Community Updates Week of 12/13/2021

My COVID-Positive Journey – Stacy Terrell

Like so many of you, I have tried to be so very careful in practicing COVID prevention protocols. On Friday afternoon, December 3, I began to feel what I thought was a slight cold coming on. This continued through the weekend.  I had a little nasal drip and a slight cough.  On Monday, December 6, I came to work, masked as always, already determined to make sure before I did anything, to get a quick COVID antigen test.  I screened in with no fever, and after I swabbed for the required PCR COVID test that day, I requested an antigen test because of my light symptoms. To my surprise I tested positive for COVID!  I immediately went to my car and drove home to isolate. On my way home I called my wife and informed her. She works in a school as an administrative assistant and had the school nurse immediately provide her with an antigen test. She also tested positive, and so we isolated together at home. The PCR test results confirmed my antigen test results two days later.

Both my wife and I are fully vaccinated, and I received the “booster” in October. My wife was planning to get her booster shot the same week we were found to be positive.  As we reviewed and considered where our COVID exposure could have been, the two strongest possibilities were a Thanksgiving holiday gathering and my wife’s exposure at the school–her desk is front and center in the reception area of the school.  The Thanksgiving gathering included nine fully vaccinated people; however, of the nine gathered, six of us have since tested positive for COVID. I was the first one to test and to be found positive, and that prompted the others to get tested.  At my wife’s school, there are still many children that have not been vaccinated and the school has had several positive cases among them over the past several weeks. 

The good news is the vaccines worked very well. My light cough was gone by December 7, and my nasal congestion and drainage was gone by December 8.  I never had any other symptoms.  I never had a sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, or any other symptoms.  My wife’s symptoms were also mild–in addition to the symptoms I had, she also lost her sense of taste and smell. These senses began to return to her this past weekend. 

We know there are many factors involved with each positive case, including individual comorbidities, immunity, and age.  Everyone will experience COVID differently. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been vaccinated and well protected even though we tested positive.  Most common cold viruses I have had have lasted much longer and been much more of a nuisance than the mild symptoms I had with COVID.  The vaccine worked, our cases were very mild, and we have both been cleared to return to work by Lorain County Public Health (LCPH).  I returned today, December 14, 11 days from the date my symptoms began. The one thing we will do differently going forward is to ask everyone planning to attend a holiday get-together to take a COVID antigen test before they come, even if they are vaccinated, as in our gathering.  That is one more step to assure a safe, COVID-free family gathering.

Coming Soon!  Entry Through the Stephens Care Center During Inclement Weather

The Self-Health Screen Kiosks will soon be installed at the Patterson North Entrance and the Pool/Fitness Center Entrance to the Stephens Care Center.  We are just waiting for a few more necessary pieces to arrive. This will allow for residents on the west side of campus to enter and exit the community building through the Stephens Care Center.  The procedure will be similar to the instructions previously provided on SCC Visitation.  Those entering the SCC for this purpose will need to self-health screen daily before entering.  One health screen per day will be sufficient.  The sticker received after the health screen will need to be worn at all times while in the SCC.

We hope to be able to make a community announcement in the next week with detailed instructions.

This will be a significant step to reclaiming a founding value of our community, intentionally connecting our Independent Living residents to our Stephens Care Center residents.  Once this is in place, please take time when in the Stephens Care Center to say “hello” to your SCC friends!

Lorain County Numbers

The Chronicle-Telegram

Updated numbers from Lorain County Public Health showed an increase in COVID-19 cases during the last week, with 1,875 new cases reported in the county during the week leading up to Monday.

During the week before that, there were 1,271 new cases reported. The countywide average was 6.2 new cases per 1,000 population over the last week. A full list of Lorain County case and vaccination rates is available online at Data from the Ohio Hospital Association which was provided to the state health department showed that, as of Monday, there were 4,214 COVID-positive inpatients in Ohio hospitals, the highest reported number in at least the last two weeks. There were 1,079 COVID-19 patients reported to be in the intensive care unit and 681 on ventilators, also the highest levels in at least the last two weeks.

In the past week, the Lorain County Positivity rate increased from 18.2 to 19.8%, 27 people in Lorain County died from COVID, and there have been 33 more cases in Zip Code 44074.

Local Hospitals Report Continued Struggles With Patient Volumes

The Chronicle-Telegram

Lorain County hospital officials are continuing to report high volumes of patients, both those with COVID-19 and those struggling with other illnesses.  During a meeting of Lorain County’s Community Protection Team on Tuesday, local leaders from University Hospitals, Mercy Health and the Cleveland Clinic all described busy emergency rooms and very sick patients.  Dr. Rebecca Starck, president of the Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital, said that across the health system, emergency departments have few available beds and intensive care units are filled with COVID and non-COVID patients who are very ill.  “Across Northeast Ohio, our hospital systems have all, to differing degrees, had to take a look at postponement of surgical cases that may not be considered urgent or emergent,” she said.

