Last Updated on October 8, 2021
THE RECORD OF THE CHARLESTOWN RESIDENTS’ COUNCIL
February 2, 2021
Residents’ Council Website: ccicharlestown.org
MOMENT OF SILENCE:
The Council observed a moment of silence for those who have passed away.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of the January meeting of the Residents’ Council were approved.
ANNOUNCEMENTS/ PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Walt Howe):
Many of us appreciate the trees at Charlestown but tend to take their beauty for granted. Pat Payne was struck by an article that said invasive vines on trees look pretty but they are actually tree-killers. Warmer temperatures provide the vines a perfect growing environment with nothing to stop them.
Pat recognizes the Invasive Plants Crew’s efforts to augment the work of the Grounds Department and landscaping contractor. On Saturday mornings you can see the Invasive Plants Crew in action. They pull ivy and grapevines off trees, pull up garlic mustard plants in the spring, and other maintenance tasks. This is an ongoing example of teamwork and responsibility for Charlestown’s environment.
For the third year, the residents on Herbert’s Run Terrace have used the holidays to reach out to the New Song Academy in Sandtown. Paula Ray spurred the idea of collecting money for the children in Sandtown and Steve Webster was willing to serve as “treasurer” as residents donated $725 toward “hot spots”, Wi-Fi boosters in the community. An antenna was built on the school roof, but it doesn’t have enough power to cover the whole community. To establish and maintain these ‘hot-spots” costs about $400 per year. Wi-Fi is necessary for children to complete their virtual school lessons and for adults to work from home or hunt for jobs.
Rather than having a gift exchange, these residents use their friendliness and enthusiasm to reach out to help meet the needs of another community. Their generous teamwork serves as an example for others at Charlestown.
Mission Moment submissions may be sent to Phyl Lansing, Chair.
We are very pleased to see residents receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations. Many residents are receiving their second shot tomorrow, and we look forward to further vaccinations on 11 February. Over 90% of residents have signed up to receive the vaccinations. Completion of the vaccinations will give us a lot more peace of mind, but we will still need to practice safe habits beyond that point. We know the vaccinations lessen the chance of serious illness considerably, but they are not an absolute guarantee against infection or spreading the virus. We will be wearing masks and keeping safe distances for the foreseeable future. Please do not think it is time to relax our defenses after you have been vaccinated.
Our Dining Committee held a hybrid meeting this past month where a limited number of members met in person in a classroom with a laptop camera covering the room, and others participated by Zoom, viewable on the big screen in the classroom. This took some effort to set up and control, but it was quite successful and gave some residents who cannot use Zoom effectively a chance to participate. I mention it as a possible model for other groups, not just Council Committees to consider in the future. It does take someone comfortable with the technology to act as a controller for the meeting. If you are considering hybrid meetings, try a practice session first to work out the problems.
I am pleased to announce the appointment of a new Council member, Cindy McManus, filling a vacancy for the rest of the Council year.
Vice President’s Report (Pat Rudolph): No report
Secretary’s Report (Hope Tillman, Secretary, and Mimi O’Donnell, Assistant Secretary):
Clara Parker was the invited guest for the Council Work Session in January. She explained Charlestown roles and responsibilities and answered lots of questions.
The Council approved a contribution to the Benevolent Care fund in memory of Charles (Chuck) Meuche, former president of the Residents’ Council, 2011-2012, who died recently.
The Grievance Process document has been added to the Residents’ Council Policies and Procedures Manual as an appendix to the document.
Hope Tillman will chair the Bylaws and Policies & Procedures Committee. Mimi O’Donnell, Ron DeAbreu, Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Steve Harders, and Pat Payne agreed to serve on the committee.
TREASURER’S REPORT (Ron DeAbreu):
The Council’s account balance at the end of December was $5,674.00. In January, the Council received $82.00 in Residents’ Association dues. There were no expenditures this month. Thus, the Council’s account balance at the end of January was $5,756.00.
Walt called on the following officers and committee chairs for reports; the text of those reports appears following the formal minutes:
- Pat Rudolph, Vice President
- Hope Tillman, Secretary
- Ron DeAbreu, Treasurer
- Jean Eichenlaub, Co-Chair of the Benevolent Care Committee
- David Elder, Co-Chair of the Communications Committee
- Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair of the Conservation Committee
- Bob Caulfield, Co-Chair of the Dining Committee
- Gordon Piche, Chair of the Finance Committee
- Hope Tillman, Secretary, for Mike Rose, Chair of the Grounds Committee
- Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Chair of the Health Services Committee
- Betty Elder, Chair of the Housekeeping Committee
- Pat Payne, Chair of the Legislative/Political Committee
- Jackie Graham, Chair of the Maintenance & Engineering Committee
- Ron Fayer, Co-Chair of the Resident Life Committee
- Hope Tillman, Secretary, for Ed Wallace, Chair of the Safety & Security Committee
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: No
NEW BUSINESS: None
WORD FROM MANAGEMENT
Clara Parker then presented “Words from Management” which appears below for those residents interested in reading the full text of the message. Walt thanked Clara and all members of the Council for a good meeting. He declared the meeting adjourned at 7:57 pm.
Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Secretary
Mimi O’Donnell, Residents’ Council Assistant Secretary
BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub and Eugenia High, Co-Chairs):
We did not meet in January. The next meeting will be on February 24th, 2:00 pm by Zoom. Jean mentioned that there had been a successful virtual Treasure Sale on Facebook netting more than $1000. There was also a sale of jewelry in the Cross Creek lobby which also raised over $1000. She hopes that everyone received their Secret Admirer card which asked residents to consider in order to add BCF to their estate plans. Also, Treats of the Quarter will be distributed in the next week.
COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs and David Elder, Co-Chairs):
Fifteen members were in attendance at the meeting on January 25. Mary Evans represented the staff. The Communications Committee December report was approved by acclamation.
Mary Evans was invited to address the Communications Committee and elaborated on several areas of interest. Her office is our main point of contact for many of our communications efforts, including Bulletin Boards and Channel 972 messages. She continued to participate throughout the meeting, speaking on most of the topics that followed.
Charlie Eichenlaub provided Evergreen Topics update including Covid-19 vaccine distribution and changes in the Medical Center staff.
Wayne Smith provided an update on the Data Task Force on Erickson Living databases pertaining to residents.
Hope Tillman updated us on the CCI Website changes that will include a tech-help page.
Zoom and My Erickson profile help are currently supported. Mary will reach out to Precious Hardcastle for additional help topics based upon her experience with resident service calls.
An ongoing joint effort is underway by the Communications, Resident Life, and Health Committees to reach out to residents who are challenged by electronic communications and assist them with participating in on-line communications necessitated by current circumstances.
Mary Evans discussed new resident orientation referencing the Residents’ Council and website. She also suggested that we contact Ray Graves with the Charlestown Computer Club.
A Zoom happy hour to combat isolation was suggested.
The Committee reviewed the latest tri-fold for the Charlestown Residents’ Council.
Looking ahead to the first and second quarters of 2021, the Communications Committee will continue working on the following initiatives:
- Keeping the community “in the know” as the Wi-Fi improvements are brought online at Charlestown.
- Continue promoting computer literacy to improve resident communications and reduce isolation.
- Updating findings of the Data Task Force
The February meeting of the Communications Committee will be held via Zoom on February 22 at 2:00 pm. Walt commented that it is great to see committees working together.
CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
The committee met by Zoom with ten members including three from the executive committee of the Residents’ Council.
The committee learned that the trash that is often placed near Caton Woods is the result of the efforts of resident volunteer John Lorenz, who picks up trash from the Beechwood area.
Marty Tewksbury’s posters on recycling have been displayed and will be rotated to various venues. They have been very well received. Marty also clarified why tissue paper cannot be recycled—the fibers are too short.
The committee agreed to write articles that highlight conservers, restorers, and reusers here at Charlestown.
The committee discussed the problem of plastic bags being placed in the laundry rooms. These bags cannot be collected during COVID. Committee members volunteered to turn upside down the collection containers and place a sign above them informing residents to either take their bags to the grocery stores for collection or to throw them in the trash until the COVID epidemic is over.
We will discuss any laws concerning climate change in our Maryland Legislature at our next meeting.
The documentary, “The Story of Plastic” is available for viewing. However, it may be at a cost. Mary Perschy agreed to pursue how we might see it.
Our next meeting will be on February 16, 2021, at 2:00 pm via Zoom.
DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield and Ronald MacNab, Co-Chairs):
The Dining Services Committee met on January 18, 2021, at 2:00 PM. This was the first gathering of our entire committee since February 2020. It was a hybrid Zoom/Brookside classroom 1 meeting. Twenty-one committee and Residents’ Council members attended. Bob Caulfield acknowledged Ron MacNab, Hope Tillman, and Walt Howe for their help in making this meeting happen. He thanked Ken Zahn for his participation via Zoom on his personal holiday. Our Committee members are reminded to watch 972 on Thursdays for Dining Services’ updates and on the last Friday of the month at 10:00 am for the Dining Service Town Hall.
Roberta Poulton, Chair of the Dietary Focus Group has decided to suspend meetings for her committee until September due to poor attendance, many opting not to come for fear of the virus.
Bob gave a report summarizing the activities, challenges, and accomplishments of Dining Services during the 2020 Covid-19 crisis. (A copy of the report is attached.)
At our meeting with Ken on January 15, Bob Caulfield and Ron MacNab highlighted concerns with staff using cell phones during working times rather than helping seated dining residents. There are on-going complaints with the variance in portion sizes and problems with errors in the packaging of carry-out meals were noted.
Ken Zahn reported on upcoming changes.
- The Atrium is expected to open sometime in early February which we all look forward to.
- Dining rooms will be offering weekly specials, as was done pre-COVID-19.
- Those ordering Carry-Out will be able to select from the entire restaurant menu.
- Once dining rooms are allowed to go to one-hundred percent capacity, a new online reservation system will be available. The new service will allow residents to make restaurant reservations at any time using the “Dining Service Reservations” icon that will be added to MyErickson.
The meeting then opened for questions and comments:
- People are coming early to the Terrace to pick up meals. This is causing long lines where people are not keeping a safe social distance.
- It was asked if residents must order chips or fries with their sandwiches. Ken answered that any available side-dish may be ordered with a sandwich.
- It was reported, an employee at the Terrace does not wear their mask over their nose.
- It was suggested condiments be available at the pick-up tables for carry-out.
- It was noted nutrition icons are not always accurate on the menus.
- It was suggested there are too many starch options available on the menus and not enough vegetable options.
- Some expressed that the food is too salty. Many residents must limit their salt, and if the food comes in too salty, they cannot eat it.
The next meeting of the committee will be on February 15. 2021 at 2:00 pm in Brookside classroom 1 and by Zoom. Anyone interested in attending should contact Ron MacNab at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FINANCE (Gordon Piche, Chair):
The Finance Committee met on January 26 with Director Pam Stiner, Assistant Finance Director Eric Schwab, Council President Walt Howe, Council Secretary Hope Tillman, and 13 committee members.
The Occupancy Data and Financial Package reports for December were presented by Eric Schwab:
Independent Living 94.4%
Assisted Living 98.6%
Memory Care 100.0%
Skilled Nursing 72.2%
Independent Occupancy remained steady in December. Independent occupancy is expected to decrease slightly for the next couple of months. The occupancy levels in Skilled Nursing continue to be affected by the need to maintain the COVID unit and the discontinuation of double-occupancy rooms. Settlements of some new residents continued in December in Independent Living (IL). The number of billed units for all of 2020 was 35 lower than budget projections for the year, certainly due to the pandemic. There are also units unavailable because of combinations of single units into larger units. Pam explained that some combinations and re-occupancy units have had to be delayed due to constraints of cash flow.
December Operating Revenue of $7,154,000 was $376,000 below budget due to continued lower occupancy and fewer revenue-generating ancillary services being offered because of COVID. Operating expenses were $653,000 below budget. Operating Income was $574,000, which is $277,000 above budget.
Nonoperating income for December was $1,260,000. There were changes in cash flows which decreased by $58,000 to $7,523,000 cash at the end of the Period. The balance sheet continues to be good. There was a significant gain of over $3 million for the investment income during the month, and Ms. Stiner continues working closely with the Board of Directors Investment Committee during the pandemic to manage cash closely.
Regarding Restricted Funds:
Benevolent Care Fund expended $1,037,745 for the year.
The Scholars Fund Balance is $1,306,166 after making Scholarship Payments of $126,160.
The Staff Appreciation Fund ended the year with a balance of $9,450.
Pam discussed the question regarding paying of monthly bills at the present time. Monthly bills should be paid on-line by setting up automatic withdrawal from your bank account or by mailing a check via USPS.
