Community Update for week of 3/6/2023

Update to residents on 3/7/2023

A Word about Masking

Although we have not mandated masks in public areas, we are wanting everyone to make an informed decision about whether to mask in public areas or not at Kendal at Oberlin. Given the current outbreak in both Independent Living and the Stephens Care Center, we strongly encourage masks be worn in public areas. We encourage everyone to be mindful of their neighbors and friends that may be at more risk for any virus, including COVID. Masks remain mandated in the Stephens Care Center for all staff. Staff are also masking when in cottages and in the dining venues.  

Current Outbreak in the Stephens Care Center

This past Friday we had a resident in the Stephens Care Center (SCC) test positive for COVID. On Saturday we had two more residents exhibit symptoms and we took a proactive step of testing all SCC residents and SCC staff for COVID.   By Sunday evening, we had identified a total of 6 SCC residents that tested positive for COVID and no SCC staff members.  We are testing all SCC residents and staff again today and again on Friday.  At this writing, three more SCC residents and one SCC staff member have tested positive for COVID.

All residents (in both Independent Living and the Stephens Care Center) and staff who have had recent cases of COVID have only reported minor-mild symptoms.  We have had no serious illness in this current outbreak.

As a precaution — and to mitigate the spread of COVID in SCC — on Saturday we paused communal dining (including SCC residents going to the Fox and Fell and the Langston) and communal activities within the SCC. SCC Communal activities have resumed today within the SCC with Social Distancing and Masking. Once this current surge is abating, we will begin to plan the resumption of communal dining for SCC residents. We know the importance of being together and sharing a meal. We have learned much these past 3 years, and resuming normal activities as quickly as possible is one of the valued lessons learned. 

Recognizing there is also a surge of COVID in Independent Living (IL), we have temporarily paused the pass-through of the Stephens Care Center for IL residents. We will resume this as soon as we know the current COVID surge is subsiding. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please know that visiting in the SCC is still permitted and is not paused. Visitors still must do a health screen at the kiosk.  Of course, do not visit anyone in the SCC if you are experiencing any COVID or flu-like symptoms.  

My Second Experience with COVID – by Stacy Terrell

As most of you are aware, I tested positive for COVID in December 2021. That experience with COVID was extremely mild, with basically a runny nose one day. Last week I tested positive for COVID again. Symptoms began on Tuesday with a slightly scratchy throat in the morning. I used a COVID home test kit and the test result was negative. At that point I assumed it was some type of virus, but perhaps not COVID. I came to work that day, wearing a mask when around others. On Wednesday I felt a little worse when I woke up, with congestion and a sore throat. I used a home test kit again.  This test came back with a faint line on the positive indicator. As Kim Leek, our Assistant Director of Nursing and Infection Preventionist, shared with me that day, a faint line is still a positive indicator. So, I did not come into work that day and began my five-day quarantine.  On Thursday I felt even a little bit worse with flu-like symptoms. I experienced more congestion, a runny nose, moist cough, and a sinus headache. On Friday I began to feel better and have been feeling better every day since. I treated my symptoms with over-the-counter remedies including Mucinex and Tylenol and plenty of warm tea with honey.

It is hard to say where I may have picked up COVID.  My wife and I attended a High School play-off basketball game the Friday before I tested positive. We had eaten dinner out on the Saturday before, in the middle of the afternoon with low dining traffic, and I was with my faith community on Sunday. It was one of those venues I assume.

I concluded my five-day quarantine on Monday and returned to work today, laying low and participating in meetings via Zoom.

I received my third and most recent COVID booster on November 2, 2022, which was the bivalent booster. Like 99.5% of our residents and staff, I am fully up to date on the COVID vaccinations. This experience was like a regular bout with influenza, which I have not had in several years. I am glad my symptoms were mild and that various mild symptoms have been all that residents and staff have been reporting during this current outbreak of COVID. Let’s all continue to practice COVID and virus safety protocols to protect ourselves and others that live and work in this community, recognizing that we do have people around us who can be especially vulnerable to COVID or other viruses.


STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN helps residents be comfortable and effective when communicating with fellow residents, family, and friends who live with cognitive changes. Everyone is invited. Please join us Thursday, March 9, at 10 a.m. in the Education Center Training Room.

ALS Class

ALS class is canceled for this Friday, March 10.

Charitable Gift Annuities Workshop

On Monday, March 13, at 2 PM Tom Konkoly, Chair of the Committee on Philanthropy and Ann O’Malley, CFO, will present information on Charitable Gift Annuities. Tom will provide some basics on the program and Ann will describe how Kendal at Oberlin gift annuities operate to assure lifetime payments to donors and a residual to benefit Kendal such as through the resident assistance fund or other Kendal priorities as the donor wishes. Join us in person in Heiser Auditorium, watch on KOTV, or participate virtually via Zoom.

To Join via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 820 1846 5147

DEIB Session & Social Equity Focus Groups

Plan ahead for next Tuesday, March 14 at 1:30pm. Everyone is welcome to join us in the Heiser Auditorium. We’ll start with sharing updates related to our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging efforts and goals, followed by interactive focus groups. As part of the City of Oberlin’s Social Equity Survey, staff from The Center for Community Solutions will join us to facilitate our breakout into focus groups. Please come and share your perspectives about equity in Oberlin. Is Oberlin an inclusive place for everyone? Everyone’s voice is valued – even if you have lived in Oberlin less than a year! Your feedback will help inform the City’s action plan to improve equity for ALL Oberlin residents. 

Scams And Severe Weather

Toni Merleno, Risk Manager

As it’s tax season, beware of IRS scams that can surface in your email, telling you something about your tax filing needs to be updated or there will be “future difficulty” with your online filings. Remember: the IRS won’t email you.  Another easy check is for typos and incorrect grammar in the message—sure signs of a scam…

Our warm winter season has brought severe weather across our country from snowstorms in California to tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest and South. Spring is just a couple weeks away and while March is always a question of continued cold weather or even warmer than we’ve been enjoying, please stay vigilant to weather reports, especially for severe thunderstorms and tornado watches.  I will submit my annual severe weather advisory in an upcoming Kendalight; however, being alert to rapidly changing weather conditions and being prepared for possible power outages due to storms will make it much less stressful. 

Dining Update

Greg Zehe, Director of Hospitality Services & Assoc. Administrator

Gluten-Free Advocacy and Support Group

Ten years ago, a gluten-free support group was founded by residents to serve as an advocate for those who have reason to avoid gluten and as a resource for the dining team. The group is still active. Our chairperson is Betsy Allen, and our meetings are attended by residents and dining staff. Our work centers around ensuring that there are enough gluten-free options available and a review of the accuracy of the gluten-free menu designations. The discussions are wide ranging, and the meetings often include cookies, gluten-free of course! Contact Betsy for details about our meeting times. New members welcome!

Other Announcements

Candoo Tech – upcoming Welcome Webinar sessions

We’re rescheduling some of the sessions so as to not conflict with other events. But this session is still on: Wednesday, March 8 from 4:00-5:00 during the SCC council meeting.

Fire Place Update

The fire place parts have arrived and the contractor will be here on March 9 to install them. Thank you for your patience!

Rebecca Ryan – Signals of the Future

Thursday, March 9 at 7:15 pm on ZOOM + KOTV. Futurist and economist Rebecca Ryan returns to Kendal to share “Signals of the Future”.  She and her colleagues have been picking up signals that will shape the future of our communities, cities, and states. In addition, Ms. Ryan will teach the difference between a “signal” and a “trend”.  She will welcome participants to share their signals of the future or discuss those that Ms. Ryan or others share. Please view via ZOOM so that you can be part of the discussion.

ZOOM LINK: Meeting ID: 840 3898 3998.


The Ohio Governor has signed HB 458 into law.  There are important photo ID changes for Ohio voters.

May 2 Primary

The next election is coming up May 2. It is a primary. Residents of Oberlin (Kendal at Oberlin) will have 1 issue to vote on, no candidates for Republican or Democratic parties.  You do NOT need to declare your party for the May election. April 3, 2023 is the deadline for voter registration for the May 2 primary. Early Voting begins at Lorain County Board of Elections (LCBOE) on April 4, 2023.   

