June 3, 2020
A brief distraction for us occurred over the weekend. The NYS Department of Health, DOH, arrived late morning on Saturday to conduct an Infection Control Survey in our nursing home. This has been an area of high importance to the DOH, given all the attention nursing homes have been getting in the media. “The surveyors commented on the educational materials available to staff and they were happy with both the screening process and the staff/resident interactions on the units. Staff they spoke to answered their questions and knew the policies”, reported Laurie Mante, Executive Director. The surveyors left at about 3:30 pm indicating they had no negative findings. Congratulations to the Taughannock House team for this wonderful report that reflects the quality of the work done here every day !
As NYS moves along into Phase 2, cautiously, Kendal at Ithaca continues to explore what its reopening looks like. The KAI New Normal committee has met for the second time. The discussion reflected movement on loosening some restrictions. For example, a protocol for single person use of the tennis court’s backboard is in the works. With the adjacent porta-potty just cleaned and sanitized, things are looking good. Protocols for resuming small group gathering outdoors are being formulated – groups of six or less in areas where social distancing can be maintained – the 6X6 rule. Determining what needs to be specified for indoor groups is a little more challenging. We also need to consider the imposition that speaking through masks presents to those who have diminished hearing – how can these conversations be supported by technology ?
Visitors to the Health Center continue to be prohibited, with only a few exceptions. Warmer weather will at least allow more activities to move outdoors where distancing can be maintained among the residents. Visitation in private cottages and apartments is being explored.
Two other signs of progress: Plans for reopening the Kendal at Ithaca beauty salon have been developed and submitted for review of its infection protection. Our salon operator must jump through the same hoops as any other in NYS planning to reopen in Phase 2. Ithaca Community Child Care, IC3, has reopened its Kendal location as of Monday, June 1. Many fewer children may attend. Parents are not allowed into the building and each child is escorted individually into their rooms.
Progress is progress.