Dear Residents and Family Members:
During this past week I’m sure we have all seen the headlines or watched the news concerning the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country. It is becoming clear to health experts that if all of us are not careful in our reopening process, and how we follow the guidelines, we risk exposing far too many people, which has serious consequences for long term care and assisted living facilities like ours. News of one of our asymptomatic employees testing positive last week is enough to make us re-evaluate how we move forward. As Dr. Anthony Fauci recently stated, this virus is highly contagious and we still have much to learn about how it spreads.
Today we are attaching two documents (below) that provide some insight into the regulations we must follow in our reopening process. We want to be as transparent as possible about how we determine when it’s appropriate to remove some of the restrictions we have in place. One document provides a check list that we must complete in order to move from one phase to another. The yellow highlights indicate the requirements that we have completed. Just so you know, we are currently in Phase 1 at Beth Sholom. As a reference point, there are only two nursing homes in Virginia that have moved into phase two. The second document contains a list of Q&As from the Health Department regarding how we manage this process. Please understand that the information we are sharing is where we stand today. If we have learned nothing else from this process it is that these guidelines are likely to change as we learn more about COVID-19.
As our residents know, recently we conducted a point prevalence survey (PPS) and tested 424 residents and staff. We are now waiting on the results from those tests which should come back next week. Those findings and the completion of the other work needed to enter phase two will give us a better view on the next steps. We will be sure to keep everyone posted on those findings.
To our families, I want to offer a perspective that struck me the other day. As I look at our resident population, I’m reminded of some of the hardships they experienced through the decades of their lives. In fact, some grew up listening to stories of loved ones lost in the last pandemic. This generation has already demonstrated how to endure hardships and overcome the challenges of life. Perhaps it can be summed up this way. No, it’s not easy and yes, there will be frustrations. But as we all know, this too, eventually shall pass. Hopefully sooner than later.
Please be safe.
Morris S. Funk
President and Chief Executive Officer