Coronavirus Updates

March 4, 2021

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

About one year ago, when the COVID-19 virus was determined to be such a potential threat, we, along with most of the world, implemented a number of activities, steps and mitigation efforts to limit our risk of exposure. At The Buckingham that included stopping visitation, closing all common spaces and dining rooms, and halting all group activities. Sales stopped, projects were halted, some mid-stream, and we all learned what “mitigation strategies” meant…masks, consistent hand washing and physically distancing. It has been a tough year for everyone. 

Thankfully, as of mid-February, we have completed our vaccination process and approximately 98% of residents have received their two doses. More than anything else, this provides the highest level of protection against serious illness.  So, while it is possible you could still get the virus and/or pass it on to others, the likelihood it will be debilitating has been vastly reduced.

The vaccine and our ongoing mitigation efforts are having an impact – we currently have no resident cases and only four (4) COVID-positive staff. Per our protocols, these team members are self-isolating in their homes until they receive two consecutive negative tests.

With the vaccines being so successful and protective, we are going to take additional steps back towards normalcy. Beginning Wednesday, March 17, various areas of campus such as the Wellness Center, library, Wall Street Room, dining areas, and small group activities will reopen with specific limitations or restrictions (Residents only…please refer to the letter shared March 1 for further details).

Additionally, the following changes will go into effect that week for visitations:

  • Family, friends, vendors will no longer need to call in advance of visiting.
    • Visitors must continue to go directly to your apartment and stay within your apartment during their or visit outside.  They must also be masked coming and going.
    • Visitors will continue to be screened before being allowed on campus.  All visitors will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing while on campus.

As I’m sure many of you are aware, earlier this week Governor Abbott announced a complete lifting of COVID-19 restrictions across the state, including the mask mandate. However, the Governor’s order did state that senior living communities like The Buckingham still fall under purview of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and will continue to follow their guidance.

Based on CDC recommendations, residents, staff and visitors will be required to continue our existing mitigation protocols of wearing a mask, physically distancing and washing your hands regularly. This will continue for at least the next 30 days or until we receive further guidance from the CDC. 

The above changes should be considered as a trial period/pilot program to see whether or not any problems/recurrence of the virus arise. Your continuing cooperation and support of the mitigation practices will help ensure this next step towards normalcy stays in place. Please note in the event we do experience any resurgence of the virus we may have to return to a more restricted arrangement.

Please note, barring any significant resurgence of the virus, we anticipate our final COVID-related update will be published the week of March 15. Questions can still be addressed to updates@www.buckinghamhouston.com.

Thank you for hanging in there so well, in such a difficult and restrictive environment. The journey is not over yet, but because of your consistent efforts to protect yourself, and others, we have come a long way…and hopefully the end of this journey is near.

Take care and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Jamie Kneen,

Executive Director