Dear Residents, Associates, and Family Members of Drake Terrace:
From the beginning of the pandemic we hoped for a sprint but prepared for a marathon at Drake Terrace. While some of our policies may have seemed restrictive, they have been critical in managing safely in this new landscape. The health, safety and happiness of our associates and residents alike have continued to be top of mind. Behind the scenes over the last few months we have been diligently working on new operating models, procurement of personal protective equipment and new sanitation equipment as well as seeking out the latest in testing science.
Over the summer Drake Terrace partnered with Genetworx, an east coast lab with years of experience in PCR testing, to begin providing surveillance testing for our residents and associates. Genetworx has been a great partner and has been consistently providing test results in less than 72 hours from receipt. With this traditional testing partner in place we continued to search for a fast, efficient, and less invasive way to regularly test all our residents, associates, and providers.
We have now identified a new lab partner and starting on Monday, October 5, 2020 we will begin to roll out new “pooled” testing for all residents, associates, and providers. This new testing process will take samples from larger groups of residents, around 50, combine them and then test the one sample. If that test comes back negative, we know all residents in that “pool” are negative. If the “pool” comes back positive, then we will use the traditional nasal/throat PCR tests to identify any positive cases for treatment. This new “pooled” testing does not involve any of the invasive nasal or throat swabs but instead utilizes a saliva sample. Associates will be tested twice a week and residents will be tested once a week. Residents who leave the community routinely or often will be added to a “high-risk pool” and will be tested twice a week. Our routine providers and vendors will also be tested weekly. This enhanced testing cadence and proactive measures is unheard of in our industry and market.
One of the best parts of our new testing capabilities is it will allow us to return to a closer to normal life for those who live and work at Drake Terrace. Also, starting on Monday, October 5th, we will begin to reopen our dining room. To provide the high level of service our residents deserve while keeping everyone safe and properly spaced in our dining room we will be starting off with Dinner Service with limited seating. Hemant, our Dining Services Director, will be sending a letter out on the specifics of our reopening and invitation system next week.
I have been asked by residents and family members about the beauty salon and when will it open again. This is also another service I am working diligently in bring back very soon. Our previous long-time salon operator retired so now that our county is loosening restrictions, I am hoping to have some big news to share soon.
Lastly, I wanted to provide an update regarding Flu Shots. As announced the week prior CVS will be coming to the community and provide Flu Shots to non-Kaiser residents and associates on Tuesday, September 29th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Kaiser still can not commit to providing an on-site flu shot clinic but we are discussing alternative options.
We at Drake Terrace appreciate the trust you all put in us and are working diligently to keep our residents, families, and associates happy, healthy, and safe during these unprecedented times.
Ricardo Romero Executive Director