Community Update – July 2

Community Update: July 2, 2020

Dear residents, families, staff, caregivers and friends:

I hope this message finds you well. I want to share with you some great news regarding the COVID-19 testing in conjunction with the St. Mary’s County Health Department. As of July 1, Cedar Lane officially completed its universal testing of staff members, residents and live-in caregivers. I am pleased to report that everyone from Cedar Lane who was tested through this initiative was negative at the time for the COVID-19 virus. 

I would like to congratulate our community members and the team from the Health Department on the successful implementation of this major undertaking. If you feel a great sense of pride and excitement at this result – you should. It’s remarkable that we have come this far. However, I need to stress that this is just a snapshot of what was going on several days ago. Everyone is still expected to practice frequent handwashing, social distancing and wear a face covering (fabric mask, bandana or scarf) when entering or leaving the building and while in public spaces. Any area outside your personal apartment is considered a public space.

Sadly, the United States is Setting Record Numbers of New Cases

As you’ve probably read or heard on the news, the United States reported 49,932 new coronavirus cases yesterday, which was the fifth single-day case record in eight days. As new cases rise, many states and localities are reversing their decisions to reopen riskier businesses and activities. Any of us can still get sick.  It is essential to continue good health practices.  If it is warranted, Cedar Lane will continue diagnostic testing to help battle the spread of the virus.

If You Feel Sick, Seek Help

If you begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19, please call your personal healthcare provider or call ahead to a local urgent care or the hospital’s Emergency Department. Anyone who is experiencing a medical emergency should call 9-1-1. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Ongoing Testing in St. Mary’s County

If you didn’t take advantage of free testing at Cedar Lane, or if you would like to be tested again, please visit one of the following test sites:

St. Mary’s County Health Department – Harm Reduction Office, 46035 Signature Lane in Lexington Park, MD 20653

  • Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (not open Friday, July 3 due to the holiday)
  • Appointment-free
  • Doctor’s order for testing: Not required
  • Walk up for testing, parking is available
  • For assistance or accommodations, please call ahead to (301) 862-1680

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

  • Monday – Friday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (not open Friday, July 3 due to the holiday)
  • Outpatient Pavilion, 25500 Point Lookout Road in Leonardtown, MD 20650
  • Appointment-free
  • Doctor’s order for testing: Required
  • Call your personal doctor or the COVID-19 Community Hotline at 301-475-4911
  • Drive-Thru, stay in your vehicle and an associate will come out to you

Independence Day Holiday Schedules

  • COVID-19 Test Sites will be closed on Friday, July 3, 2020. Additionally, due to state laboratory closures on July 3, COVID-19 testing offered at St. Mary’s County Health Department’s Harm Reduction Program Office will close early, at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020.  These testing sites will resume normal business hours on Monday, July 6.
  • Cedar Lane offices will be closed on Friday, July 3 for the holiday.
  • St. Mary’s Transit System (STS) & Statewide Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP) will be closed on Saturday, July 4.  STS will be open for normal business hours prior to and after the holiday.  SSTAP will return to its normal schedule on Monday, July 6. 

For all of us, the past several months have been unlike anything we’ve witnessed in our lifetime. Yet each day, our community’s resilience and fortitude inspire me. Eventually, I hope that we will look back on this as a moment in time when we worked together to make the best of a difficult situation with compassion and understanding.

On a brighter note, today’s fried chicken dinner was prepared by Kevin’s Corner Kafé, and made possible by Friends of Cedar Lane. We hope this will be a fun and delicious way to kick off Independence Day Weekend.

I’m anxious for the day when we can join together in person to celebrate a return to some kind of normal. Until that time, I wish you all good health and my sincerest gratitude for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Beverly Stickles

President & CEO

Community Update – June 26

Community Update: June 26, 2020

Dear residents, families, staff, caregivers and friends:

Summer has officially arrived and it’s shaping up to be a summer unlike any other we have experienced. I hope we can all find ways to stay positive as we work to adapt to life in an ongoing health crisis. This week, we want to share the following news items with you:  

Universal Testing for COVID-19 at Cedar Lane:

While the majority of our community members have received their results from last week’s universal testing, seven tests needed to be re-administered this week due to unclear findings. Once all results are in, I will share a summary with the entire community. Thanks again to everyone who contributed to a 90% participation rate. What a great way to come together when it really counts.

