Focus on prevention of COVID-19 virus establishes new procedures.   COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Prevention: Community Updates Week of 3/15/2020

Look here for ongoing community updates for residents and staff. As always, the first priority of Kendal at Oberlin is the health and wellness of the individuals we serve and the staff who serve them. New community updates will be added to this article as they becomes available.

March 21, 2020: Update to Residents

Calm, Proactive Preparedness

Governor Mike DeWine Daily Press Conference

Reminder, Governor DeWine’s daily press coverages are available for viewing. They provide excellent content on the State of Ohio’s proactive steps.

  • 247 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio, 14 confirmed cases in Lorain County.

Only the most hospitalized ill, with COVID-19 symptoms and health care workers with symptoms, are being tested.

  • 3 confirmed deaths.
  • Three nursing homes in the State of Ohio are now impacted, one in Cuyahoga County.
  • “We are at a critical time, what each of us do now will determine the spread and how many are impacted…Batten down, stay at home and stay in place.”
  • We must act as if we have been invaded by an enemy, and we have, COVID-19, is a silent invader.
  • Adult Day Centers for the Developmentally Disabled are now closed.
  • Hospitals are setting up tents as separate containment zones for respiratory triage.

Friday, March 20, 2020: Kendal at Oberlin Community Update

Effective at 1:00 am on Monday, March 23, the Kendal at Oberlin campus will undergo a “hard closure” to protect residents. This means all residents will be self-contained in their homes on our campus due to the City of Oberlin and Lorain County having been determined to have “community-spread” of COVID-19. This was confirmed today by the Lorain County Department of Health and necessitates implementation of procedures as outlined by the Kendal System Guidelines for COVID-19.

We ask that the public understand that only authorized deliveries will be made to Kendal and residents will only be able to leave the campus for critical medical purposes.  This significant step is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our residents, whose age demographic is at the highest risk to get this virus.

Details about this “hard closure” were sent in a letter today to all Kendal at Oberlin residents by Chief Executive Officer Barbara Thomas and Chief Health Services Officer, Stacy Terrell in consultation with the Board of Directors, The Kendal Corporation and most importantly, with the Lorain County Department of Health.

March 19, 2020: Update to Residents

Calm, Proactive Preparedness

Governor Mike DeWine Daily Press Conference

  • Reminder, Governor DeWine’s daily press coverages are available for viewing. They provide excellent content on the State of Ohio’s proactive steps.
  • 119 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio.
  • COVID-19 is on the upswing, vital that we continue to work together to minimize impact.
  • The Governor encourages all to stay home and only go out when essential, such as for grocery shopping.
  • Ohio National Guard has been deployed for food distribution as a humanitarian mission.
  • Scam Artists at Work. BEWARE!  Do not give out your personal information!
  • Grocery Supply Chain remains strong. Out-of-stock items are due to unusual demand.

Well-Being Calls

  • We are pleased to announce we have started “well-being” calls that will be made every week to every Independent Living resident. These calls will provide a nice time for us to touchbase with one another. First calls will be completed by this Friday (tomorrow). During our call with you, we will ask if you have a working thermometer. This will be an important tool for each of us to use in detecting any first signs of COVID-19 symptoms.  It may be that your thermometer will need a new battery.  We will assist you if that is a need. Special thanks to our 22 staff volunteers that are making these calls!

Kendal Staff Members Staying Informed

  • Kendal key leadership members are participating in three conference calls a day to remain on top of this unfolding health crises. These calls include a morning call with Kendal Corporation and all Kendal affiliates leaders, a daily operations call with all affiliate department heads, and an afternoon wrap-up conference call with Kendal at Oberlin Department Heads and key employees. Keeping open communication going is vital for orchestrating all new initiatives and model protective strategies for our community.
  • Please be patient with staff members as they are prioritizing a host of tasks and developing new processes and workflows throughout the day for the health and wellbeing of the community. Staff may not be able return calls or emails immediately. Please be assured, we will get back to you. Staff members are focused on major tasks and initiatives, minor concerns may be lower on the priority list. Thank you for your understanding and confidence.

Health Services

  • All Stephens Care Center staff members are being given their own Personal Protective Equipment packet, including an N-95 respirator, goggles and more.
  • Clinical Manager of the Day (MOD) will be launched next weekend. The Clinical MOD will be an additional RN presence on Saturdays and Sundays days to supplement the RN Nurse Manager.  S/he will assist in the Stephens Care Center and respond to needs in Independent Living.

Langston Grocery Items

  • Reminder, delivery days will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a 24-hour notice will be needed.  Please contact Stephanie Sutton at 775-9805 for more information. Toilet paper has been added to the list, at 50 cents per roll, with limit of 6 rolls per order.

Discount Drug Mart “Saves You the Run Around”

  • If a resident would like their Discount Drug Mart prescriptions delivered to the Health and Wellness Clinic (HWC) please call Discount Drug Mart at 440-774-5212 to alert the pharmacy that you would like your medications delivered to Kendal.  Medications are delivered to the HWC Monday-Friday around 3:45 PM. Please call the Health and Wellness Clinic at 440-775-9819 to confirm delivery.  The Health and Wellness Clinic is open until 4:30pm for pick-up.

Northwest Bank

  • All Northwest Bank branches are moving to drive-through tellers only.  This means our walk-up teller branch will close temporarily, effective Friday, March 20.  We expect our ATM to still be available.  We will notify you if this changes.  On-line banking will still be available, and is encouraged.

Handwash Stations to Be Added

  • We will be adding Handwash Stations at the Heiser Main Entrance, the south Employee Entrance to Heiser, the Heiser doors to the Stephens Care Center and Facility Services.  All individuals walking into Heiser and Facility Services will be expected to wash their hands, following the CDC guidelines of a full 20 second wash and lather, getting under fingernails and jewelry and scrubbing each finger and front and back of hands.

CDC Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Please refer to the CDC website for excellent guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your home. Creating your own solution:
  • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.


  • Kendal at Oberlin has been assisted by Kendal Corporation in developing an eCard that can be used by Kendal families to connect to residents that do not have an email address. eCards will be received and then printed by Kendal staff and the message will be delivered to the resident recipient.


All scheduled CRACKED dementia training sessions are postponed at this time.

March 18, 2020: Update to Residents

Calm, Proactive Preparedness

To Brighten Your Thursday

Oberlin Concert, live-Streaming: March 19 at 4:30pm only available during the time outlined.

Performance Management Awards

  • This Friday, 122 Kendal staff members will receive Performance Management Award checks, recognizing outstanding achievements in 2019. This is good timing for many staff. 

Governor Mike DeWine Daily Press Conference

  • Reminder, Governor DeWine’s daily press coverages are available for viewing. They provide excellent content on the State of Ohio’s proactive steps.
  • 88 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of today in Ohio
  • Ohio’s youngest case is 2 years old and the oldest one is 91.

COVID-19 Test Kits

  • Amy Acton, MD, Director of Ohio Department of Health shared that test kits are now reserved for those who are most critically ill, those with symptoms and are hospitalized, and hospital workers that have symptoms. At this time, no one else is being tested in order to manage the supply of test kits.
  • The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • If you have symptoms, whether you suspect COVID-19 or any illness, please call the Health and Wellness Clinic, Monday-Friday, between 8:00am and 4:30pm, 440-775-9819.  At all other times call the RN Nurse Manager at 440-775-9800. Please do not come to the Health and Wellness Clinic or the Stephens Care Center at this time for assessment.
  • In most cases, COVID-19 will present like a severe case of the seasonal flu and will be treated as such. The Kendal Health Team will work very closely with you to ensure your symptoms are monitored and appropriate care is administered.

Langston Grocery Items

  • Today Dining Services released an updated grocery list.  Hard copies and/or email copies were sent out earlier today. Delivery days will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a 24-hour notice will be needed.  Please contact Stephanie Sutton at 775-9805 for more information.

