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.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.