Update for May 15, 2020

Today begins the phased re-opening of New York State. Kendal at Ithaca, however, will continue its vigilance in infection prevention, social distancing, not allowing large group gatherings, and the requirements of screening upon entering the building and wearing of a face covering.

Why ? Because the numbers tell us that what we’ve been doing is working.

On May 4th and 5th, Kendal offered (and strongly encouraged) staff, residents and contractors to be tested for both the presence of the virus and the presence of antibodies to the virus. Five hundred and fifteen persons were tested. No one tested positive for a COVID19 infection.

Six persons did test positive for antibodies. Another 13 had indeterminate results, meaning the test was not definitive.

What does this tell us ? There has been some presence of the virus on campus, but now we also know that exposure could have occurred as long ago as last November, with many having visits with family over the holidays. We also know that the measures we have been and will continue to take, as described above, have been working.

What to do now ? Double-down and commit to continue using these practices. Hopefully, any report we make a month from now will be equally encouraging. No, we won’t be re-opening the dining room or holding large group activities. But we shall be looking for incremental ways in which we can adapt our physical environment to allow some creative social engagement. Stay tuned.

Under the Governor’s new Executive Order, Kendal at Ithaca will be testing staff for active COVID19 infections beginning May 20, 2020. More on this later.