When vaccinations were taking place earlier this year at the senior living facility where I serve as the Director of Pastoral Care, it was a very encouraging time, especially as things began opening up in the spring and various restrictions were being relaxed from the Ohio Department of Health. Since having programming for the past several months, it has been wonderful to see that taking place for the residents, whether to attend programming, to dine with their fellow residents, or even simply to more easily go out and about. However, the Delta variant has arrived at our building, disrupting things.
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It began last week with the news that one, and then subsequently two further employees on the health care side of the building had tested positive for COVID-19. While we were hoping that that was it, it was not. This morning, in a communication from our building administrator, he published that “yesterday we received several COVID positive results of residents from the health care side as well as a few staff from our outbreak testing. We are also testing an Assisted Living resident with symptoms as of today.” He continued
With extraordinary outbreak of the COVID variant affecting the region, state and country, I have, for the safety of the residents and staff, put in place restrictions on unnecessary visitors, as well as a pause on any communal activities and social dining, and I ask for all residents to stay in their room until we get a handle on the current situation. Compassionate care visits are still allowed for any resident. I ask that any resident visits occur in resident rooms or outside currently and only two visitors at a time. I hope that this is short term, and we can get back to our new normal as soon as possible.
As to what will be happening, he wrote that “We will continue to test nursing residents and all staff until we get two consecutive weeks of all negative results.” While I am holding on to some optimism that this is all of the Delta variant that will be in our building, I am also keenly aware of the opposite reality.
It has certainly been tough to go back to the way things had been, including increasing our PPE to remain vigilant against this variant. While there’s an obvious downside to this situation in that there is a lot less social interaction for both staff and residents, on the plus side, at least there’s a sense of familiarity with this situation.
We shall see how this Delta variant in our building plays out, but it’s certainly an uncomfortable timing with the high holidays just around the corner in a few weeks….