PS Salon

  • The State of Ohio has mandated the closure of all salons, spas and barber shops effective today. Tattoo shops are also closed, so you will have reschedule your appointment.

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

  • The State of Ohio has mandated the closure of most BMV offices. A grace period will be extended for those whose driver’s licenses will be expiring.

Health Services

  • All Stephens Care Center resident pharmaceuticals are being transitioned to our institutional pharmacy, Remedi, for operational efficiency during this pandemic.
  • Additional staff members from every department are being fit-tested for N-95 respirators to ensure continuous of all department services in the Stephens Care Center and across campus, should we have an outbreak.
  • Courtyard furniture is now in place for Stephens Care Center residents to enjoy the outside in the warming weather.
  • Appreciation extended to John Brandenberger, Rebecca Cardozo, Doug Kirtz, Doug McClennen, Melissa Reed, Jim Sunshine, and Carl and Barbara Whitehouse for assembling 30 over-the-bed tables for use by residents in the Stephens Care Center.

Appointments with Indira Palekar

  • Appointments with Indira Palekar, Psychologist, will be held virtually via telemedicine starting tomorrow and through the end of March, and perhaps beyond. Social Services will be in touch with those scheduled to help you connect.
  • Indira is making herself available for additional appointments, as another resource for emotional support. Stay tuned for information on steps to participate.

COVID-19 Signs (source CDC, WHO, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology)

COVID-19 compared to other common conditions

March 17, 2020: Update to Residents

Calm, Proactive Preparedness

Governor Mike DeWine’s Daily Press Conference

  • Reminder, Governor DeWine’s daily press coverages are available for viewing. They provide excellent content on the State of Ohio’s proactive steps.
  • 67 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio; this number is expected to swell.
  • Hospitals are prioritizing surgeries. Elective surgeries are being postponed.
  • Ohio hospitals are at 75% capacity today and preparing remote sites should they be needed.
  • Hospitals are setting up Respiratory Triage Tents outside of Emergency Rooms, where the decision will be made to admit or send home.
  • Medical offices are also rescheduling many patients, please call your provider to confirm an appointment before going to the provider’s office.

Paper Distribution of Updates

We are distributing hard copies of our Daily Updates to those without email.

Health Services

A reminder of what to do if you don’t feel well:

  • In a Medical Emergency, please activate the nurse call system in your home.
  • If you feel you are facing a life threatening matter–do not delay–call 911, then activate the nurse call in your home.
  • If you are not feeling well, but it is not an emergency, whether you suspect COVID-19 or any illness, please call the Health and Wellness Clinic, Monday-Friday, between 8:00am and 4:30pm, 440-775-9819. At all other times call the RN Nurse Manager at 440-775-9800.
  • Please do not come to the Health and Wellness Clinic or the Stephens Care Center at this time for assessment. You will be assessed over the phone and guidance will be provided for next steps that may include an assessment visit by the RN. Do not be concerned, but for the protection of our staff for respiratory concerns, the RN will wear a gown, gloves and mask.
  • Our professional staff will guide you with necessary next steps.
  • When are you not feeling well, stay away from anyone with whom you share a home. The CDC recommends 6’ distance, wash your hands frequently, disinfect all surfaces that may be contaminated. CDC offers advice on preparing your home.

Hospitality Services

Composting Station

We will continue to make every effort to purchase compostable carryout products as we can but please understand we are getting these from a variety of sources and not all brands will be compostable. An email memo has gone out for more recycling direction.

Menu Information

We are updating the WKAO menus and the KORA menus to reflect the community- distributed meal we will serving each day. The KORA webpage will list all the ingredients and nutritionals as usual. Check for tomorrow’s meal, available now.


We understand that some residents would prefer to forego housekeeping for a time. This is not a problem, just let us know. Also, it is important that you cancel your housekeeping service if you are not feeling well or have a fever. We will reschedule when you are feel well. For any concerns please contact Crystal Hall 775-9199.

