COVID-19 case confirmed at Castle Peak Senior Life in Eagle | VailDaily.com
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COVID-19 case confirmed at Castle Peak Senior Life in Eagle

Resident who tested positive died Wednesday prompting senior center to test all residents, staff members

One week after three residents and four staff members at Castle Peak tested positive for COVID-19, followup testing revealed no new cases. The senior care facility will retest its population again on May 21.
Daily file photo

A positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at the Castle Peak Senior Life facility in Eagle.

The resident who was diagnosed with COVID-19 died Wednesday.

Residents and family members were notified of the positive COVID-19 result and on Thursday all staff and residents were tested for the virus.

“Castle Peak staff have worked tirelessly on preparation and prevention measures during the past few months to keep the coronavirus out of our building,” said Dave Saemrow, vice president of public relations for Cassia, the Minnesota-based parent company of Castle Peak Senior Life and Rehabilitation, in a written statement released Friday.

“He was a vital member of our community and we are grieving his loss. Our hearts go out to our resident’s family during this challenging time, and we pray they will find comfort,” Saemrow said.

Saemrow said that once the Castle Peak confirmed the positive status, the center notified all residents and made telephone calls to family members to share information and respond to questions. 

“A robust family communications plan has been in place at Castle Peak for some time, and we will continue to provide proactive, transparent communications,” Saemrow said. “In addition, we are in close communication with the Colorado Department of Health to make sure we are taking the appropriate steps.”

Saemrow said all residents and staff at Castle Peak have been tested and staff has been wearing personal protective equipment since the beginning of March.

“Residents are assessed for coronavirus symptoms three times a day and Castle Peak is still following the no visitor policy,” Saemrow said. “Employees are screened upon entry into the facility. We have routinely been reinforcing to our staff that anyone who is sick should stay home.”

‘Shaken right now’

According to one of the residents at Castle Peak, who asked to remain anonymous, the facility has been under COVID-19 protections for 10 weeks now.

“We have avoided it (a COVID-19 case) until now,” the resident said. “We have all been spending time in our rooms. We have not been able to eat in the dining rooms for a long time.”

The restrictions have been hard on residents, this individual said, noting that since March in-person family visits haven’t been allowed because of health risks. Now, with the positive COVID-19 result, the resident said the rules are even tighter. Residents have been instructed to remain in their rooms at all times and their access to personal shopping and delivery services has been curtailed as a safety measure, the resident said.

“We are frustrated that we don’t know the new rules,” the resident said. “Our families are concerned and we are shaken right now.”

J.P. Swanson is one of those concerned family members.

“I know the facility has been doing a great job so far in trying to prevent this from happening and will continue to do their best,” he said in an email to the Vail Daily.

Swanson voiced his concern that Castle Peak needed to test all residents and staff and be forthcoming about the testing results.

“With over half of the deaths of COVID 19 in Colorado occurring in senior facilities similar to Castle Peak and Eagle County moving into next phase of reopening, I feel like this is a big story,” he said.

Saemrow said Castle Peak has reviewed and updated Castle Peak’s emergency communication plan along with its infection prevention and control plans.

“Our greatest focus is the well-being of residents and the staff who care for them,” he said. “We are deeply grateful to our employees who faithfully care for our residents daily. Their steadfast support is an exceptional example of our core values.”


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