December 23rd, 2020
A Wish for a Safe and Careful Holiday, a letter from our CEO, Melody Gabriel
Happy holidays Generations family! You are, each of you, in my thoughts as I reflect on what has been accomplished this year and how everyone pulling together made it possible.
As we approach Christmas and other beloved winter holidays under generally worsening positivity rates and pandemic conditions, I wish to ask of you, once again, to do all you can to keep yourself healthy and safe. Cherishing the Vitality of all members of our Community starts with cherishing yourself. Please celebrate the season within your household bubble. Please avoid travel and unnecessary outings. If you cannot avoid gatherings, please ensure all attendees followed 14-day precautionary quarantines and be aware of your exposure risks to know if you should quarantine after. Our COVID protocol asks all residents who leave campus to attend any gathering or for overnight visits quarantine for 14 days on return.
There are many tools out there to put needed information at your fingertips. As the 6ft social distancing guidance focuses on droplets, but gatherings are impacted by both droplets and aerosols, MIT has developed an online tool to help people generally understand their infection risks (how many minutes people can safely be together) based on variables – room size, ceiling height, ventilation, windows in use, number of people, mask type/mask wearing, etc. https://indoor-covid-safety.herokuapp.com It’s fascinating to see what small changes can do to minimize risk.
Another piece of information at your fingertips is our recorded Generations vaccine webinar presentation. While it does not have the benefit of a live ‘Q&A’, many questions are discussed here on our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/xyoYvcdLRMg
Lastly, while you are priority 1 for the vaccine, you may have loved ones whose opportunity will be later. The NY Times has an online estimator tool to help determine where someone might fall in the ‘vaccine line’ – a good reminder of how important continued caution is, even with our vaccine clinics soon to be scheduled and underway, because many are waiting.
Thank you for being part of our family, for your patience during this challenging year, and for safely finding joy in all there is to celebrate at this precious time of year.
All my best,
Melody Gabriel, CEO
December 17th, 2020
Generations Employees and Residents to be Among the First to receive COVID-19 Vaccine
Social distancing and wearing masks have become daily precautionary measures for Americans as this global pandemic reaches far and wide. Keeping you and your loved ones safe have been Generations’ number one priority during these challenging times. Generations will be part of the first wave of COVID-19 vaccine phases in California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. While these timelines are fluid, healthcare workers and residents in long-term care facilities can rest assured that state governments see the risk COVID-19 poses for us all. They are prioritizing taking care of us so that we can take care of others.
“Our staff, our healthcare heroes, and our residents – the reason we are here – have all put in extraordinary effort, adapted to tremendous change, and made personal sacrifices to reach this moment. They are among those whom the most has been asked during this pandemic and they did it on faith that we would get to this moment. It is wildly appropriate that they are honored with such an early opportunity to receive the vaccine.” – Rebecca Stayner, Generations Support Team.
In conjunction with the CDC, the FDA is working with states to ensure distribution plans for the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes opening storage facilities, vaccine distribution centers and ensuring those most vulnerable to COVID-19 are protected in hospital and long-term care facilities. This also includes frontline workers who put their life at risk daily to care for patients and residents. We do not have an exact time frame for when the vaccine will roll out. Our team is working with local and state governments to plan the distribution of the
COVID-19 vaccine to our staff and residents. As of now, the CDC and FDA expect the vaccine to be two doses for maximum efficacy with a rollout starting by the end of 2020. Our onsite clinics will ensure our residents and staff can quickly and easily get theCOVID-19 vaccine as soon as available. This is at zero cost to everyone involved. As soon as our onsite clinics are scheduled, our residents, staff, and families will be the first to know.
Generations will continue to adhere to CDC guidelines in COVID-19 prevention. From personal protection equipment, testing our staff and residents, and continuing to adhere to mask-wearing and social distancing, Generations will continue to be diligent with precautions and infection control measures to help keep residents, staff, and our communities safe. We will continue to provide updates to the public, our staff, families, and our residents as we have them.
Generations is grateful to the CDC, FDA, and state and local governments for prioritizing our residents and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to distributing the vaccine and prioritizing everyone’s health and safety within the Generations family as we continue to face daily life in the COVID era.
December 10th, 2020
COVID-19 Vaccine News- What We Know…
It’s almost here and our residents and staff members will have priority ~
Here’s what you need to know:
- Two doses! Both vaccines under review will require two doses (one 21 days and the other 28 days apart). The 1st dose primes the system, but the 2nd dose puts protection in place.*
- It gets you ready to fight! The injection gives your cells instructions to make a protein – your body will respond and if it sees it again, it’ll know just how to take it on the virus.
