May 14, 2020
Residents and Families,
We appreciate your cooperation and support during these unprecedented times. Social distancing and other virus-related restrictions have been difficult for all of us during this pandemic. As some states begin to “reopen” and given the recent decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn the Governor’s extending of the stay-at-home order, our family members and residents understandably want to know when community restrictions (e.g., visitation, communal activities, leaving the community) may be lifted.
Senior living facilities are some of the most COVID-vulnerable places that exist, and will likely be among the last to “reopen”. As a result:
- Current visitation restrictions will continue;
- Social distancing practices within the facility like no communal dining, no large gatherings of residents, no external trips/activities, etc., will continue; and
- Any residents leave the Willow Brook campus for treatment at an external healthcare provider or for any other reason will still be required to be quarantined upon his/her return.
As we have expressed in a previous communication to you about COVID-19, we will follow the lead of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and state/local health department guidelines.
In President Trump’s “Opening Up America Again” plan—which is similar to most state plans—senior care facilities are in the last group of businesses to reopen (Phase III), after sporting venues, movie theaters, etc. States reach Phase III only when they have a downward trajectory of cases and symptoms, along with a robust testing program, and after they have maintained those standards in Phases I and II for at least 14 days each.
Here at Willow Brook, we have seen some successes resulting from the preventative measures put in place. To date, we haven’t had any positive cases of residents or staff.
We can expect that restrictions on senior care facilities will be removed only when life is settled into the new normal. In addition, even if the restrictions are mostly lifted, facilities that have had positive cases should expect that their restrictions will continue until several days after the last symptoms of infection has cleared in the facility.
Aspects of screening, quarantining and social distancing will likely be required in all facilities going forward, even after visitation and communal activities resume. Visitation may continue to have certain limitations or requirements until the threat to our residents has been lessened or eliminated. We will continue to monitor the situation and look for ways to safely allow families to see their loved ones and for our residents to enjoy many of the privileges we all enjoyed prior to coronavirus. Just as we diligently planned for implementing restrictions, we are diligently planning on how to safely ease them. Please be assured we are taking these measures to keep our community safe.
Please reach out to us if you would like to schedule a video call with your loved ones. We are so thankful and grateful for the opportunity to care for your loved ones. We will do everything in our power to make sure they continue to stay safe.
As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns.