Community Updates Week of 9/20/2021

Update to Residents and Family Members

We want to thank everyone for your patience and understanding as we encounter one of the most dynamic phases of the pandemic we have experienced. Given our current outbreak on this campus, things are different.  The COVID Delta variant is showing itself to be unpredictable, and we know it can also be lethal.  Beth Stewart, our Director of Nursing, also reminded us that vaccination status does not seem to matter as it once did. This is for several reasons, including the new Delta variant itself, the age of our residents and the time elapsed since we were vaccinated.  With this in mind, effective Sept. 20, for two weeks, we are temporarily pausing Independent Living communal dining and activities.  You will also see in this update other temporary guidelines for Independent Living we are putting in place to mitigate the impact of the COVID virus on this campus.

We currently have one resident who is hospitalized.  We have 5 residents in the Stephens Care Center that have tested positive for COVID, the most recent this past Thursday.  You will see on the final page of this update our current statistics.  Please note some important numbers that also inform us of what is happening:  In Oberlin alone, there have been 47 new COVID cases in the past week, in Lorain County, there have been 6 COVID deaths in the past week, 3 age 80+ and 3 age 40-49. The Delta variant is impacting a broader age range.  We heard from the Mercy system last week that 85% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated, 15% are vaccinated.  There are breakthrough cases, as we have experienced, but in most cases, the breakthrough case symptoms remain minor.  

Two of our experiences this past month have been with individuals that have symptoms and tested negative and then turned positive.  In two recent cases, there were no positive test results for COVID after multiple tests performed until nine days after potential exposure.  This is one of the main reasons we are pausing Independent Living communal dining and activities for two weeks, because until we get to at least day ten, we may not know if there is additional spread in Independent Living or not. 

Yesterday, Monday, September 20, Antigen COVID tests were given to all Stephens Care Center residents, all SCC staff members, as well as all Fox and Fell Waitstaff, Housekeepers, Facility Services staff, Receptionists, Department Heads, and all Independent Living staff members with routine resident contact (regardless of vaccination status).  All tests yesterday were negative for COVID.  This same group will continue to be tested twice per week (second test each week is a PCR test) until we have gone two full weeks without any additional positive tests for COVID. 

Our situation will be assessed weekly, taking into account recent positive COVID tests on campus, and the County Positivity Rate.

As we shared yesterday, we need to work together to mitigate the spread of the COVID virus on this campus.  We will do this in the same fashion we have handled other important issues that impact our neighbors throughout our history at Kendal, by pulling together and looking after one another.   We know this requires sacrifice, and we thank you and appreciate all everyone has done and is doing at Kendal as an expression of love and care for their neighbor.  Together, we will get through this temporary pause.  We thank everyone for your understanding and mustered up resilience.

Community Updates

Note Writing to Our Friends In The SCC

At this time of social distancing, it’s helpful to send a note card to our friends in the SCC.  To make this easier, Supporting Friends will soon be setting up a card table in the Heiser lounge equipped with note cards, address labels and a basket for completed cards.  Please take a moment and write a note to someone in the care center.  Use the labels to address the card, or remove the label, so that we know a note has been written, and then hand address it yourself.  Then, leave the card in the basket on the table.  While we get this set up, feel free to go ahead and write your own card.  There can never be too many cards.  If you have questions, contact Carol Bojanowski or Elizabeth Hole.

Remaining Quarantined for Those Potentially Exposed

Some residents have been or will be asked to remain quarantined as part of our contact tracing.  In order to stop the spread, please do not exit your Independent Living home if you have been told to quarantine yourself as a precaution.  Even though you may be symptom free, you have been exposed and could be a potential carrier of the virus.  Please remain calm, monitor your symptoms, and please inform us of any changes.  We will remain in contact with you and ensure you have meals delivered.

When a resident has been known to have been exposed to COVID, it is particularly important that the individual (and others) restrict their interactions to mitigate the spread of COVID.

Having Guests from Outside Kendal at Oberlin

With COVID now detected in Independent Living, we would also ask that you consider having expected guests delay their visit to your cottage or apartment at this time. Please do not entertain guests from any Level Four county or a High Transmission County.  

While in the Heiser Community Center…

Please, arrive with your mask already on and ensure that your nose as well as your mouth are well covered. Take advantage of the hand sanitizer that is available to you, and we do ask that you return to social distancing and try not to linger too long in the hallway.

Residents may continue to wear cloth mask as a means of protection on campus. ANY mask is better than NO mask! Cloth, Medical or KN95

The following information was obtained from the CDC. Types of Masks and Respirators. Updated 09/10/21

Clarification on Masks

Wear cloth masks with

  • A proper fit over your nose and mouth to prevent leaks
  • Multiple layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric
  • Nose wire
  • Fabric that blocks light when held up to bright light source
  • Wash cloth masks frequently

Wear surgical masks or medical procedure masks with

  • A proper fit over your nose and mouth to prevent leaks
  • Multiple layers of non-woven material
  • Nose wire
  • Dispose after 1 day of use

KN95 masks

  • KN95 masks provide 95% protection against all particles that are greater than 0.3 µm in diameter (bacteria, viruses, pollution particles, fine particles, dust, smog, pollen, etc.)
  • KN95 masks have a 3D foldable design, ear loops, nose bridge/nosepiece, and provide excellent fitting and sealing.
  • KN95 masks feature 5-layer protection and are skin-friendly (don’t cause rash and skin irritation).
  • Currently approved by the WHO as a safety measure from COVID-19; used by health care providers.

Ways to have better fit and extra protection with cloth and disposable masks

  • Wear two masks (disposable mask underneath AND cloth mask on top)
  • Combine either a cloth mask or disposable mask with a fitter or brace
  • Knot and tuck ear loops of a 3-ply mask where they join the edge of the mask
  • Use masks that attach behind the neck and head with either elastic bands or ties (instead of ear loops)

DO not wear masks with

  • Gaps around the sides of the face or nose
  • Exhalation valves, vents, or other openings
  • Single-layer fabric or those made of thin fabric that don’t block light
  • Hard to breathe
  • Wet or soiled

NYTimes Wirecutter: Where to Buy N95, KN95 and Surgical Masks You Can Trust

Dining Updates

We are using the same carryout meal procedures that many of you have already used in the past few weeks. The only significant change is that the carryout period has been extended for the entire serving period. Residents are welcome to come to pick-up their meals anytime throughout the serving periods that we have had all along:

  • Lunch Carryout Hours 11:15am to 1:30pm
  • Dinner Carryout Hours 4:45pm to 7:00pm

Many thanks to the community for timely arrivals and thoughtful spacing while standing in line. We are still monitoring things, but thus far, we have avoided dangerous bottlenecks.

If you are in your “lay-low” period during this time, please remember you can no longer come and get your own carryout meals. We are asking that you contact Dining Services at 440-775-9801 to make arrangements for your meals to be delivered. Thank you for the rapid response we have received to help meet the need of many volunteers for the meal deliveries. 

Dining Off Campus

Under the present conditions, we strongly discourage dining inside restaurants. Curbside pick-up from restaurants is the safest way to go and this is what we advise. If you simply must dine at a restaurant, please use outdoor seating

Common Area Updates

Mail Pick-Up

We are returning to staggered mail pickup times. Please try to pick-up your mail during the following designated times, based on your last name:

A-C           2:00-2:30                               L-M     3:30-4:00

D-F           2:30-3:00                               N-R     4:00-4:30

G-K           3:00-3:30                               S-Z      4:30-5:00

Library

The library will remain open. However, we ask that there be no more than 5 people in the library at any one time and try to limit your visit to 15 minutes.

Fitness Center

At this time, the Fitness Center, which includes the exercise room, equipment room and pools, will remain closed to residents and staff to mitigate any potential unknown exposure. 

Welcome Booth Update

The front entrance Welcome Booth will remain open through the end of October. Members of the Facility Services Department will continue to man this area between 7am-3:30pm, Monday through Friday. The phone number to the Welcome Booth is 440-396-5349. Should assistance be required before 7:00am or after 3:30pm, please contact the Facility Services off-shift phone number: 440-370-5926.

