13 Residents Have Died At Just One Arizona Senior Living Community

By Brandy Rae Ramirez

April 22, 2020

More than a dozen residents at Pennington Gardens in Chandler have died of COVID-19 complications.

COVID-19 cases in Arizona continue to rise with an additional 21 deaths reported Wednesday, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). 

For the state, the number of confirmed cases is now at 5,459 with 229 deaths and 208 new cases. Men continue to lead the number of deaths with a 58% mortality rate compared to women at 42%.

The elderly also continue to have a higher mortality rate due to COVID-19 complications; 168 of the reported deaths in the state are people over the age of 65.

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Most recently, more than a dozen residents at Pennington Gardens, an assisted living facility in Chandler, have died of coronavirus complications, and another 28 residents have tested positive.

Oregon-based parent company Compass Living confirmed Tuesday that 13 residents have died at the senior living community, spokeswoman Amira Fahoum said.

“Our condolences and hearts go to the families of these residents. We are grieving each one as we have cared for them,” she said.

Nine employees have also tested positive, officials said, adding that five have since recovered.

“We have had adequate personal protective equipment on hand and regularly provide employees training on its use. We continue to be proud of the efforts made by those team members that have dedicated, at risk to their own health, to caring for the residents,” Fahoum said.

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Facility managers have been working with health officials and primary care physicians to test remaining residents and employees, and most residents have already received testing results, she said.

“As we’ve discovered, even elders can be positive for COVID-19 and not display any symptoms; making the depth and breadth of cases difficult to ascertain,” Fahoum said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Pennington Gardens had preventive measures set in place at the facility and has taken precautions over the past six weeks, officials said. Essential staff and visitors are the only ones permitted inside, residents are eating in their apartments rather than dining together, and each resident is being monitored for symptoms.

The infected residents and employees have been limited to the assisted-living portion of the facility, officials said, adding that no cases were reported in other areas, including the memory-care unit.

It is unclear how the coronavirus reached residents in the facility.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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