GROUNDS (Mike Rose, Chair):
Charlestown staff reported on several past items:
The lake aerators are now operating acceptably.
The committee will be made aware of the spring plans for landscaping and replanting of grass areas at St. Charles and Brookside.
The previous report of mold at building 1 could not be confirmed.
Plans for the Nature Trail and bridge will be made available to the committee as they become confirmed.
The condition of the outside drain at Brookside will be investigated.
The 5-year plan will be made available to the committee.
The report on the privet hedge and soil samples will be made available to the committee when they become available.
As a matter of new business, the staff will evaluate the condition of fencing, etc., around the perimeter of Erickson Way and lamp posts, etc., and develop a plan for repair/replacement/repainting as needed. Staff will make available to the committee the priority list for “ground” items, such as the bridge.
HEALTH SERVICES (Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Chair):
Our Committee met on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at 11 am via Zoom.
Joint efforts with other Council Committees to encourage resident participation in enhancing their life experience in Charlestown continue, including participation in a new taskforce to determine how best to help residents understand digital communications. Residents are encouraged to contact any one of the committees for suggestions, help, or whatever needs they may have.
Dean Crawford reported the COVID-19 vaccine is free, and CVS will bill insurances for administration fees. Space has been leased to a new Dermatologist, Ophthalmologist, and Pain Management specialists. Their office locations, hours, and phone numbers are posted on our CCI Charlestown Website.
Dr. Mickey Pelczar reported that so far (at the time of the meeting), the Covid-19 vaccination side effects are minor with no serious side effects reported. The variant forms of the virus don’t seem to cause more severe symptoms or increased deaths. Opening windows and running kitchen/bathroom exhaust fans help to contain spreading the virus within the home. Countrywide, seasonal flu visits or hospitalizations are minimal compared to previous years.
Kudos to Pat Kasuda for her efforts over the last six years culminating in the introduction of Senate Bill 204 by MD State Senator Pam Beidle dealing with the Standards of Memory Care at Health Care Facilities. Opposition is expected from lobbyists representing non-certified private health care facilities, which, unfortunately, has occurred. The Continuing Care staff has done a phenomenal job in dealing with the new administrative transition. Rehab Services have been airing their apartment safety and assistive device videos on Ch 972 and hope to resume balance screenings soon. A more safety-conscious method of medication delivery to residents’ shelves by the pharmacy is to be explored. Residents are reminded to contact their Resident Coordinators as the first step for dealing with issues that they are experiencing. Communication is the key to resolution.
The Low Vision Reading Brigade is seeking volunteers to read and those in need of the service.;
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9, 2021, at 11 am via Zoom.
HOUSEKEEPING (Betty Elder, Chair):
The Housekeeping Committee met on January 15, 2021, via ZOOM, with eight people in attendance.
Resident inspectors were concerned about the cleanliness and sanitization of the elevators, especially the panels and buttons. Lots of handprints were noted on several of the elevators.
The cleaning of hallways and walls is on a schedule however emergencies can be brought to the attention of the CCI Housekeeping staff. If any resident notices items which need immediate or emergency cleaning, they should report it themselves and use the My Erickson portal. (CCIWorkOrders@erickson.com)
The ongoing issue about trash or recycling placed in hallways earlier than they should be by days or hours is still a major concern on some floors; let Mr. Kiril Apostolov (Kiril.Apostolov@erickson.com) know. He will check into the violations. Several reports were brought to my attention just this week, especially due to the MLK Holiday changes with the changes to trash and recycling collections.
Maintenance items were shared with the Maintenance and Engineering Committee chairperson. Kudos to the hard work of the Charlestown Housekeeping Staff. They are still sanitizing high-touch areas and doing the daily cleaning/restocking of restrooms.
Members of the Housekeeping Committee have been asked to share something about themselves for the February Sunburst article. It has been submitted for approval and publication. In addition, several volunteers have vacated their positions, and new advertisements for volunteers in the Sunburst, bulletin board fliers, and channel 972 have been submitted.
Our next meeting is on Friday, February 19, 2021, at 2:00 PM via ZOOM.
