We are nearly a year and a half into the worst pandemic in 100 years. The optimism many of us felt just a few weeks ago has faded in the face of a fourth wave caused by the highly infectious delta variant. But here at Teresa’s House – we remain optimistic, because of how well we continue to do.
What we know
The delta variant is more than twice as contagious as previous strains of COVID-19, and some data suggests people infected with the delta variant may be more likely to need hospitalization than those infected with other strains. Initial symptoms are also more similar to a cold—a headache, sneezing or sore throat, for example—than previously common symptoms like a cough or loss of smell, but the risk remains very high.
Nearly 9,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Texas since early February, and the surge does not seem to be slowing. Emergency rooms and intensive care units are full, and yet another variant, lambda, has been identified in Dallas. Despite what we hoped, this pandemic is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
What we’re doing
Fortunately, we built Teresa’s House with state-of-the-art systems to help prevent airborne diseases like COVID-19 and the flu, including advanced air ventilation systems with UV air purification and individual HVAC systems for each resident room with no shared ductwork between rooms. Our small house design also lowers the number of people living and working there, reducing exposure risk, and a single point of front entry to each house allows visitors to undergo full health screenings.
We also implemented staffing and safety protocols from the day we opened that went above and beyond CDC guidance. We have a licensed nurse on site 24/7, and we are nurse-owned and operated, so we can address minor concerns before they become major crises. In fact, all our staff are degreed, licensed and/or certified by the state, far exceeding industry standards, and they have all received additional specialized COVID-19 prevention and treatment training. Most importantly, we require staff members to always wear hospital-grade N95 or KN95 masks in our homes.
Because of our unparalleled care and safety measures, in 13 months, we’ve had only one resident case of COVID-19 (contracted from a loved one) with zero spread. Within hours of testing positive, that resident was in an appropriate care facility, receiving life-saving monoclonal antibody treatment. He returned to us healthy and safe.
Put simply, our safety precautions work, and work exceptionally well.
How you can help
Living through a once-in-a-century crisis is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. It’s tempting to give up the safe habits we’ve formed in an attempt to “get back to normal,” but those precautions are more important than ever. Keep wearing your mask (even if you’re vaccinated) and continue to avoid crowds/socially distance as appropriate. Most importantly, if you can get vaccinated, do it as soon as possible. Teresa’s House is a State of Texas approved vaccination site, committed to the best. Remember, we’re all in this together.
If you or your loved one are considering assisted living or memory care but are concerned about COVID-19, please give us a call. We’d love to tell you more about how we’re living up to our commitment to not only be a community where everyone thrives, but also to keep our residents healthy and safe.
More surges will come – and Teresa’s House will be ready to keep our seniors safe.