Update for May 6, 2020

Wow ! In two days, 522 members of the Kendal at Ithaca community – residents, staff, contract employees and other affiliates were tested for COVID-19 and for their antibody titer. Testing was provided by teams from the Cayuga Medical Center. These teams have had a lot of practice doing the nasal swab test at the local drive-in testing site. In Tompkins County, 4,468 persons have been tested, and 3,555 were negative results.

As you know, New York State is trying to accumulate a lot of test results with the hope that they can clarify how the virus is moving in communities and also be helpful in informing protocols for re-opening.

Kendal at Ithaca will follow all CDC, CMS and Tompkins County Health Department guidelines should a positive case be found. The rules differ slightly for residents and staff. Kendal will take the most prudent actions that apply. We shall also be sharing that information with our stakeholders.

This snapshot in time will help us understand how well the mitigation measures we’ve been taking are working. As more information becomes available regarding the significance of antibodies, that will also help to guide us with regard to precautions. We don’t know if antibodies to one strain of the virus might protect against the other, Chinese v. European; we don’t know what level of antibody might be protective or how long or effective its protection might be.

At the very least, testing allows us to isolate any asymptomatic cases from circulation in our community. It has also allowed us, as a community, to make a contribution to the larger process that should ultimately help resolve these open issues, assuming retrospective information continues to have value.

We continue to monitor the supply and rate of use of PPE to be sure we will have enough should we find ourselves handling multiple cases of residents who are positive. We have had pretty good success so far with sourcing what we need.

Stay well and be vigilant. Next, we’ll share a wonderful, celebratory event that also happened this week. Stay tuned and write !