We began these weekly COVID-19 Updates to keep you, the Deutsches Altenheim community, fully apprised of all that was happening on our campus during the pandemic. From test results to PPE shortages, we’ve offered you a glimpse into the inner workings of a senior care community during a health crisis. We hope the updates were informative and perhaps quelled some of your concerns about the well-being of our/your seniors. I’m relieved to say the crisis is currently on pause and we will transition to a bi-weekly update. The bi-weekly format will focus on all areas of life on our campus, including COVID-19 remediation plans. Should there be a resurgence of the virus on campus, we will revert to weekly updates.
Baseline testing of all German Centre staff was completed this week. Two-thirds of the test results are back and were negative – great news! We are awaiting results of the remaining tests. If there are no positive test results, 30% of scheduled staff will be tested every two weeks. If there are positive test result(s), weekly testing of all COVID-19 test-negative residents and staff will commence until there are no new positive cases for 14 days.
This week, Governor Baker announced that his order requiring face coverings in public would remain in effect until the end of the state of emergency. For all staff across the Deutsches Altenheim campus, masks are the norm. At German Centre, the Mass. Dept. of Public Health has also mandated that all staff who interact with residents/patients wear protective eyewear. Additionally, staff who interact with residents who have never tested positive for COVID-19 are required to wear protective gowns. Of course, gloves are worn during any patient/resident contact. All of these important measures are essential for the protection of test-negative residents and staff.
Restricted outdoor family visits have been overall successful for the past six weeks. We have increased the number of visits taking place during scheduled time periods to accommodate requests. We are fortunate to have access to a number of outdoor locations to make this possible.
New social visit regulations allow our assisted living residents to welcome visitors to their apartment with some restrictions in place. The staff is developing protocols in anticipation of this change. In the meantime, we continue to offer outdoor, socially distant visits.
Our hair salon provider is getting ready to resume services next week. Naturally, adherence to social distancing, hygiene protocols, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection will be required. At this time, communal dining has been placed on hold until a satisfactory dining schedule can be developed to meet social distancing requirements.
Our adult day program continues its preparation for re-opening in the near future. Due to space restrictions, capacity levels will be adjusted so that social distancing requirements may be met. The Senior Place team is in contact with program participants and their families to gauge an interest in resuming services at our site.
The summer is speeding by. As noted above, you’ll be hearing from me again in two weeks, which is, unbelievably, the end of July!
Stay safe and be well,
Michael B. Lincoln
Chief Executive Officer
Download the Update: July 17 Update