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Dear Family Members, Friends, and Loved Ones of The Rio at Las Estancias,

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted societies worldwide, changing our daily lives in ways we could not have imagined just six months ago. Our senior citizens, and especially those with medical conditions, have been the most highly impacted segment of society. As professional skilled nursing providers, we are meeting this unprecedented challenge with the courage and the faith to navigate these uncharted waters.

Though it is impossible for us to speculate on the duration of the COVID-19, it is our commitment to continue to share updates and report the status of positive cases at The Rio at Las Estancias. The dashboard at the top of this page is being updated and timestamped on a daily basis for you. It is integrated with data from leading source, Johns Hopkins University, to give you comparative statistics for our county, state, and other countries.

Our #1 priority is the care and safety of the individuals residing in our facility. As we continue our fight against this highly infectious virus, our ongoing initiatives include:

  • COVID testing as recommended by state and local authorities and based on staff and resident exposure
  • Strong, solid Infection Control processes, policies, and procedures, which were evaluated and enhanced in March at the onset of COVID-19 and supported by CDC, state and local health officials’ guidance and direction.
  • Air filtration systems to help mitigate the spread within our facility
  • Ample supplies of personal protective equipment and supply chain access to arm our staff members and keep them as safe as possible

It has been a very busy week at our facility as we began the second round of 100% testing of our residents and employees.  At this time, I can confirm 15 COVID positive residents in house, and one additional positive resident who has been transferred to the hospital for acute services. State and local health officials are working closely with our leadership team, providing guidance and support and we remain committed to containing the spread of this virus.

We are so grateful for your positive thoughts, kind words, and prayers during this COVID-19 challenge.  Please feel free to send us any questions you may have by using the Contact Us button at the top of this page and watch for the most up-to-date information posted on our community dashboard.

With appreciation,

Troy Brigham


The Rio at Las Estancias



7:45 pm MT

Dear Family Members, Friends, and Loved Ones of The Rio at Las Estancias,

As promised, we want to continue to update you on the status of COVID-19 in our center. Within the last 24 hours, we received COVID test results and have confirmed that 8 residents and 3 more employees have tested positive for COVID-19.  To date, The Rio at Las Estancias has identified 13 COVID-19 positive cases associated with our center: 8 residents and 5 employees.  All COVID positive employees have been removed from the work schedule and remain at home on quarantine.

We continue to work closely with the State and local health department officials.  They are providing specific guidance and direction regarding our expanded testing efforts and infection control policies and procedures as new cases have been identified.  The State has been encouraging and supportive reminding us that it is not uncommon to receive more positive tests after the first positive is identified as the virus is very contagious and prevalent within our local community.

I understand how hard it must be for you to receive my letters and room round calls from your loved one’s guardian angels every day. I recognize how difficult it is to be separated from those you care about right now – and I want you to know that our team will continue to do everything within our power to keep our patients safe, cared for, and loved.

One additional thought – as I’ve previously mentioned – while I can’t go into details about specific health circumstances of any of our COVID-19 positive residents or employees – I can say that everyone is stable at this time.  Specific interventions including temperature and oxygen checks every two hours, additional hydration as needed and specific pharmacological interventions as prescribed by the patient’s attending physician are allowing us to get ahead of the virus where we can.

Hopefully you know by now, we will do everything we can do to contain the spread, protect our care givers, and strengthen the foundations of The Rio at Las Estancias so that someday soon we can return to some type of normalcy. We miss you. We care about you. You continue to have our commitment of transparency throughout this process as we fight back against this insidious virus.

Many thanks for all your thoughts and prayers,


Troy Brigham


The Rio at Las Estancias



08:00 PM MT

Dear Family Members, Friends, and Loved Ones of The Rio at Las Estancias,

We continue to do everything that we can to ensure we prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our facility. Unfortunately, we were notified late this afternoon and can currently confirm one new positive COVID-19 employee case associated with our facility. To date, we have identified two COVID positive employees.

While we cannot go into specific details about the individuals (name, health status, etc.), we can say both employees are stable and currently remain at home on quarantine.

As is the case whenever a COVID-19 positive case is manifest at the facility, we are in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps at this time. Over the last few months, state regulators and our local health department have been on-site to evaluate our infection control processes, policies, and procedures. Throughout those visits our staff demonstrated what we were doing to isolate the virus, contain the spread, and ensure that our guests and team members were protected and well cared for. Outside regulators have been pleased with our efforts and remain committed to assisting us wherever they can as we navigate this pandemic together.

