WHAT METHODIST RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES IS DOING TO PROTECT OUR RESIDENTS AND STAFF AS TEXAS RE-OPENS

September 4, 2020

THE PATH TO REOPENING
Since early March of 2020, loved ones have been separated due to restrictions that were put in place by state and federal agencies to protect residents from the Corona virus. Recently, the State of Texas announced a plan that providers like MRC can follow to reopen licensed areas of the community to visitors. Reopening will happen in stages and will likely loosen over time to provide more and more contact. Initially, the visits may include elements like windows or plexiglass to serve as partitions to keep these visits safe. Each visitation opportunity may vary across MRC due to building layout and other specifics at each community and will ultimately be guided by what the state will approve.
However, before a visitation proposal can be approved by the state, several criteria must first be met by the community. Click here to read these requirements.

NEW TESTING PROTOCOL
The most significant requirement in the Texas reopening plan is the testing protocol. Each Skilled Nursing community must test employees each week. Each MRC community has secured a method to provide such testing and will begin this process immediately. Staff who work outside of the Skilled Nursing area are not subject to this weekly testing but will continue to be monitored for symptoms and will be tested accordingly.
Since March, our teams have been providing one-on-one communication to families when there were positive cases in the building. Due to the volume of testing each week under this new protocol, we will shift our communication with families to email. Naturally, we will communicate directly with families if there is any concerning situation that directly impacts the well-being of their loved one.

WHAT TO EXPECT
What to expect? Well, 2020 has proven that you can’t always predict how things will play out. With that in mind, we are prepared to give you heads up in the following areas:

You might expect…
…an email that reports new cases along with a weekly email with cumulative results.
…that there may be some positive results initially as testing reveals unknown, asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
…visitation opportunities may be like a switch, flipped off or on, based on positive cases.
…our teams may have to wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) based on testing trends. This may include a mask, gloves, gowns, face shields and in some cases shoe coverings.
…in the event that you are permitted to have a modified visit at MRC, you will also be required to wear recommended PPE and pass all necessary screening processes.
…any modified visit will have to be scheduled in advance to allow our teams to thoroughly disinfect the space between uses.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
When positive cases surge in the city and surrounding areas, the probability of exposure in our buildings dramatically climbs. We must all do our part.

Here is how you can help reduce the spread in your area:
Wash- wash your hands with soap and water frequently
Cover-always wear a face mask when around others
Distance– maintain at least 6 feet between you and others
Stay Home– please stay home if you are experiencing any type of illness
Avoid– avoid large gatherings or public spaces that are prone to crowds

As always, we are committed to the values that are at the center of all that we do, integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence. It is in this spirit that we humbly care for our residents like they are our family. Please reach out to our local leadership teams with any questions or concerns.

Respectfully,
Your MRC Team