We continue to have no positives in the Pines.
We have no new positives in the Meadows.
We did not have any other staff positives this past week.
The 2 most recent positive IL residents continue to recover. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
We are now coming up on 1 week past our second dose of vaccine for the vast majority of our residents in Independent Living and the vast majority of the Meadows and Pines have had both doses as well. As I had noted some time ago, we will prepare to reopen the apartments for visitation based on the guidance of 2 weeks post vaccine for highest efficacy of vaccine and highest level of safety from the virus. As you remember, we stopped apartment visits when the positivity rate was well over 10% in the county and we were in the midst of an outbreak in the community. The positivity rate has come down almost below 5%, but has stubbornly refused to drop to pre outbreak levels, which were well below 5%. There are some concerns in the surrounding health community that there are potential variants of the virus that may start to infect the general community. As most of you are aware, the speed by which the general population has been offered the vaccine is also painfully slow. The hope is that in the next few weeks, we will see a much more robust rate of vaccination locally.
I note all of the above circumstances to begin to explain the thoughtfulness we are taking to return to a more open community in regards to visitation at all levels of our resident living arrangements. The Meadows and the Pines are both constrained by state guidance for when we can allow in person visitation off site and eventually onsite. The guidance does allow for our clinical team to make determinations we feel are best to protect not only all of our residents, but also our staff that provides the care for our residents. However, we do recognize the need for social interaction with not only our care staff, but also our resident’s loved ones and families. In the next week, families from the Pines unit and the Meadows will hear the specifics for the next phase of our visitation plan for you and your loved ones.
As for Independent Living, we will open back up to apartment visitation March 20th, assuming the positivity rate in the community stays at current levels or continues to decline. Some of you have been aware that we have been liberal with allowing offsite visitation and even onsite visitation with requests. This is due to the trust built between us as a clinical team and you as residents and families. We have had some residents and families that have needed to be reminded of the protocols of visitation and I will remind everyone again here. We have a screening tool at the front desk for every visitor and all staff to check into the building. This includes a temperature screening device. This kiosk also prints out a visitor sticker that should be worn prominently by the visitor. This allows us to know who is in the building at all times, if an emergency occurs. It also helps with contact tracing if we do have a positive resident. This community has dozens of doors, some communal and some private straight into resident’s apartments and these cannot all be observed at all times by staff. But I will tell you that someone is ALWAYS watching and we do get phone calls regarding people’s comings and goings. The request is to NOT go straight to your loved one’s apartment without checking in. If your family member’s apartment is far away from the front entrance, please come in to get screened, get your badge, and then drive around to the closest entrance to avoid unnecessary interaction with other residents. We are not ready for family members to use the living room for visitation and other community wide areas including the Bistro, but we will work towards that as soon as we have a comfort level. In general, dining will most likely be the last area opened up to families. If the weather ever decides to switch to spring, we will make sure we have benches in place for outside visits as well. We will keep with distancing and mask wearing when visiting as safe practices while visiting.
One final note regarding next steps towards reopening fully is specific to family vaccinations. If you have been fortunate enough to have received your shot(or even better, shots!), and if you are comfortable letting us know, we will identify your status in your loved one’s records. We are still working out what this means in relation to visitation and community access, but I will say it certainly isn’t a bad thing for our little Main Line bubble! Thank you all for your patience as we work our way through these complicated times and I look forward to giving an actual tour of all of the newly constructed amenities of our community. Maybe even a Grand Opening event someday!