September 25, 2020
A momentous week has come to a close. We’ve progressed on reopening. Phase 2 has moved into Phase 3. Dining possibilities have expanded. Residents may have visitors under specific guidelines. Now we are looking at person spacing in our indoor gathering rooms in anticipation of resuming some small group activities. One idea is to mandate training for group leaders about social distancing, mask-wearing and proper hand sanitation so some oversight to maintain protocols is preserved.
As restaurants begin to reopen, the pressure is mounting to move the Kendal dining program along the same path. This one is particularly tricky: no one has yet found a way to eat or drink with a mask on ! Dining provides nutrition and sustenance, but it also provides that all-important opportunity for social engagement and interaction that is the lifeblood of communities like ours. A second challenge for our environment is that communication at six feet is not easy for those with diminished hearing capability. Before COVID, we were actively engaged in testing several options for personal amplification systems. We tested headphones and microphones and were closing in on some good options. Providing this audio support is now moving back into the spotlight and we’ll be pursuing this.
Finally, the requirement for twice weekly testing for staff has been amended to once per week for persons working full-time. Managing the twice weekly requirement was a burden. It continues to be once a week for those working three days or fewer in a week. I can assure you there are a lot of happier staff here at Kendal at Ithaca these days. Be well.