- It is safe! Normal trials might have 3-5,000. These had 30-50,000! Even on an accelerated timeline, no steps were skipped, including independent expert review. This injection does not use actual virus and cannot give you COVID-19.*
- It is effective! It’s waaay up there – 94-95% effective. (Polio is 99%, Measles 97%, Chickenpox 70%, Flu 44%)*
- The majority will feel no reaction! Some will experience mild to moderate side effects (headache, fatigue, fever, sore at injection site) but only for a day or two.*
- Clinics onsite at our communities will make it easy! Vaccine clinics on campus will serve all our residents and staff and make it as quick and easy (and fun?) as possible.
- Zero cost to you! Vaccines themselves are free. Administration fees of onsite clinics are also covered for all – insured or not.*
- Vaccines by State! For rollout simplicity, speed, and to ensure correct 2nd doses, the State will select the specific vaccine type for partnered pharmacies to use.*
- Vaccines safety net! Even if one has had COVID-19, a vaccine is highly recommended for strong, safe, longer-term protection.*
- COVID-19 vs coronavirus! The vaccine is designed to help the body stop the virus so, if you pick it up in future, it does not develop into COVID-19.*
- Keep the masks! After vaccines clinics are complete, we will continue most of our COVID precautions for the time being – particularly screening, masks, physical distancing. After vaccination, in future your body may find itself successfully fighting this coronavirus. While it does, it may be possible to be infect others who are not vaccinated.
- ‘When’ is TBD… but getting closer (very close!) We will let you know as soon as onsite clinics are officially scheduled!
*Sources: CDC, CALA, DSS, American Health Care Association (AHCA), National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL)
November 23rd, 2020
A Word of Caution for the Holidays from our Director of Compliance and Infrastructure, Rebecca Stayner
Education about COVID-19 and its transmission is key to safe and healthy environments. Scientific information has evolved and, with holidays upon us when the pull to gather is great, it is important each of us is prepared to make the best decisions for personal safety and the safety of those impacted by our choices. All gatherings pose a risk of transmission when people of different households mix, and current data shows us that people are most likely to get COVID-19 from family and friends. This is a time to be extra cautious.
Of course, no one needs to be reminded what the stakes are in the fight against this virus, but all of us need help fighting the fatigue – fatigue of physical distancing, the weariness of mask wearing, and the wish to throw off precautions we know we should follow. We can only stop this virus together – and that is where we are lucky. We have Communities where our people love and cherish each other. We just need to keep our energy up! To fuel our knowledge banks, the following are excerpts of studies and outbreak analysis conducted in Spain.[i]
“At present, health authorities recognize 3 vehicles of COVID-19 transmission: 1) small droplets from speaking or coughing, which can end up in the eyes, mouth or nose of people standing nearby; 2) contaminated surfaces… although… this is the least likely way…; 3) transmission by aerosols – inhalation of invisible infectious particles exhaled by an infected person that behave in a similar way to smoke. Without venting, aerosols remain suspended in the air and become increasingly dense as time passes….”
“During simulations, subjects maintain the recommended safe distance, eliminating the risk of transmission via droplets. But they can still become infected if all preventive measures are not simultaneously applied: correct ventilation, shortening encounters, reducing the number of participants, and wearing face masks. The ideal scenario… would be outdoors, where infectious particles are rapidly diffused.
“If a safe distance from the infected person is not maintained, probability of transmission is multiplied because there would also be risk of contagion from droplets – not just aerosols. Making matters worse, even if there is ventilation, it would not be enough to diffuse aerosols...” [Any persons in the room could become infected, irrespective of proximity to the infected person, as aerosols are distributed randomly around an unventilated room.] [An additional issue at gatherings, is raising your voice to be heard which multiplies expulsion of potentially contagious particles at a rate of] “50x more particles than when we don’t speak at all.”
The holidays are a time of reflection on who and what we cherish and all that we are thankful for. We are in the interesting moment of having the season approach while COVID cases in every State are escalating rapidly, which certainly changes a great deal of how we celebrate.
Please reach out to your Community if you want to talk through any concerns you have about staying safe during the holidays or if you are looking for a clinical perspective on how to do your part to protect those your love. We want everyone to have a joyful and safe season, because you are who we cherish and are thankful for. Staying strong, we win. Thank you for being part of the #GenerationsNation.
[i] Source: El Pais, based on analysis of outbreak studies and a calculation tool, COVID Airborne Transmission Estimator, reviewed by scientists, and developed by a group of scientists led by Jose Luis Jimenez, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Colorado and an expert in the chemistry and dynamics of air particles
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