Coronavirus Updates

February 4, 2021

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

We remain in a bit of a holding pattern as we await our third and final vaccination clinic on Wednesday, Feb. 17. We are very happy and encouraged by the resident participation to date – more than 95 percent of residents communitywide received the vaccine! 

We are glad to have partnered with Walgreens pharmacy for the vaccination process and are very proud and thankful for the incredible professionalism of our staff who have helped make these clinics so successful.

Our team will continue to educate staff who did not participate in our clinics and encourage them to register once the vaccine becomes available through outside health partners. 

The vaccine, while perhaps the most important step towards reducing a person’s risk of falling ill to the virus, is not a magic bullet. The virus is still present and will likely remain a threat for some time yet. In Harris County, the 14-day average of new cases, although on the decline, is still more than 2,100 per day – a significant increase from just three months ago where the 14-day average of new cases was less than 500 per day.

This persistence of the virus is best illustrated at The Buckingham whereby despite our stringent mitigation efforts and vaccine push, we continue to see new cases. Although we celebrated four (4) recoveries this week (3 staff and 1 resident), we saw a handful of new positive cases.

Currently, we have ten (10) positive team members and two (2) residents, one from independent living, the second from skilled nursing. A number of these individuals have received their first negative test, so we’re optimistic that further recoveries are just days ahead. Per our normal protocols, COVID-positive team members remain self-isolated in their homes. One resident is quarantined in their apartment and the other is in our dedicated COVID unit.

As mentioned last week, the tentative date of mid-March to begin a gradual reopening of services is still on track. This of course will be greatly influenced by the larger COVID situation throughout Houston, at our community and that status of state/local requirements.  We continue to work closely with our health partners on how to plan this safely and responsibly.

Our visitation policies remain unchanged – in-person visits for independent living residents and those in The Plaza are still welcomed but must still be scheduled in advance. These visitation protocols are largely driven by state guidelines and restrictions, which we’re required to strictly follow. Any changes to these policies will be communicated with residents and loved ones immediately, but in the meantime, we greatly appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation.

As we prepare for Super Bowl weekend, normally one of the great social events of the year, we encourage everyone to stay safe and watch the game responsibly. As always, remember the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe continues to be masks in any public space, frequent hand hygiene and social distance.

Take care and stay well.

James Kneen

Executive Director