Dear All Residents and Families of Drake Terrace,
I would like to provide an update on recent events and other information to help you stay informed on all things Drake Terrace.
Allow me to begin with some people updates. We have been so pleased to have Esmeralda Morebeck and Loata Toale join our Assisted Living team! They are back from offsite onboarding and at the community full time now. With Esmeralda (Assisted Living Director), Rowena and Loata (Resident Care Directors) we are pleased to offer expanded 7-day coverage to support our assisted living and memory care team and residents. Please find an attached biography to help you get to know Esmeralda. John Meyer’s (Executive Director) last day was today and he asked to share warm wishes and a big “THANK YOU” to all those he was unable to visit before his departure to Hawaii. Our search for the next Executive Director is going well, with two qualified and talented individuals in the final stages of interviews. Stay tuned for more information and an introduction letter once we have made an offer. In the meantime, Jerry Church and I (Home Office Operations) will make weekly visits to support the day-to-day needs and community management team of Drake Terrace. We are thrilled to welcome several new residents moving into Drake Terrace throughout the month August. Our Wellness team will plan a “Meet and Greet” event later this month to allow everyone to get to know our new residents in a safe and hospitable way!
Testing for COVID-19 has become a recurring event with greater availability of testing. As a reminder, we conducted baseline testing of all residents and associates in June, which yielded all negative results. Last month, we conducted another baseline test of our associates on July 24th utilizing our new lab partner Clarify AIT. This testing event resulted in 3 associates who tested positive. One associate from our dining team and two associates from assisted living, all asymptomatic and cleared to return to work. There are no individuals identified for having risk exposure and no other cases to report at this time. There are approximately 20 associates with pending results and we will share any updates as we receive them. In response to new cases, we are testing all associates and residents on Wednesday August 5th. Esmeralda and Loata will visit each resident’s apartment to perform the COVID-19 test between the hours of 9AM-Noon and 2PM-5PM on August 5th.
We expect test results early next week and will personally notify anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who may have had exposure to a COVID-positive individual. With increased testing, we may see an increase in positive results, however, this information will greatly aid our fight against COVID-19 which remains prevalent around us. We will continue weekly testing until we are clear of COVID-19 for 2 consecutive weeks. Once we are clear, we will resume surveillance testing of 25% of associates and residents each week. This cadence of testing will continue for the foreseeable future and will be critical to help us keep everyone safe. It is our goal to facilitate testing in a smooth and efficient manner to promote minimal disruption to your day. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and participation with ongoing testing.
We know that upholding the four pillars of safety (masks, screening, social distancing, and handwashing/sanitation) coupled with frequent testing significantly reduces the risk of spread of COVID-19. We must continue to be vigilant with requiring the use of face masks for all associates at all times, residents when out of their apartments and highly restricting visitation for non-essential purposes. We understand the sacrifices our residents, families and associates make every day to protect themselves and each other and appreciate everyone’s effort for the common good. Our top priority is to contain spread, monitor those who have tested positive for a full recovery, and to keep our entire campus safe through diligence with safety protocols.
Our social and emotional health needs are also greatly important! We continue to offer wellness programs, with masks and appropriate distancing, such as scenic drives, fitness classes, Bingo, and intellectual offerings. Additionally, let us know if we can assist with virtual visits using our tablets or digital applications you prefer to stay connected with friends and family. Based on recent feedback, we heard requests for greater variation among dining choices to accommodate both those who prefer more exotic options and residents who enjoy “comfort food” at each meal. We hope you are enjoying the new menu and added entrée choices aimed to please diverse palettes. A friendly reminder, please be prepared to return the green eco container after each meal service for dishwashing. We kindly ask that you not keep any in your apartment to allow us time to prepare the containers for the upcoming meal. We invite you to join our Food Forum with Chef Heyman next week on August 12th at 2:30 PM in the dining room. This will be a great opportunity to share your feedback, kudos, and ideas regarding our dining program.
As a Home Office associate, I am always delighted to return to Drake Terrace and spend time in the community. Despite all that is challenging in the world right now, there is a palpable spirit of friendship, teamwork and positivity that remains alive and well here. Thank you for being a part of the Drake Terrace family and your continued support and partnership. You can count on weekly updates like these from Jerry and me to help you stay informed and connected.