Less virus at retirement communities
Developer and manager of retirement communities McCarthy & Stone says it has seen fewer cases of Covid-19 within its 441 sites than has been seen within the general over-65s UK population.
The business plans to resume sales and build activities in phases from Monday.
The group, which has sites across the Black Country, Shropshire and Staffordshire, took decisive action from mid-March to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of its home owners and staff.
McCarthy & Stone has 441 retirement communities providing independent living in private apartments and residents have been safer and more supported than if they had been living alone during the coronavirus crisis.
Throughout the duration of the Government's lockdown, the group's sales offices and construction sites have been closed.
The group has conducted a full and detailed review of sales and construction processes and developed a new set of guidelines and protocols for working practices to meet and enhance the Government's guidelines.
McCarthy & Stone currently has around 1,350 units of available finished stock and its sales offices have been reconfigured to ensure that strict social distancing measures are adhered to using an appointment-based visiting system.
Build activities will restart gradually, starting with the reopening of sites that are closest to completion, with a new set of operating procedures in place that will help to ensure the safety of the group's staff and supply chain by implementing extended working hours and safe site working practices.
Chief executive John Tonkiss said: "We have seen a lower impact of coronavirus in our developments, than the general over-65 population, and this proves more than ever that our communities are safe, resilient and supportive places to live.
"By providing independent apartments with the right level of on-site care and assistance, retirement communities are an effective 'Third Way' to the current options of remaining in a family home or moving into residential care. The UK must now learn the lessons from this crisis and redefine how best to support our ageing population. We need a joined-up and long-term plan, starting with more and better housing for older people.
"I'd also like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to every one of our homeowners and our employees for their continued support, understanding and co-operation in following our guidance and advice during this period, and helping to keep our people safe and well. It's been a difficult period, but there's nothing like a crisis to show what we're made of, and what we've shown is that our communities are made of much more than bricks and mortar."
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