Sadly, I need to report more positives in our Meadows unit. We completed PCR tests on the entire population in Meadows and requested a quick turnaround. The tests started returning this am and we have seen a significant number of positives. The current number of positives in Meadows is 12. The confounding issue is we are not seeing any symptoms in most of the positives and the positive residents are dotted all over the unit. So there is no way to trace a particular staff member or a particular activity to the outbreak. We have some that are still in their initial 14 day quarantine from a hospital stay and we request a Covid test from the hospital before they come to our unit, so they were tested negative when they came onsite. We also have some that never leave their rooms due to preference or health status such as hospice. We also have some that do leave their rooms with masks on occasion. The current plan for the Meadows unit is to quarantine all of our residents into their rooms, including activities and dining in rooms. This is the same routine we had back in April when we had our initial outbreak. We will continue to test the residents weekly until we have 2 weeks with no positive tests. Please keep all of these residents in your thoughts and prayers.
We also received a positive test for one of our Independent Living residents who was admitted to the hospital. This resident had been quarantining due to a close family contact noted to show a positive covid test after their visit outside of the building, but unfortunately they needed a hospital stay. This particular resident had already been through contact tracing due to the close contact. If you were not identified, you did not have close contact. Please keep this resident in your thoughts and prayers as well.
We have no positive cases in the Pines, however we are going to test all the residents out of an abundance of caution since we are seeing positives in Meadows with no symptoms.
We do have 4 more staff that tested positive with rapid tests with this week’s first round of tests. 2 are housekeeping, one is a dining server and one is a care nurse on the Meadows who works overnights 11pm-7am. As with all staff positives, we complete a PCR on them to verify the rapid test positive, and we contact trace any close resident contact. If you have not heard from wellness, you have not had a close contact with this staff. Due to the large outbreak in Meadows, we will be doing PCR testing on all of our staff to ensure we are not missing anything. However, the current effectiveness with rapid tests usually leans more towards false positives, not false negatives.
Based on the current staff positives, we are going to stop housekeeping services in Independent Living for the next 2 weeks to ensure that we do not have a larger department outbreak that affects other units.
We are going to continue dining services in the Terrace, but will work to more limit sizes of parties at tables to manage distancing. Please be respectful to our efforts and recognize there may be some wait for seating. We always have plenty of seats available at 4pm. As a reminder, we do provide delivery at no charge to any residents who requests it and we are now using the green containers rather than the recycled cardboard containers, so the experience of takeout is better. Do not hesitate to change your routine to match your current level of comfort with the pandemic outbreak. There are no heroes in this fight. We are all trying to do our best, residents and staff, to be safe and live a life that is fulfilling.
We have been told by our local hospital systems that the virus is spiking again and it is certainly all around us. There may be more changes to our daily routine to come, but I continue to be hopeful that we will see a light at the end of this tunnel with our impending vaccine clinic on January 12th for the Meadows residents and our staff. I received an email today discussing our Pines unit, but the state has not released the vaccine for that unit yet. Hopefully the email is a harbinger of this coming soon. There was an article quoting the head of CVS as saying that there was no plan at this point to vaccinate Independent Living residents in CCRCs, but I am also hopeful that this is soon in the works as well. Once again, please keep all of those affected by the virus, both here and elsewhere, in your thoughts and prayers.