Community Update for Week of 7/11/2022

Update to residents on 7/12/2022

Health Services Forum

LIVE in the Auditorium and on KOTV, Wednesday 7/13 at 4 pm.  Please note change in Key Topics: Transitional Care at Kendal, Health and Wellness Clinic Services, and Q&A with our Medical Director, Georgia Newman.

A new dominant omicron strain in the U.S. is driving up cases — and reinfections

Kendal at Oberlin is monitoring the BA.5 COVID variant closely and the impact on the surrounding area and older adults in particular. The Lorain County Positivity Rate is rising and is currently at 15%. Please watch for more information on the BA.5 variant. Kendal is continuing to regularly test all SCC residents and staff and IL staff with close proximity to residents. Please see the rest of this article below in the Covid News section.

Coffee Hour

Tomorrow morning, Wednesday 7/13 at 9:30 am in the Fox & Fell. Also available via KOTV and Zoom:  Meeting ID: 874 5217 3943.

Dinner Opportunity with KaO Board Members

Years ago, before the pandemic, the Kendal Board began dining at Kendal following a board meeting. They alternate between dining with other board members (to get better acquainted) to residents on the next occasion. They will be here on Tuesday, July 19 with a reservation at 6:15. We generally look for about 10 residents maximum to be spread over the available board members who can stay. If you are interested, please sign up on the sheet by the open mailboxes. The next opportunity will be November 15.

“Planned Giving in a Time of Market and Economic Uncertainty”

Special Educational Webinar that was presented by Wilmington Trust, our Kendal Partner, back on June 30, is now available to be watched on the KORA YouTube Channel. It is a restricted video so viewers will need this link to watch it:  (Thank you, Joyce Benjamin, for making this possible.)

Policy About the Use of Poison for Pest Animals

It has come to our attention that some residents may wish to control chipmunks (or other animals considered to be garden pests) by using poison. To protect residents, pets, and the environment, that is strictly prohibited! Any request for the use of poison to control pest animals should be directed to Facility Services. This is described in the Resident Handbook on page 31 under Extermination Service. Facility Services will work directly with Allied Exterminating to determine the safest method to deal with the problem. There are “more friendly” traps for chipmunks that could be used but PLACING POISON in the yard is not an option.

For individuals who are still having some issues with internal TV channels

If you currently have an issue with any of your internal TV channels (like KOTV), please contact Oberlin Cable Co-Op to schedule an appointment with a technician who will come out to check your cable connection as well as the condition of the actual cable that was originally installed by the Oberlin Cable Co-Op. This has, in some cases, cleared up the problem(s) residents have had with the internal channels. Thank you.

Swimming Pool Mystery Continues

The investigation is ongoing. We are still trying to determine the cause of the leak in the swimming pool! A new company that specializes in pool repair is scheduled to be here next week. Stay tuned…

Dining Update

Greg Zehe, Director of Hospitality Services & Assoc. Administrator

No updates this week!

Today’s Picnic

We hope everyone enjoyed the Kendal Picnic! We were blessed by sun, clouds, breezes and more! We were delighted with the mixing of residents, staff, board, and even some visiting families. One resident commented “This is the first time I’ve served myself at Kendal.” Thanks to all the collaborative help from many to make it happen including set-up & take down by our grounds and facilities team, cooking, serving and being on hand to help everyone from our dining team, plus staff and resident volunteers who helped transport our Stephens Care Center friends.

Other Announcements

Fourth of July remarks by Robert Taylor are now in the Library

A number of people asked for a copy of Robert Taylor’s remarks given on the Fourth of July. Those are now available in the Kendal Library. Thank you, Robert!

How To Recycle Your Cell Phone

Several residents have asked where cell phones can be recycled. The only place that takes them is the Lorain County Collection Center at 540 S. Abbe Road, Elyria.  Hours are Monday and Saturday 9-3, Wednesday 12-6. (Submitted by Ted Wolner)

Bocci championship results

Betsy Baumbach and Tom Riggle defeated Carol and Roger Hall. The scores were 2 – 7, 8 – 3, and 5 – 1.

