COVID-19 Updates | December 22, 2020

COVID-19 Updates | December 22, 2020

December 22, 2020

Dear Village at Incarnate Word Residents and Families:

As we near the end of 2020 we look to 2021 with anticipation as vaccinations against COVID-19 have begun.

The Village at Incarnate Word is registered with The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program and we are partnered with CVS Health to provide our vaccine. The Village’s first vaccine clinic is tentatively scheduled for January 14. Our second clinic is scheduled for February 4. At this time, the plan, determined by the state of Texas, is to vaccinate our frontline workers and the residents that live in our licensed areas only (i.e., assisted living, memory care, extended care). Independent living residents are not included in the State’s first phase vaccination methodology. However, as members of Leading Age, an association representing 1500 not-for-profit long-term care communities, we are challenging that methodology. We will certainly share more information as our process for vaccinating both our staff and residents becomes more definite.

Much like our Thanksgiving Holiday, per guidance issued from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), we are encouraging families to carefully consider family/group gatherings over the holidays. CMS recommends that residents do not leave the building, including during the holidays. Leaving The Village at Incarnate Word could increase your or your loved one’s risk for exposure to COVID-19. It is important to note that San Antonio and the surrounding areas are experiencing an enormous surge in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

We, at The Village, understand this is a challenging time, and we want to make every effort to help you to connect with your loved ones in safe but meaningful ways, especially during the holidays. We will continue to offer virtual visits via video chat and window visits.

If Residents Leave for the Holidays: Should you and your loved one ultimately decide to leave the community despite these government recommendations, please be advised that the federal government has also directed us to take extra precautions upon your loved one’s return in an effort to keep all our residents and staff members safe.

Family members, if you later discover your loved one may have been exposed to COVID-19 while visiting with you for the holidays, please notify us immediately.

Residents living in independent living, please self-monitor for symptoms (fever, congestion, shortness of breath, coughing) once you return. Symptoms can present between 2 and 14 days after exposure.

In The Village’s assisted livings, memory care, and extended care areas nursing staff will continue to monitor for signs and symptoms.

If a resident leaves the community and is gone overnight, they must quarantine for 10 days upon return. This is consistent with our current practice and CDC guidelines. If a resident leaves for the day, to attend a family gathering, the resident has the option to quarantine and be COVID tested by Village staff on Monday, December 28. The cost of the PCR saliva test is $75 and takes 24-48 hours to process. Assuming a negative test result, the resident will no longer need to quarantine.  An independent living resident may also choose to use an outside provider for the test. 

Residents that live in our licensed areas, and leave for family gatherings, will be tested by our nursing staff. It is strongly suggested that residents in our licensed areas do not leave for the holidays as they are the most vulnerable to the virus.

Resident testing, as it relates to residents leaving for family gatherings during the holidays, does not impact The Village’s on-going COVID-19 surveillance testing of staff and residents in our licensed areas.

Please bear in mind that recommendations for infection control precautions such as those listed above may continue to change and it is important that we follow local, state, and federal guidance.

Ways You Can Help Reduce the Spread of COVID-19: We know we can count on you to help us curb the spread of COVID-19. Below are some suggestions on how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.

  1. Reduce the number of people gathering. Large gatherings offer more opportunity for the virus to spread from person to person, especially when an infected person has no symptoms yet can still spread the virus to others unknowingly.
  2. Ask anyone who has had contact with someone who has been ill to not join the holiday celebration in person. If they have been exposed to someone who is/was ill, they may be spreading the virus without knowing they have it. Offer alternative means to stay in touch over the holidays, such as FaceTime, virtual parties, and virtual holiday meals.
  3. Remain at least six (6) feet apart both indoors and outdoors. This reduces the amount of virus that you and/or loved ones may come in contact with.
  4. Wear face coverings both indoors and outdoors. Face coverings help protect both you and your loved ones.
  5. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is not available.
  6. Avoid touching your face or others’ faces. The virus may be on your hands and touching the face may bring the virus into the body.
  7. Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as doorknobs or countertops, often. The virus may live for extended periods on certain surfaces. Cleaning of surfaces is important to reduce the risk of spread.
  8. Avoid communal serving utensils, passing food/drinks, potluck, or buffet style food service. These offer many opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person. Instead, stick with individually prepared plates by a single server.
  9. Whenever possible, if you are having a gathering, do so outside. When that is not an option, conduct the gathering in a well-ventilated area. This can be done by opening windows and doors, if possible.
  10. Resist the urge to shake hands or hug others. Instead, verbally greet others. Talk to children about not hugging or touching prior to the gathering.
  11. Check the local and state conditions and requirements for precautions and restrictions in place. This includes positivity rates and quarantine requirements, before crossing state lines.

 As we navigate these challenging times, we express our sincere gratitude for your support in helping to protect one another.

Please, feel free to call the community with any questions. My extension is 140. You may also ask to speak with Jeanette Eisenmenger, The Village COO (extension 157), or Lynda Jennings, The Village VP of Clinical Services and Compliance (extension 213). We will provide an update when the test results are available.

For additional information on COVID-19, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.  

We consider providing for all our residents’ needs a privilege that we take seriously and pray for a safe and blessed Christmas and New Year for you and all your family members.

Kindest regards to all,

Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison

President & CEO