December 22, 2020
Dear Residents and Families:
Thank you for your patience as we work through the transition in leadership and as we address the current surge in cases within our Community as a result in the surge of cases in our state and the country as a whole.
I have reviewed the communications by the previous Executive Director, and I am aware that a date of tomorrow (12/23) had been set to allow resident quarantine and visitation restrictions to be lifted. However, as we continue to have residents and staff test positive for the virus, we cannot make these changes tomorrow as our priority is to ensure this virus is contained and further spread is prevented or mitigated.
- Resident should continue to isolate in their rooms as much as possible;
- Group activities and communal dining will remain suspended; and
- There will continue to be no indoor or outdoor visitation.
We strongly discourage residents leaving the Community to visit with family or friends given the risk it poses to both the resident who leaves the facility and to staff and residents that may be exposed to the resident on his/her return. However, if a resident chooses to leave the Community:
- He/she will be required to isolate for a period of 14 days after returning to the facility.
- Isolation (versus quarantine) means the resident must remain in his/her room and may not be in any common spaces in the building for this period of time.
- An immediate COVID test upon return to the Community is not sufficient to avoid this requirement to isolate as an individual may test negative for a period of several days after exposure to the virus yet be contagious to others.
I know this is hard to hear on Christmas week. However, we take all available tactics to stop this virus from further spread. We hope that this sacrifice in the short term will have beneficial results in the long term. We will work to:
- Provide holiday activities that comply with our current infection control efforts; and
- Accept packages and food to deliver to residents (please wear a mask when dropping off these items). Please let staff know if packages contain perishable items so we can ensure the item is delivered immediately to put in the refrigerator.
We are enrolled with CVS for distribution of the vaccine to our staff and residents, and currently, we are scheduled for the first round of vaccinations the first week of January. We do not have our exact date. Please remember the vaccination is offered in two rounds, and the second round is not administered until at least 21 days after the first shot. Any benefits offered by the vaccine would not be experienced until sometime after the second shot. Therefore, we still have many weeks before the vaccine will offer protection.
Therefore, both now and even after the first round of vaccinations, we will continue to strongly encourage residents (and urge families to strongly encourage residents) to take all precautions any limited times they are outside of their rooms including:
- Wearing masks when outside of their apartments;
- Engaging in good hand hygiene; and
- Practicing social distancing when outside of their apartments.
As staff travel outside of our building, we are currently testing them twice a week. We are testing any residents showing signs or symptoms, as per the resident’s doctor’s orders or based on any other noted concerns or potential exposure to any other individuals who have recently tested positive for the virus.
We are working hard to ensure we are engaged in all needed infection control practices to get this latest surge in positive cases mitigated and resolved. We believe our efforts will address many of the individual concerns you have expressed to staff in the past and to me since I took over leadership of Grand Court.
If you need my immediate assistance with an issue or concern, please email me for the quickest response.