Instructions for disinfecting surfaces can be found on CDC’s website, including a link for EPA- approved viral pathogens (See link above).

North Pleasant Connect House

We have begun using our North Pleasant Street house for supervising school-age staff children now out school, thanks to our KELC teaching staff led by Jeni Hoover.

Connecting Technology

We are actively exploring technology solutions for helping us remain connected as groups, individuals, and committees. We are leveraging the expertise of Kendal Corporation and others in this pursuit.

Kendal Beauty Shop

The Beauty Shop remains open on Thursdays and Fridays, with one stylist and one patron served at a time. Thursdays are reserved for Stephens Care Center residents and Fridays are reserved for Independent Living residents by appointment only. To make an appointment, please call 440-775-0094, extension 5381.

Thanks to Our Kendal Leprechauns

Appreciation extended to those Kendal Leprechauns who appeared outside the windows of Stephens Care Center residents, surprising and delighting them. Thank you for making their St. Patrick’s Day fun!

March 16, 2020: Update to Residents

Calm, Proactive Preparedness

Kendal Corporation Pandemic Coordination

  • There is now a daily Operations Call at 10am with key leadership peers at each Kendal affiliate across the Kendal system and Kendal Corporate Leadership. We are focused on leveraging the strengths of the system, model practices, processes and resource-sharing. 

Meal-of-the-Day Delivery Program

Effective at 9pm yesterday, Governor Mike DeWine issued an order closing all restaurant dining rooms in Ohio. Of course this applied to our dining rooms, too, so beginning today all Independent Living residents received a meal of the day delivered to their doors. This will continue until the Governor’s order is rescinded.  We have had very little time to organize this and to communicate with you, so we wanted to provide you with additional information. 

  • The meals will be delivered mid-day each day. If you plan to be away, please make arrangements with a neighbor to take care of your meal(s) so it is not sitting outside in warm temperatures for too long.
  • The meals will be sent to you cold. Please refrigerate until you are ready to reheat and eat. 
  • Please reheat food to an internal temperature of 165F. If using a microwave to reheat food, heat for 1 to 2-1/2 minutes until hot and steaming.  If using an oven, preheat to 350F and bake food for 10-15 minutes.
  • These menus feature entrées from our usual menus and are reviewed by our Chef and Dietitian to satisfy the greatest number of residents.  We are also sending gluten-free and vegetarian meals to residents that have identified as these categories of their diets.
  • Starting March 17th, independent living residents may opt out of the meal plan for a 2-week period through March 31st and receive a special one-time meal credit of $7.50 per day. It must be for the full period of time. The sign-up list for this is available at the front desk. Consideration will be given if this needs to be extended beyond March 31st
  • Today we were able to reorganize local Oberlin student Hospitality staff for meal deliveries so the other Kendal staff could be focused on other work concerns.  They did a great job!

Closing of Pool, Fitness Center and Exercise Rooms

  • In accord with Governor Mike DeWine’s order today, we are so sorry to have to announce the closing of the Pool, Fitness Center and Exercise Rooms until further notice. The Governor also closed theater and bowling alleys today.  We will take this opportunity to deep-clean the pool and perform necessary maintenance. Fitness Staff will be engaged one-on-one with our residents in the Stephens Care Center.
  • The Governor is encouraging those with chronic conditions, compromised immunity, and women who are pregnant to remain at home and not leave for non-essential tasks.

Staying Connected

  • Families who have a loved one in the Stephens Care Center and have the necessary technology at home may arrange to Face Time or Skype by contacting the Nurse Manager or Social Services. Residents will be put on the list to use one of our iPads. 

Community Spaces for group activities must remain closed during this pandemic episode. 

Massage Therapy, Reiki and Craniosacral 

  • The Kneaded Touch (massage therapy), Reiki and Craniosacral sessions are all cancelled until further notice. Again, we are very sorry this is necessary.

Kendal Beauty Shop

  • The Beauty Shop remains open by appointment with the restriction of one stylist and one patron at a time.