Deliveries:

If you are expecting a furniture or large item to be delivered, please notify the front desk in advance so that our staff can assist in delivering the item to your apartment. 

COVID-19 Risk Levels:

The chart at the top of this post outlines COVID risk factors as we venture outside our apartments.  The factors are based on inside/outside, nearness to others, exposure time, likelihood of compliance and personal risk.

Hand Sanitizer:

The FDA advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.  FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately, do not pour the product down the drain or flush in the toilet.  CDC recommends washing our hands often with soap & water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after coughing, sneezing or blowing one’s nose.  If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol.

St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) Announcements:

SMCHD will continue to provide free COVID-19 drive through testing for St. Mary’s County residents; a physician’s order is not required.  Current locations include:

  • Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., no appointment is necessary
  • SMCHD- Monday & Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. – Noon, appointment required

Are you in need of a copy of your birth certificate?  SMCHD is now accepting birth certificate applications by mail.  Please call Kirk at 301.475.8966 ext. 14 for assistance.

2020 River Concert Series:

The annual River Concert Series at St. Mary’s College will be held virtually this summer.  The concerts are on Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m. starting on June 26, July 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31.  To access the concert, go to the St. Mary’s College of Maryland website and click on the ”Virtual Series” tab.  If you miss the concert, the video performance will be archived so you can view the concert at your convenience.

July 2 Resident Dinner Hosted by Friends of Cedar Lane:

Be sure to work up an appetite next Thursday — the Friends of Cedar Lane are treating all residents to another free fried chicken dinner! Kevin’s Corner Café will be cooking up a summer feast just for you. Each meal will feature four pieces of chicken (a breast, a leg, a wing and a thigh), a baked potato, green beans and chocolate pudding for dessert. We’ve heard some great things about Rita B’s fried chicken dinner. Now try Kevin’s and tell us which you like best. It’s a deep fried battle of the taste buds!

Our staff members will deliver bagged meals to every resident starting at 3 p.m. on Thursday. Look for a special surprise from Activities Coordinator Tonya in your bag! If you will not be here on Thursday or do not want this free meal, please opt out by calling the front desk and asking for Wanda Fenwick by Monday, June 29. You only need to call if you do not want the meal – everyone else will receive a meal automatically.

Independence Day Holiday:

Cedar Lane offices will be closed on Friday, July 3 for the holiday. We hope you have a safe, happy and healthy Fourth of July Weekend.

St. Mary’s Transit System (STS) and Statewide Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP) will be closed on Saturday, July 4.  STS will be open for normal business hours prior to and after the holiday.  SSTAP will return to its normal schedule on Monday, July 6. 

A Sad Farewell to a Former Colleague, Frances Clayton:

On a final note, it is with great sadness that we confirm the death of our former colleague Frances Clayton, who lost her battle with COVID-19 on Sunday, June 21, 2020.  Frances worked in Cedar Lane’s Assisted Living program for more than 15 years before the program closed in 2016.  She also provided private duty services and was a source of exceptional care, comfort and compassion for the people she served. Frances is one of 48 people in St. Mary’s County who have died due to COVID-19.  Several of you have shared with me, that you too have lost loved ones to this pandemic.  My heart goes out to each of you, please accept my condolences.  During this stressful time, be sure to practice good self-care and be kind to others.

Sincerely,

Beverly Stickles

President & CEO

Community Update – June 19

Community Update: June 19, 2020

Dear residents, families, staff, caregivers and friends:

Early this week, Cedar Lane Senior Living Community was fortunate to benefit from no-cost universal testing for the COVID-19 virus conducted by the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD). The test was made available to residents, staff and live-in caregivers. I am pleased to report that more than 90% of our community’s population took advantage of this free testing. Thank you to everyone who participated – we appreciate and commend your concern for your own health and that of our community. If you were tested, you will receive a phone call from the SMCHD not Cedar Lane; results are expected by 5:00 p.m. today.  If you have not received your test results by 5:00 p.m. or if you want a written copy of your test results, please call the front desk and we will contact the SMCHD on your behalf. Obtaining the results of the universal COVID-19 testing will provide valuable insight as to the current health status of our community.  If warranted, over the next few hours we will be implementing SMCHD directives pertaining to staff and/or residents who test positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Family members – join our board!

