In just one month, the United States has added more than 5 million new cases and 40,000 deaths, an average of 2.12 deaths every minute. It is difficult to comprehend these numbers, but imagine the population of McMinnville and Dundee, together a population of close to 40,000, all perishing in a single month.
While Oregon is doing better than most states, this does not mean we aren’t feeling the impact of this pandemic. Oregon hosts an average of 1,447 new cases and 33 deaths daily. Yamhill County sees 27 new cases a day, and so far this year, has lost 18 people to COVID-19.
It’s been a challenging month at Friendsview. As of December 10, we have eight (8) staff who have tested positive and one (1) resident in our health service area. With any positive case, we immediately conduct contact tracing and the contagious individual and every known person they have come into contact with are isolated.
We strictly follow CDC guidelines for isolation and return to work protocols. All staff are required to wear masks and face shields at work, which greatly diminishes the chance for spread. We have noted that most new cases appear to be contracted outside of Friendsview, but we have discovered at least one infection that appeared to be spread internally.
As we mentioned in last week’s update, a difficulty we recently encountered was a delay in receiving timely test results. Last week, we partnered with a new lab that promises 24-48 hour turnaround on results. This will greatly improve our ability to identify cases and limit exposure within our campus.
Please continue to stay vigilant. Wash your hands regularly; wear your mask properly in public and when around others; social distance and avoid gathering in groups – including during the holidays. These measures continue to be our best defense. The choices we make affect not only us and our families but our neighbors, our communities and the most vulnerable people among us.
Indoor Visitation on Hold due to Exposures and High Yamhill County Case Counts
Several weeks ago we announced that, in keeping with our high regard for community, Friendsview was taking steps to provide safe and controlled indoor visitation for health services residents founded on risk-based criteria provided by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). Visitation continues to be temporarily suspended through December 15th, pending COVID-19 testing and health monitoring.
We are actively working on creative ideas for outdoor and window visits that include an intercom system. There will be reservable spaces, one in the health center specifically for residents that reside in the health center and one in the fireplace room for other residents in our main building. We are hoping to have these spaces ready within the next week in preparation for the holiday. We are in the process of purchasing more intercom systems that residents on ground levels can check out and use in their own homes to visit with their loved ones.