Dear Residents, Families, and Associates of Byron Park,
Thank you for continued partnership and support as we continue to navigate the impacts of COVID19 together. As previously noted, I will bold the changes below for your quick review.
I hope this email finds all of you managing well through this time. We are happy to report our community does not have any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID19. I have been asked to share clarity on what Phase 2 means for California, our county, and our community. In addition to this, Contra Costa Health issued two statements in the last week and I would like to briefly summarize these orders and impacts if any.
In a May 7th press release Contra Costa County Health in conjunction with the 5 Bay Area counties noted “It is important that our local communities understand that the regional Health Orders that took effect May 4 are still in effect. These orders – in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and the City of Berkeley – loosen restrictions on construction as well as outdoor activities and businesses. The Bay Area orders do not currently permit curbside pickup from non-essential, non- outdoor businesses, and that is not allowed to begin on Friday, May 8. Health officers will continue working in collaboration with local elected officials, community and business leaders to find ways to reopen more businesses and activities.” “We share the urgency to reopen and restore our economies and our normal activities, and the equal importance of doing so in a way that is safe, responsible and does not cause a significant increase in serious illness and death, or overwhelm our healthcare delivery systems. The coronavirus pandemic is still well underway.”
A secondary press release was issued today May 15th, 2020 regarding outdoor gatherings. “Outdoor gatherings during which participants stay in their vehicles are now permitted in Contra Costa County if organizers follow instructions in a new health order issued today. The new order, which takes effect May 19, provides new options for religious organizations that have been unable to hold services since COVID-19 began spreading in the county, and for schools planning graduation ceremonies. Gatherings permitted by the new order would take place in large, outdoor areas such as parking lots for three hours or less. Except for the host and staff running the gathering, participants would attend in enclosed vehicles – no motorcycles and with only members of the same household in each vehicle.”
While Contra costa county may be ready as soon as next week in joining California for Phase 2 which focuses on reopening non-essential businesses for curbside pickup, this entry into a new phase does not alter the current shelter in place orders or recommendations for communal living environments. It is also important to note that while there is a new outdoor vehicle gathering option available, the finer details note only members of the same household in each vehicle, as gathering is still prohibited per the May 4 Health Order regarding shelter in place that is to remain in effect until May 31,2020.
While we miss the cadence and connection from our typical day to day, we know the health, wellness and safety of our residents and associates have been and will remain our top priority. As a community and organization, we have proactively mapped out each phase. Because each phase is dependent upon State, Local and Federal orders and guidance from Public Health and the CDC we are not ready to publish each stage until we are closer to implementation. Due the nature of our community and how this virus impacts our resident profile directly, we will continue to balance our eagerness for normalcy and our standards of health and life safety. I will continue to update you on operational changes openly and transparently. Feedback is welcome and encouraged. We thank you for your collaboration and partnership. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out. We will continue our weekly updates and will notify you of any critical changes if they arise.
May 1, 2020 update: As noted in our last update we are thrilled to report we continue to have no active COVID19 cases in our community at present time. We thank you for your support in maintaining our standards and protocols to ensure the health and safety for all who work and live at Byron Park. We recognize that the COVID-19 environment is fluid and unique in our history and this period of time can cause anxiety, frustration and loss. I have received many questions about what the next phase at Byron Park may look like. While we do have our community operations mapped out in phases, this plan is dependent upon State, Local and Federal orders and guidance from Public Health and the CDC.
At present, all six bay area counties’ shelter in place orders remain in effect until May 31st, 2020. As many of you are aware an update to our Counties Shelter Order will go into effect at 11:59 pm on Sunday May 3, 2020. Most of this order does not apply or is not relevant to the day to day operations of our essential business whose enhanced practices went into effect in early March but I wanted to highlight the section on outdoor recreation that has already gained a lot of attention and questions.
The May 4th, 2020 Shelter Order section on Recreation reads in verbatim: “The new Order allows use of shared outdoor recreational facilities that do not encourage gathering or contain high-tough equipment. However, everyone must follow any restrictions that either state or local authorities impose. For instance, right now, the State Shelter Order prohibits golf courses from operating.”