Do you have a loved one living at Cedar Lane? Cedar Lane Senior Living Community is looking for people with positivity and a passion for our mission to join our Board of Directors. Why join? Board members make a difference for the residents of Cedar Lane. Our Directors guide our strategic direction and our long-term sustainability. Their leadership helps ensure that our mission, values and our commitment to fair, affordable housing are lived out in our daily work. In the past, residents’ family members have been some of our most effective and productive Board members. If you are interested in learning more, please call Wanda Fenwick at 301-475-8966 ext. 24.

Reminder: facemask maintenance

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remind us that cloth face masks worn during the coronavirus pandemic should be washed daily after use. It’s best to clean your fabric facemask in a washing machine, but soap and hot water in a sink will work too. The mask should be dried completely. Use a hot dryer if possible. Consider storing your clean, dry mask in a new paper bag to keep it safe from germs.

St. Mary’s County reaches 2020 Census response benchmark

In their meeting on Tuesday, the County Commissioners announced that St. Mary’s County 2020 Census response rates have already exceeded the final response rate for 2010. Thank you to everyone who has responded! If you have not yet sent in your response, there’s still time. Getting an accurate census count is critically important. That’s why your response is required by law. If you do not respond, the U.S. Census Bureau will follow up to collect your response. Your response will help determine how much political representation and public service funding our county will receive. For information, please visit 2020census.gov. For assistance with your response, please call Kirk at 301-475-8966 ext. 14.

Free Prescription Drug Disposal Pouches

The Cedar Lane Service Coordinators have an easy way to rid your home of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted medications. If you have medications you no longer use or want, ask for a free drug disposal pouch. You simply add water and toss it in the trash. All medications are immediately deactivated and destroyed. For your drug disposal pouch, call Kirk at 301-475-8966, extension 14.

Please call – please do not knock

Although Cedar Lane’s offices are temporarily closed to residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we still want to serve you. Please don’t knock on office doors – Finance, Service Coordination and Facilities – we are trying our best to social distance for everyone’s safety. Instead, call the front desk and ask to be transferred to the staff member or department of your choice to ask a question or make an appointment.

Reminder – Weekly Meal Bags from Department of Aging & Human Services (DOA&HS)

This week we found another full bag of leaking food in the Burch Building laundry room. We understand the intent is to share surplus food with your neighbors, but perishable food that sits out unrefrigerated is unsafe to eat and creates a mess for our staff to clean up. The food is going to waste. Please don’t place food in public areas around Cedar Lane. Anyone may choose to opt out of the DOA&HS meal program by calling the Front Desk.

Things We’re Working On

We are looking forward to a successful reopening, a gradual, careful process ensuring everyone’s safety.  Staff are working with the DOA&HS to resume daily meal delivery and organizing a second fried chicken dinner funded by the Friends of Cedar Lane.  We’ll try a different caterer this time, so get ready for a fried chicken taste showdown.  Our most exciting news is that we are figuring out the safest way to host an outdoor Marathon Bingo Game, once we have clearance to resume resident activities.  Stay tuned for details.

Happy Father’s Day

Wishing every dad, granddad and great granddad out there a happy Father’s Day this Sunday!  Be safe and stay well.

Sincerely, 

Beverly A. Stickles

President & CEO

Cedar Lane Senior Living Community Announces Free Universal COVID-19 Testing

Memo

To:             Cedar Lane Residents

From:        Beverly Stickles, President & CEO

Date:         June 10, 2020

Re:            Universal Testing for COVID-19

I am excited to announce that the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) will be completing no-cost universal COVID-19 testing for all Cedar Lane residents, live-in caregivers and staff on Monday, June 15th and Tuesday, June 16th.  Universal testing is a vital step in developing our Reopening Plan.