Char Wray, Mercy Health Lorain Hospital’s chief nursing officer, echoed Starck’s assessment and said Mercy Health hospitals are full across its system.  “If you need care, get care, obviously,” she said. Wray urged residents to take steps to stay healthy during this holiday season: washing hands, wearing masks, avoiding touching the face, maintaining a 6-foot social distance and getting vaccinated.  Todd Harford, chief operating officer of the University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, also described the situation as similar; “We are full. We have limited staff, limited resources. We are seeing nurse-to-patient ratios that we never thought we’d ever see in a health care facility on both the medical floors and in the ICUs.”

Also, during Tuesday’s meeting, Lorain County Health Commissioner, David Covell, gave officials an update on viral mutations and the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.  Covell said, in general, viruses mutate to become more contagious and less deadly over time. With regard to the omicron variant, he said it is not known yet if it will be more prevalent or go the way of the Mu variant which has dropped off in prevalence.  “The concern here is still Delta. It’s still the one that’s raging,” Covell said.

US Tops 50 Million Cases as Death Toll Nears 800,000

The Washington Post (free to all)

The United States has recorded 50 million coronavirus infections and is nearing 800,000 fatalities, according to Washington Post figures -in the latest set of grim milestones during the pandemic.

Nearly a fifth of the world’s 270 million infections have been detected in the United States, while several other countries have recorded more infections as a percentage of their populations. The United States has also logged more deaths than any other country in the world.

Read more:

Omicron is more resistant to vaccines but causes less severe covid, South African study finds


The Washington Post (free to all)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Omicron appears to cause less severe illness than earlier variants of the coronavirus but it is more resistant to the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine widely used in South Africa, according to the first major private study since Omicron was first detected last month.  The study by Discovery Health, South Africa’s largest health insurer, showed that of 211,000 positive coronavirus cases, of which 78,000 were attributed to Omicron, the risk of hospital admissions among adults who contracted COVID-19 was 29 percent lower than in the initial pandemic wave that emerged in March 2020. Read more: 

Articles From Don Parker

Benefit of the COVID Booster

Medscape has posted the results of a large study from Israel (over 4.5 million people) with some heartening news, although this study was conducted before the Omicron variant appeared.

Dining Updates

  • The Holidays are upon us, and, in the next few days, we will be distributing the reservation forms for the Holiday Meal. Service will be similar to Thanksgiving, and we will once again allow residents to order individual meals or bulk carryout food.
  • The new meal plan period begins December 19 and runs until March 18. Your Tier Selection Form should have been submitted by today, December 14, so please submit that as soon as possible if you have not already. As a reminder, the new dining prices will also go into effect on December 19.
  • Our recruiting efforts continue. Our most recent success involves a school that does not allow outside visitors. However, after a series of contacts, New London High School has created a Kendal Job Fair Bulletin Board and posted our recruiting information for students.
  • We have heard many compliments about the improved food temperatures, but also the desire for a microwave when food cools during long conversations. So, we have placed a microwave for your use on the new black cabinets back by the bus station. Also new for your convenience, is a 24 ct. spice rack located by the salad bar. 
  • The supply chain challenges continue. We are experiencing increased substitutions for our usual products with like items. However, now we are beginning to see out of stock products with no replacements. This week, we have experienced this with several types of canned fruits and Swiss chard.  We are glad to have our supply agreement with Tyler’s Farm. They are located here in Oberlin and provide us with hydroponic lettuce and greens. This has sheltered us from some of the chaos in that market. Costs also continue to climb. This week, our soap and chemical supplier, Ecolab, announced a 4% increase. This is on top of prices that have already gone up, driven by demand through the pandemic. 

Songs of the Season, 2021 Solstice

Don’t miss this year’s Solstice, Dec. 16 at 7:15 pm. It will be broadcast both in the auditorium and on KOTV.  The Cast of Thousands make the 2021 Holidays memorable. Join in!

Please Don’t Walk in the Roadway

One more plea to all Kendal pedestrians who take their morning constitutionals before the sun comes up and after it has set:  A reported “near miss” occurred Monday morning about 6:30 when a Kendal resident driver did not see a resident walking in the road until she got very close and fortunately steered away without colliding. The driver was very shaken at the close call and said the walker was dressed in dark clothing. Walkers should use the provided walking path, and if taking a walk in the dark, please wear a reflective vest or carry a lit flashlight to illuminate yourself.

–Toni Merleno, Risk Manager

Updated FAQ’s, Version 13 Now Available

You may find these updates using this link to the Kendal at Oberlin Resident Association Website.  FAQs_V13_1210.docx (  Special thanks to Nancy Lombardi who continues to weed out the outdated information and refresh current practices.

