How Five Star is responding to the COVID-19 virus

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A Letter From Five Star CEO Katie Potter on Reopening

COVID-19 Testing and Reopening Considerations

Five Star Media Statement

Our Response


June 12, 2020

Dear Five Star Residents and Families,

As certain businesses begin the process of reopening, I want to take this opportunity to share that we have established an expert-led, cross-functional reopening team. For the last several weeks, this team has been aggressively designing a reopening strategy, which is tailored to each line of business and is consistent with the guidelines of the White House phased reopening plan, the CDC and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as well as applicable federal, state and local regulatory authorities.

It is important to highlight two important points about reopening:

First, Five Star communities will not reopen in the same way as other businesses. Given the vulnerability of the population we serve, we are taking a cautious and measured approach to reopening. Each community must demonstrate readiness before moving through the levels of reopening. We ask you to please be patient with your community as it moves through the reopening process to ensure that the effort is sustainable and efficient while mitigating potential risks.

Second, as your community moves through the reopening process, the resident experience will evolve to reflect our learnings and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, we will continue to practice social distancing and wear facemasks.

We know that in-person visits with loved ones will be one of the most anticipated activities once your community begins the reopening process. You can expect that the executive director of your community will communicate with you and outline all the specifics regarding family visits as well as other activities, such as salon appointments. It will be of the utmost importance that every resident and family member abide by the guidelines established within each community.

Over the next few weeks, your executive director will keep you updated with any information that may influence the reopening process. Each community’s goal is to resume as many activities as soon as safely possible. As always, the health and well-being of our residents and team members are our highest priority.

Meanwhile, everyone at Five Star extends their gratitude for your support and understanding as we thoughtfully approach reopening our communities.


Katie Potter
President and Chief Executive Officer



May 27, 2020

COVID-19 Testing and Reopening Considerations

As our nation continues navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, Five Star Senior Living remains committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of our residents, team members and clients. Our COVID-19 task force and dedicated clinical leaders are working closely with public health organizations and regulatory agencies to ensure that our procedures stay fully aligned with the latest best practices and that we remain well equipped to protect our communities.

To further reduce the risk of exposure and prevent the spread of the virus, we have implemented a COVID-19 testing protocol for all healthcare and assisted living residents and team members. This program is designed to quickly diagnose asymptomatic individuals, survey and assess patient recovery and inform future decisions regarding reopening.
In light of certain states taking action to reopen local businesses, it is important to reiterate that our communities continue to follow all directives and recommendations provided by the CDC and other federal, state and local authorities. The three-phase White House reopening plan, the CDC and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services support the requirement for senior living communities to maintain current protocols until, at the earliest, phase three.
Accordingly, at this time, Five Star communities are maintaining restrictions on non-essential visitors as well as protocols related to pre-entrance screening, symptom monitoring, resident outings and community activities. Similarly, we will continue to diligently enforce enhanced sanitation and infection prevention protocols, including hand washing, social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment. We are aggressively evaluating policies and restrictions and will adjust them when appropriate with our first consideration being for the well-being, health and safety of our residents and team members.



April 24, 2020

Five Star Media Statement

The safety, health and well-being of our residents, clients and team members remains our highest priority, and the Five Star COVID-19 task force continues monitoring developments and further enhancing our policies and procedures in this evolving global health crisis. Consistent with recommendations of and directives by federal, state and local regulatory agencies, all of our communities and clinics have implemented and continually updated infection and disease prevention protocols along with a number of other precautionary measures specifically tailored to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

We have strict guidelines in place prohibiting all non-essential visitors from entering Five Star communities. Prior to entering, team members and essential visitors are screened for signs of a fever or other indications of COVID-19. Everyone is required to thoroughly wash or sanitize their hands and wear a facemask before entering a community. We continue to closely monitor all residents and team members for signs and symptoms and immediately follow recommended protocols to contact a physician and family, and isolate or send home someone exhibiting specific COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally, we have temporarily closed all dining areas and postponed all non-medical resident outings and other social events. We strongly encourage independent living residents to refrain from leaving the community. Any resident leaving and returning to the community will be screened and may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
At Five Star, we continue to closely follow the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as federal, state and local regulatory agencies, and will continue taking proactive measures to ensure the safety and health of residents, clients and team members in our communities and clinics. Our team members are experienced, well prepared and specifically trained for infection prevention and control practices. We will continue to be vigilant and proactive in navigating this challenging situation.