Due to the warmer weather and the extended shelter in place orders we have seen an increase in resident’s wanting to gather in the courtyard.
Our courtyard had previously been designated for walking use only but understand residents would like to sit and enjoy the fresh air. We thank you for your feedback and collaboration. We are happy to compromise but for us to manage the flow of residents to comply with social distancing practices we have implemented the following changes:
- Excess furniture was removed from the courtyard to maintain social distancing.
- We have measured and mapped out the courtyard to best support social distancing and for this reason it is prohibited to move furniture at this time.
- The courtyard will be by reservation only, please call the front desk to sign up. Initially visits will be in 45-minute increments.
- There will be designated times for walking use only. This is to support the residents who do not want to encounter other individuals unnecessarily.
The best way to prevent a community outbreak is to remain proactive and supportive. Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in improper mask usage or resident’s reluctant to wear a mask for the entirety of their time outside of their apartment. For clarity, masks must be worn covering the mouth and nose for the entire duration a resident is out of their apartment. Just as our associates are required to wear a mask the entirety of their time in the community. While we can relate to the frustration this “new normal” may cause, it is another layer of defense against the communal spread of COVID19. Any residents who are unable to comply with this state and community policy will be asked to remain in their apartment.
We have created alternative opportunities to keep our community connected and will continue to add enhancements to our wellness program weekly.
To provide you with a safer, more convenient in-room dining experience we will begin using eco-friendly reusable ‘take-out’ food containers for all meals. Benefits to this include maintaining food quality and temperature while minimizing our carbon footprint at Kisco.
These eco-friendly reusable containers are microwaveable and are not intended to be discarded. For your convenience, we will be collecting the empty containers after each meal from your rooms as follows:
BREAKFAST…………….11am – 12:30pm
LUNCH…………………..2:30pm – 4:00pm
DINNER………………….6:30pm – 7:30pm
If you do not wish to be disturbed, please leave your used container outside of your apartment for collection. Thank you for your cooperation as we help each other maintain safety and good health while saving our planet.
I have also received a few calls about our messaging on balcony visits. Charmingly nicknamed by our residents as our Romeo and Juliet apartment, we have dedicated an apartment on the 1st floor for families to enjoy each other’s company safely. You can reserve this apartment daily by calling our front desk team. We also have outdoor chairs available for longer visits.
This will be a wonderful option on Mother’s Day Sunday May 10th, we will have a champagne toast and special seating arrangement available during your visit on this special day! Call the front desk today!
We thank you for your collaboration and partnership. If you have any questions, comments or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out. We will continue our weekly updates and will notify you of any critical changes if they arise.
The following operations have been modified effective 4/17/20:
- All associates are required to sanitize their shoes with the appropriate approved sanitizer upon entering the community.
- All Essential Visitors visiting the community are required to wear the following:
- Mask, Gloves, Booties
- Essential Visitors & Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- All visitors are required to wear the appropriate PPE especially while in a resident’s apartment. Failure to do so will result in being asked to leave the community and not to return. We have made all private duty providers and medical professionals aware of our practice upon entry to the community. We are asking our residents to continue to remind them of our practice so we can remain COVID-19 free.
The following operations remain in place:
We have added complimentary daily trash pickup for all apartments in response to the high volume of paper/Styrofoam goods being delivered. Please leave your bagged trash outside of your apartment between 12:45pm and 1:00pm for a team member to pick up. We have ordered and are awaiting shipment of eco-friendly reusable containers for future use.
All residents must wear a mask when leaving their apartments. If you do not have a mask and need to leave your apartment, please call the front desk so we can bring you one. As a reminder, we are asking all residents to continue to comply with the shelter in place orders until May 3rd, 2020. We have several avenues in which we can provide you with essential items. All item pick-ups are complimentary during this time. If you leave the community for any reason you will be required to quarantine in your apartment for the next 14 days.
