Letter from the President/CEO regarding reopening Phase 3

Dear Residents, Families, and Friends,

Recently, Wesley Towers sought approval for moving to the next phase our reopening plan from the RCHD. We have received endorsement of our desire to move forward and we will enter Phase 3 of reopening on August 3rd, unless there are developments on the campus or in the community at large.  We also continue to encourage you to engage in virtual visits, window visits, and phone calls as much as possible. Cards, letters, and flowers also brighten someone’s day!

Our team is still required to practice extreme caution to minimize the risk to our residents as much as possible. Regardless of the phase we are currently in, our restrictions are subject to change immediately if a positive or suspected positive case is found on our campus or if the caseload in Reno County is deemed threatening to our residents as determined in consultation with the RCHD. If these factors occur, we would return to an increased level of restrictions for visitation and activities.

An item for clarification is what is meant by a "resident” in the plan language and related correspondence. We developed the plan in consultation with the Reno County Health Department and in congruence with state and federal requirements and "resident” was considered equal to a living unit. This is because 2 residents in a living unit are the same as one person when considering exposure, since they live together. Because of this, a couple is considered one person with regard to the number of visitors approved in each phase of the plan. There was some confusion around this concept in the last phase and I wanted to clarify this reference.

Highlights of Phase 3 of the Wesley Towers reopening plan:

·         Resident activities progress from primarily room-based events to small group activities in designated areas and communal dining returns, but social distancing must be maintained

·         Full-service beautician/salon services return with heightened infection control protocols in place

·         All visitation must be scheduled in advance by calling 620-727-7169 and visitors must be at least 18 years of age

·         Visits may be rescheduled by Wesley Towers if we experience stormy weather or temperatures over 95 degrees

·         Visitation occurs only in designated, outdoor areas except for end of life situations, as approved by our clinical team

·         Each resident/couple or their DPOA may designate 2 additional visitors (for a total of 4 designated visitors) for the duration of Phase 3 and only 2 people may visit a resident at one time

·         Families and friends from out of state and areas deemed to have high caseloads by federal, state, or local authorities will not be allowed to visit in person during Phase 3

·         Visitation hours will be Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and visits will be limited to a maximum of 45 minutes – other appointment times may be available for those unable to visit during the specified period; please call for further information

·         Visitors must complete hand hygiene upon arrival and wear a facemask for the duration of the visit

·         Visitors must complete a screening protocol upon arrival and sign a brief educational form

o   Visitors who do not pass the screening criteria will not be allowed to visit in person (virtual visits only may be scheduled for those not passing screening criteria)

·         Visits will only occur in designated areas and visitors may not access other licensed areas

·         At the conclusion of the visit, visitors should leave the campus to allow access for other visitors

·         Due to the risk to the health of our residents and the highly contagious nature of the virus, visitors who do not abide by our safe practice guidelines may be asked to leave and further visitation may be restricted

 

Please be mindful of the following:

·         The plan is subject to change with very short notice and is required to lag the county’s reopening plan.

·         The practice of scheduling, monitoring, and restricting visitation is still foreign to us. Please be patient as we work through and refine these processes. We are bound to make a mistake and we will try our best to fix any errors in scheduling to everyone’s satisfaction.

·         Regardless of our own personal beliefs surrounding all of this, the virus is deadly to seniors. Our rules are in place for this reason and Phase 3 brings potentially 200 additional people to campus. Please abide by these rules and don’t place our employees in the extremely awkward situation of having to remind you of the rules or to ask you to leave.

·         Our plan has the approval and support of the RCHD and is developed in accordance with CMS, KDADS, and CDC guidance and mandates. We did not develop the plan in a vacuum. Any of these entities can mandate changes to our plan without notice. Any changes to our reopening plan will be communicated as soon as possible.

·         All senior communities have adopted differing levels of tolerance of risk in their plans. Because one community is stricter than another does not indicate that community is not complying with the guidance. Wesley Towers may be stricter or less strict than neighboring senior communities based on our interpretation of the guidance, advice from legal counsel and consultants, physical layout, frailty of residents, and/or our work with the RCHD. Wesley Towers will not change its plan based on the plans present in other senior communities.

The team at Wesley Towers fully believes isolation and loneliness can be equally devastating to our residents; however, those are not contagious ailments, whereas the virus is. We are tasked with mitigation of the risk of infection for all residents as much as possible. Due to the highly contagious and stealthy nature of this virus, accepting that risk by one resident puts all others at higher risk. Many residents and families are not willing to accept such risks while others are. We have thus created our plan without consideration of each resident’s individual level of risk tolerance.

We appreciate your patience with us as we continue to work in a previously unknown environment, and we appreciate the support you provide to your resident. Please share this guidance with friends and loved ones who may wish to visit the campus.

Sincerely,

Mark Mains
President/CEO

 

Acronyms:

DPOA: Durable Power of Attorney              
KDADS: KS Dept for Aging and Disability Services              
RCHD: Reno County Health Department    
CMS: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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