  • The SMCHD is providing the test at no cost to Cedar Lane, residents or staff. 
  • In order to be considered universal testing, everyone at Cedar Lane must be tested within the two-day span of June 15th and 16th.
  • SMCHD nurses will go to each resident apartment to complete the test right in the doorway. Nurses will go building by building, floor by floor and will be accompanied by a Cedar Lane staff member. 
  • We will call you by phone this Thursday or Friday to verify your information prior to testing.  On Friday afternoon, you will receive a note identifying the day and time window for your COVID-19 test.
  • The COVID-19 test is a nasal swab test. The nurse will place a special 6-inch cotton swab up both sides of your nose and move it around for about 15 seconds. It won’t hurt, but it might be uncomfortable. The swab is then inserted into a container and sent to a lab for testing.
  • The COVID-19 tests will be processed at the MD Department of Health Lab in Baltimore. We anticipate receiving test results on Friday, June 19, 2020.
  • SMCHD will contact you with the results of your test.  If your test is negative for COVID-19 it means that you were not infected at the time your sample was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. The test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing.  If your test is positive, you will receive a call from an Infectious Disease RN who will give you instructions to self-isolate and stay away from those who are not infected with the virus.   Your information will remain confidential.  You cannot be evicted from your Cedar Lane apartment or be charged a higher rent due to positive COVID test results.
  • If you test positive or negative for COVID-19 you should continue to take preventive measures to protect yourself and others – wash your hands, cover coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, avoid close contact, cover your mouth and nose with a face cover when around others and monitor your health. 
  • Everyone at Cedar Lane is to be tested, even if you have been tested for COVID-19 already.  The only exception will be someone who was tested on Sunday, June 14th.
  • In the event that a resident or staff member tests positive for the virus, we will inform you, while also protecting the privacy of the individual.  We will not release names, addresses or any other means of identification.  
  • Health experts agree that testing is a huge part of being able to proactively manage any outbreak and chart our way out of the COVID-19 storm. Our goal with implementing this universal testing is to rapidly detect asymptomatic positive community members, assist them in managing their recovery, and prevent the unknowing transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

Residents have the option to opt out of testing, but I am hoping that all of you will agree to participate. This is a unique opportunity for our community to pull together and gain a real understanding of how we are faring during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we can address actual health concerns and begin to move forward with our Reopening Plan.

Residents who cannot be in their apartment at the appointed time and wish to reschedule their COVID test or residents who wish to opt out of Cedar Lane’s universal testing are asked to call the Front Desk and ask for Wanda Fenwick at ext. 24.

It takes a village. Thank you for being a part of ours.

Community Update – June 5, 2020

Community Update: June 5, 2020

Dear residents, families, caregivers and friends:

Finally, we have some encouraging news! Stage 2 of Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery goes into effect at 5 p.m. tonight, allowing some aspects of life to resume, with strict safety measures in place. Here are the things you need to know:

What Does Stage 2 Mean for Maryland?

Governor Hogan announced that Maryland is prepared for a safe and gradual reopening of workplaces and businesses, additional personal services and Maryland State Government operations. The Governor also said, “Moving into Stage 2 does not mean that this crisis is behind us or that we can afford to stop being vigilant and cautious. All Marylanders, particularly those older and more vulnerable populations, are advised to continue staying home when possible. Marylanders should also continue practicing physical distancing, staying six feet apart, avoiding crowds and close gatherings.”

What Does Stage 2 Mean for Cedar Lane?

This has been an incredibly difficult period and I appreciate the sacrifices you have all willingly made to safeguard our community against this terrible virus. Thanks in no small part to your efforts; I am able to report that there are still no known cases of COVID-19 at Cedar Lane.

We are in the process of developing a thoughtful and measured re-opening plan that includes the return of staff members who have been working remotely and modifications to office spaces for everyone’s protection. For the time being, all policies regarding facemasks, temperature checks, health screenings, visitation, activities and building access will remain unchanged until we receive new direction from County leaders and health experts.

Avoid the “THREE Cs”

If you’re anything like me, you’re excited to get back to the things you enjoy. As more businesses, services and organizations reopen, where you go and what you do will be your decision to make. Please choose wisely. Ongoing health risks will be an unfortunate part of our “new normal.” Local health experts are urging us to change the way we think. Every outing comes with risks, which you can minimize by avoiding THE THREE Cs:

  • Closed Spaces – with poor ventilation
  • Crowded Places – with many people nearby
  • Close-Contact Settings – such as close-range conversations

