May 22, 2020 —Most of the COVID news reporting since COVID started has emphasized the need to isolate, avoid being near people, and to stay indoors. The reports emphasized the “invisible enemy lurking around every corner”. These messages contributed to all of us feeling helpless. It made sense for us to shelter in place and restrict campus activities as an important and necessary step to protect the Kendal community. However we know we cannot remain locked down forever and it is time to begin easing some restrictions for the emotional health of everyone. More articles are discussing how it’s time to use the knowledge gained in minimizing exposure risk to help protect us as we reopen activities and spaces. It is imperative that we continue to maintain the most fundamental of COVID measures – wearing masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washing – as we begin to consider phases of “reopening” activity. Reopening activity is accompanied by a certain level of risk to those who choose to reintegrate into various activities. Administration will monitor outcomes and if the risk begins to exceed the benefit, we’ll work collaboratively with Resident Council leadership to adjust accordingly.
PHASE 1: Resident Social Gatherings
Commencing this weekend, Kendal is supporting independent resident social gatherings of up to a maximum of 6 individuals. These gatherings must take place outdoors. Masks must be worn and social distancing must be practiced. To help facilitate this, the Terrace has been marked off to indicate where six chairs can be safely placed in a grouping. Similarly, chairs have been placed in the grassy area between Robert Fulton and Alida. Please remember that many people would like to use these outdoor spaces and try to limit your time to 45 minutes so that all may have an opportunity to enjoy the fresh air.
Note: The Health Center neighborhoods (Clearwater, Adirondack & Sunnyside) are still under the directive of the NYS Department of Health restricting all outside visitors and congregate activity. As guidelines change in these areas, we will adjust accordingly.
Q: Larger groups can gather outside. What about inside?
A: Currently, the risk of larger gatherings inside is still too great. Elevator lobbies, however, may be used for one to one visits with other residents. Remember to wear your mask and keep socially distanced!
Q: Can I now leave the Kendal property in my car?
A: You are encouraged to limit the reasons to leave the campus. The primary reasons should still only be for medically necessary appointments. Kendal is still assisting in procuring groceries and other necessities for you. You may also feel that you need to “exercise” the engine of your car. If you do drive around for this reason, please do not stop at any other locations while you are out.
Q: You said I can walk on campus. What is considered Kendal “campus”?
A: We consider the Kendal “campus” to be our immediate surrounding property, the adjacent Rockwood Park and Sleepy Hollow Manor neighborhood. Please limit your walking adventures to these locations. Avoid Phelps and walking into town.
Q: There are a lot of “visitors” walking through and parking at Kendal. Is this ok?
A: It is our goal to limit non-residents and non-staff from the property currently, but it is impossible to stop foot traffic of park users, runners and cyclists completely. Our lease agreement also stipulates that we allow access to the trails. To be proactive, however, we are placing additional signage to discourage people from loitering at Kendal. This weekend, due to the Memorial Day Holiday, we will have a staff person manning the main entrance (off Route 117) to redirect unwanted car traffic (and occupants!).
Q: My family always drops something off to me on the weekend. Will they be allowed to do this over the weekend?
A: Yes, your loved one will need to advise the staff person manning the entrance of the reason for their visit and will need to give your name. They will be granted entry to drop off only. All deliveries must go through the front entrance, as usual.
Q: My family really wants to visit. Can they visit me here outdoors?
A: We miss your families too! We are currently evaluating a Phase 2 of reopening where we will outline safe practices and guidelines for families to visit in outdoor spaces. Please be on the look out for more information on this soon.
Note that the Terrace will be maintained as a “safe zone” for residents at all times. Even when families begin to return to Kendal, the Terrace will be restricted for residents only.
Q: I feel a little messy! When will housekeeping services start again?
A: Housekeeping will resume on June 1st. Instead of an every-other-week cleaning schedule, we will start with service every third week. If you do not want housekeeping services at this time, you may opt out. Residents are asked to leave their apartment during the cleaning or to socially distance from the housekeeper and wear a mask while the cleaning is taking place.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO KEEP THE RISK OF CORONAVIRUS LOW AT KENDAL?
- Stay inside as much as possible
- Leave campus as little as possible
- Always wear your mask when outside of your apartment and keep a social distance from others
- Limit outings to your mailbox and/or cubby
- Honor the group limit of 6 residents in outdoor groups and 2 residents indoors