August is upon us and this is a summer unlike any other. I hope you are staying cool and safe.
As mentioned in my July 17 update, baseline testing of all German Centre staff was implemented per Dept. of Public Health (DPH) requirements. One staff member, who recently returned from a trip to a southern state, tested positive for COVID-19. The asymptomatic individual, who worked one shift before receiving the test result, was immediately removed from the schedule and advised to quarantine at home for two weeks. As a consequence of the positive test result, weekly surveillance testing began this week for all COVID-19 test-negative residents and staff and yielded no positive results – great news! We will continue weekly testing until there are no new positive cases for 14 days.
We have been accepting new admissions for more than a month now and it has gone reasonably well. Quarantine protocols are in place to protect other residents/patients and staff. The majority of patients are admitted to the TCU – our short-term rehab wing. We’ve also had an influx in long-term residents to our traditional nursing home wing and to Schrafft Pavilion, our memory care unit.
Following guidance by DPH, residents are now able to move about their unit to stretch their legs and enjoy some time away from their bedroom. This has been a welcome reprieve for many. We’ve had no issues with residents congregating in groups, which continues to be prohibited. The Activities Dept. staff continue to be integral to defeating malaise by providing individualized programming.
We are delighted to say that we will officially re-open on Monday, August 3rd. Stringent guidelines are in place for a safe return to services. Initially, only 10 of our approx. 50 participants will return. The first couple of weeks will be scrutinized as we put into practice all of our plans. Over time, more participants will be able to join us.
As non-staff are prohibited from entering our public spaces, program participants will enter Senior Place by way of an outside walking path. They will be screened (temperature and symptom check), hands sanitized, and provided with a mask before entering the center. To maintain appropriate social distances, each table is limited to two people. Surface disinfecting will take place throughout the day, with a deep clean at the end of the day. We’re excited to welcome Senior Place participants back. It’s been far too long and they have been missed.
Our hair salon re-opened last week! The lovely ladies pictured here were overjoyed with the results. Social visit regulations now allow our assisted living residents to welcome visitors to their apartment with some restrictions in place. We also continue to offer outdoor, socially distant visits.
We’ve admitted two new residents in recent weeks. Newcomers must quarantine for the first two weeks and then are free to move about the residence. It’s a challenging time to integrate into a new community but we’re doing our best to make them feel welcome in their new home.
A Final Thought
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh had this to say at a recent press conference: “We think we’re winding down on COVID-19, but we’re not. If we’re in a sporting event, we’re probably at halftime, so we still have to be very careful.” I urge you to heed Mayor Walsh’s words and stay vigilant with hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing. These methods are effective in flattening the curve.
Stay safe and be well,
Michael B. Lincoln
Chief Executive Officer
Download the Update: July 31 Update