While we are focused on COVID19 we also recognize it is flu and allergy season. Any resident that has been seen in the hospital or is demonstrating any respiratory illness our team is required to utilize full personal protective equipment as a precaution. While we continue to maintain a balance between safety and dignity during this time, we have made the decision to leave personal protective equipment in a container outside of the resident’s apartment as well as add a sticker to the resident door for quick review. This quick access will allow our team members to better serve our residents in a safe environment.
Elevator Etiquette Change: We are asking for no more than one resident (two residents if a couple that lives together) and one associate in any elevator at one time.
Single point entry- As a reminder we are still and will continue to practice a single point entry system until further notice for all residents, associates, visitors and vendors. It is prohibited to enter the community via any other access point. We have taped markers on the floor outside of the lobby noting 6-foot clearances. We ask all individuals to comply with these markings and social distancing guidelines.
We want to continue to encourage residents to keep up their strength by being active daily. In addition to the virtual programming and complimentary equipment rental, we can also assist any resident with a community walk as requested. In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, we will have a sign up at the front desk for community and courtyard walks. Residents can walk independently as well but we do ask that you sign up with the front desk so we can manage traffic and sanitation of the community. Keep a look out for our upcoming wellness challenge and raffle!
We are still seeing a steady flow of family members attempting to visit for various reasons. Our restriction to essential visitors only is ongoing and no individual exceptions to this restriction will be made at this time. End of life compassionate visits are exempt from this rule. If you are needing to pick up or drop something off, our team can safely complete this task for you. We feel this is in alignment with state and federal guidelines and the primary way to keep our residents and associates safe during this difficult time. As a reminder we have tablets and a team readily available to help set up virtual visits daily.
As we navigate our way through these challenging times, we are committed to continuing to find creative ways to keep our residents engaged and connected with each other and their loved ones. We have tablets and associates available to set up video calls daily.
We have a community account and tablets set up for online ordering at Target, Walmart and Safeway and our drivers can complete curbside pickup, should delivery not be available.
Pharmacies are noted to be a high-risk area and although we are limiting our in person picks up in those locations, we will continue to pick up emergencies medications as needed. In both levels of living we can assist residents with the set-up of online ordering and call in delivery of medications.
We understand how disruptive and isolating our current situation has been. As we continue to take steps to create a healthy bubble around our community and with our restriction of standard visiting practices, we would like to try and maintain our social connection safely. We have healthy screened Byron Park team members that would love to spend one on one time with our residents. Please contact the front desk if you are interested in a visit or call.
Aligned with Federal Guidelines, we are restricting ALL visitors except as follows:
- “Compassionate” visits (only in instances of end-of-life)
- Individuals directly providing essential health services
- These “essential visitors” must be screened prior to gaining entry and wear a face mask and gloves at all times while within the community.
- We have seen a recent influx in inquiries about whether residents can leave the community and visit family. Inquiries have also been made if family can visit the community but practice social distancing.
- We are continuing to restrict all visitors that are not medically essential at this time in an effort to keep our community of residents and associates safe and healthy. Currently, we are not able to make an exception to this precautionary measure. Leaving the community to socialize is in direct violation of our state’s shelter in place orders and is prohibited.
- Due to the lengthy incubation period of COVID-19 your loved one who is coming to visit may not be showing signs of illness but could be a carrier. Due to the nature of our community and how contagious this illness is we are prohibiting all non-essential visitors on property even with social distancing practices.
These visitor restrictions prohibit family, friends, clergy, Salon and other personal services providers, Private Duty aides, entertainers, and all other individuals deemed “non-essential” at this time. We apologize for the impact this may have on your “normal” visitation frequency, and we appreciate your support of our desire to prioritize the health of our residents. Once environmental conditions dictate, our standard practices will be re-established.