LEGISLATIVE/POLITICAL (Pat Payne, Chair):
The Committee held its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 10:00 am on Zoom with 18 members in attendance. As the first order of business, the members approved the minutes of the December 10, 2020 meeting. The Committee met on the same day as the opening session of the Maryland General Assembly. The goal of the Committee, while the Legislature is in session, is to track legislation that is of interest to and/or has a significant impact on the residents of Charlestown. Members agreed to track key legislation in each of the subject areas shown below. Volunteers also agreed to monitor legislative progress in each of these key areas. The volunteers are also listed below. A complete list of the bills being tracked can be found on the Charlestown Residents Website. As important bills in these subject areas are introduced, they will be added to the tracking system.
- Election Law/Voting: Phyl Lansing, Eleanor Lewis, Don Sillars
- Environment/Conservation: Anna Ciarrocchi, Marty Tewksbery, Bonnie Kawecki
- Health Care/Congregate Care/Medical Service Delivery: Janet Allen, Ann Mackay, Wendel Thompson
- Senior Consumer Issues: Ann MacKay;
- Equity: Pat Payne and Wendel Thompson
The next meeting of the Legislative/Political Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 10:00 pm.
Walt asked everyone to keep an eye on the website for tracking bills as this will be a living document.
MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (Jackie Graham, Chair):
The meeting was held on Tuesday, January 26th at 2 pm by ZOOM. Nine members met with General Services’ Kevin Crawford and Kiril Apostolov.
General Services’ Updates:
Many projects for 2020 were postponed. Currently, projects for 2020 and 2021 are under review for pricing, rescheduling, and prioritizing. We will learn more about the projects as decisions are made.
Currently, these items are being addressed, have been addressed, or are on the schedule:
- Repair to structural floor issues at various bridges
- Painting road stripes at new Stop Sign additions
- Painting of light poles
- Painting and wallpaper repair throughout the campus; most of these are issues that came from Housekeeping
- Lighting around exterior pool area [Timing issue]
- Reopening pool after repair of condensation issues.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 23rd at 2:00 PM by Zoom. Walt commented that he liked the cooperation between Housekeeping and Maintenance and Engineering.
RESIDENT LIFE (Ron Fayer, Chair):
The meeting was held on January 20th.
Two issues were discussed by invited speakers: Lisa Roeder discussed problems of resident isolation, and David Elder discussed the newly forming Computer Literacy Project.
Many residents isolate from fear of COVID. Masks and social distancing make speaking and hearing difficult. More falls result from a lack of exercise. Neighbors help with chats, taking walks, and dining together. Residents with Internet do best by connecting with family and friends. Those who get outside have better mental health. When we (Lisa and the Social Workers) contact isolating residents they benefit from the connection. We differentiate between isolation and loneliness because it affects treatment. We have two memory support groups: The Brain Food Café and Intermissions. A hybrid Zoom meeting and in-person attendance could apply to our bereavement program.
The Computer Literacy Project is a joint effort of three committees (Residents’ Life, Communications, and Health Services) along with Hope Tillman, Walt Howe, Joan Burns, and Wayne Smith. A list of items was provided that could improve interpersonal connections/communications. Much discussion focused on volunteers with computer skills to support the tech help program. This would not be a Council project. More discussion and planning are needed.
The next meeting will be on February 17th at 2:00 pm.
SAFETY & SECURITY (Ed Wallace, Chair read by Hope Tillman):
The meeting opened at 1 pm on Tuesday, January 11, 2021, with 8 committee members, 3 council members, and one Charlestown representative, Reyn Giese present.
The following items were discussed:
- The Sunburst has published 3 articles on cybersecurity with the fourth, and last, article due in February.
- EMVs being left in hallways was discussed. There has only been one sighting of the same since November and it does not seem to be a problem, as of now.
- Crosswalks: It has been confirmed that crosswalks will be re-painted in the spring/summer timeframe.
- Fall prevention: Bill Miller stated that a film on falls has been selected to be shown on Channel 972 on Tuesdays at 2 pm and 7 pm. In addition, an article will be published in the Sunburst.
- Car break-ins: There has been only a single case that we know of, per Charlestown security, Reynold Giese.
Ed Wallace arranged to have the film on fire prevention that was shown in 2019 shown again this month. Times are Tuesday at 2 pm and 7 pm.
Leaving medicine on shelves: This is against Erickson policy and should not be done.
The next meeting of the committee will be on February 9, 2021, at 1 pm using ZOOM.
