Brookdale Senior Living reported new occupancy lows as 2020 ended, with a December weighted average occupancy and month-end occupancy of 71.5%.

The Nashville, TN-based operator announced in November that the company would begin publishing monthly occupancy reports on an interim basis, in an effort to provide additional visibility until it returns to financial guidance. 

Brookdale noted that although a significant number of states are seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, 89% of the operator’s communities were open for move-ins on Dec. 31, which Brookdale said reflected the company’s strong infection control protocols and use of testing. The firm also reported additional positive news around the COVID-19 pandemic that it hopes will soon help improve occupancy: As of Jan. 11, approximately 90% of its communities have either successfully completed or are scheduled for initial COVID-19 vaccine clinics, with more clinics being scheduled daily.

In December, Brookdale President and CEO Lucinda “Cindy” Baier joined residents and staff at one of the operator’s first clinics to receive her own COVID-19 vaccine.

“This vaccine program has the potential to significantly improve outcomes for residents, a population who are at high risk if they contract COVID-19,” Baier said. “We believe Brookdale’s participation in this program allows us the potential to have a significant impact on helping our nation’s seniors, so we are prepared to make the investment required to administer it at scale.”

The company also announced Monday that it expects to recognize approximately $78 million from government grant programs and approximately $30 million of COVID-related expenses for the fourth quarter of last year.