June 15, 2023
Good morning, Eastview Residents, Families, and Staff,
On May 11, 2023, the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration ended. County community transmission data, no longer reported to the CDC, had been utilized to guide source control (masking) requirements in Long-Term Care settings. Facilities are now utilizing statewide hospital admission data, as well as the Vermont Department of Health’s Weekly COVID-19 Surveillance Report, when determining the need for source control.
For approximately one month now, masking requirements have been discontinued in areas of the Inn, excluding our Residential Care neighborhoods, MeadowSweet, GardenSong, and Floating License apartment recipients. EastView Leadership has been monitoring COVID activity in Independent Living, as well as other areas of the Inn no longer requiring masking, and are pleased to report there has not been increased or uncontrolled activity. Vaccination efforts, adhering to respiratory hygiene practices, and encouraging people to isolate if they feel unwell, has undoubtedly curtailed infections.
Our next cautious step in establishing a bit of normalcy within our community is to no longer mandate masking in MeadowSweet, GardenSong, and Floating License apartments. Please know there are various reasons when masking will still be required, including but not limited to:
1.) If a staff member is in close contact of a known positive case, but is not experiencing symptoms, they will be required to mask when in Residential Care, regardless of their department, task, or function. Masking will be discontinued on the 11th day following the date of last known exposure.
2.) Visitors should not visit if they have been in close contact with a known positive. Exceptions may occur at the discretion of the Senior Nurse, following review of the exposure and immediacy of the need for the visit to occur.
3.) Full transmission-based PPE will be required of Health Services staff when assisting a resident who has tested positive for or is presumed to be infected with COVID-19.
4.) Residents reserve the right to request that staff wear a mask when in their apartment. This is without regard to department, task, or exposure status. The resident has the right to request, and staff are expected to comply for the duration of the encounter.
Ongoing monitoring for new or suspected infections will remain in effect. If there are three or more confirmed (or suspected) cases, amongst residents and/or staff, involving MeadowSweet, GardenSong, and Floating License, or a combination thereof, the need for masking will resume, and at minimum, will apply to all Health Services, Community Life, and Dining Staff members as well as Housekeepers and Maintenance who are working in Resident studios and apartments in these neighborhoods. Others may also be asked to resume masking. This expectation will be communicated by the Senior Nurse, Chief Operating Officer, or designee.
The safety and health of the residents who call EastView home, is, and always will be, of the utmost importance. After three plus, long years, it will indeed be nice to meet each other face to face again, no longer veiled by a mask. This change may cause concern and/or a bit of anxiety for some. Please rest assured that COVID-like illness involving residents and staff will be carefully monitored. If masking practices need to resume, this will be broadly communicated. Since COVID is here to stay, it is important we adapt and adjust accordingly.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.
President & Chief Executive Officer
June 15, 2023