As we struggle through this Coronavirus milieu, what seems to make sense now certainly won’t tomorrow; and then the day after, the original sense becomes apparent again. As discoveries are made, protocols developed, and best practices espoused, we find ourselves over and over again making decisions that we seem to have made before. The one consistency throughout this evolving enterprise is the guidance we have promoted from the start:
- Wash your hands
- Keep your hands from touching a contaminated surface or on your face
- Keep physical distancing
- Be aware of symptoms, reporting them and staying home if not feeling well
- Wear a mask
Other than the consistent protocols, the guidance has changed according to circumstances and it’s still developing. There are obvious inconsistencies in what we’re doing, but they are not without reason. For instance, we’ve been providing transportation for medical appointments and other essential appointments and now to off-campus licensed beauty salons; but are not allowing at home visits. What’s the deal? That doesn’t seem consistent. Perhaps not. So what’s the deal? The deal is that a licensed hair salon is required by the Board of Cosmetology to have procedures and protocols about as stringent as a doctor’s visit. The presumption is that the licensed stylist and salon is not going to jeopardize their license and will follow the rigorous protocols imposed for each customer. The safeguards are not so rigid with family visits. So we’ve taken the intermediate step of arranging “safe” if unsatisfactory family visits here. We think it’s better than nothing, at least until the clearer path becomes apparent.
Governor’s Edward’s Phase I proclamation expires Friday, June 5, to establish Phase II, if everything continues on the positive track as it is now. Phase II, while continuing to provide restrictions for Long Term Care facilities extends the allowable numbers and facilities under the new guidelines. Cautions are advised for vulnerable populations by virtue of age and compromised immune systems or other health related precautions.
Dealing with the virus continues to be a marathon requiring careful pacing strategies for re-entering the larger world, still not normal as we had known it. While much more information about the virus is known, much is still unknown. With these and other variables in mind, we are working on protocols that extend normalcy to the campus while keeping the risk level reasonably low. The plan being developed anticipates independent residents to go and come from campus without the requisite quarantine, but with the screening protocols that have been in use for everyone coming on campus since the establishment of a single point of entry. We envision publishing a set of carefully developed, and if followed, safety protocols that should allow for responsible safe enjoyment of the outside world.
We do not envision at this time visitors to the campus other than residents’ families who are coming to pick up a resident at either the Premier Building porte-cochere or the Atrium porte-cochere. Family members will not be allowed in the building and we are asking residents only to use the two designated entrances for both pickup and delivery. Christwood transportation will continue to pick up and deliver at court entrances.
As we have been trying to do, so will we continue trying to open up more and more while at the same time doing all we can to assure the safety and wellbeing of all residents. More than ever, responsible, careful, adult behavior will have to be practiced by everyone. We further will be distributing a published list of best practices agree upon by a number of communities like Christwood. These behaviors will help assure we do not have a return to a more restrictive regimen.
When Phase III is implemented, in perhaps three weeks from this coming weekend, we will be able to return to more normalcy in the Health Center. In the meantime, additional opportunities will be opened up in Dining. We will continue to support those residents who prefer to maintain greater isolation in their apartments by delivery services as well as the more open options soon to be published.