Willamette View Responds to COVID – Reopening Oregon
June 30, 2021 — Our residents are 100% fully vaccinated! Such a wonderful and incredible statement to make – 100% vaccinated. But this is just the first bullet point on our good news checklist.
#2 – No more face masks for residents, visitors, vendors and employees in independent living buildings
Since June 10th when 100% of Willamette View residents became fully vaccinated, face masks were no longer required to be worn by residents. Now, following Governor Brown’s lifting of her executive order* on masking, employees, visitors and vendors are also not required to wear masks when inside an independent living building.
Exception to mask wearing – healthcare facilities
The only exception to mask wearing by employees, vendors and visitors is in the Health Center and Terrace buildings, our licensed care settings. At this time, masking and screening requirements are still in place. We will continue to follow all guidance set forth by federal regulations and the Oregon Department of Human Services for licensed healthcare facilities.
#3 – Reopening of activities and programs
With our vaccination rate dovetailing with Governor Brown’s lifting of COVID-19 safety restrictions*, we are well on our way to re-directing the majority of resident activities from Zoom to in-person events, including, but definitely not limited to, Saturday Night Movies, documentary and international film showings, book review programs, Mix & Mingle Bridge, Mahjong, Yoga, Team Trivia, group fitness classes and pool volleyball, Scribblers, play and concert performances, and educational presentations once again in our two auditoriums.
Of course, due to the number of people attending and available room in an event or meeting space, some program sponsors may elect to stay fully or partially virtual, like June’s Resident Council annual meeting. But going forward, with new technology and equipment, larger events could morph into live programs with a Zoom option for residents who prefer to watch or participate from their home. If nothing else, this past year has taught us to be flexible and adaptable. Our increased expertise and comfort with virtual meetings and activities means more variety going forward.
*Governor Brown’s “new executive order will lift all state COVID-19 health and safety restrictions — including the statewide mask mandate, physical distancing requirements and capacity limits — when Oregon reaches a 70% first-dose vaccination rate for adults, or by June 30, whichever comes sooner. Under the new recovery order, masks will no longer be required statewide, but they will still be required in some places under federal guidance, including airports, public transportation and healthcare settings.”
#4 – Reopening of dining venues
In addition to services previously reopened (observing COVID-19 precautions) like the Salon and Fitness Center, we have opened our three restaurant style venues to in-person dining with table-side service. We plan a phased-in removal of the occupancy limitations for each venue as well as a return to pre-COVID room arrangements now that physical distancing restrictions have been lifted. Preparing for a return to “normal” is a process and we want to get it right. But already, the sounds of laughter and lively conversations across a table of friends and neighbors is the best sign that better times are ahead.
#4 – Visitors
One of the happiest changes for residents was the loosening of visitor restrictions inside independent living buildings. Beginning on April 15th, family and friends could once again visit residents inside Willamette View buildings, in residents’ homes. Now, with the June 30th lifting of restrictions, visitors may also go with residents to additional places within our independent living buildings, like the community stores, libraries and common spaces.
Residents in licensed care areas have been able to receive visitors inside their apartments since March 2021. It was a boon to their spirits. The state also lifted restrictions on life enrichment programming in licensed care for entertainment programs, etc. This has been a wonderful reconnection for residents. Of course, at this time, COVID-19 precautions of masking and distancing and visitor screening still apply.
After more than a year of built-up fatigue with COVID-19 limitations that truly tested our resolve and resilience we are now seeing a good outcome for our ongoing precautions. Thank you to residents, family and friends for your strength and for your commitment to the health and wellbeing of our community.
Willamette View Administration
June 30, 2021