KELC Survey

The Kendal Early Learning Center has a summer FSA Intern here to help us learn about our intergenerational programming and help us jumpstart our program again after the children are vaccinated. The intern’s name is Zhi Xin Zou – she goes by the nickname Lin. She is our Friends Services Alliance student and will be with us until the beginning of August. 

If you want to share your thoughts about what you enjoyed about our intergenerational program and what you would like to see moving forward, please complete this survey before July 19: (Note: the survey requires you to answer a few questions before you can go on to the second page of the survey.)

Also, Lin is eager to meet and have dinner with residents who want to talk about our intergenerational program. Contact Jeni Hoover, Director of the KELC, to connect with Lin.

Oberlin College Walking Tour 7/19 5:30 pm to view Energy Upgrades to Geothermal

Want to learn how Oberlin College is moving toward their goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2025? Next Tuesday, July 19 at 5:30 pm, Oberlin College is offering a Sustainable Infrastructure Program Tour and Q&A Session. The tour begins at Wilder Bowl (adjacent to Wilder Hall). Participants in the hour-long program should be prepared to walk for several blocks outdoors (north on Woodland Street to the athletic fields, around Union Housing, and down Union Street). Come see how the campus energy infrastructure will be upgraded to allow for a major shift from using fossil fuels to renewable geothermal energy as the primary source for heating and cooling campus buildings.

Covid News and Statistics

Governor Mike DeWine’s regular COVID Press Conferences:

As Sixth Covid Wave Hits, Many New Yorkers Shrug It Off

(New York Times) Once among the most vigilant, New Yorkers respond to a highly transmissible new wave of Covid cases with the most New York of attitudes. New York City’s Covid-19 test positivity rate is 15 percent, an intensity not seen since January. Transmission levels of the virus, according to federal guidelines, are high in every borough. Even hospitalizations, while far below previous peaks, are rising again, as the most transmissible Omicron variant yet, BA.5, spreads through the city and nation. Earlier in the pandemic, such news might have been met with a mix of foreboding and fear. Now, New York is meeting the moment with more of a “meh.” As New York City enters its sixth wave of the virus, few seem inclined to get themselves into high alert mode again. Read more:

A new dominant omicron strain in the U.S. is driving up cases — and reinfections

(continued from above) (From National Public Radio) For much of the pandemic, the only silver lining to coming down with a case of COVID-19 was that you likely wouldn’t catch it again for a while (though there isn’t exactly a definitive answer on how long that period of immunity typically lasts). Increasingly, however, more people appear to be contracting the virus multiple times in relatively quick succession, as another omicron subvariant sweeps through the U.S. 

The BA.5 variant is now the most dominant strain of COVID-19 in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while it’s hard to get an exact count — given how many people are taking rapid tests at home — there are indications that both reinfections and hospitalizations are increasing. For example: Some 31,000 people across the U.S. are currently hospitalized with the virus, with admissions up 4.5% compared to a week ago.

Dr. Bob Wachter, the chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, says BA.5 is highly transmissible and manages to at least partially sidestep some of the immunity people may have from prior infections and vaccinations. “Not only is it more infectious, but your prior immunity doesn’t count for as much as it used to,” he explains. “And that means that the old saw that, ‘I just had COVID a month ago, and so I have COVID immunity superpowers, I’m not going to get it again’ — that no longer holds.”

So just how worried should you be, especially if you’re vaccinated and taking precautions like wearing masks in crowds? Here’s what some public health experts make of the latest surge.

Is BA.5 more dangerous? So far there is no evidence that this variant causes more serious illness. And infectious disease experts say that even though new infections are on the rise, the impact of BA.5 is unlikely to be on the scale of the surge we saw last winter — in part because the country is better equipped to manage it.

The U.S. is averaging about 300 deaths a day, compared to 3,000 last winter. Dr. Anna Durbin, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says the combination of prior infections and vaccinations is still protective, and COVID-19 treatments are better.   “Most people have some underlying immunity that is helpful in fighting the virus,” she explains. “We have antivirals … And I think that because of that … we’re not seeing a rise in deaths. And that’s very reassuring. It tells me that even this virus, even BA.5, is not so divergent that it is escaping all arms of the immune system.”  She adds that new booster shots specifically targeting omicron — which could roll out as soon as this fall — should also be helpful in preventing serious illness and deaths.

