I wanted to take a moment to update everyone on where we stand with our COVID-19 status. It’s been thirty-four days since we had a positive test within Brandermill Woods. We are encouraged by this streak since it demonstrates that our vaccination effort has been successful. As of March 3, 2021, 98% of our residents and 75% of our employees have received their vaccinations. This is well above the national average which is encouraging.
We have received some inquiries concerning Brandermill Woods’ position on making vaccinations mandatory. Currently, we have no plans to make vaccination mandatory for residents or staff. Allow me to explain why:
- Healthcare is very personal. We believe a person should have a right to choose what care they want to receive. That includes the COVID-19 vaccination.
- We work within a regulated industry that currently does not require us to make a COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for our staff. Should the federal guidelines change, we will adapt our approach accordingly.
- There are numerous legal concerns regarding the concept of making a vaccine mandatory. A dispute of that nature could take years to resolve, costing tens of thousands of dollars, while achieving very little in the process.
- As the nation reaches herd immunity, the risks within our community will decline. Given that such a large percentage of our residents and staff have chosen to get vaccinated already, the risks of a wide-spread breakout at Brandermill Woods are very low.
- We believe over time more and more people will become comfortable with the idea of getting vaccinated. Given the dynamics in our society today, some will just take a little longer to reach that point.
While we will continue to encourage our employees and residents to get vaccinated, we will never pressure anyone to receive a vaccination. We would also request that our residents refrain from putting pressure on our staff to answer questions about their vaccination plans. Trying to bully or shame someone into getting a vaccination will not be tolerated at Brandermill Woods.
With a little luck on our side, we believe that things can start to return to normal in the second half of this year. We still need to be diligent in some of our safety protocols, but with time those too should fade into the past.