Off Campus

Leaving Campus

Please give special consideration over the next couple of weeks when leaving campus, such as for shopping or visiting friends and family. If your trip off campus can be delayed, we would respectfully ask that you do so.  If you do leave campus, remember to wear your mask, take hand sanitizer– sanitizing your hands frequently–and maintain social distancing. Assume everyone you encounter is a carrier of COVID.  Consider delaying planned travel, especially to other HIGH Level transmission areas, https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view

Shopping

With the high positivity rate in Lorain County, and the surrounding counties, please take all precautions to keep yourself safe while shopping. The safest course is to order what you can online or use curbside pick-up wherever it is available. If you choose to do in person shopping, wear a good quality mask that fits you well – covering your nose and mouth at all times – and go at a time when there will be the least amount of people in the store. Use antiseptic wipes to clean the shopping cart handle and try to stay 6ft away from others. Take hand sanitizer with you and use it as soon as you leave the store. Note: Kendal bus trips to local stores will continue.

Bubbles

We have been asked if the “Bubble” program will be re-established, and the answer is no. Instead, for now, all visits should be held outside with social distancing and masks in place.

Traveling

For residents that have travelled domestically or internationally, we are asking you to follow these current practices:

  • Notify the Health & Wellness Clinic of your return date.
  • “Lay low” for a period of 7 days (for both types of travel at this time).
  • Domestic travelers will need to schedule a rapid antigen test in the Health & Wellness Clinic on day 7 of return
  • International travelers will need to have a PCR test completed at Mercy Allen Hospital on day 7 of return.

“Laying low” means staying in your home, having meals delivered to your door (by a friend or neighbor is preferable), having mail picked up by a friend or neighbor, ordering groceries online and asking a friend or neighbor to pick up for you.  Always wear a mask if you must step outside your door for any reason. You may go for a walk around the perimeter but remain masked and keep socially distanced. Self-monitor any signs/symptoms of COVID (fever, chills, cough, congestion, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, etc.) and report to the HWC Director at 775-9807. 

Medical Appointments

Current medical appointments with providers in the Health & Wellness Clinic still remain scheduled at this time. If you have any upcoming appointments in the next several weeks outside of Kendal that are not urgent, and can be re-scheduled, we advise you to do so at this time. The Health & Wellness Clinic staff can also assist you, if needed. Please call 775-9819. Please keep urgent off campus medical appointments.

Visitation

We are discouraging any indoor visits between residents or with outside visitors, at the current time.    Residents may visit outdoors (on or off campus) for up to 2 hours at a time, wearing masks and keeping socially distanced.  No visitors from Level 4 areas at this time, please!

Booster Update

We keep in regular contact with the pharmacist from CVS regarding the COVID-19 booster vaccines.  As of late this morning, the CVS pharmacist reports that the booster vaccine has been approved by the FDA Advisory Committee and expects that there will be full approval by end of this week by both the FDA and CDC.  Kendal cannot move forward with scheduling the booster vaccines until both approvals have taken place.  The pharmacist has indicated that they expect to have a high demand for the booster vaccines as soon as it is released for use.  Kendal is doing everything we can to get the doses for residents as soon as CVS can acquire them.  We have made all preparations in advance with CVS to roll this out as smoothly as possible once doses have been acquired by CVS.   We remain in daily contact with the pharmacist at CVS and will alert you of updates as they unfold.

Don Parker’s Article Gem’s:

FDA Analysis Chills the Move to Approve Boosters: This Medscape report describes the debate around the Pfizer booster shot and provides some of the data that drives the discussion. Those of us over 65 will be getting our shots, but the studies that have been reported on the longevity of antibodies produced by the vaccine may have implications for the future. A CVS pharmacist reported to staff that they will learn later this week how/when they can expect to administer the boosters.

CDC Says Moderna is Most Effective Vaccine: Medscape reports on the CDC study of Moderna vaccine vs. Pfizer vaccine in preventing hospitalizations and found the former gave 93% effectiveness vs. 88% for the Pfizer. They did not measure the protection from infection (getting a positive test and being either asymptomatic or having mild-mod symptoms).  This underscores the need for the Pfizer booster, especially for those over 65.

Kendal COVID Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ document is currently not available on KORA’s website and is being updated for a Version 13. It is being written in such a way to remind all that when we have a period of COVID cases, and have to pause community activities, that residents should rely on the COVID News Update for the most current information.

