Update for May 1, 2020

Wow – yes, indeed, it is May !

It’s been a busy week here at Kendal at Ithaca. We followed last week’s recognition of staff with their “Hero Bonuses” with an event called “Kendal Strong”.  Everyone was invited to contribute messages of humor, inspiration, hope, support and thanks written on green diamonds (for strength) and these are now displayed on large boards in the South Lobby, Cascadilla House and the three Taughannock House neighborhoods. We’ll move them around so all can see.  We also wanted to have some fun and demonstrate pride in Kendal at Ithaca. So, Wednesday, April 29th was declared a “dress down” day. Kendal logo-ed or green shirts were preferred and jeans were fine. Ice cream treats were enjoyed mid-afternoon. Finally, an exciting game of Double Jeopardy highlighting ‘fun Kendal facts to know and share’ pitted Debbie Atwood, of Administration, against Marion Karim, representing the residents. It was a fast-paced contest. The video was re-broadcast several times. And the winner was……… Marion !

Kendal at Ithaca has the exciting opportunity, through a partnership with Cayuga Medical Center, to test all residents and staff for both active COVID-19 infection, known as the PCR test, and the presence of antibodies, the IgG test. Testing will be conducted on Monday, May 4, and Tuesday, May 5. This kind of testing is “surveillance” testing which is not motivated by having an active case, but rather by wanting to know if there are any asymptomatic cases that are being missed, and could be a source of potential infection spread. It will also help us refine our approach to infection prevention. Unlike diagnostic testing, only individuals found to be positive with an active infection will be required to quarantine. During the testing, strict social distancing will be maintained. The testing is being provided free of cost to all.

And then there’s the local exciting news about Rheonix of Ithaca, NY. They announced yesterday that they received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for the Rheonix COVID-19TM MDx Assay. According to the Rheonix press release, “The fully automated test that enables detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, directly from respiratory samples. The test is designed to operate on the Rheonix Encompass MDx© workstation, and will facilitate same-day test results for small and medium-throughput laboratories.” Rheonix Press release.