North Pleasant Street House

  • Our house on North Pleasant Street is now being used for monitoring school-age children of staff who have no alternate means of supervision while out of school.  

Current Cottage and Apartment Renovations

  • The 3 apartments and 6 cottages already under renovation and under contract with new residents will be finished. Contractors are being health-screened daily with appropriate protocols in place.  All renovations related to non-contracted cottages and apartments have been suspended.

Health Services

  • The Stephens Care Center resident list is now available outside of the former Cardinal Shop.  Please review and reach out to your friends in the Stephens Care Center through phone calls, texting, FaceTime or Skype, and letters.
  • We have purchasing arrangements equal to hospitals with medical supply companies to have a high priority to fill our orders for necessary supplies.

March 15, 2020: Update to Residents

Calm, Proactive Preparedness 

We are grateful for your continued support and understanding as changes continue to be required of us as dictated by the State of Ohio, the Ohio Department of Health and Lorain County Public Health.  We know all of them are being made in the interest to assure public safety.

Governor’s DeWine’s daily press coverages are available here.  They provide excellent content on the State of Ohio’s proactive steps.

Important Changes in Dining for all Apartment and Cottage Residents

Late today, March 15,  the Governor of Ohio required restaurants (yes we operate restaurants)  to cease any in-dining in the Langston and Fox & Fell. We are working toward a mid-day “meal of the day” delivery system for all IL residents. This will eliminate groups of people ordering and picking up meals, and increasing the chances to spread germs. Kendal is familiar enough with your diet needs that we will be able to accommodate gluten-free, vegan, diabetic type meals. For residents accustomed to having 2 meals at Kendal, we will work to get you two meals. Kendal must provide disposable containers to avoid cross-contamination.

Residents may choose to opt out of a meal plan from March 17-31 for a special $7.50 credit per day. It must be for the whole period of two weeks.  This opting out may extend beyond March by necessity. There will be a simple sign-up near the mailboxes as one way to choose this option. More to come on Monday. 

Cancellation of Group Classes and Meetings

Group Classes or group meetings in the Community Spaces of Heiser,  Education Center  and Fitness are CANCELLED.  You may pursue exercising individually but no group classes. (This does not pertain to special small groups in the SCC.) If Kendal staff observes too many individuals in one area of exercise, it will ask that some residents voluntarily come at a later time to assure enough social distancing. Be creative how you get your exercise to remain safe.  

While the library remains open, you are encouraged to pick up books, and DVD’s quickly and be on your way. Do not stop and congregate at any time, please.

Fobs to Enter at Apartment Building After Hours

Because the Heiser is being locked up in the evening at 7:30, we can provide you a “fob” to access through the apartment 24 This fob does not open the Heiser Community Building. You can request a fob through the front desk or Facility Services (such as WorxHub). We gave out a lot of fobs over the weekend. it is available to assure you have access as needed, especially when less crowded.  We do NOT expect to continue locking up so early once this over (TBD). 

Stephens Care Center

Be assured our residents are not being isolated by not being able to leave the Stephens Care Center. They are NOT confined to their rooms. Much effort has been made to survey each resident about their preferred interests during this difficult time. Many of staff are enjoying the extra opportunity to spend time with our residents. Some residents have said they are usually SO BUSY, they are welcoming more time to rest! We were pleased on Sunday to find many residents have available their church services being done by Facebook with opportunities to comment during the service.  

Proactive Preparedness 

  • This virus is mainly spread from person to person, between people within 6’ of one another and through respiratory droplets produced when infected person coughs or sneezes.  These droplets can land in the mouths or noses people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled in the lungs.  Source-CDC website.
  • Containing the virus In order to contain this virus, confirmed in Lorain County on Saturday, we encourage all residents and staff to practice social distancing, maintaining 6’ distance when out in public (such as grocery shopping) and to only go out in public when absolutely necessary.
  • Soap and water for handwashing Please conserve your sanitizer and use soap and water whenever it is available. It is far more effective and you can preserve sanitizer supply for when soap and water is not available. 

Contact Information

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