October 23, 2020 —Kendal at Ithaca Update for October 23, 2020
First some good news. As reported, we are moving our staff testing to a saliva-based test for COVID. There are several advantages: no nasal swab, which many find most uncomfortable; avoiding the expense of full PPE change between each test, which we have now been advised should be the practice; no need for refrigerating the samples; and faster test results turnaround time. On Thursday, 88 saliva tests were submitted to the lab. Sixty-one tests were returned to us in 24 hours. While some of these may be from tests taken earlier in the week, most will be from yesterday. We feel this quick turnaround is essential in limiting and understanding the spread on our campus.
Unfortunately, an additional staff member in the neighborhood with positive residents tested positive. This staff member is asymptomatic.
Earlier this morning, Laurie Mante, our Executive Director, and Dr. Skezas, our Medical Director, held a Town Hall Q&A on the Kendal in-house TV. Some of the topics discussed were the incubation time for the infection; what impact will a vaccine have; does exercise reduce the potential for infection; a review of quarantine practices and the various testing methods; is petting someone else’s pet a risk (theoretically, yes); are independent residents living at a CCRC more likely to become infected (no). This last is good news !