- Feb. 28: No new cases.
- Feb. 27: No new cases.
- Feb. 26: No new cases.
- Feb. 25: No new cases.
- Feb. 24: No new cases.
- Feb. 23: No new cases.
- Feb. 22: No new cases.
- Feb. 21: No new cases.
- Feb. 20: No new cases.
- Feb. 19: No new cases.
- Feb. 18: No new cases.
- Feb. 17: No new cases.
- Feb. 16: No new cases.
- Feb. 15: No new cases.
- Feb. 14: No new cases.
- Feb. 13: No new cases.
- Feb. 12: No new cases.
- Feb. 11: No new cases.
- Feb. 10: No new cases.
- Feb. 9: No new cases.
- Feb. 8: No new cases.
- Feb. 7: No new cases.
- Feb. 6: No new cases.
- Feb. 5: No new cases.
- Feb. 4: No new cases.
- Feb. 3: No new cases.
- Feb. 2: No new cases.
- Feb. 1: No new cases.
Feb. 26, 2021
Exactly one year ago, we began to plan for the impact of COVID-19 within our community. I remember watching the news and beginning to feel very scared. In weeks, the virus had gone from something completely hypothetical and in a different part of the world, to very real and very close home. One year later and another very strong feeling is emerging within me: hope.
We have each had our significant challenges, and all I can offer is my own perspective, but looking back I do not know how so many of us made it through the past twelve months. I vividly remember waking up morning after morning and being afraid to come to work because I knew all I was going to see and experience was pain. To date, more than 500,000 Americans have died, 47 of which were our precious VCC residents. On top of such tremendous loss, we also watched the real-time consequences of residents having to endure isolation from their families, and from each other. For the rest of my life, I will remember this chapter and hope that we, as an industry and as a society, can be better in the future. We owe it to our residents, to their loved ones, and to our associates.
I also want to take a moment to thank our associates. Every day, they came to work and they worked tirelessly for our residents. Many times they came to work knowing they were exposing themselves to COVID-19 and knowing that they were putting themselves and their families at risk. On top of this, they saw what I saw – an incredible amount of pain and loss – including the loss of residents they cared so deeply for. I know that many of them, like me, feared coming to work because of this pain. I am reminded of an exchange from one of my favorite books between a father and a son: “Father, can a person be brave even if they are afraid?” “That is the only time a person can be brave,” the father responded. Our associates have known what it is to be afraid, and they have shown me what it means to be brave.
One year later, I cannot tell you how happy the atmosphere in the building has become. We have not had a new positive case in the building since January 21. We’re easing back into activities and dining. Family visits have begun. We joke that we’re not sure who is more excited to see visitors: our residents, their loved ones, or our associates. It is such a breath of fresh air.
There is hope beyond all previous hope that these visits can continue and be expanded upon. We are seeing new evidence of how powerful these vaccines are at combating virus. We are seeing in real time that community spread is slowing due to more and more people being vaccinated and developing immunity. Across the Village, nearly 2,000 people on campus have been vaccinated, and there have been no new cases reported anywhere on campus for two weeks in a row. We are seeing glimpses of what normal could look like. And we are experiencing hope together.
Finally, thank you all for your continued patience, grace, and support.
Feb. 19, 2021
This week seemed to be our first glimpse at what returning to our “new normal” can look like—and it looked fantastic!
Our residents were able to eat in the dining room, they were able to engage in small group activities, and together our residents and associates went more than 28 days without a new positive case, making our outbreak officially “over.”
Out of all these exciting opportunities for our residents, we are most ecstatic about the fact that our residents will be able to see their loved ones again next week.* We have gone through a lot of work the past two weeks to create a warm and safe environment where you can visit with your loved ones. I want to emphasize again that all of us must adhere to the rules that have been established by state and federal regulators in order to continue these visits. We are also very hopeful that this is just our first phase of visitation, and that we can expand them in the very near future.
I am also thrilled that this positive news extends beyond the Village Care Center. For those of you who’ve been waiting for light at the end of the tunnel, please take just a moment to really let this sink in. In addition to our zero new cases:
- Village Assisted Living has had a few isolated cases during which contractors who had little or no resident interactions tested positive, but there have been no new associate or resident cases since Jan. 28. They will continue with scheduled testing to stay aware of the presence of the virus in their buildings. VAL also is scheduling 30-minute visits in specially-designed controlled surroundings that meet CMS and CDC standards.