The safety and health of our residents is critical, and in addition to these visitor restrictions we have implemented the following additional actions:
Should a need for a mover arise we have two options at this time. Movers (or friends/family) drop off resident’s belongings at the entrance to the community. Community team disinfects these items and community team moves items to resident’s apartment. The secondary option is to utilize our predesignated movers who have been trained by our community nurse on COVID19 and proper personal protective equipment protocol. The movers will wear the proper protective gear for the duration they are in the community.
During this period, we will not permit families to move items into or out of resident apartments.
- Daily monitoring of associate and resident health (for fever & cough). Please take note the CDC recommended threshold for a fever has been lowered to 99.6.
- Due to the closure of the dining room our room service remains complimentary until further notice. No changes have been made to your standard meal packages. If an Independent living resident would like to add a 3rd meal option, please contact Elaine Hall or Ricardo Romero.
- Breakfast menus will be placed in the iron mailbox outside resident apartment doors nightly. All menus will be collected by 5:00am. Due to high call volumes and our strive for excellent service we ask for your cooperation in completing the menu form and place it back in your mailbox no later than 5:00am.
- Lunch and Dinner Entrees will remain as posted on your weekly menu calendar. We will be utilizing disposables and going door to door with a cart of all 3 entrees for your choosing. The left side of the menu has been suspended at this time. We will continue to provide substitute options for food allergies. In addition to the posted menu we will have a selection of premade sandwiches and salads to choose from. We will also have fruit, ice cream bars and pre poured refreshments. Red and White wine will continue to be offered at dinner.
- We will also have a daily refreshment cart go door to door with refreshments prepacked or poured.
- Lunch service delivery starts at 11:30am
- Dinner service delivery starts at 4:30pm
- To be fair we will be alternating the apartments we start at every other day. For example, Wednesday we will start on the South side of the building and on Thursday we will start at the North side of the building.
- We have suspended all in person wellness activities but have increased programming via Channel 998. Please see your wellness calendar for more details.
- Increased sanitizing and cleaning throughout the community (especially in high-traffic and high-touch areas).
- It is mandatory for all associates and essential visitors to wash their hands/utilize hand sanitizer upon entry to the community and complete our entry screening process.
- Transportation is strictly limited to medical appointments. As a note we do not transfer residents to the Emergency Room and in some cases based on your symptoms we will not transfer to Urgent Care. Due to our heightened sanitization protocol we are only allowing one resident in our vehicles at a time.
- We have a drop off station outside the front door (center of roundabout) for family members dropping off supplies in a hurry. Byron Park team members will deliver all packages and will be practicing additional sanitation measures as they deliver. We will have designated times for deliveries and unless it is a critical package such as medication or incontinence/grooming supplies we are unable to deliver packages outside of our set windows. This is due to the high volume of packages, calls and enhanced screening process needs at the front desk. Packages will be delivered twice a day starting at 1:00pm and 4:00pm.
- Despite our enhanced restrictions and recommendations during this time there are still essential day to day operations that need to occur. For this reason, we have dedicated two meeting rooms that will have an enhanced sanitization protocol. The private dining room and private living room located on the 1st floor will not be available for resident use until further notice.
- Communication Avenues for Operational Updates:
- Touch town will have a ribbon for urgent changes and slides for pertinent information.
- Written communication about any changes will be delivered to every resident apartment via the iron mailbox outside their apartment door.
- Emails will be sent to residents and family members in our data base the same day as the written communication is distributed. If you are unsure if we have your email or would like to add someone please contact the front desk at 925-937-1700 or email email@example.com. Please note our preferred communication for updates to contact information is email. We will be sending prepopulated typed emergency contact forms in our April statements. We are requiring an updated emergency contact sheet to be completed and returned no later than 5/1/2020.
- We have a robo call system in place and all resident and responsible party phone numbers in our database, if you would like to add an additional number or change the number on file please call the front desk at 925-937-1700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our website and Facebook will have a banner when a critical update or a change in status is made.
We will continue to monitor the latest news and guidance and will keep you informed of any additional changes. We highly encourage “virtual visits” and are here if you have any questions comments and concerns. Thank you for your continued support and understanding.