Updates for Residents

  • If you are struggling or need assistance, please call the Front Desk so we can help.
  • While staff members are currently working in the Finance office, the office is closed to  help protect everyone’s safety. Please understand we are not trying to be rude, but to minimize any potential viral spread. While no cash payments can be accepted, rent checks can be dropped in the rent boxes. You do not need to give us the rent in person. If you need assistance, please call the Front Desk and ask for the Finance Office.
  • Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during last week’s move-in and move-out; the moves were successful and without incident.  We will move forward with gradually introducing new residents to our community in a safe and controlled manner. 
  • Hot weather has arrived to Southern Maryland, be safe – stay hydrated, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and minimize physical activity during the hottest part of the day.  Safe food handling is also more important than ever. If you receive meals from the Department of Aging, please be sure to remove perishable items from your bag immediately and place these items in your refrigerator. Keep an eye on bread, which molds quickly in high temperatures and humid weather. Please do not leave perishable food products in the Food Pantry or in other community spaces.  Your kindness is appreciated; however, safety comes first.
  • A special thank you to Candy Cain and her friends for supplying Food Panty items.  Please be considerate of others and only take what you can use.
  • The Leonardtown Library has announced Phase I of their reopening plan.  The new library is located next to the Walter Francis Duke Elementary School, on Hayden Farm Lane in Leonardtown.  Effective June 17, checked out materials can be returned to the Leonardtown Library book drop and on June 22, reserved materials will be available for curbside pickup.  If you have checked out items needing to be returned to the library, please contact Kirk at 301.475.8966 ext. 14.  We will coordinate the return of your checked out library materials.  While we are waiting for the opening of the new library, remember, you can access many of the library resources from home! Visit www.stmalib.org for reopening details, digital content, trivia games, online programs and other fun things to do.

We have endured many challenges over the past 13 weeks but your resilience and selfless efforts have been impressive. I appreciate your continued support as we work on a safe reopening plan for Cedar Lane.

Sincerely, 

Beverly A. Stickles

President & CEO

P.S. We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s fried chicken dinner sponsored by the Friends of Cedar Lane and catered by Rita B. What did you think? We would love to hear your feedback. Please call the Front Desk and ask for Wanda Fenwick to share your thoughts. 

Community Update – May 28, 2020

Community Update: May 28, 2020

Dear residents, families, staff, caregivers and friends:

We hope this message finds you, your family, and your friends safe and well. Here are this week’s news items:

COVID-19 Update

As of today, there are still no known cases of COVID-19 at Cedar Lane. However St. Mary’s County continues to see a rise in confirmed cases, including yesterday’s reported outbreak of COVID-19 involving St. Mary’s County Public Schools employees. We know some of our community members have friends and family members who have tested positive. We hope they are doing better and get well. While Governor Hogan announced that Maryland will ease more coronavirus-related restrictions this Friday, he stressed that older adults and those with underlying medical issues are still “safest at home.”

So, What Is Safe?

It has been more than two months of self-isolation for many of us. The urge to get out and enjoy the nicer weather is real. But what exactly is safe? Public health experts warn that there is no such thing as a zero-risk outing right now. We can think of transmission risk with a simple phrase: TIME, SPACE, PEOPLE, PLACE. Here’s the rule of thumb: The more time you spend and the closer in space you are to people, the higher your risk. Interacting with more people raises your risk, and indoor places are riskier than outdoors.

Always choose outdoor activities over indoor activities, always choose masking over not masking, and always choose to put more space between you and other people. Taking a walk outside is safer than browsing at a store. Taking a drive with people you’ve been quarantined with for weeks is safer than meeting friends from another county where COVID-19 cases are rampant.

Your personal risk depends on your age and health, the prevalence of the virus in your area and the precautions you take during any of these activities. For your health and the wellbeing of everyone at Cedar Lane, we are counting on you to make responsible decisions including washing your hands frequently, wearing your mask, maintaining a social distance and avoiding any high-risk outings that are not absolutely essential.

The truth is St. Mary’s County has not seen a return to normalcy yet and it’s not exactly fun out there right now. As Maryland begins allowing public areas and businesses to reopen, remember — you are still safest at home.

Campus Comings and Goings

Two of your neighbors have arranged to move belongings with the assistance of family members. There will be move-related activity in the Church and Burch Buildings between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, May 29, and again in the Church Building on Saturday, May 30, 2020. To limit any potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus, we request that you remain in your apartment while these moves take place. If you must go out, please wear your mask and practice social distancing.

Non-residents assisting with this move will be required to wear a mask, pass the temperature check and health screening at the front desk, and proceed straight to the apartment where the move is taking place. We will clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces again extensively after their departure. One of these moves is a move-out, and one is our first move-in since the COVID-19 outbreak. For your safety, your new neighbor has agreed to completely quarantine for her first 14 days at Cedar Lane. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we work to accommodate these moves while safeguarding the rest of the community.

Senior Companion Program Ending

The Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee announced this week the discontinuation of the Senior Companion Program effective June 30.

