Community Updates Week of 12/27/2021

Dining Weekly Update- 12/28/2021

  • Recruiting continues!  The schools are closed for the holidays, but we are still working to add staff, with three more in the process of being onboarded. The time between the job offer and orientation can be when new hires “stall out” and do not complete the requirements needed.  We have been encouraging and guiding each of our prospective staff members through the extensive requirements needed prior to orientation. Often, this can take 2-3 weeks.  After orientation is completed, their training in their new position begins. 
  • Reminder: New Year’s Day is traditionally a quieter day here at Kendal, and so there are no reservation forms for New Year’s Day meals.  We will be serving both lunch and dinner.
  • Supply Chain Woes:  Several times a week we are forced to make alterations to the posted menu because ordered products are marked “out of stock” at the time of delivery.  This is what is happening with the Seafood Salad of which we have received so many comment cards.  The other issue has been the quality of the produce when it is in stock. For example, we had to substitute another vegetable for asparagus this past week, because the product we received was moldy.  We are tracking all of these out-of-stock and product and quality issues to ensure we receive credit on the invoices!
  • Plain Available!  We usually have available a plain version of anything on the menu.  Please ask us–we have a talented culinary team, and we will do our best to provide you with an enjoyable meal to meet your needs.

Notice Regarding College Village Apartments

A separate, dedicated, written notice was distributed late today regarding the acquisition of the College Village Apartments by Kendal Northern Ohio. See your email or mailbox for more information.

Sharing our Stories – Last Chance During 2021

Our participant-centered Zoom exchange unites SCC and IL residents to tell and hear each other’s personal stories. Last year, we were amazed how moving our simple stories were!  You will enjoy coming just to hear others’ stories, but you might just end up saying, “Oh, that reminds me of the time when…” and you’ll be sharing a story, too. Here are some prompts to kick us off (Participants will introduce other topics too.): “The first time I bought a present for a family member with my own money…”, “A Christmas (or Chanukah) item I love is…” (…and maybe show it?)
Wednesday, December 29 — Zoom only: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85230336545

Positive Cases Increase at Kendal

In the past week, 15 individuals have tested positive for COVID, including 2 independent living residents, 11 staff members and 2 contracted personnel.  All of these individuals are now isolated at home and have been experiencing only mild symptoms. None have required hospitalization.

Contact tracing is conducted on each case and those that have had a potential exposure have been notified to be on a heightened awareness for any signs and symptoms that may develop.  The two independent living residents that have tested positive had no contact with each other. In both cases, it was exposure to a family member that later tested positive for COVID.  At this point, there is no community spread on campus. 

Our Lorain County positivity rate is now at 22.8%, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (The one we must track for our Stephens Care Center, updated weekly.)  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has Lorain County at a more real time positivity rate of 33.62%.  These numbers are clearly the highest through the course of the pandemic.  The good news is that, due to the COVID vaccine and booster, our most recent cases have been mild. We hope that aspect of the current surge continues, and we are monitoring this very closely.

Kendal at Oberlin is continuing COVID outbreak testing twice per week for all SCC residents, SCC staff members, SCC volunteers and other Kendal staff members that have routine contact with residents.  SCC residents are being closely monitored daily for signs and symptoms of COVID.

Our most recent PCR COVID testing cadence was yesterday, results will be received from the lab within a couple of days.  Any residents or staff members exhibiting symptoms are tested immediately with a quick COVID antigen test.  Our next COVID antigen testing cadence is Thursday, December 30.  Our testing and heightened surveillance will continue until at least 14 days beyond any new positive test results and the current surge has dissipated.

What Happens Next?

We shared some different scenarios at last week’s Afternoon Exchange:

When would access to the Heiser Community Center through the Stephens Care Center (SCC) be paused?

With one SCC resident testing positive for COVID.  Entry into the SCC for access to the Heiser Community Center will be paused until 14 days beyond the most recent positive SCC case.

Will visits to the SCC be paused again?

We are committed to continuing visits to our SCC residents even if there is an outbreak among SCC residents.  Additional safety measures would be put in place to safeguard against any additional spread, such as cohabitating positive cases and enhanced testing.  That being stated, if an outbreak is severe enough, visitation may have to be paused briefly.  We hope to avoid that.

When would communal dinning in the Fox and Fell be paused?

If multiple (2 or more) IL residents test positive for COVID AND we determine there has been community spread.  Residents would still be able to pick-up their meals in the Fox and Fell, but there would be no communal dining until 14 days have passed with no additional independent living community spread.

When would activities/events in the Heiser Auditorium and other public meeting spaces be paused?

If multiple (2 or more) IL residents test positive for COVID AND we determine there has been community spread.  Residents would still be able to pick-up their mail and meals in Heiser, but there would be no communal activities/events until 14 days have passed with no additional independent living community spread.

When will masks no longer be required in the Heiser Community Center?

