Coronavirus Updates

March 11, 2021

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

As many of you may have heard, the CDC recently updated their COVID-19 guidelines for vaccinated individuals. The following CDC recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings:

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

The CDC recommendations are a positive step. Given that 98% of our residents have been vaccinated, it will enable us to take further steps toward reopening and get closer to the long sought after “normalcy”.   

As discussed in our last update, we had already made the decision to open many areas within the community, though with tighter restrictions. With the CDC’s announcement, we can continue our plans, though with even greater openness and flexibility. 

All common spaces will open on Wednesday, March 17, for Independent Living residents. Most notably:

  1. Our dining rooms will open without any need for reservations. The private dining rooms are available for groups of ten (10) or less. 
  2. The St. James Café will open on a limited-service approach for now.  We will not provide meal service in the St. James for at least the immediate future.  The focus in the St. James will be on coffee/tea, soft drinks, snacks and “grab and go options.”
  3. A continental breakfast will be available in the Rosewood Grill and Windsor dining room.  We are starting a new full breakfast/à la carte menu service in the Windsor for a nominal charge. We will provide more information on this new option prior to the 17th
  4. We will no longer deliver breakfast to residents as we have been doing over the past year due to the pandemic. Breakfast will be available in the dining rooms as mentioned above. You do have the option of ordering from the full-service/ à la carte breakfast menu and having it delivered.    
  5. Residents may still order take-out or delivery for their meals. However, we are reinstituting the delivery charge of $5.00 on the 17th.   
  6. The Wellness Center/Fitness Center will be open 24/7 with a limit of twelve (12) residents allowed in the classroom or fitness center at one time.
  7. Other than the dining rooms, there is a twelve (12) person limit in our common spaces. Dining rooms provide adequate spacing to go beyond the twelve (12) person limit.
  8. Life Enrichment will begin scheduling various resident-only events and activities consistent with the guidelines. More specific information will be communicated as the events and activities are scheduled.

Please note, at this time, these new guidelines only apply to our Independent Living community. Residents in The Plaza – skilled nursing, assisted living and memory care – are not included at this time. We must still follow the Texas Health and Human Services Commission guidelines, which we hope will moderate in the coming weeks.   

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 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
  • Visitors must continue to go directly to the specific apartment and stay there during the visit or visit outside. They must also be masked coming and going

For the immediate future, staff and visitors will be required to continue our existing mitigation protocols of wearing a mask, physically distancing and washing your hands regularly. We will reevaluate this position in early April and make changes at that time if warranted. 

The new recommendations and our initial steps to reopen our community further are positive developments. We are very encouraged by the current direction but do caution that the above changes should be viewed as a trial period/pilot program to see if any recurrence of the virus arises. Your continued cooperation and support of the mitigation practices will help to increase the likelihood that 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.

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

I feel we are all in a bit of a middle ground right now. Certainly, the feeling and direction of overcoming the virus is in the air and motivates all of us to want to get back to normal. Yet, the journey is not quite over, and your continued understanding and support of our efforts to protect people is appreciated. We are, and have been, extremely grateful for that support. We have all been on a long, arduous ride…and hopefully the end of this journey is near.

Take care and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Jamie Kneen,

Executive Director