Independent Living – COVID-19 Update – 1/5/21
Dear Independent Living (IL) Residents and Family Members,
Happy Holidays! Here is the latest information and updates including protocols to continue keeping the Culpepper Garden community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the independent living part of our community, Culpepper Garden I and II, 135 IL residents participated in a voluntary COVID-19 testing event offered on December 16th. The two residents that tested positive have completed their self- quarantine without symptoms and have been cleared to return to normal activities.
No additional positive test results have been reported during the last week.
The two staff members who tested positive have completed their self-quarantines without serious symptoms and are medically cleared to return to work.
Weekly IL staff testing was completed Monday, December 28, 2020. No new positive results from this testing.
As of today, we have no scheduled COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Culpepper Garden has signed up as a participant in the Pharmacy Partnership of Long-Term Care Program as a participant in the first phase of the vaccine. It is our understanding at this time that nursing homes will receive priority in this first phase, then assisted living, and then independent living. A separate update will be sent as soon as any firm information or timeline is received.
We continue to receive numerous requests from family and friends to visit their loved ones inside the building for non-essential reasons. We understand the desire and need to see loved ones; however, given the current levels of positive Coronavirus in the area this is a dangerous risk. All visits, even for essential reasons, are potential transmission events and should be postponed indefinitely. Please reconsider any non-medically essential visit to Culpepper until vaccine clinics are underway or the positivity rates are lower.
Northern Virginia continues to experience a high community positivity rate and we remain very concerned about another surge after the holidays. We continue to ask for the cooperation of our residents, staff, and families to limit the spread of COVID-19 into our IL community.
- We continue advise residents to stay home and avoid unnecessary trips or visitation plans outside of the building. With the Christmas and New Year’s holidays imminent, we are very concerned about family celebrations. The recent outbreak at Culpepper Garden was immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday due to these events not including adequate COVID-19 safety protocols.
- We advise residents to stay in their units as much as possible.
- We must continue to emphasize that private health aides providing service to residents must comply with the protocols that Culpepper Garden has established. Compliance with these rules is the responsibility of the resident.
- Aides must always wear a mask in the building in all areas, especially in the resident’s apartment.
- Aides are not permitted to congregate, take lunch, have phone calls, or take breaks in any public area of the building.
- Aides are permitted to do laundry in the 5th floor laundry only.
- All meals may be taken “to go” until further notice. The Dining Room remains open but the option to take your meal to go has been restarted. There are NO BEVERAGES “to go” except bottled water or unopened milk cartons.
- A new 15 meal plan is now available for any interested resident. This will allow residents the flexibility to have a meal delivered during any self-quarantine period.
- We continue to provide testing for Independent Living staff to identify individuals who are positive for COVID-19 but may be pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic.
- Access to Independent Living is restricted to only pre-authorized and screened privately hired and licensed medical providers or caregivers, essential persons, and staff. Authorized contractors must be approved in advance.
The following protocols remain in place:
- Staff are continuing to frequently disinfect common area surfaces.
- Residents should always require private aides, staff, or other essential health care workers to wear a mask and gloves while in their unit. The resident should wear a mask too!
- All staff & aides are screened upon entry with temperature checked and recorded.
- All aides are always required to wear masks and gloves in the building.
- All staff are always required to wear a mask in the building, including in units.
Anyone entering the building must be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature check. Please continue to follow the infection control measures as provided by the CDC:
➢ Wash and sanitize of hands for 20 seconds or more as often as possible; and avoid touching face, mouth, and eyes
➢ Wear a mask whenever in public or when an aide or staff member is in the apartment.
➢ Cover a cough or sneeze.
➢ Maintain a “physical distance” of at least six (6) feet from any other individual.
➢ Frequently disinfect areas of activity and touch points
➢ Monitor health for symptoms and stay away from others if sick.
We are so hopeful that after the anticipated post-holiday surge is resolved with the potential start of vaccination clinics that we can move past the worst of the pandemic. Until that time, we must remain vigilant and not let our guard down as a community. Thank you to every single person in the community for their resolve and commitment in keeping Culpepper Garden safe. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. We wish you Happy Holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year!
Paul J. Timpane
Director, Property Operations