads like a 2020 version of "AIDS spreads from drinking fountains and toilet seats" panic that was so common in the 80s. Please read and educate yourself, then stop spreading panic and misinformation:

Web Link

"The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.


It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads."

1 person likes this
Posted by Seth
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 22, 2020 at 4:38 pm

It is still relatively early as to Palo Alto.

If Lytton Garden unit involves a common interconnected HVAC, they can disconnect his unit and give him a separate HEPA filtered HVAC room unit.

But who will pay for that? Wonder if other residents would agree to a "collection," to protect themselves. May not be fair, ..... of course as the number of sick increases, the number of dwindling health resident donors will be increasingly burdened.

As to seniors, sentiment in many cases (Seattle) is that moving the senior is more stressfully risky to their life than leaving them in place.

As case numbers increase, eventual triage of rooms will be more systematized and for mild cases might involve requesting / requisitioning dormitory rooms if not hotel rooms for safe quarantine away from healthy housemates.

5 people like this
Posted by SafetyFirst
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 22, 2020 at 5:10 pm


Thank you for the link the CDC. That is the most accurate and useful information for all of us and we should all be following CDC guidance and advice along with the guidance of our local public health departments.

At the top of the CDC page you linked, it says: "COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States." With "we are still learning how it spreads" in bold.

The tragedy that has occurred at the nursing home up in Seattle is terrible. It would be useful to understand exactly what happened there so that similar outcomes can be averted elsewhere.

Web Link

12 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 23, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Thank GOD that Scott Weiner's Senate Bill 50 died. The kind of density he was proposing (of course, without new hospitals and other infrastructure) would just make things worse. This contagion should be evidence we need infrastructure before more humans are added (i.e., more development).

We should also get the business tax going ASAP to discourage new employment and residents.

10 people like this
Posted by PA Resident with Vi info
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 23, 2020 at 2:49 pm

I have been very worried about the measures that Vi has particularly taken. A manger of a very essential department did not provide protective necessities for the employees. These workers have been going to the residents apartments on a daily basis with no gloves or masks. Less than a handful of employees, from this specific department, were sent home for having contact with potential sick residents, yet those same employees had contact with the rest of the crew (meetings, morning interaction ect). Up until today masks were provided for these employees. The safety of the Residents is important but wouldn't you want to protect the essential employees who provide essential assistance throughout the buildings?!

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