Independent Living – COVID-19 Update for the Holiday Season – 11/16/20

Dear Culpepper Garden Community,

As we approach the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the winter holiday season, we are being asked by many families, friends, and staff about COVID visitation policies and restrictions. It is so important to maintain traditions and relationships during the holidays. It is possible to enjoy this time together while following the precautions and safety practices outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Virginia Department of Health.

Unfortunately, the pandemic continues unabated and recent reports indicate that the spread of Coronavirus is once again increasing dramatically. It is because of this increase in COVID cases that onsite visitation within the Culpepper Garden community will continue to be limited to essential visits only.

For residents who plan to visit with family or friends outside of Culpepper Garden, please be aware that one of the leading COVID transmission routes is exposure from family gatherings. This points to holiday gatherings with family and friends being a very real exposure risk. If you are planning on attending family or friend gatherings, please ensure that you and others are following the CDC recommended precautions which include wearing a mask always, social distancing of at least 6 feet from others and frequent washing of hands. A particular risk in holiday gatherings would be the very nature of these events, indoors and close together. Often with shared serving utensils and family style meals. All of these present a very real, and documented, risk to our community upon the return of a resident.

As a colleague expressed so ably to his community recently, “While we all want to gather our families together during these special holidays and celebrate the festivities that we have come to enjoy, unfortunately…“the virus doesn’t care what day it is or who is celebrating we have to be so carful and cautious to ensure we are able to protect the most vulnerable.”  

Should a resident make the choice to stay overnight with family during any part of the holidays, the standard expectations are the same as they have been. Once the resident returns, the resident must self-quarantine in their apartment for fourteen (14) days as a COVID-19 contact isolation precaution.  While this may be a discouraging prospect, we need to continue to stay focused to prevent any outbreak in our community caused by family gatherings.

Dining Services continues to offer a limited meal plan for any resident in self-quarantine. We encourage any resident to use this plan for the time they are in their unit. Meals will be delivered during self-quarantine. Please contact Dining Services for more information and the cost.

Most of all, DO make plans to enjoy the holidays. We will be hosting a variety of holiday events and small gatherings for residents. Residents will be treated to a special virtual holiday concert featuring the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and the VCU Performance Choir, with a Christmas Carol sing-along in December in various viewing areas within the community! Further information and details to come!

Simply put, always make part of your holiday planning, the safety of all our entire community by wearing a mask, staying socially distanced and washing your hands!

Thank you and I wish you a beautiful, healthy, holiday season!

Warm regards,

Paul J. Timpane
Director of Property Operations

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