Free Fried Chicken Dinner from Friends of Cedar Lane – Thursday, June 4

Since we can all use a little pick-me-up, the Friends of Cedar Lane board members are sponsoring a free Fried Chicken Dinner catered by down-home favorite Rita B. The meal includes parsley potatoes, green beans, rolls and butter, beets and applesauce. This complimentary meal will be delivered by Cedar Lane staff to every resident on campus starting at 3 p.m. We ask that you be in your apartment Thursday afternoon to receive your meal. Please contact Wanda @ Ext. 24 only if you DO NOT wish to have a dinner delivered to your apartment.

With sincerest appreciation, 

Beverly A. Stickles

President & CEO

Community Update: May 22, 2020

Dear residents, families, staff, caregivers and friends:

I realize many of you are anxious to see an easing of restrictions and a return to social activities. I want that too, when it can be done safely. Until then, thank you for your patience and understanding while we keep measures in place to protect the health and well-being of all Cedar Lane residents. You may recall that last Friday’s weather was absolutely beautiful, sunny and 85º.  It was wonderful to see residents engaging with others, soaking up the sun and adhering to social distancing guidelines.  I was so proud of each one of you. 

COVID-19 Update

As of today, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Cedar Lane.

Cedar Lane staff are available to assist you with chores that you may find overwhelming. Our goal is for everyone to stay safe.  Call the front desk if you need assistance with heavy items such as groceries, trash removal or laundry.  In addition, remember, Kirk Turner and Crystal King, our Service Coordinators are available by phone to help you get through this stressful time.  Kirk at 301-475-8966 ext. 14 and Crystal at 301-475-8966 ext. 18.

Memorial Day Closings and DOA&HS Meal Delivery

As a reminder, Monday is a holiday and Cedar Lane’s offices will be closed.  The Department of Aging & Human Services will also be closed for the holiday, next week’s DOA&HS meals will be delivered on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.  Have a safe and socially distanced holiday weekend.

June Invoices

Invoices for June will be distributed early next week, and will be delivered directly to apartment doors unless we have specific instructions to mail or email.   Please remember that payment must be by check, money order or SNAP card (food only)—cash is not accepted.  A separate payment is required for meal plan fees.  If you are paying with SNAP, please call the Finance Office at 301-475-8966 ext. 11 to arrange processing.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Economic Impact Payment (EIP)

Many of you have already received your EIP from the federal government, either by direct deposit, paper check, or deposit onto your Social Security debit card.  If you have not received your payment, be aware that some payments may be sent on a prepaid debit card known as The Economic Impact Payment Card, sponsored by the Treasury Department.  Be aware that the card will arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.”   The VISA name will appear on the front of the card; the back of the card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank.  Information included with the card will explain what it is and how to use it.  If you have questions about the Economic Impact Payment or need assistance tracking your payment, please call Kirk at 301-475-8966 ext. 14 or Crystal at 301-475-8966 ext. 18.

Resident Dinner Funded by Friends of Cedar Lane

We are excited to announce that there is an activity on the calendar — a “Socially Distant” Resident Dinner funded by Friends of Cedar Lane. Residents will receive a delicious, complimentary dinner delivered to their apartments. We are in the process of working out the logistics with the caterer. Look for a flier with further details coming soon. As a side note, I want to thank those of you who suggested this special treat on the recent Activities Survey. You ask – we listen! If you have not returned your completed survey, it’s not too late.  We love hearing your thoughts and ideas.

Garvey Senior Activity Center

Alice Allen and her staff are busy preparing for the public opening of the all-new Garvey Senior Activities Center, which will feature a fitness studio for group classes, outdoor pickleball courts, an expanded exercise room, an art room with natural light, and easy access to all the programs and resources of the new library. The date of the public opening is still unknown due to COVID-19 closings.  We have been promised a private tour of the new Leonardtown Library/Garvey Senior Activity Center.  Alice is excited to show off the new building to Cedar Lane residents and staff.  I will keep you posted on the date of our private tour.

Hurricane Season is Nearly Here

The Department of Emergency Services reminds us all that Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1 and goes through November 30.  Hurricane researchers are predicting an above-average 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Our maintenance team is ensuring that Cedar Lane’s equipment and systems are ready for what the next several months may bring. You can prepare by assembling an emergency kit for yourself with enough nonperishable food, water, necessary supplies and medications to last for at least three days.

