We are providing you with an update on the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As of today, the CDC reports 1,629 cases in the United States. Also, there are now 17 reported cases in the state of Maine. Of that number, 13 cases have been identified in Cumberland County, with one case being in neighboring Cape Elizabeth. Of concern, there is evidence of community transmission in Cumberland County. Community transmission is transmission of the disease not associated with travel. Yesterday, Governor Mills announced a number of new recommendations to mitigate the spread of the virus and also issued a state of Civil Emergency. Among the Governor’s announcements:
- Hospitals have been urged to cancel nonessential health care procedures.
- Long term care facilities are being requested to restrict visitors and nonessential staff. In Maine, long term care facilities include skilled nursing facilities as well as assisted living residences.
- Social gatherings of more than 50 people should be postponed.
- Gatherings of more than 10 people that include groups at higher risk should be cancelled.
Our organization continues to work very aggressively to both monitor COVID-19 and implement plans to address this significant health concern. We are basing our plans largely on recommendations from The Maine Center for Disease Control and MaineHealth/Maine Medical Partners. The recommendations coming through MaineHealth/Maine Medical Partners continue to be provided to us by our Medical Director, Rachael Blake, MD.
Again, we need to emphasize that COVID-19 is a growing health concern. As we have seen in the past 48 hours, there is a growing presence of the virus in our surrounding communities. Given our evolving understanding of the threat posed by the virus we are implementing the following additional safety measures to protect the Piper Shores community:
- INDEPENDENT LIVING
visitors to Independent Living are not permitted. This includes all apartments
- The only exception to the prohibition of visitors is for medically necessary visits. Medically necessary visits include hospice, skilled home health and limited therapy services.
- Personal service provider visits are not considered medically necessary visits.
- If apartment residents wish to have a visitor pick them up, they are able to do so at the main entrance to the Checkley building, underneath the sky bridge.
- The Main Dining Room will be closed for all meals beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. This includes morning coffee as well as lunch and dinner service. Meals will be delivered to all independent living apartments. Drake Lane residents can pick-up their to-go meals at the Checkley building sky bridge entrance. Residents can place their meal orders by calling the Main Dining Room at 510-5219 OR 289-1234. The Resident App is also available for this purpose. The Food & Nutrition department will issue more detailed guidelines shortly.
- All Life Enrichment programming has been cancelled. This includes general programming, resident committees, resident interest groups as well as informal gatherings in community common space.
- All U-ExCEL fitness classes have been cancelled.
- The hair salon and massage room are closed.
- During this period, we will be limiting the amount of maintenance and contract service work performed in our community. We will prioritize this work to assure that the integrity of our building systems, including life safety systems, are properly maintained.
- Deep cleaning housekeeping will be discontinued. At present, we expect to continue the regular schedule for routine housekeeping, however, this may be subject to modification.
- The package room will not be open to pick-up parcels. Instead, we will deliver parcels directly to your apartment.
- Transportation will continue to be provided on a limited basis to include medically necessary appointments only. You should establish the medical necessity of your appointment by contacting your Primary Care Physician prior to your appointment.
- All visitors to Independent Living are not permitted. This includes all apartments and cottages.
- HOLBROOK (HEALTH CENTER, ASSISTED LIVING & MEMORY CARE)
- The measures previously instituted in Holbrook remain in effect.
During this difficult and uncertain time we need to encourage safe and careful practices in all aspects of our lives. One of the best practices to commit to is to socially distance ourselves as much as possible. Practicing social distancing encourages us to keep a gap of six feet or more between ourselves and others. It also suggests that remaining in your apartment or cottage as much as possible and limiting interaction offers less chance of exposure. It is recognized that these are very challenging practices yet are vitally important during this difficult period.
Again, it is important to acknowledge that we do not know how long COVID-19 will pose a threat to the health and well-being of our community. Given this uncertainty, we feel it is extremely important to implement the measures cited above. We truly appreciate and thank you in advance for your anticipated compliance. Be well.
Chief Executive Officer