Dear Residents, Families, and Associates of The Cardinal,
I am sending this letter to inform you that we had two Independent Living Residents test positive for COVID-19 yesterday afternoon. These two residents reside in the same apartment and are currently isolating in their home. We strongly believe that these cases are related to the positive IL pool group we had last Monday, January 4th. On Friday, we re-tested several associates and healthcare residents, and all other results are negative at this time.
Yesterday, North Carolina continued to break records by reporting the highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day with 11,518 cases on Saturday. This situation is critical, and we must take this seriously. COVID-19 is spreading rampantly in our community. The CDC reported this past week that nearly 60% of COVID-19 transmissions come from people who do not have symptoms. We are taking strides to continue to maintain our bubble of safety here within The Cardinal.
On Tuesday, we vaccinated 319 residents and associates and 191 of those individuals vaccinated were Independent Living residents. We are thrilled to see so many of our residents getting vaccinated but want to remind everyone that immunity will not be achieved until 2 weeks after the second dose is administered on February 2nd. We are all still at risk for contracting COVID-19 until after the second dose is administered.
On Friday, Tom Ford reported that one of our sister communities in Raleigh is currently in the midst of an outbreak due to residents visiting with family over the holidays and residents hosting private parties in their apartments where mask use was not adhered to.
Yesterday, Cardinal staff witnessed residents getting into cars with family members and leaving the community. Staff also witnessed family members sitting down to visit with residents in the lobby who were not wearing their masks properly. To maintain the bubble of safety at The Cardinal, we ask that all residents and families follow the following protocol at this time:
• All family and friend visits must be conducted outside and scheduled in advance. The only exceptions are for those visits meeting the requirements for our IL family testing program.
• Mask use must be adhered to at ALL times when outside of your apartment. No exceptions. Masks MUST be worn properly, fully covering your mouth and nose.
• Visitors are not allowed to visit or congregate in the main lobby at this time.
• If a resident chooses to leave the community to visit with family, they must shelter in place for 7 days upon return to the community.
• If you are asked to quarantine while you are awaiting test results, do NOT leave your apartment for any reason until your test results have returned and they are negative.
• If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please alert someone at The Cardinal immediately and shelter in place in your apartment until you can be tested. These symptoms include fatigue, headache, fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, body aches, or any other cold or flu like symptom.
Beginning tomorrow, Monday, January 11th, we will be changing the schedule for our surveillance pool testing in Independent Living. All Independent Living residents will need to come to the Art Studio every Monday to be pool tested. We will no longer have a high-risk group and all IL residents will be tested on Mondays.
Individual PCR testing will continue for all private duty, 3rd party providers at this time. 3rd party providers will need to stop by the Art Studio on Tuesdays or Wednesdays each week to be tested. If you employ an essential caregiver or 3rd party provider, please share this message with them. Cardinal associates will continue to be individually PCR tested weekly for the foreseeable future.
As we continue to monitor our positive cases closely, we will keep everyone informed of any updates. We will continue to promote the safety and overall well-being of everyone at The Cardinal and are eagerly awaiting the day when our residents and associates can receive the second dose of the vaccine. Over 97% of our healthcare residents were vaccinated this week and we anticipate over 90% of our IL residents will be vaccinated following our next vaccination clinic. 85% of IL residents were vaccinated this past week and several more are already on the waitlist to receive their first dose on February 2nd. We will get through this together. We are so close to the finish line and need your help us get there.
We appreciate your continued support and compliance with our COVID-19 protocols to keep our residents and associate as safe and healthy as possible.
Tom Ford, Executive Director
Mary Casey, Assistant Executive Director