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Riverview skilled nursing unit set to close due to ‘projected long-term catastrophic event’ of COVID-19

UPDATED: Thu., March 26, 2020

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The skilled nursing unit at Riverview Retirement Community on Upriver Drive will permanently close by June 1, because of projected effects of COVID-19.

The closure will affect 35 residents, who must find alternative places to go by that date, when the unit officially closes.

A news release from Riverview Retirement Community cites the “projected long-term catastrophic event” of COVID-19 as the cause of the decision.

“During this 60-day transition phase, Riverview is committed to providing the same level of care to our residents,” President and CEO Charles G. Tirrell said in the release.

Riverview Retirement Community offers independent living, assisted living and the skilled nursing unit, allowing residents to transition easily into different care settings as they need higher levels of care.

Tom Talkington and his wife have lived in independent living at Riverview for 14 years, and one reason he wanted to be a part of the community was so he and his wife could transition to some of the end-of-life care down the road when they need it. Talkington bought the condominium he now lives in, and today he received the letter with the news that the skilled nursing unit was permanently closing because of COVID-19.

“When we bought in here, even though it’s not a part of our contract, what they told us is towards the end of our lives, and we hope we’re not there yet, even though I’m 86, you can have priority to go to the Terrace, which is assisted living, and if the Terrace isn’t good (enough) then you go into the critical care, and so it’s a transitional thing, which is why we invested here,” he said.

Now, if one of them requires a higher level of care than assisted living can offer, they will have to go elsewhere. The skilled nursing unit, also called the Riverview Care Center, is where Talkington said he went to get physical therapy after his surgery for cancer. He said he has also heard concerns from some of his neighbors about losing the Care Center because they will have to look elsewhere for therapy after June 1.

Tirrell did not respond to messages left for him seeking comment by press time.

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