As a reminder, our staff members are working with appropriate personal protective equipment with all cares. Additionally, our center is situated with an isolation wing for any “patients under investigation” with active symptoms consistent with COVID-19. For further questions you may have about these specific infection control policies and our response – please see my earlier letter sent July 4th, 2020.

As you likely well know, COVID-19 is now prevalent in our county, in our state, and in our country. As we continue to care for your loved one, we will continue to keep you directly informed about the prevalence of the virus in our center. While we do not know exactly how the situation will evolve over the next few days, weeks and months – you have my commitment that we will continue to work doggedly and determinedly until the virus has been fully eradicated.


Troy Brigham


The Rio at Las Estancias



5:30 PM MT

Dear Family Members, Friends, and Loved Ones of The Rio at Las Estancias,

Over the course of the last four months since onset of COVID-19 in early March, we have done everything that we can to ensure we prevent the spread of the virus within our facility. Unfortunately, within the last hour, we were notified and can currently confirm 1 COVID-19 positive employee case associated with our facility. This individual currently remains at home on quarantine.

We are in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps at this time. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, our staff and residents have followed the recommended preventative actions: we have restricted visitors from entering our facility, practiced infection control policies such as hand washing and proper PPE usage, and cancelled all group activities within the building. With the confirmed COVID-19 positive employee case, we will continue to follow best practices until the virus has been eradicated.

Some additional information about our preventative actions and response:

  • Due to patient privacy laws, we are unable to share any further specific information about the confirmed case in our facility, but we have notified our residents and families of this positive case.
  • Resident safety is a top priority for The Rio at Las Estancias. This virus is especially dangerous to our population—older adults with underlying health conditions—so, this is a critical issue that requires our immediate attention.
  • The Rio at Las Estancias is in close contact with our local and state health departments, as well as the CDC, to stay up to date on the information to prevent and manage the spread of Coronavirus.
  • Skilled nursing and assisted living providers rely on local, state and federal resources to help prevent the spread of this virus.
    • We continue to acquire additional personal protective equipment (PPE), so our health care workers have the proper armor for this battle.
    • We have requested priority testing for our patients and health care workers, so we can properly identify anyone who may have the virus but not currently present symptoms, and then take necessary actions to prevent further spread.
  • We have reviewed and updated our infection prevention and control plans and our emergency communication plan.
    • We are following general public health best practices: handwashing, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers and surgical mask usage in patient rooms and common areas throughout the building.
  • We have reinforced to our staff that anyone who is sick should stay home, and we are screening all essential personnel as they enter the building.
  • We will continue to keep family members up to date as this situation unfolds, so they have the latest information about their loved ones.
  • We are restricting all non-essential personnel, per direction from local health department (as well as the federal/state government).
  • Family members can interact with their loved ones by using video chat, calling, texting or checking in on social media. We will also post updates to our facility website.


Should families who are worried move their loved ones out of skilled nursing centers or assisted living communities?

  • No. Moving the elderly or frail is risky and often has long-lasting impacts. Research around natural disasters and other emergency events has proven this over time. CDC does not currently recommend transferring residents either home or to the hospital.

How concerned are you for skilled nursing center or assisted living residents?

  • We know that the frail and elderly are especially susceptible to this virus. That’s why we are in close communication with our local health department, CDC and CMS to ensure we have the latest information and resources available.

Are you having trouble getting things like masks and gowns?

  • We have heard that some long-term care providers are having some of the same difficulties as other health care providers getting masks and gowns. In our facility, we currently have ample PPE for our residents and staff.
  • We have coordinated with state and local officials to ensure that our supplies continue to be replenished.
  • It’s important to remind the public that the CDC does not recommend surgical masks for the general public—cloth face coverings are acceptable—so we can prioritize masks for health care workers. We also urge members of the public to not hoard items like hand sanitizer, so we can make that available to residents and staff, who need to use it regularly.

If staff have to stay home because they are sick/schools close, how are you ensuring that there are enough staff to care for your residents?  

  • Our state and national associations are encouraging both federal and state governments to waive current licensing requirements that would hinder care professionals from working across state lines, so we can potentially address any shortages due to employees needing to stay home.
  • Our state and national associations are also advocating for priority testing for our employees and residents, so we can quickly identify whether staff need to remain at home or if they can come back to work.