Retirements in the Offing

The front office area is transitioning after many, many years of loyal, dedicated service from two very visible and capable staff. On December 31, Sue Rollins, Receptionist (just shy 20 years) and Teresa Maynard, Office Manager (12 years) will be ending their employment at Kendal and looking toward their much-deserved retirement.  No doubt they would appreciate a card or note of good wishes. Barbara plans to put them under the “spotlight” at the Dec. 22 Afternoon Exchange. This meeting will also be broadcast on KOTV.

Great Truths That Little Children Have Learned

  1. No matter how hard you try you can’t baptize cats.
  2. When your Mom is mad at your Dad don’t let her brush your hair.
  3. If your sister hits you don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person.
  4. Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
  5. You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.
  6. Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
  7. Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
  8. You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
  9. Don’t wear polka dot underwear under white shorts.
  10. The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandma’s lap.

Great Truths That Adults Have Learned

  1. Raising teenagers is like nailing Jello to a tree.
  2. Wrinkles don’t hurt.
  3. Families are like fudge…mostly sweet with a few nuts.
  4. Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.
  5. Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging on the inside.
  6. Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

Great Truths About Growing Old

  1. Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
  2. Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
  3. When you fall down you wonder what else you can do while you’re down there.
  4. You’re getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
  5. It’s frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
  6. Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
  7. Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

The Four Stages of Life

  1. You believe in Santa Claus.
  2. You don’t believe in Santa Claus.
  3. You are Santa Claus.
  4. You look like Santa Claus.


  • At age 4 success is. . .Not piddling in your pants.
  • At age 12 success is. . .Having friends.
  • At age 17 success is. . .Having a driver’s license.
  • At age 35 success is. . .Having money.
  • At age 50 success is. . .Having money.
  • At age 70 success is. . .Having a driver’s license.
  • At age 75 success is. . .Having friends.
  • At age 80 success is. . .Not piddling in your pants.

Always remember to forget the troubles that pass your way, but NEVER forget the blessings that come each day. Remain calm! Wash your hands!  (Submitted by Malcolm Peel)

Today’s Statistics

Kendal at Oberlin (KaO)

Independent Living Resident Cases  2
Stephens Care Center (SCC) Resident Cases  
          Residential Care Facility  7
          Skilled Nursing Facility  2
KaO Residents Total 11
     KaO SCC Staff Cases  26
     KaO Other Staff Cases  29
KaO Staff Total 55
Kendal at Oberlin COVID Total 66
**Current Isolation, COVID Positive 3
**Total COVID Beyond Isolation 61
Kendal at Oberlin Vaccination Overall544 of 548 or 99.3%
Total Kendal Residents Vaccinated337 of 337 or 100%
Total Kendal Staff Vaccinated (those unvaccinated have Medical or Religious Exemption)207of 211 or 98.1%

Lorain County (as posted 12/13/2021)

New Cases (since Monday, December 6, 2021 – 7-day average 238.3 per day) 1,668
Total Probable and Confirmed Lorain County Cases 44,609
Total in Zip Code 44074 (+33 since Monday, December 6, 2021) 1,016
Current Lorain County Positivity Rate (HIGH Transmission Rate) 19.8%
Total Deaths, age ranges 20-29 • 1; 30-39 • 4; 40-49 • 16; 50-59 • 37; 60-69 • 107; 70-79 • 179; 80+ • 265 609
Total Deaths in Long Term Care Settings, posted 12/8/2021, +0 255
Lorain County Vaccinations Started194,032 or 62.6% of population

Cuyahoga County (as posted 12/13/2021)

Cuyahoga County (excluding Cleveland)          123,875
Cleveland Cases 53,213
Total Cuyahoga County Cases 177,088
New Cases 7,231
Total Cuyahoga County Deaths 2,844
Total Deaths in Long Term Care Settings, posted 12/8/2021 895

State of Ohio (as posted 12/6/2021)

New Cases in the Last 24-hours  5,618
21-day Average of New Cases 6,657
Total Cases 1,787,029
Age Range all Cases <1-111
Median Age of all Cases 39
Total Hospitalizations (cumulative) 90,368 or 5%
Total Hospitalizations Last 24-hours 252
21-day Average of Hospitalizations 288
Median Age of all Hospitalized 65
Total ICU Admissions (cumulative) 11,174 or 1%
Total ICU Admissions last 24-hours 24
21-day Average of ICU Admissions 28
Total Health Care Workers Diagnosed 83,890 5%
Total Tested in Ohio 18,609,881
Total Ohio Resident Deaths 27,371
Median Age of Deaths 78
Ohio Resident Deaths in Last 24-hours 0
21-day Average of Deaths 62
Total Deaths in Ohio Long Term Care Settings (Updated Weekly. posted 12/1/2021) 8,163
Statewide Vaccinations Started 6,867,725 or 58.8% of population

Contact Information

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