NOMINATING & ELECTIONS (Patricia Payne, Chair):
The first meeting of the 2021 Nominating and Elections Committee took place on Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 1:00 PM on Zoom. All of the Committee members were in attendance, including Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Joan Green, Pat Kasuda, Sherry Stewart, Wendel Thompson, Bill Miller, Diane Lyons, Hope Tillman, and Pat Payne. The ideal is to have 14 candidates to nominate for election to the Residents’ Council by May 2021. The members focused on the immediate task of recruiting residents willing to be nominated. This included identifying names of potential candidates using sources such as (a) a list of residents who have moved in during 2020; (b) the list of residents who were contacted last year but who indicated they might be available at a later time; (c) persons who have previously served on the Council who are eligible to serve again and (d) persons that have been suggested by other residents. Various outreach activities were also discussed, including articles in Sunburst, fliers, interviews on TV 972 with the Chairs of the Residents’ Council and Nominating/Elections Committee. We also talked about short skits on TV 972by chairs of various committees describing the exciting things the committees are doing. Also discussed were the qualities that candidates ideally should possess, such as an interest in the work of the Council, engagement in the life of the community, and necessary computer skills. Committee members agreed on the importance of confidentiality in discussing candidates for election. The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for Friday, January 29, 2021, at 1:00 pm. The next meeting will be in February, three weeks after 1/29.
WORDS FROM MANAGEMENT (Clara Parker):
Clara began her comments by stating that IT upgrades were made on 2/1, and there have been many issues as a result. She apologized for any problems this upgrade may have caused.
COVID Vaccinations Update
Clara was pleased to remind the Council that there will be a second dose COVID vaccine clinic on Feb. 3 in the Fireside. She is anticipating that a little over 1000 residents and staff will receive their second doses of the vaccine. She has been working with CVS to schedule the next clinic dates definitively. At about 3:00 pm this afternoon, she learned that we will have a clinic on Monday, February 8th in addition to the previously announced clinic scheduled for Thursday, February 11th. By February 11, every resident, who is eligible, has consented, and wants the vaccine from Charlestown, will have their first dose. We are looking to have 96% of residents vaccinated. She reported that CVS will have 1100 doses for the 2/3 clinic; 950 doses on 2/8; and 950 doses on 2/11. Currently, there are 922 residents who need vaccinations. As of this afternoon, Clara’s staff has begun contacting residents to schedule times for the first dose vaccination.
This is very exciting news. Charlestown is hosting the largest clinics in Erickson Living and, so far, the largest single-day clinic offered by CVS.
The February 8th> clinic will be held in the Fireside, having learned a lot from the clinic held in the Refectory. CVS visited today and is excited about our organization.
She said that she is still struggling a little with getting staff to consent to get vaccinated and she urged all members of the Council to use whatever steps possible to talk to staff encouraging them to get the vaccine offered through a clinic here. February 11th will be the last first dose clinic offered at Charlestown; CVS is not committing to returning for other first dose clinics after that. A new message has been sent from Administration to all employees. The current consent rate from staff is about 46% while the goal is 80%.
Her focus has been on getting everyone vaccinated. The second dose clinics will be offered on March 4th and March 7th. She is working with St. Agnes and other local hospitals to be able to provide vaccinations for new residents at these other locations.
A member of the Council asked if Clara knew why there was hesitancy by staff to get vaccinated. Clara responded by saying that she and her staff are making many phone calls to the 1200 employees. Some of the hesitancy may be due to the demographic of the staff, heavily African American. There has been a long history of doubt regarding vaccinations within this demographic. Some want to just wait and see how people feel after the second dose. While the 40% staff response is somewhat low, the average response rate for the seasonal flu shot is typically 25%, so the response for the COVID vaccine represents a little improvement.
Erickson Living has vaccinated over 15,000 residents without adverse reactions.
On Sunday, February 7th, the Atrium will reopen, and also special menu items will again be offered on a regular basis. Starting Feb. 15, residents will be able to order any item from a menu for delivery. Dining Services continues to offer more options as we work through COVID issues.
In response to a question, Clara reported that Access Points (the technology necessary for WIFI update) were scheduled to be delivered on January 29th. The actual arrival date is not known. At this point in time, it appears that the earliest the updates will be made in March, depending on the arrival of the equipment.