Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Still no residents of The Redwoods have tested positive for COVID-19. Last week we did have a significant concern when a team member did test positive. Upon learning the news we were directed to trace that member’s movements, identify anyone who came into contact with them, test and quarantine those people. We acted quickly to do so.
Many of the residents and family members had a series of questions and we didn’t have answers beyond what we shared. That was not a satisfying for any of us and it is challenging when we are not in control of the decisions and we need to wait on others for direction. We apologize for the discomfort this caused. Nothing new has happened, but we were notified late yesterday by the Marin Department of Public Health that all of those residents need to be tested again and continue their quarantine until results come back, hopefully by the end of this week. Those residents will be tested today and we will share any additional information as soon as possible.
This is Thanksgiving week and the virus is spiking dramatically. There are real fears that the number of people infected in our area will continue to rise in the days ahead as more people congregate indoors. We know many of you will want to visit with loved ones this week. We encourage you to do so by contacting the Resident Coordinator or Social Worker to schedule a visit through the glass or over the internet.
Please do not visit in-person. While residents have rights and can leave the property, please do not, but if you do: ask others to wear masks properly; encourage them to remind you to wear your mask as well; wash your hands frequently; try to stay 6 feet or more apart and; try to stay outdoors. If you or they do not, you not only are risking your and their lives, but the life of everyone else who is part of this community.
We will support residents by to keeping as much open as possible and having a traditional feast here. We recognize that not being with loved ones on Thanksgiving is hard, but we are very concerned for your health and well-being. Please know, we will continue to try to strike the right balance between safety and engagement.
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We will also need to more strictly limit the number of people coming into The Redwoods. Due to the tremendous increase in COVID-19 cases we will start, as soon as practical, limiting “care givers” or “aides” or “essential workers” to one per resident at a time. We are targeting to start next week issuing color coded lanyards with badges at the Reception Desk available for approved people. The approval will include showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a week, as well as screening and sign-in.
This limitation on “aides” and “essential” workers is new and we do not know how long it will last. We will likely need some grace period on the testing, but please know we did not take this step lightly. We hope that you will support this effort to protect the health of everyone at The Redwoods. This is a hardship for all. Each of us is will need to make sacrifices this holiday season in hopes of being able to celebrate future holidays together.
We also want to note that there was some good news regarding COVID-19 vaccines this week. AstaraZeneca joined Moderna and Pfizer with updates on their efforts to create effective vaccines. Pfizer applied to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization of their vaccine and it could receive approval in a couple of weeks. The others should follow shortly. These vaccines will likely require two shots, at least one month apart. While the administration has stated that retirement communities will not be first to receive doses, they may be available to members of our community sometime relatively early in 2021.
So there is some hope on the horizon, but our biggest challenges lay in the days more immediately ahead. The next few months will be critical to our united success in keeping COVID-19 away. We appreciate your support in the efforts that will be needed to do so. Here is hoping that you are able to take some time this week to recognize those things for which you can be thankful. Please take care and, if nothing else, wear a mask!
Wishing you the best this Thanksgiving and every day!