Dear Aldersly Residents and Family,
California continues to see significant increases in active coronavirus cases. This has caused a pause to many local and state re-opening phases and continues to be a concern for the public health departments that oversee Aldersly.
We are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and maintain the safety of our residents and staff as our highest priority. Our Aldersly team established our phased plan, originally with the hope of adopting later phases as the percentage of active cases in Marin receded. However, the amount of positive cases reported versus total persons tested in Marin over the latest 14-day cycle continues to rise and is currently over a 5% average. (For daily tracking visit https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/).
I am constantly thinking of ways we can interact with each other during this crisis and beyond. Most of my time the last several months has been consumed with issues related to the virus; interpreting mandates and orders and applying protocols per the situation. The most discussed issue I have with residents and families is wanting exceptions to Aldersly’s visitation guidelines.
A survey was sent to the residents two weeks ago inquiring about preferences between dining options and increased visitor access. Over two-thirds of the residents responded that they would prefer increased frequency of visits with family in-person. In order for us to move forward in the phasing, residents and families should begin discussing the level of interactions that would be practical and safe and how to limit residents’ unnecessary external interaction.
Moreover, we must be self-accountable and comply with the basic rules and mandates such as wearing face coverings and keeping our physical distance. I am constantly having to remind residents about wearing their face coverings properly and maintaining their distance. Residents who are wearing masks are often moving in closer to hear one another. I have seen residents and families sitting in our visitation area lowering their face coverings to talk. Residents move their face coverings down to talk to each other and I am constantly asking visitors and residents to not congregate in the common areas. These issues with compliance creates opportunities for risk of exposure that we all don’t yet understand.
So as I mentioned last week, Aldersly will continue to follow our Phase 1 protocols with a couple of changes in the month of July. Starting July 6th, we will make changes to our self-quarantine, dining and outdoor activity guidelines. The guidelines are included with this letter.
We expect to receive partition barriers to allow for visitors to see residents in the Assisted living and Health Center. This will allow for more visits at the front office for Independent living and more access to residents living in these restricted areas.
Assuming no residents become ill or test positive, I will be working on a protocol for increased visitation at Aldersly. This will probably require another campus-wide test of residents and staff towards the end of the month, but should lead to more flexibility for visitors to go to a resident’s apartment.
It is in the best interest of all of us at Aldersly that our visitors and families should continue to be careful with their interactions with others outside of Aldersly. It is not just how you interact with others, but also how those you are in contact with (such as other family members) interact with the greater population.
In the next week, I will be out of the community taking some time off and will remain out of the office for much of the month of July as a safety precaution. Samantha Dougherty, our Administrator, will oversee the community when I am unavailable, but otherwise have access to me.
Even though we are not able to be with each other this Independence day, I hope that you will find creative ways express your American pride with each other. We will do all we can to make our community joyful during the holiday while keeping our residents and staff safe.
Thank you again for helping us keep Aldersly safe.