Transcript of Jeff Petty COVID-19 Weekly Audio Message: April 16, 2020

FOR RESIDENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS

Hello, this is Jeff Petty on Thursday afternoon April 16th.  I hope this communication finds you well.

This is my third installment of weekly updates for our residents and their families. You can also access a written version of this message on our website. Updates should be available Thursday afternoon every week.

Before I begin my update, I would like to say we continue to be appreciative that the vast majority of residents and family members are abiding by our stay at home/no visitation policies.  To quote the Governor from our country’s hardest hit state:  “Our actions today determine our infection rate tomorrow.”  So I will add, as hard as this is, this is not the time yet to relax our unified vigilance with all of our social distancing and personal hygiene measures.

It is difficult to report on how the WEL communities are faring with this pandemic, without some of these important caveats:  We continue to have numerous conversations at WEL about the significance of the lack of completeness, consistency, reliability and timing of the virus testing. Results are often profoundly delayed, some counties aren’t even testing, so many people may be positive without exhibiting symptoms, and the sometimes numerous underlying conditions of many of our most compromised residents symptoms masking the virus — all contribute to doubting the validity of reporting cases at this point. Compelling evidence continues to grow that this virus is being spread largely, or perhaps even mostly, by asymptomatic individuals, is a powerful contributing argument to question if we are actually able to report on this with any accuracy.

But what we do know at this time, is that WEL’s nursing centers have high single digit to the low teens numbers of residents who have tested positive and are isolated in their communities. Others who are now in a hospital have also tested positive. We know of only two independent residents who have actually tested positive and are in isolation, and we have no personal care residents as of today, testing positive.

We have several dozen employees who are self-quarantining at home, either having tested positive or exhibiting symptoms and waiting for results. While we are rigorously screening employees for symptoms as they enter and again during the time they are in the community, that won’t help with employees who have no outward symptoms. We have been continually increasing our protection protocols, such as masks for all employees, as we have been able to acquire the necessary supplies and equipment to try to stay ahead of this.

Please continue to share your kind words of appreciation to our employees when you can.  Your daily ‘thank you’s, and letters, signs, cards, and emails continue to lift our employees spirits as they care for you or your loved ones.  We are still facing uncertainty, but we are hopeful that there will be a return to normalcy in the coming months. It is critical that you all take care of yourself and practice all of the prevention guidelines you are hearing.

Please continue to submit your questions by emailing residentquestions@wel.org. Please, also in your email, let us know which community you or your loved one, resides in. 

Again, thank you for everything you are doing.  We will get through this, and I greatly appreciate the confidence and support you continue to place in us.

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