October 26, 2021
Atria Senior Living, a leading operator of senior living communities across the United States and Canada, announced Atria and its recent acquisition, Holiday Retirement, have near 100% staff vaccine participation levels across their collective 430-plus communities. The participation rate includes employees who have had at least one vaccine dose, those in the vaccination scheduling process, and those who are fully vaccinated already. This commitment to the vaccine was discussed during Atria’s recent second annual “virtual town hall” meeting with Mayo Clinic Laboratories (MCL).
“The vaccines work,” Atria Chairman and CEO John Moore said. “Wherever we’ve seen outbreaks, data indicates the vaccine has played a strong role in driving down hospitalizations and severity of symptoms when cases do occur. We’re incredibly proud of how Atria and Holiday employees responded to our decision to go with total vaccination. In fact Lilly Donohue’s Holiday team got to near-full vaccine participation in less than two months from start to finish. That’s living out the commitment to residents and to each other that we value so highly. We believe our residents deserve to live in a vaccinated environment, and our staff deserves to work in a vaccinated environment,” Moore said.
Atria and Holiday Retirement, have near 100% staff vaccine participation levels across their 430-plus communities.
The Town Hall program was videotaped and features Dr. Matthew Binnicker of Mayo Clinic Laboratories and John Moore, Chairman and CEO of Atria Senior Living, and is being shared with residents, families and staff in the more than 430 Atria and Holiday Retirement communities across the U.S. and Canada. The two leaders recounted the relationship between Atria and MCL that began in April 2020, as Atria relied on MCL for a sustained and aggressive testing program resulting in more than 350,000 COVID-19 tests during the pandemic across all of Atria’s communities, adding a critical layer of protection for seniors and staff particularly before vaccines became available.
The leaders also discussed the performance of vaccines and booster shots in preventing and mitigating COVID-19, and how seniors and their families should approach the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays and flu season from a safety and well-being standpoint.
Also noted during the town hall is the potential for an uptick in influenza activity this winter, compared to the near non-existence of flu last year during the pandemic. The lack of international air travel last year, remote working, masking and other measures helped reduce case counts experienced during more “normal” flu seasons.
“In terms of preventative measures, it’s absolutely essential to get the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine. The reason for that is because those two viruses cause a very similar disease, especially early on in the disease course. So physicians may not be able to immediately tell based on a person having a sore throat, body aches, cough or fever, whether they have the flu or COVID. So they’ll have to test for both most likely. And it’s important to know whether it’s COVID or flu, because how that person is treated is different depending on whether they have the flu or whether they have COVID-19,” Dr. Binnicker said.
Moore said “our communities are highly vaccinated places and we’ve invested heavily in our matrix of protections. But nothing is perfect. Thanksgiving is a really important time for our residents and families. We’re going to do as much as we can to support the normal Thanksgiving for everyone in all of our Atria and Holiday communities. We have to be smart and be safe. Taking advantage of the flu and booster clinics as well as simple things we’ve all learned along the way like hand washing, distancing and masking are easy things to do. We’re hopeful that Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and other celebrations we will be able to see loved ones, and be together.”