Dear Acts Residents and Employees:
We hope everyone is enjoying the change in seasons and the beginning of fall. As you are aware, several months ago, the experts warned of a potential resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the fall, and especially warned of the potential negative outcomes from holiday weekend gatherings. Thankfully, and to the credit of all of you, Acts has experienced only minor increases in exposures to residents and employees over the past several weeks. As we now stand four weeks post Labor Day weekend, we are so proud of the Acts family and pleased to report that we did not experience any outbreaks across our communities.
Across all of Acts, 21 of our 26 communities have no active COVID-19 cases amongst residents (across all levels of care). This is a decrease of 1 compared to our last update, and we are also pleased that only 7 residents are active with COVID-19 across the 5 communities. Employee cases also continue to be low and remain fairly consistent with the counts from two weeks ago. Currently, there are 20 employees (across 9 Acts communities) that are positive for COVID-19. These numbers compare favorably to the number of cases just prior to Labor Day weekend when there were 18 residents and 23 employees positive for COVID-We extend a warm and heartfelt thank you to each of you for continuing the strong efforts and commitment in protecting yourselves and each other. Your success is evident in our positive trends!
From a global perspective, reports of increased exposures in our country along with Canada and Europe are being reported. We have learned that no one is immune to the virus with the President of our country testing positive and being hospitalized. This certainly reinforces our necessity to continue to wear masks appropriately, wash our hands frequently, practice social distancing, travel only for essential reasons and follow all established protocols. Please also immediately report any and all potential changes in your physical condition to our Nurse Practitioners. We have noted several cases where only one minor symptom (such as a running nose) was present, and the person tested positive for COVID-19.
While we continue to remain extremely vigilant, we are pleased to have approved 11 of our communities to move into Acts’ Phase 2.5 of re-opening. In addition to introducing communities into Phase 2.5, we have initiated in-person visitation to those OakBridge Terrace Assisted Living Residences (OBT) and WillowBrooke Court Skilled Care Centers (WBC) where regulations permit, and the communities meet the required qualifications. As a reminder, we have provided compassionate care visits for several months and will continue to do so across all communities. The visitation protocols imposed by local, state, and federal regulations are very specific, complex, and at times confusing. We are, however, moving responsibly forward to provide safe visitation, where permitted, and are very sympathetic to residents, families, and visitors who have long awaited this opportunity. Specific community visitation protocols will be included in the weekly community letters and/or provided by your respective Executive Director.
All flu vaccines have been received in each community in sufficient quantities to vaccinate all residents and employees. If you have not received your vaccination, know that it will be offered to you soon. Unless medically contraindicated by your physician or nurse practitioner, you are strongly encouraged to receive your flu vaccination. Employees are required to receive the flu vaccine with extremely limited exceptions. Should you have any questions regarding vaccinations please contact your respective Nurse Practitioner.
Herein are the recently received frequently asked questions as submitted by residents:
Will we be permitted to have guests for Thanksgiving Day in the main dining room?
Currently, we are not permitting guests to dine in our main dining rooms, even for communities that have moved to Phase 2.5. As regulations restrict the number of persons permitted to dine at a time, increasing capacity to include guests is very difficult. In addition, our visitor policies continue to limit a visitor’s access to common areas. With Thanksgiving several weeks away, we will keep you informed of any changes to these policies.
Will the community provide bus transportation on voting day to our voting location?
Yes, although we have strongly encouraged residents to obtain absentee ballots given the current conditions and the anticipated long lines at the polls. Each community may provide transportation to the polls with the appropriate social distancing and disinfection following each transport. Certainly, residents may drive themselves and fellow residents to the polls or seek transportation from family and friends. For specific community transportation opportunities, please contact your Executive Director.
Will Acts be able to procure and administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available?
All indications are that seniors and caregivers will have priority access to the vaccine once available. Know that we are closely following the development and accessibility of a vaccine. Once approved and available, we will aggressively seek to obtain ample vaccines for all residents and employees and administer per protocols upon delivery.
We all remain focused on prevention and long for an end to the current limitations we are all subject to accepting. Clearly, our lives have changed, and we continue to adapt as necessary. As we remain focused on prevention and infection control, we also focus on creativity and engagement. Historically at this time, we would be making plans for our traditional holiday celebrations. Just as we have adjusted our day-to-day lives, it will be necessary to be creative and responsible in our holiday celebrations. Our communities are making plans to provide the best possible holiday celebration experience for all under the circumstances. Our faith and our commitment remain steadfast. Both residents and employees continue to demonstrate the true spirit of community and loving-kindness daily. We know that God is always with us and will provide us with ingenuity and patience to adapt as necessary and accept the conditions we cannot change. We have all been in this together from the beginning, and we will all see this through until the conclusion. It is said that things don’t get easier, we just get stronger. Thank you for your strength and resiliency, and for your role in keeping the Acts family strong.
We were again prepared to address the potential of hurricane conditions at Azalea Trace in Pensacola, FL and Westminster Village in Spanish Fort, AL this week. Fortunately, the storm will not impact these communities. We do, however, pray for all those in its path.
May God’s blessings continue to be with each of you and your families.
With warm regards,