With even more businesses allowed to open up (with restrictions, of course) on June 1st, we receive questions daily as to when Friendship Haven will be authorized to open up as well. I wish there was an easy answer to that question, but there is not.
As you know, we serve the most vulnerable individuals, and we are committed to protecting them. We have a COVID-19 Committee that meets daily (via Zoom), and that group discusses how and when we can open up various areas on campus. But if you are watching the number of confirmed cases across the state, you know that Webster County, and surrounding counties as well, continue to increase.
We take our responsibility very seriously. Protection is key. We are asking a great deal of our employees right now, both while they are on the clock and while they are off. Limiting exposure continues to be our priority. Allowing visitors to our campus at this time simply isn’t an option; our governing agencies including CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid), CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and IDPH (Iowa Department of Public Health) along with the governor have not lifted restrictions for long-term care regarding visitors. We have no idea when allowing visitors will be an option, but even when it is, we will continue to evaluate to determine what is in the best interest of our residents, taking the necessary precautions to keep them safe. We recognize this is having a significant impact on residents, and we are doing everything we can to help prevent isolation and loneliness. While we know this is incredibly frustrating for you, please trust everything we are doing is for the safety of our residents.
There are recommendations currently on testing all employees and residents. The recommendations, however, are unclear, so we chose to continue to monitor the guidance. We have not made the decision to do mass testing yet; it will likely come in the near future.
There were many steps taken to close down, and there are even more steps to open back up. We plan to do so slowly. As we continue to abide by guidelines, we are able to allow the following at this time:
- Closed window visits for residents and their families are available. We ask that any Health Center family member wanting such a visit call the neighborhood directly to schedule. We ask that for assisted living window visits, please call Kelsey Beck (573-6000). It is important that we adequately maintain social distancing, and allowing our team members to schedule will make sure we accomplish that.
- The Kenyon Place Beauty Shop is available for hair appointments, with strict guidelines, for Kenyon Place and assisted living residents at this time.
- The State is currently looking at allowing adult day centers to open in mid-June. We are working on a re-opening plan for Schmoker Adult Day Services and hope to have additional announcements soon.
We will continue to keep you posted by all means available (Channel 16 for residents, Friendship Haven Facebook page, Friendship Haven hotline – 573-6789, and the Friendship Haven website – friendshiphaven.org). If you have specific questions, feel free to contact Kim Schilling (573-6956) or myself (573-6003).