- Areas outside of VCC & VAL: There are no current associate or resident cases of COVID-19 reported. Independent Living is holding their second round of resident vaccinations, with a 5-day clinic set up for next week during which nearly 1,000 residents will receive a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
I don’t know about you, but I just breathed a huge sigh of relief. What does it all mean? It means that what we’re doing to control spread of the coronavirus is working. And it means the vaccine is working to keep infection rates low here – at the Village. Take a look at the chart below.
*REMINDER: if we get a new COVID+ resident our associate case we move back to day one and must go 14 consecutive days without an additional case before we can allow visitation again.
Feb. 11, 2021
I wanted to provide a brief update with what has been happening at the VCC the past week. Most importantly, we have gone another week without a new positive resident or associate case of COVID-19. Secondly, we continue to see the county positivity rate dropping, which is extremely encouraging.
Lastly, as I mentioned in my last email, we are re-starting indoor visitations. I have attached a document that outlines the specific guidelines for visiting residents at the Village Care Center. It is essential that these guidelines are followed at all times, as they are crucial for the success and continuation of this program – and for everyone’s safety. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
I also want to mention again that if we have one positive resident or associate case, our countdown clock goes back to day one and cannot have visitors until we go 14 consecutive days without a new positive.
To sign up for an indoor visit, please click on this link to go to the “Sign-Up Genius.” We are asking that each family only take one slot during the week of Feb. 22 so we can ensure as many of our residents as possible can have a visit.
Feb. 5, 2021
This was a great week. We had so many momentous events happen that I feel compelled to share them all with you.
- Second Vaccine Clinic – CVS was here on Wednesday and Thursday this week to do our second vaccine clinic. Over the course of two days we were able to provide a primer dose or booster of the Moderna vaccine to more than 150 residents and 400 associates.
- No New COVID+ Cases – As I write this e-mail today, we are fifteen days from our last COVID-19 case. Additionally, we are more than five weeks from our last COVID+ resident. For the first time in close to six months, we do not have any residents or patients with COVID-19 at the VCC!
- County Positivity Rating – In addition to all the other great news, Jackson County’s COVID-19 positivity rate dropped from 13.6% to 10%. As I have mentioned in previous emails, we know the overall county positivity rate will be key with our re-opening plans so seeing it drop that drastically was amazing. Let’s keep going!
The latest word on visits.
Lastly, I wanted to let you know that we have been working in the background on when and how we can begin to have visitors in the building. While it’s likely that we are still a few months away from a true “re-opening,” we do have a plan to allow indoor visits starting the week of Feb. 22.*
I will send out a more detailed plan by the middle of next week, but in short, we will be creating a Sign-Up Genius reservation system that will allow up to two loved ones to enjoy a visit with a resident for 30 minutes in our lobby classroom. Visitors will need to be screened, and all residents and visitors will be required to wear masks at all times and remain at least six feet apart at all times. Visits will be monitored for the safety of our residents. I cannot tell you how excited I am to FINALLY be able to say that our residents can have visitors again,* and to take the first step our re-opening plans.
Village Assisted Living. As planned, renovations to update portions of the main building have begun, and in just a few short days, progress is already very visible! Please be assured that they have placed limits on how many contractors can be working in the building, and that the contractors must follow the same infection control measures as our own associates, including weekly testing, in order to protect the safety of the residents and associates. And speaking of testing… all testing of VAL residents and associates performed through Wednesday evening was negative! They will have their second vaccination clinic on Monday.
Other parts of the Village
We are aware of one Independent Living resident that has tested positive in the past week. Contact tracing has been conducted.
Thank you all for your continued support and care for our associates and residents. We have been through such a difficult period, but we can finally see a light at the end of this incredibly dark tunnel.
*NOTE: We are only able to do this if we stay fourteen consecutive days from our last positive associate or resident case. If we have a positive test result, the counter is re-set to zero.
Thank you for your continued efforts to help keep the community positivity rate down. We are all in this together. Oh, and GO CHIEFS!!!