Due to the vulnerability of immunocompromised residents, masks will continue to be required in public spaces at Kendal at Oberlin.  Once the positivity rate drops below 5% this will be reviewed in light of our campus conditions and vulnerability.

CDC Updates and Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population

CDC Press Release

Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.

Additionally, the CDC is updating the recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days…

For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

Isolation relates to behavior after a confirmed infection. Isolation for 5 days followed by wearing a well-fitting mask will minimize the risk of spreading the virus to others. Quarantine refers to the time following exposure to the virus or close contact with someone known to have COVID-19. Both updates come as the Omicron variant continues to spread throughout the U.S. and reflects the current science on when and for how long a person is maximally infectious.

Data from South Africa and the United Kingdom demonstrate that vaccine effectiveness against infection for two doses of an mRNA vaccine is approximately 35%. A COVID-19 vaccine booster dose restores vaccine effectiveness against infection to 75%. COVID-19 vaccination decreases the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. CDC strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 5 and older and boosters for everyone 16 and older. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.

Kendal Updating Protocols

In response to the updated CDC, Kendal at Oberlin is carefully reviewing and updating its current protocols.  It is important to note that the CDC’s update is for the “General Population”. Kendal also takes into consideration the vulnerability of its older adult population. 

Symptomatic and Asymptotic

Over the past few weeks, as we have encountered the current COVID surge, many of those testing positive have had mild symptoms that they are easily dismissing as a mild cold or allergies. Symptoms such a cough, running nose, sore throat or sinus headache are being ignored by many or discounted as “it can’t be COVID”.  Practically every one of the 14 cases that have tested positive this past week at Kendal have had such symptoms and most of those that have tested positive have been completely surprised that they were positive.  Please do not ignore those mild symptoms.  If you are experience any of the following, not matter how mild, please call the Health and Wellness Clinic at 440-775-9819 and report it and “lay low” until you have been tested and cleared by the Health and Wellness Clinic staff.  Please call 440-775-9800 on weekends and holidays.

Signs and symptoms of COVID (no matter how mild):

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Lay Low

“Lay Low” means that you avoid gathering with other Kendal residents in a cottage/apartment or meeting, you do not eat in the Fox and Fell, and you enter the Heiser Community Center only to quickly pick up mail and/or your meal.  Please call ahead to Dining Services at 440-775-9801 to order your meal.  Your meal will be waiting for you in front of the Fox and Fell.  Do not access or walk through the Stephens Care Center when you are “laying low”.  As always, remain masked in all public areas. 

Ohio Reports 8,092 New COVID-19 Cases Monday

The Chronicle-Telegram, Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The state of Ohio added 8,092 new COVID-19 cases to its tally Monday. The number of new cases reported by the Ohio Department of Health fluctuates throughout the week, and the state is averaging 9,718 new cases per day over the last three weeks. Since the pandemic began, there have been 1.94 million COVID-19 cases reported by the state health department. In addition to the new cases, the Ohio Department of Health also reported 211 new COVID-19 hospitalizations and 15 new intensive care unit admissions with the virus, statewide, Monday. Ohio’s three-week averages are 320 new hospitalizations and 32 new intensive care unit admissions per day. The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is updated about twice per week, as the Ohio Department of Health receives the data. Death data was not updated Monday, but Ohio is averaging 89 COVID-19 deaths per day over the last three weeks.

Healthy, Boosted People Unlikely to Develop Severe Omicron Infections, but Jury’s Out On Older, At-Risk Populations

The Washington Post

Healthy individuals who have been vaccinated, and especially those who have been boosted, appear unlikely to develop severe infections from the Omicron variant that would land them in the hospital, say medical experts who have monitored the effects of the newest coronavirus variant since it was identified over four weeks ago. While Omicron has sent U.S. infections soaring to levels not seen since last winter’s wave, it appears to have less severe effects than the Delta variant, according to a handful of international studies and early data from several U.S. hospitals. Those infected by the Omicron variant are 15 to 20 percent less likely to go to an emergency room, and 40 percent less likely to be hospitalized overnight, compared with those infected with Delta, according to English data analyzed by scientists from the Imperial College in London. That aligns with early U.S. data from some hospitals.

At the Houston Methodist hospital system, about 15 percent of symptomatic individuals have ended up hospitalized — around a 70 percent reduction compared with those infected by the Delta variant, said James Musser, Chair of Pathology and Genomic Medicine. A separate study from Britain, which is not yet peer reviewed, found that people infected with Omicron were almost 60 percent less likely to enter the hospital than those infected with Delta. “What is absolutely clear is that there is a lower rate of hospitalization with our Omicron patients in our hospital system,” Musser said. “That does not necessarily mean that this variant is quote/unquote ‘less virulent’. The jury’s still out on that. What we know now is that … if you are immunized and, more importantly, if you are boosted, you’re going to stay out of substantial trouble.” He and other experts warn against complacency – however, cautioning that millions of Americans, particularly the unvaccinated, remain vulnerable to more serious disease from the most transmissible coronavirus variant to date.