Voting in Person

The new change for Ohio Voters is that you MUST have a valid photo ID to vote in person. Utility Bills are no longer acceptable. Acceptable photo ID’s are:

  • Ohio Driver’s License, State of Ohio ID Card, Interim ID form issued by the Ohio BMV
  • US Passport or US Passport Card
  • U.S. Military ID Card with name and photo, Ohio National Guard Photo ID Card, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs ID Card
Voting Absentee by Mail

(recommended by LCBOE): Ohio Voters will be able to vote absentee by using the LAST 4 digits of their Social Security #, and no requirement for a valid photo ID (for absentee only).

Absentee Ballot Application Form

To vote absentee you must request an absentee ballot. There are new absentee ballot application forms. These absentee ballot application forms are available at the Heiser front desk and in the Kendal Library. The Lorain County Board of Elections (LCBOE) encourages independent living residents to submit your absentee ballot application form by April 2 or sooner, as they are expecting a large influx of requests. 

Check your voter registration status and download the absentee ballot application form at  When requesting a ballot for the May 2nd Primary, select and an Issues Only type of ballot.  Please contact Ann Francis if you have questions or concerns about Independent Living resident voting.

SCC Residents’ Voting

Kendal SCC residents only, vote on April 18. Jara and Michele coordinate with SCC residents and the Lorain County Board of Elections (LCBOE).  The SCC resident request forms to vote April 18 will be distributed to all SCC resident and must be returned to Michele before March 27.  On SCC voting day, residents will be working directly with Lorain County Board of Elections (LCBOE) to assure ID authorization.  Please contact Michele Tarsitano-Amato if you have questions or concerns for SCC resident voting. 

COVID News/ Statistics

Governor Mike DeWine’s regular COVID Press Conferences:

Here follows a link (provided by Linda Lannon) to a just-released study of the effectiveness of the bivalent booster. For impatient readers, a summary begins at line 119.

When to get your next booster

(Washington Post, March 6 2023; shared by Mary Behm.)

Data suggests the bivalent booster probably provides between nine months and a year of protection against severe disease, hospitalization or death, said Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer at UW Health in Madison, Wis. “When you should be looking for your next booster is a great question,” Pothof continued, noting that there is no recommendation to get another booster at this time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would like to go to a once-a-year booster that people could get in the late summer or early fall. The idea is that there would be one formulation of the booster, instead of different versions.  “But we need a little more data before it can be determined whether people should get a booster shot once a year, or possibly twice a year,” Pothof said.

COVID STATISTICS as of 3/7/2023  
VACCINATIONS# VaccinatedPopulation% of Pop
Kendal at Oberlin vaccinations 
Residents Vaccinated343343100.0%
Staff Vaccinated (some have Medical or Religious Exemption)22522898.7%
Total Residents + Staff vaccinated56556899.5%
Lorain County (Vaccinations Started)213,75069.0%
Ohio (Vaccinations Started)7,572,67764.7%
KENDAL AT OBERLIN – COVID CASES (Cumulative)3/7/2023Increase 
Independent Living Resident Cases8515 
Stephens Care Center – Residential Care379 
Stephens Care Center – Skilled Nursing40 
   Residents Subtotal126 
SCC Staff and Volunteer Cases1103 
Other Staff Cases821 
   Staff Subtotal192 
Total Residents + Staff31828 
Current # in Isolation, COVID Positive22 
Total # of COVID, Beyond Isolation315 
LORAIN COUNTY – COVID CASES (Cumulative)3/3/2023Increase 
Total in Zip Code 440742,82314 
Total Lorain County89,530352 
Current CDC Lorain County Positivity Rate10.6%HIGH
Total Lorain County9964 
Age Range Breakdown:  20-29: 6.  30-39: 7.  40-49: 23.  50-59: 77.  60-69: 192.  70-79: 280.  80+: 411
Note: Cumulative = since start of pandemic. Increase = since last week.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns,  please contact Stacy Terrell, Chief Health Services Officer, at 440-775-9811