An update from our Chief Operating Officer and Chief Clinical Officer as residents and team members begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dear Sunrise Residents and Families:
Happy New Year! We start 2021 continuing our excitement about the COVID-19 vaccine, which brings great promise that one day we can all put this worldwide pandemic behind us. The experiences of the last year are still fresh in our hearts and minds, and we remain grateful for the resilience and positivity our residents and team members show each day.
We also applaud the CDC for recommending to prioritize our community members, and we continue to advocate among state and local officials for our assisted living and independent living residents to receive the vaccine as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are making progress. We have completed our first round of three clinics at approximately 23 communities in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, and expect many more communities to take part in the coming weeks.
Witnessing residents and team members roll up their sleeves, knowing that they were taking a proactive step toward protecting themselves and others, was incredible. And, our teams' creativity has really shone through, as they turned vaccine clinics into celebratory occasions. We've heard of everything from themed parties, balloon spectaculars, and "Give Us Your Best Shot" playlists, to a "Winners Circle" where vaccinated residents receive special refreshments (all socially distanced, of course!).
Your community leadership team will continue to keep you updated on scheduling, as they hear from CVS Health, and work with you on obtaining vaccine consents in advance. Thank you for your patience and flexibility.
We're really excited about the ongoing interest from team members to get vaccinated and are encouraged by their level of engagement as we work hard to make available information from the CDC, FDA, and other federal public health authorities. At this stage, we continue to strongly encourage team members to consider participating in the vaccine program, and we are actively exploring opportunities to mandate the vaccine following its approval by the FDA.
The COVID-19 vaccine is a key component of the world’s ability to move beyond this pandemic. As we continue to learn more about the vaccine, we will include those learnings into our evidenced based infection control program, and we’ll continue practicing enhanced measures to stop the spread of the virus. Importantly, even once our team members and residents are vaccinated, mask wearing, social distancing, and other enhanced protocols won’t be going anywhere for the foreseeable future, as our society must first reach herd immunity. We’ll stay the course and continue to take steps to limit virus transmission until health authorities advise it is no longer necessary.
This year brings a renewed sense of hope and energy to us all. It's our honor to serve you and we wish to thank you in taking the next step with us in our journey.
Sue Coppola, Chief Clinical Officer
Jenifer Salamino, Chief Operating Officer