Other factors that might lead to greater risk include an individual’s age, the type of vaccine or booster they received, and whether they have underlying health problems, such as heart disease or obesity, said Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a member of President Biden’s COVID-19 transition task force. “Have you previously had infection? Were you vaccinated? How many doses of vaccine, and was it more than six months ago? So, in some ways, this is almost like a calculus problem. It’s got a lot of moving parts to it and we’re trying to figure it out,” Osterholm said.

Read more:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/28/omicron-how-severe-us/

Beware of Gift Card Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to warn consumers to beware of scammers calling you on your phone, emailing you, or texting you to pay up to fix your computer, pay your “unpaid” taxes, or other dire false threats.  The link above details how these scams work. Everyone needs to read this and know so this won’t happen to you.

This past week, one of our community members was scammed into buying gift cards to “fix” their computer which had a frozen keyboard. The individual now is out a great deal of money because they did not know they were being scammed.  These criminals trick their victims into purchasing gift cards and then send the scammers the cards’ pin and card number. The scammers quickly spend the cards down, so when the victim realizes they were scammed and tries to get the cards’ company to cancel them, it’s too late and their money is irretrievably lost.

The top gift card scammers request is for Target stores, followed by Google Play, Apple, eBay, and Walmart.

Please, Please:  Don’t engage with callers who tell you there is a problem with your computer, credit card, or bank accounts and ask you for any financial or private information or to do anything.  Just hang up and don’t talk to them, or better yet, screen your calls first and don’t return any that are unfamiliar to you.  It may be irritating to receive the same calls repeatedly, but after realizing you are too smart to answer them, they will move on to someone else. 

In the article linked above, the FTC gives two sources to report being scammed to if it has happened to you. Please read it and save it for future reference.

If you are unsure of a strange email or phone call you have received, please call me at 440-775-9814 and leave a message or you can call anyone in the Administration Office for assistance if I am not immediately available. – Toni Merleno, Risk Manager

Do You Relate?

  • Facial recognition software can pick a person out of a crowd, but our vending machine can’t recognize a dollar bill with a bent corner.
  • I never make the same mistake twice.  I do it like, five or six times, you know, to make sure.
  • My train of thought derailed. There were no survivors

Today’s Statistics

Kendal at Oberlin (KaO)

Independent Living Resident Cases  4
Stephens Care Center (SCC) Resident Cases  
          Residential Care Facility  7
          Skilled Nursing Facility  2
KaO Residents Total 13
     KaO SCC Staff Cases  37
     KaO Other Staff Cases  36
KaO Staff Total 73
Kendal at Oberlin COVID Total 86
**Current Isolation, COVID Positive 15
**Total COVID Beyond Isolation 69
Kendal at Oberlin Vaccination Overall542 of 546 or 99.3%
Total Kendal Residents Vaccinated335 of 335 or 100%
Total Kendal Staff Vaccinated (those unvaccinated have Medical or Religious Exemption)207of 211 or 98.1%

Lorain County (as posted 12/27/2021)

New Cases (since Monday, December 20, 2021 – 7-day average 573.3 per day) 4,013
Total Probable and Confirmed Lorain County Cases 50,827
Total in Zip Code 44074 (+146 since Monday, December 20, 2021) 1,202
Current Lorain County Positivity Rate (HIGH Transmission Rate) 22.8%
Total Deaths, age ranges 20-29 • 1; 30-39 • 4; 40-49 • 16; 50-59 • 39; 60-69 • 113; 70-79 • 187; 80+ • 274 634
Total Deaths in Long Term Care Settings, posted 12/22/2021, +3 258
Lorain County Vaccinations Started196,122 or 63.3% of population

Cuyahoga County (as posted 12/27/2021)

Cuyahoga County (excluding Cleveland)          141,792
Cleveland Cases 66,291
Total Cuyahoga County Cases 208,083
New Cases 14,282
Total Cuyahoga County Deaths 2,923
Total Deaths in Long Term Care Settings, posted 12/22/2021 898

State of Ohio (as posted 12/27/2021)

New Cases in the Last 24-hours  8,092
21-day Average of New Cases 9,718
Total Cases 1,940,000
Age Range all Cases
Median Age of all Cases 39
Total Hospitalizations (cumulative) 94,673 or 5%
Total Hospitalizations Last 24-hours 211
21-day Average of Hospitalizations 320
Median Age of all Hospitalized 65
Total ICU Admissions (cumulative) 11,581 or 1%
Total ICU Admissions last 24-hours 15
21-day Average of ICU Admissions 32
Total Health Care Workers Diagnosed 86,534 4%
Total Tested in Ohio 19,193,544
Total Ohio Resident Deaths 28,720
Median Age of Deaths 77
Ohio Resident Deaths in Last 24-hours 0
21-day Average of Deaths 89
Total Deaths in Ohio Long Term Care Settings (Updated Weekly. posted 12/22/2021) 8,255
Statewide Vaccinations Started 6,952,554 or 59.5% of population

Contact Information


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