CMS Unveils New Tool for the Public to Compare Nursing Home Vaccination Rates

This link is useful to compare all the published data on nursing homes, but as of today, also gives vaccination rates of nursing home residents and staff. Kendal’s compare very well among all long-term care staff and within their state.  Remember, the resident and staff % are only for residents and staff of the nursing home.  

Vaccination Rates per Medicare.gov, 9/21/21

Upcoming Zooms

Health Services Forum on Wednesday, September 22 at 4 PM via Zoom & KOTV

Our Quarterly Health Services Forum returns this September 22, at 4 PM, on Zoom. Our topics will include:

  • Supports for Neighbors in Need / How the Continuum of Care Works
  • Building Mental Health Resiliency with Indira Palekar
  • COVID Boosters
  • Q and A with our Medical Director

Our Zoom Link for the Health Services Forum:  https://kendal-org.zoom.us/j/83883736087

Thursday Afternoon Exchange with Barbara by Zoom, KOTV and WSCC

Come hear Margie Flood from Oberlin Community Services share how OCS is faring through the pandemic. As in past years, our Kendal Anniversary (28th) in October is being marked by a Simple Supper on Oct. 6th with the dinner savings going to OCS as a charitable contribution. Residents are invited to add personal contributions, by check, to the Soup Kettle in Heiser this same week. In addition, there will be presentation at the Exchange on the resident initiated “Resident Wellness Network”.

https://kendal-org.zoom.us/j/92143927958; Meeting ID: 921 4392 7958

One tap mobile: +13126266799,,92143927958# US (Chicago) Meeting ID: 921 4392 7958.

Today’s Statistics

Kendal at Oberlin (KaO)

Independent Living Resident Cases2
Stephens Care Center (SCC) Resident Cases 
          Residential Care Facility 6
          Skilled Nursing Facility2
KaO Residents Total10
     KaO SCC Staff Cases18
     KaO Other Staff Cases 26
KaO Staff Total44
Kendal at Oberlin Total54
***In Quarantine, COVID Positive8
***Recovered43
Kendal at Oberlin Vaccination Overall Rate550 of 565, or 97.3%
Total Kendal Residents Vaccinated 347 of 347 or 100%
Total Kendal Staff Vaccinated (this number will go up with staff getting vaccinated and hiring, it will go down with staff attrition)203 of 218, or 93.1%

Lorain County (as of 9/21/2021)

New Cases (since Monday, September 13, 2021 – 8 day average: 103.1per day)1,020
Total Lorain County Cases  24,327
Total in Zip Code 44074 (+47 since Monday, September 6, 2021)705
Current Lorain County Positivity Rate, High Transmission Rate 14.5%
Total Deaths, age ranges 20-29 • 1; 30-39 • 3; 40-49 • 11; 50-59 • 22; 60-69 • 77; 70-79 • 141; 80+ • 216471
Total Deaths in Long Term Care Settings (updated weekly, last 9/15/2021, +1)241
Lorain County Vaccinations Started 177,967 or 57.4% of population

Cuyahoga County (as of 9/21/2021)

Cuyahoga County (excluding Cleveland)          94,015
Cleveland Cases (not updated for past two weeks)35,280
Total Cuyahoga County Cases129,295
New Cases (since Monday, September 13, 2021)            2,456
Total Cuyahoga County Deaths 2,480
Total Deaths in Long Term Care Settings (updated weekly, last 9/15/2021)873

State of Ohio (as posted on 9/21/2021)

New Cases in the Last 24-hours  6,814
21-day Average of New Cases6,572
Total Cases 1,358,918
Age Range all Cases
Median Age of all Cases40
Total Hospitalizations (cumulative)70,655 or 5%
Total Hospitalizations Last 24-hours233
21-day Average of Hospitalizations 233
Median Age of all Hospitalized65
Total ICU Admissions (cumulative)9,271 or 1% 
Total ICU Admissions last 24-hours 47
21-day Average of ICU Admissions 21
Total Health Care Workers Diagnosed 71,357 5%
Total Tested in Ohio15,839,794
Total Ohio Resident Deaths21,596
Median Age of Deaths 79
Ohio Resident Deaths in Last 24-hours125
21-day Average of Deaths35
Total Deaths in Ohio Long Term Care Settings (updated weekly, last 9/8/2021) 7,758
Statewide Vaccinations Started6,247,373 or 53.5% of population

Contact Information


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