Additional information will continue to be made available through our facility website under the “Latest Community Updates” link at https://riolastestancias.com/updates. We are grateful to our employees, to our patients, and to the family members of all involved, who give their expertise, their support, and their prayers to defeating this virus.


Troy Brigham


The Rio at Las Estancias



Dear Family Members, Friends, Employees, and Loved Ones,

While the media is reporting “Opening Up America Again,” the White House Coronavirus Task Force and CMS are still taking aggressive action to protect those most vulnerable to the virus – many of whom reside in America’s nursing homes.

On Tuesday, CMS announced a 3-Phase approach for reopening visitation in nursing homes, with a goal to protect residents from possible transmission of the virus. Phases 1 & 2 continue to prohibit visitation, with the exception of compassionate care situations.

Nursing homes have been severely impacted by COVID-19, with outbreaks causing high rates of infection, morbidity, and mortality. We are feeling extremely blessed that our facilities have been successful in minimizing the impact of COVID-19 within our buildings despite the numbers of positive cases in our local regions. We are committed to keeping our people and our patients as safe as possible.

We prioritize human life and understand that we care for those individuals who are at highest risk to be negatively impacted by COVID-19.  However, we also understand that human life is made meaningful based on the relationships we have with family and friends. We recognize that it is important that we get to a point where our patients and residents can enjoy these relationships “in person” again.

We’re going to continue to work tirelessly with each facility, step by step, to ensure that we evaluate specific criteria before we make a decision to reopen their visitation policy. These criteria include careful review of:

  • Community and state factors related to COVID-19 testing status and results
  • Number of COVID-19 cases in the local community
  • Status of COVID-19 positive cases in local nursing facilities
  • Adequacy of staffing
  • Adequacy of personal protective equipment
  • Local hospital capacity

We will be carefully considering each of these areas before making any decisions regarding relaxing visitation restrictions in our facilities. Each facility will have its own plan and strategy for reopening.

As business leaders, we often find that the best and most effective solutions are found closest to the problem. To that end, we invite each of our employees, patients, family members, and larger community to be a part of our plan and thinking for re-opening each center to visitors. Please feel free to respond to this letter with comments or suggestions. On our end, we will ensure to communicate our plans with you via the website, virtual town halls, and Facebook.

In the meantime, we continue to promote and encourage virtual and facetime calls, window visits, and outdoor and drive-through visitations to ensure our families stay connected and engaged.

We appreciate your understanding of our commitment to your families,

Eric Tanner


OnPointe Health, LLC



Can you join us next Friday, May 8 for our Mothers Day Parade?

Mothers Day Parade at Rio Las Estancias Albuquerque NM


To Our Residents, Staff, and Family Members:

We know many of you are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) and how it may impact us here at The Rio at Las Estancias. Ensuring residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our first priority. At this time, we don’t have any cases in our facility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we are implementing to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our building. However, we need your help in battling COVID-19. Below are some examples of how you can help protect the residents, as well as prevent the spread throughout the community.

At this time, we request that family and friends do not visit the center. Out of an abundance of caution, we are limiting all visitors to our facility unless absolutely necessary. We are posting signs on our entryway doors to notify visitors of this policy and actively screening individuals, including staff, who need to come into the building.

We understand that connecting with your loved ones is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider communicating with them. These may include telephone, email, text, video chat or social media. If you believe a visit to the center is necessary, we request that you contact Liz Roberts at 949-632-3018 or via email at lroberts@riolasestancias.com, prior to your arrival.

Please make sure we have your most current, emergency contact information. We want to make sure we efficiently communicate with you should there be any new developments. Please reach out to Lupe Castillo at 505-253-9601 or by email at medicalrecords@riolasestancias.com, with your updated contact information.

Residents and staff members, please help prevent the spread of infection by exercising proper hand washing hygiene as well as coughing and sneezing etiquette. We offer hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations throughout the building, which you are welcome to use. Please also avoid shaking hands and hugs with any individual. If you are experiencing a cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, and/or shortness of breath, please let a staff member know immediately.

Our facility is following the recommendations of the CDC on prevention steps, including following strict handwashing procedures, and in many circumstances, wearing gowns and gloves when interacting with residents who present symptoms. We also are staying up to date with the CDC recommendations as they may continue to change. In addition, our center is in close contact with the local and state health department, and we are following their guidance.

We will notify you if any residents or staff are diagnosed with COVID-19. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our center at: 505-253-9600 or contactus@riolasestancias.com

For additional information, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page.


The Rio at Las Estancias