It’s almost spring! Temperatures in Boston today hover in the low-60s and I am feeling spring fever! No doubt, everyone has been staying abreast of updates from the CDC and local governing bodies about vaccine availability and relaxation of some COVID restrictions. We are inching our way back to what we hope will be normal.
The third and final round of vaccine clinics were held at Edelweiss Village and German Centre in late February. Across the campus, 98% of our residents and roughly 80% of our full-time staff have received both doses of the vaccine.
Positive cases on our campus has dropped significantly, with one member of the German Centre staff on quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus this week in routine surveillance testing.
Meet the 90s Club! Senior Place clients come from all walks of life and span a few decades in age. One group – we call them the 90s Club – is especially near and dear to our hearts. Pictured here are (from left to right): Ruby, a 92 year old French Canadian who still speaks flawless French, Yvonne, 94 years old of Lebanese descent who makes a mean Kibbeh, Eleanor, 99 years old who attributes her longevity to a lifetime of ballroom dancing with her husband, and Mary, 97 years old who asserts her large Italian family (7 children, 12 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren) keeps her young. Not pictured here is Louis, a 98 year old WW2 (South Seas) veteran and purple heart recipient.
As noted previously, one COVID-positive case among staff came to light during routine surveillance testing. The test result, unfortunately, temporarily put the brakes on our plan to begin communal pursuits, such as reopen our dining room, begin small group activities, and reinstate hairdressing services. As we do with all test-positive cases, the individual was asked to quarantine at home for two weeks, staff returned to a twice-weekly testing schedule, residents have been tested, and visits returned to outdoors. All of these measures are to stay in compliance with MA Dept. of Public Health (DPH) protocols. Once the two-week period has ended, we will resume indoor visits and implement plans to begin post-COVID actions noted above.
German Centre held its first Family and Resident Town Hall meeting on February 25th. The 30+ residents and family members in attendance met (virtually) most of the new nursing leadership team. We addressed several previously-submitted questions – many which (unsurprisingly) centered on reduced restrictions for residents. For those interested, a transcript, as well as video, of the Town Hall can be found here.
We wish a fond farewell to long-time attending physician, Mark Rohrer, MD, who announced his retirement, effective March 26. Dr. Rohrer is part of the Beth Israel Deaconess Healthcare-Extended Care Community Group. Adrian Pieleanu, MD, who has been an attending physician at German Centre for several years, has joined the Beth Israel practice and will assume responsibility for Dr. Rohrer’s patients. Minsuk Lee, MD, also of Beth Israel, has joined our physician network. Welcome Dr. Lee and godspeed Dr. Rohrer.
Communal activities continue to be small but plentiful. Residents can be found gathered socially-distanced in the Bierstube for crafts, such as the St. Paddy’s Day craft pictured here, and for happy hour. Residents and the guests continue to be restricted to structured indoor visits, until we receive updated guidance. As the nice weather approaches and restrictions are relaxed, outdoor visits will likely be preferred but not mandatory. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see what we’re up to each week.
A Final Thought
As you see, it’s never a dull day, week, or month around the campus! One step forward, two steps back has been the norm throughout the pandemic. Post-vaccine, I genuinely believe we will experience many, many steps forward in the near future and we can put the turmoil of pandemic behind us. When given the opportunity, I hope you will vaccinate for the health and safety of yourselves – and for others.
Stay safe and be well,
Michael B. Lincoln
Download the UPDATE: March 12 UPDATE