Cases of COVID-19 are rising across the country, but providers are better prepared than ever to take care of our elderly.

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading, and any notion of a vaccine by the end of the year has faded. Yet, even though we take care of the most vulnerable population, the senior care acquisition market seems to be stabilizing. More deals have been closing this month than in the previous several months. But what does this mean?

Third quarter earnings reports start coming tomorrow, and no doubt the occupancy numbers from the REITs will show continued deterioration to new record lows. This is the unfortunate reality we are all dealing with. And as average occupancy goes lower, the longer it will take to get back to pre-COVID census levels.

However, even as the averages decline, there are still those communities actually doing quite well. According to NIC MAP, 30% of seniors housing communities are still comfortably above 90% occupancy. But there are a similar number below 80%, and the averages are dropping below that 80% level. 

We always say that health care is local. Well, performance is local too. There are many communities that have not had a single COVID case, and we must learn from them. Was it luck, or performance? Maybe a little bit of both. The flu season has started, and whether we are in wave one, two or three of the pandemic, providers are better prepared than any time before.  

This may finally be sinking in, as the media focus is now on schools, politicians and sports teams, not seniors housing. About time.