To Whom It May Concern,
I’m writing to cover a number of topics, including COVID-19 vaccine distribution, a round of COVID-19 testing, facility restrictions, December Holiday thoughts, and Family Dashboard instructions. Luckily it’s all good news.
There have been a lot of exciting developments in the last month in the medical world that will be to our community’s benefit. Multiple companies have come forward with a coronavirus vaccine that completed late-stage trials with success and are candidates for public use. The frontrunner is created by a pharmaceutical company called Pfizer, which recently got approved for Emergency Use by the FDA, that has at least 90% efficacy. This vaccine began being distributed this week to front-line workers and LTC residents.
Our residents and staff, since we are an LTC facility, are eligible to be in the first batch of the population to receive the Pfizer vaccine. It’s optional for anyone here to get it, but I’m proud to say that I’ve spoken to all of our resident’s families and have gotten approval from 100% of them for the residents to receive the vaccine! I will certainly be getting one myself.
As for the logistics, we are partnered with CVS where they will come to the property to administer the vaccine. We have not received our confirmed vaccine clinic date but we’re told they will be here in December to administer the first dose and then will be here three weeks later again to administer the second dose, which is the required process for the vaccine to be effective. I understand they are visiting skilled nursing and rehab facilities before assisted living. We are aware of potential side effects and will be diligently monitoring folks and doing what we can to mitigate them as they come up, if at all.
A common concern I’ve had is how to get all of the consent forms signed ahead of time. After speaking with CVS yesterday, I’ve learned that I can sign as the facility representative because I’ve spoken to all of you and gotten the verbal consent already. This means families do not need to worry about coordinating a consent signature and it will get done automatically by us. If this process makes any family uncomfortable, I can provide the consent forms for you to sign yourself, however it isn’t necessary per CVS.
In what is hopefully the last round of testing ahead of vaccination, I’m happy to say that we have another 100% negative round of testing! We are not letting our guard down, but it’s truly incredible that our staff and community partners have been diligent enough to protect our residents throughout this whole pandemic. We’re extremely proud of our community and our record so far.
As all of you are painfully aware, we have been more conservative than most in our approach to protecting ourselves from this pandemic. Once the second vaccine dose becomes effective, we expect we will begin relaxing our restrictions… namely, our visitation policy for friends and families. We will be working with the CDC on the safest approach to on-campus operations (PPE, visitor screening, sanitization, etc), but believe it will finally be time to take steps towards living normal lives again. We will have more details as we get closer to the date, but we’re excited to reunite our residents with loved ones.
December Holiday Thoughts
For families that have come to visit in recent times, I’m sure you’ve noticed all of the holiday decorations that we’ve put up. At the bottom of this letter, I included a bunch of photos of the property just so you can see how festive and decorated we are. We have five real trees, a few artificial trees, and a ton of lights and decorations! We will be sponsoring our normal holiday celebrations with the residents on property to commemorate the holidays.
For Thanksgiving, we set up dining areas where families can visit freely at scheduled times with shade coverage, open air, and no visual barriers. We’ve decided to do the same thing for this month’s holidays to allow families to visit, share a meal, and exchange gifts. For the remainder of the month of December, we will be dedicated time slots that are 60-90 minutes in length for families to reserve a visit. I’m happy to offer staff assistance in coordinating any food you bring and provide utensils and drinks. These slots will be assigned on a first-come first-serve basis, so please send me your reservation requests ASAP! As always, the orchid garden visitation does not require a reservation and can be used for any length of time.
Family Dashboard Instructions
As many of you know, we have an online platform that we’ve developed that gives a ton of access to families for info about their resident. It also gives info on how to access our security cameras on campus, contact info for directors, gate codes, and more. We encourage you to take advantage of this platform, a lot of your day-to-day questions can be answered this way.
We are glad this is the last holiday where we will have to impose restrictions and look forward to the next one where we can share it together on campus. As always, please call my office directly if you have any questions. Thanks again for all of the support you all have given us.