Dear Blake Residents and Families,
We are excited to provide an update on vaccinations for residents and team members at The Blake in the coming weeks. The FDA has approved both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for emergency use and senior living communities across the nation will be some of the first to receive them. Our residents and team members are among the high priority recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine and we expect to begin offering the opportunity to receive this potentially life-saving vaccine in a matter of weeks.
Walgreens and CVS will be our partners in distributing and administering the vaccine. These pharmacies are responsible for coordinating logistics, ordering vaccines and associated supplies, ensuring the vaccine is stored at correct temperatures, and adhering to testing requirements for its administering staff. We are working closely with these two pharmacies to ensure proper planning and smooth operations from now and until the vaccinations arrive at your community.
We have not yet finalized the clinic dates in our communities but will update you as soon as these dates are confirmed. In the coming weeks, your Blake team will reach out and provide the forms that are necessary for you or your loved one to be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. This process will move very quickly, and it is imperative that you fill out the forms on a short timeline. We will provide these deadlines when we send the forms.
This is an exciting time in our fight against COVID-19 and the start of returning our communities to normalcy. However, the risk is still eminent. With the holiday season upon us, we understand that residents and their families will want to spend more time together. We also know that some residents may want to leave The Blake to visit family and friends for the holidays or other gatherings. We ask that you also consider not leaving The Blake during this extended public health emergency. Our local areas are all experiencing a significant rise in positive COVID-19 cases.
Because our residents are most vulnerable to experience more severe symptoms from the COVID-19 virus, continuing to keep our community healthy and safe remains our priority. Residents who choose to leave The Blake to attend family gatherings are at a greatly increased risk for contracting and spreading COVID-19 within our community.
If you do choose to leave The Blake please follow the following recommendations published by the CDC:
- Limit close contact (maintain physical distancing of six feet or more), keep gatherings as small as possible, and use technology to engage with others remotely.
- Wear face masks at all times (including in cars, homes, restaurants, etc.).
- Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items.
- Avoid communal serving utensils, passing of food, buffet style food service, and instead opt for individually prepared plates by a single server.
- Perform hand hygiene often (e.g., wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer).
- Avoid large gatherings, crowded areas, and high-risk activities.
- For those attending a gathering, avoid contact with individuals outside of their household for 14 days prior to the gathering.
Ask anyone who has signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or has been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, to not attend the gathering.
- If possible, conduct gatherings outdoors. Indoor gatherings should have good ventilation, open windows and doors if possible.
- Verbally greet others instead of shaking hands or giving hugs. Think ahead about how you will manage to prevent physical interactions with loved ones of different ages such as young children.
- Check local conditions and state requirements for precautions and restrictions, including positivity rates and quarantine requirements, before crossing state lines.
However, if you choose to leave The Blake and visit your family over the holidays, there are some guidelines you will have to follow upon your return. When you arrive back, you will be place in a 72 hour quarantine in your room. Once the 72 hours is up, you will be asked to take a rapid COVID-19 test. This is a quick and non-invasive COVID-19 test that gives results within 15 minutes. If you test negative, and are symptom free, you will be allowed to break quarantine.
We are taking several additional precautions to reduce risk to our residents and team members during the holidays. We will be testing team members for COVID-19 in the days following Christmas and will offer the same testing to residents in the first week of January.
Thank you for allowing us to serve you and your family. We realize this is a lot of information. Please contact your Executive Director or Director of Wellness if you have questions or concerns.
Chief Executive Officer