Dear Woodland Terrace Residents and families,
This letter is part of our continuing regular communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the State of North Carolina and nationally, we are seeing a dramatic increase in COVID cases. With this increase in cases, the State is recommending new guidelines that communities such as Woodland Terrace should follow for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Below is an update on our current positive COVID cases and an update regarding these new state recommendations for the Thanksgiving holiday:
New Update on Positive Cases at Woodland Terrace:
Since our initial announcement on Tuesday, we have done well over 200 individual COVID tests with many more scheduled for today. Through this testing, we have identified a total of 5 active cases at our community. We have 3 associates that have tested positive for COVID. The associates are home doing their required quarantine. The 2 resident cases are currently limited to the Vera Spring section of our community. Those residents are following the proper quarantine protocols as well.
For Vera Spring, we are increasing our safety protocol to the required restrictions when positive case(s) are present. As a precautionary move, we are increasing these protocols in our Arboretum section as well. Family visitation for these areas will resume with window visits only. Additionally, Legacy therapy will temporarily stop services in Vera Spring and the Arboretum. Our operations will be adjusting to a quarantine status in these areas so we can better control the environment and reduce the risk of further spread.
All Woodland Terrace associates, all Vera Spring residents, and all Arboretum residents will continue to receive weekly individual COVID test. State regulations require us to do this until we have multiple, consecutive weeks of no cases. As there are currently no cases in Independent Living, most current operations and restrictions will remain in place……for now. We will be reducing the scope of social event gatherings as preventative measure to help reduce the risk of exposure. Independent Living building visitation continues to be restricted to “essential visitors” only. We will be pausing our scheduled indoor visits program at this time. Should we have a positive case occur in Independent Living, we will be required to put in similar safety measures to those listed above in Vera Spring and the Arboretum. We continue to provide weekly group COVID testing opportunities for our Independent living residents. Our next testing date is this Monday. We encourage all Independent Living residents to participate in Monday’s testing.
New State Guidance on Thanksgiving Holiday Activities:
The following comes directly from the Department of Health and Human Services update regarding Holiday Celebration Guidance:
CDC states on their Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings webpage, “if you are an older person… you should avoid in-person gatherings with people who are not in your household.” For people who live in a residential senior living/care setting, their “household” is composed of the residents and staff within their facility. Leaving the facility to spend time with a different group of people can put the health of the resident and others in the facility at risk.
For this reason, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recommends that residents do not leave the facility to attend holiday events with individuals outside of their household (as defined above). We also recommend that staff do not attend holiday events or gatherings with individuals outside of their household. Residential senior living/care facilities are at a very high risk for COVID-19 transmission and activities that residents and staff engage in outside of the facility may impact the health of the entire facility.
The Department of Health and Human Services states that any resident who leaves the community for holiday gatherings should be scheduled for a COVID test upon their return and quarantined for full 14 days, even with a negative test result. Please know we understand the challenge of these new State regulations and restrictions, especially during the holidays. Our goal continues to be the safety and well-being of all. Woodland Terrace residents and staff. In these times of increased COVID spread, we must remain focused on that goal.
We will continue to keep everyone updated as the situation evolves. On behalf of Woodland Terrace, I would like to offer our positive thoughts and prayers for the full recovery of those with the virus as well as everyone’s health and well-being during this pandemic situation.
Matt Towler, Executive Director