Pandemic Emergency Plan
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From Greg Chambery, Administrator
July 27, 2021
COVID-19 Variant and Maplewood – Things You Should Know
Last week, the New York State Nursing Home Association held a 2-hour conference call for all its members. In addition to hearing from medical professionals, there was a lengthy report from the President of the American Health Care Association. The topic of discussion was exclusively the COVID-19 Variant.
I think it is important to provide an update on some information that was shared during the call. In addition, I would like to share some information about Maplewood to help give some context as to where we stand in relation to what we are hearing about this new challenge.
Some Positive Data:
- All three of the vaccines being used in the United States seem to be effective against the new Delta Variant.
- 97% of Maplewood residents are currently vaccinated against COVID-19. This means that we typically have 1 or 2 residents who have chosen not to receive the vaccine.
- 87% of Maplewood employees are currently vaccinated against COVID-19. This means that out of our 200 employees, approximately 25 have chosen not to receive the vaccine. Significantly, Maplewood has the highest vaccination rate of all nursing homes in Monroe County.
- Following the association conference call last week, Maplewood initiated a policy of not hiring any new employees who are not already vaccinated or who would refuse to be vaccinated.
Some Challenging Data:
- Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that the national positivity rate in several states increased 4-fold between July 1 and July 22.
- 83% of reported cases in the U.S. are now attributed to the Delta Variant.
- Highest concentrations of the Delta Variant are in states with low vaccination rates, but the Variant has been detected in New York.
What are Some Likely Impacts to Maplewood of the COVID-19 Variant?
Due to the high likelihood of unvaccinated individuals contracting the new variant, it is reasonable to assume that some of our unvaccinated employees may contract COVID. If this should happen, we will immediately move to the policy and procedures prescribed by New York State and the CDC. Essentially, the facility will go into lockdown until testing is completed on all staff and residents to assure further spread of the virus has not happened. Because Maplewood vaccination rates are so high, the likelihood of a major spread or lengthy lockdown is small.
Although the news of a rise in COVID infection rates is somewhat alarming, it is heartening to know that Maplewood is in no way as susceptible for what we experienced back in 2020. The existence of the vaccine has been an amazing achievement and has provided protection for nursing home residents and staff that wasn’t available in 2020. The high vaccination rate at Maplewood allows us to feel confident that we can easily handle what might come our way. Our levels of PPE inventory are high and we have the expertise to isolate any cases that we might experience.
I hope you find this information helpful in alieving fears or apprehensions you might have about recent news concerning the COVID-19 Variant.