April 24, 2020

Our Response

As our nation continues to fight COVID-19, Five Star’s mission to honor and enrich our residents’ lives is more important than ever. Our teams are working tirelessly to deliver exceptional care, and we remain as committed as ever to providing a warm, inviting environment for our residents. At Five Star, our top priority is protecting the health and well-being of our residents, as well as their families and our team members.

At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Five Star quickly reacted by establishing a cross-functional, interdepartmental task force to closely monitor developments and communicate with community leaders, public authorities and other health care professionals in real time. The task force continues to diligently track the evolving pandemic, providing new information and key insights that enable Five Star to regularly enhance our protocols to safeguard our communities.

In addition to following all recommendations provided by the CDC as well as federal, state and local health authorities, Five Star has implemented robust infection prevention and control protocols. Our team members have received extensive training to take care of our residents, and they are well equipped to keep our communities safe.

Our actions show our commitment.

By being proactive and leveraging the expertise of our nation’s public health authorities, we are continuously adapting our procedures and best practices.

For our valued residents and their families, we are...

  • Complying with, and in many cases exceeding, recommendations provided by the CDC and federal, state and local regulatory authorities.
  • Restricting visitation:
    • All non-essential visitors are restricted from entering our communities.
    • Essential visitors and team members are limited to one entrance, are screened for signs of fever or other indications of COVID-19-related symptom. 
    • Everyone entering is required to thoroughly wash or sanitize their hands and wear a facemask before entering.
  • Enforcing strict new-resident admission and resident re-admission policies.
    • All prospective residents, and residents, who have been discharged from the hospital into our care or are otherwise returning to our communities, are closely screened for symptoms of COVID-19.
    • These individuals are placed under a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon admission or return to the community, even if they do not exhibit symptoms of the virus.
    • All caregivers are equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including respiratory facemasks, eye protection, gloves and medical gowns, when tending to residents’ needs.
    • All team members are required to follow social-distancing procedures—maintaining at least six feet of distance while interacting with residents and one another.
  • Reorienting our dining and snacking protocols:
    • Our dining areas have been temporarily closed, and all residents receive meals via room service.
    • All catering activities, including lobby beverage and hospitality stations and self-service buffets, have been suspended.
    • We are focused on maintaining safe distances between residents while continuing our hydration and nutrition programs.
  • Eliminating social events:
    • All non-medical resident outings and other social events have been postponed or canceled until further notice.
    • All routine social visits and outside group activities have been canceled.
    • In addition to implementing new internal group activities that allow for engagement while maintaining social distancing, we are encouraging distance learning and programming options for our residents.
  • Regularly providing updates to the members of our community.
    • Residents, their families and our team members have the right to know what’s going on in their community. To that end, our communities are committed to regular updates regarding new COVID-19 cases and deaths at the community level.
    • Listed relatives whose loved ones have tested positive for COVID-19 are immediately and personally notified.

In our community operations, we are...

  • Providing all communities and clinics with COVID-19 toolkits, including detailed webinars with our chief medical officer and other Five Star health care experts and leaders, and supporting information-sharing across communities with dedicated message boards and robust interactive communication.
  • Offering all residents and families one-on-one assistance with FaceTime, Zoom or Skype videoconferencing, texting and email to keep them connected.EFR-Flyer-thumbnail
  • Supplementing in-room activities and programming to keep residents engaged and from feeling isolated while visits are suspended.
  • Making licensed or credentialed counselors available by phone or videoconference to all assisted living and independent living residents who may be especially affected by COVID-19. Whether they fear for their family’s safety or their own, or are suffering from feelings of isolation and hopelessness, Five Star has arranged with Employee & Family Resources (EFR) to offer up to three, 60-minute, confidential counseling sessions at no cost through Sept. 27. 
  • Providing team members with meals during shifts, employee assistance programs and free COVID-19 testing and treatment coverage.
  • Leveraging our centralized strategic sourcing function and network of suppliers to ensure continuity of supplies and products to our communities.
  • Halting all non-critical renovations and construction in communities.
  • Focusing on infection prevention and control practices, including:
    • All team members wear respiratory facemasks at all times, and caregivers with prolonged contact with residents wear appropriate PPE.
    • Maintaining a high level of cleanliness throughout communities and clinics, including regularly implementing our sanitizing protocols by using the Protexis gun throughout the entire community.
    • Contracting specialized, infection-control firms to sanitize all common areas, including walls, doors knobs, hand rails, apartments affected by COVID-19, and the kitchen.
    • Posting signage throughout our communities, reminding everyone to wash hands or use hand sanitizer and practice social distancing.
    • Closely monitoring the health of residents and team members.
    • Implementing emergency response plans.




April 9, 2020

A Message from Five Star CEO Katie Potter

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