Welcome to the Friendship Villages August 27, 2021 COVID-19 update.
We have been very blessed during recent months at Friendship Village with regard to COVID-19. Since January 2021, when virtually all of our residents completed their vaccination process, only a handful across both Villages have contracted COVID-19. Each of these residents had been fully vaccinated. All have recovered.
Contract-tracing each of them to determine the source of their infection showed that each of these residents contracted the virus from off campus, either through visiting family, being out in the community, or having visitors from off campus who may have spread it to them. One resident has no idea where they got it. As of this time, no residents, since the January vaccinations, have contracted the virus from an employee.
In support of our efforts to keep our residents safe, we are in the midst of a strong campaign to get our employees at all levels of care to voluntarily get vaccinated. Education, encouragement, incentives, and other programs have increased our employee vaccination rates significantly in recent weeks, and they continue to increase. In particular, our Skilled Nursing Facility employee vaccination rates are well ahead of State and National averages, as are our Assisted Living and Independent Living employee rates.
Many are aware of a recent announcement that there will be a government mandate that all employees in skilled nursing facilities that receive federal funds be vaccinated. While we await the details of that mandate, which have yet to be published, we continue to work with our employees very closely to educate and encourage them to make the decision on their own. In the meantime, all precautions that have proven successful so far are still in place and practiced every day. It is important that we are able to maintain the appropriate levels of staff to care for all of our residents properly at the same time that we work to get them vaccinated, even ahead of a potential mandate.
We praise God for the mercies He has shown to Friendship Villages, and we thank all of our friends and family for your prayers and support during all of this time.