Most of southeastern Pennsylvania goes Green today. The governor determined that our region is safe to reopen with certain restrictions. For us, the change doesn’t mean quite the same thing because elder communities are under certain scrutiny. About two weeks ago we opend up to allow family visitation outside and reestablished some trips and services. But visitors inside the building remains prohibited. The challenge we all face (residents, employee and family members alike), is getting a grip on a ‘new normal,’ whatever that will be. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions…
How many active CV19 cases are there? At this writing, there are none.
Will apartment residents be tested? No. We have begun a universal baseline testing process for all skilled nursing residents and all employees who work directly with skilled Nursing persons. So far all test results have been negative and we are about 75% complete. This is a federal and state mandate for nursing home populations. There is no such rule for apartment and Personal Care settings, and we won’t be conducting a systematic testing effort at present.
Are you requiring that we wear masks, wash hands and keep distance when off campus? Yes. However, there is no way we can monitor what persons do off campus. We mandate that employees wear masks while at work. We want residents to wear masks when outside apartments. We require that visitors for outside visitation wear masks and observe the 6’ rule.
One feature of reopening is an INCREASED reliance on everyone’s responsible observance of infection control practices. No reason, for example, why you can’t remind others to ‘wear mask over your nose,’ or ‘move your chair further away.’ As huggable as family members are, this remains risky behavior and increases the chance of infection.
The reality is, should there be an increase in the number of cases in our building, we’ll be forced to reconsider increasing quarantine rules again and as you know we require those who test positive to isolate in their apartment for 2 weeks and at least 3 days of symptom freedom.
How long will meal service continue in apartments? Of course, until renovations are completed, we cannot use dining spaces. Project completion is slated for the end of July. The Bistro may be functional before that. But at first it will be pre-order, curbside pick-up.
Until then delivery of meals to your door will continue. But, with Bucks county going green and more alternatives available to residents, we will be ending the free breakfast and lunch service [for independent apartment residents only]. Dinner will be provided free of charge, which is part of the monthly service fee. Charges will be added for pre-ordered breakfast ($5) and/or lunch ($7). Personal Care and Skilled Nursing residents will continue to receive all three meals, at no extra charge.
Why the new sign-in system at the main entrance? We installed a new registration system, called AccuShield for use by residents, employees and visitors. There are several reasons for this. It will provide a more accurate record of who is in the building at any one time. This is useful for emergencies and for security purposes. We have always requested that residents let us know if they are leaving building and we’ve also perpetually had visitors, contractors and practitioners sign in. Furthermore, we await an additional component to the system that will passively take the temperature of persons coming and going. This will eliminate the individual temp-taking by main entrance personnel. We think that this will be a less-invasive way to continue to monitor and screen persons for CV19 as well as some other contagious illnesses.
When will we have increased access to the 9th floor? Beginning Monday, June 29, you’ll be able to access the 9th floor anytime. We still ask that you restrict your visit to walking and using the library. Please continue to hand sanitize when you arrive and leave the floor. Card playing and gathering are not permitted at this time.
When will the Salon 9 open again? We are in conversation with Salon Senior Services to know when they can restart service. We think that this can happen mid-July.
When will the pool open? Likely, not until August. The Bucks County Department of Health must give permission for this also.
Will the new automatic glass front doors be monitored at night? Yes. But we’ve added a new feature for resident use. Sometime during the next several weeks, we will issue to apartment residents, unique key fobs that will allow for after-hours access through the main entrance. This has been added for convenience and security and involves a key pad installed at the new automatic sliding door. This will allow residents to enter the building after hours without having to contact the overnight guard. The plastic fob should be kept with an apartment key. More information about this is forthcoming.
I wish everyone a good weekend and good health. Now, more than ever, good health requires intentionality. Living through this a pandemic has no clear cut ending, just as there was not a moment in time that signaled its beginning. The best defense is what we’ve learned about the disease over four long months. These are the tools we have to provide for good health. These are for your use, not only for you own good, but for that of those which whom you share the life journey.