Are there long-term consequences for people who get COVID-19 multiple times? Findings of a pre-print study published in June suggest that people who get sick multiple times may have a higher risk of long-COVID symptoms.

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, looked at thousands of cases of reinfection and saw a wide range of problems in the months that followed: certain respiratory conditions, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, brain fog and other conditions including metabolic disease, cardiac disease, kidney disease and diabetes.

“Altogether, we concluded that reinfection contributes to additional risk,” Al-Aly says. “So even if you’re vaccinated … it’s absolutely best to avoid reinfection.”

And a study published last week in the journal Cell concludes that repeat infections are likely.

Researchers studied blood samples from people who had been vaccinated and boosted, and they found they had a reduced ability to neutralize the BA.5 virus, compared to prior sub-variants, BA.1 and BA.2. In addition, blood from people who had breakthrough infections from BA.1 also showed reduced neutralization, “suggesting that repeat Omicron infections are likely in the population,” the authors conclude.

What can people do to protect themselves?

There are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to the virus, like masking up in crowded indoor spaces. Here’s how to step up your mask game.

And, if you already have plans to travel or attend gatherings this summer, check out these tips for protecting yourself outdoorsimproving indoor airflow and what to do if you get sick while on vacation.

COVID STATISTICS as of 7/12/2022  
VACCINATIONS# VaccinatedPopulation% of Pop
Kendal at Oberlin vaccinations 
Residents Vaccinated337337100.0%
Staff Vaccinated (some have Medical or Religious Exemption)22322599.1%
Total Residents + Staff vaccinated56056299.6%
Lorain County (Vaccinations Started)208,19067.0%
Ohio (Vaccinations Started)7,372,03063.0%
KENDAL AT OBERLIN – COVID CASES (Cumulative)7/12/2022Increase 
Independent Living Resident Cases170 
Stephens Care Center – Residential Care90 
Stephens Care Center – Skilled Nursing20 
Residents Subtotal28 
SCC Staff and Volunteer Cases770 
Other Staff Cases542 
Staff Subtotal131 
Total Residents + Staff159 
** Current Isolation, COVID Positive2 
** Total COVID Beyond Isolation155 
LORAIN COUNTY – COVID CASES (Cumulative)7/11/2022Increase 
Total in Zip Code 440742,25316 
Total Lorain County – Probable and Confirmed Cases72,711510 
Current CDC Lorain County Positivity Rate (measures entire population with results to ODH)14.9%HIGH
Total Lorain County928 
Total Deaths in Long Term Care Settings3062 
Age Range Breakdown:  20-29: 5.  30-39: 7.  40-49: 23.  50-59: 73.  60-69: 189.  70-79: 257.  80+: 374
CUYAHOGA COUNTY – COVID CASES (Cumulative)7/11/2022  
Cuyahoga County (excluding Cleveland)207,739 
Cleveland Cases86,504 
Total Cleveland + Cuyahoga County294,243 
New Cases for Cleveland + Cuyahoga County2,679 
Cuyahoga County (excluding Cleveland)3,045 
Total Cleveland + Cuyahoga County4,043 
Total Deaths in Long Term Care Settings981 
OHIO 7/7/2022% 
21-Day Average of New Cases17,407 
Total Cases2,867,291 
Age Range of all Cases 
Median Age of all Cases38 
Total Hospitalizations (cumulative)119,650 
Median Age of all Hospitalized65 
21-Day Average of Hospitalizations454 
Total ICU Admissions (cumulative)13,783 
21-Day Average of ICU Admissions29 
Total Health Care Workers Diagnosed110,0864% 
Total Tested in Ohio22,272,602 
Total Ohio Resident Deaths38,920 
Median Age of Deaths76 
21-Day Average of Deathsn/a 
Total Deaths in Ohio Long Term Care Settings9,145  

Contact Information

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