By Michael E. McRae
President & CEO, St. Ann’s Community
March 19, 2021
With spring just around the corner, we’re all looking forward to a little fresh air.
That means not only better weather but also a refreshing change in our lives now that COVID-19 vaccinations are under way. In accordance with federal and state health guidelines, we are once again able to limitedly welcome visitors to St. Ann’s Home and St. Ann’s Care Center, our skilled nursing sites. That’s welcome news for our residents, their families, and all of us at St. Ann’s.
It doesn’t mean, however, that everything is back to normal—or at least what “normal” used to look like. We continue to serve those who are the most vulnerable. Over the past year the bar has been even higher, and thanks to an extremely dedicated workforce we have risen to the challenge.
A quick note on that topic: While many people had the option of working from home, our employees did not. They are the remarkable individuals who provide personal, intimate care for our elders, and they showed up every day without fail. Many worked 80+ hour weeks at times, putting their personal safety second to care for others. I cannot say enough about that level of commitment.
So, what does our “new normal” look like?
- Vaccinations: All of our residents and staff have been offered the COVID vaccine. Similarly, we encourage visitors to get the vaccine if they are eligible. Our medical team concurs with the national experts: the vaccine is crucial to ending the pandemic.
- Testing: Testing prevents the spread of the virus. For the convenience of our employees, we offer on site “point of care” clinics that provide results in just 15 minutes. I’m pleased to say that the clinics are also open to those wishing to visit our residents. At St. Ann’s Home, they are offered Mondays and Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm. At St. Ann’s Care Center, testing is offered Thursdays from 11 am to 2 pm. We encourage everyone to take advantage of testing to ensure a safe visit with your loved one.
- Staying vigilant: One thing that will not change are the everyday precautions we’ve been taking for the past year to keep everyone as safe as possible. That means social distancing, wearing masks, and frequent hand washing/sanitizing, even as vaccines lower the risk of infection.
By remaining vigilant, we can enjoy the beauty of springtime and in-person visits with our elders while maintaining good health for all.