August 12, 2021 Letter
Dear Residents, Employees, Family Members, Legal Representatives and Health Care Providers:
As you have been watching the news, the COVID-19 Delta variant is spreading rapidly in southern states and moving into northern states. Florida was recently named the new epi-center of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though we have enjoyed a small reprieve these last few months, it appears the number of positive cases are on the rise in our communities. When community spread is high, outbreaks begin to occur in nursing homes despite our heroic efforts.
Today our company held a virtual meeting to discuss the surge of COVID-19 Delta variant-related cases in our states. Since both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees and residents can become infected with this variant, we are in full-preparation mode. We want to take this opportunity to let you know our plans to deal with this new surge and what you can expect over the next few months.
First, we continue to encourage anyone who is not vaccinated to please get the vaccine. While vaccinated people can still get and carry the Delta variant, their symptoms typically range from no symptoms to a mild/moderate illness. Infected unvaccinated people have been more symptomatic and are more likely to end up with serious illness, hospitalizations and death. The FDA plans on approving a booster shot for immunocompromised people for both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. We will be assisting appropriate residents and staff to obtain the booster once approved.
Second, in an attempt to diagnose asymptomatic carriers of the Delta variant as soon as possible, we are ramping up our staff COVID testing efforts beyond what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires. This will allow us to implement immediate interventions.
Third, we are restricting large gatherings and community-invited events in counties with moderate to high transmission and homes with less than 70% of employees and residents vaccinated. Current indoor and outdoor visitations are still in place per our current policies, i.e. limited to 2 visitors at an indoor visit and 4 visitors at an outdoor visit.
Finally, facility emergency preparedness teams are meeting to discuss internal preparation for the possibility of another round of outbreaks. We are ensuring our infection “zones” are identified and prepared, our personal protective equipment inventory is ample to meet demand, new staff training has been completed and every department is ready with an emergency staffing plan.
We are hopeful we will dodge this new surge in community COVID cases. Like we have done all along, we will continue to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, as many of you have during the pandemic. I am more than happy to answer your questions or provide you with assistance. I can be reached at email@example.com.
Dr. Shellie M. Sonnentag, DNP, AGPCNP-C, CD
Vice President of Clinical Services
Real Property Health Facilities Corp.
435 Village Walk Lane Suite B
Johnson Creek, WI 53038