Medication Disposal Pouches

Do you have expired medications or medications that you no longer use? Through a State grant, the MD Department of Aging has provided a limited quantity of free medication disposal pouches to Cedar Lane. To use the pouch, simply place the medicines you wish to discard into the pouch and add water. Whether you insert pills, patches or liquids, the medication is rendered inert and permanently unusable. The pouch can then be safely disposed of in your household trash. If you are interested in a medication disposal pouch, please call Kirk at 301-475-8966 ext. 14.

I value everyone who lives at Cedar Lane and all of the remarkable people who support our community. We are always open to your creative ideas on how to strengthen community bonds during this pandemic despite the current restrictions. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Wanda Fenwick at 301-475-8966 ext. 24.

With sincerest appreciation, 

Beverly A. Stickles

President & CEO

Community Update – May 15, 2020.

Community Update: May 15, 2020

Dear residents, families, staff, caregivers and friends:

I hope you and your families are safe and well. Over the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of our lives. We are all eager to know what the future holds and when our lives will regain some normalcy. I share your concerns, and I want to take this opportunity to provide some insights into our decision-making process moving forward.

COVID-19 Update

As of today, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Cedar Lane.

COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing

The expanded hours for drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital are 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. Testing is available Monday through Friday and is offered in front of the Outpatient Pavilion.  In order to be tested in the drive-thru, individuals must be a St. Mary’s County resident and have a prescription for testing from a primary care provider or the St. Mary’s County Health Department. The Health Department will test anyone we feel warrants a test, so if you are experiencing shortness of breath, fever, cough, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell and don’t have a medical provider, contact Kirk Turner, Service Coordinator at 301.475.8966 ext.14. 

The St. Mary’s County Health Department is completing contact tracing for persons who tested positive for COVID-19.  This is a tool to stop the spread of disease.  If you receive a call from the Health Department regarding COVID-19, please take it seriously.  They will ask where you have been for the last few days and the names and contact information of people that you had close contact with, so that they can call these individuals.  The Health Department will not request your social security number or credit card information. 

Maryland’s “Safer at Home” Public Health Advisory

Beginning 5 p.m. this evening, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is lifting the statewide stay-at-home order that has been in place for more than six weeks, replacing it with a “safer at home” policy that relaxes some of the restrictions. The new policy allows clothing and shoe stores, pet groomers, animal adoption shelters, car washes, art galleries, bookstores, hair salons, barbershops and places of worship to resume services at 50% of their normal capacity or less.

We strongly encourage you to continue to self-isolate as much as possible, as you are “safer at home”.   The number of COVID-19 cases in St. Mary’s County continues to increase daily.  Not all eligible businesses or jurisdictions in the State of MD will be implementing Phase I on May 15.  Counties are permitted to be more restrictive than the State, but not less restrictive.

The order to wear masks in indoor public settings, in retail stores and on public transportation remains in place. In addition, all Maryland residents must remain a minimum of six feet apart in public settings. This announcement is just Phase 1 of a gradual three-phase reopening that is expected to take many months. Most of the limits on social and business interactions will remain in place as coronavirus deaths and cases continue to climb.

Temperature Checks

As we shift into “Safer at Home” status, Cedar Lane will continue to be proactive in reducing COVID-19 related risks to residents and staff. Starting today, any resident or staff member who exits the property will receive a temperature check when they re-enter. Residents with a temperature should proceed directly to their apartment and immediately contact their regular medical provider and follow their instructions. If you do not have a medical provider and you are running a temperature, Cedar Lane will contact the St. Mary’s County Health Department on your behalf.  Staff members and essential caregivers with a temperature will not be allowed in the building.  They must immediately return home and contact their medical provider.

Other Changes to Operations at Cedar Lane

Please understand that the activities program, dining room lunches, church services, the store, and the beauty salon are operations that should not and will not resume with the flip of a switch. We are a densely populated community of seniors and disabled adults and what is safe and responsible for our unique situation is going to look different for a while. While we are making plans for the eventual return of these amenities, there are no projected dates as of yet. I do not foresee any immediate changes to current operations at Cedar Lane. Most of our reopening will take place in Phase 3 of the recovery plan.  We will continue to take our direction from Dr. Brewster, Health Officer for the St. Mary’s County Health Department.

COVID-19 is still incredibly dangerous and we must continue to practice safe health habits, especially as things start to reopen. The last thing any of us want is a new spike in coronavirus cases that causes everything to shut down again. We can’t stop taking precautions. The truth is, we are each responsible for our own behavior, so let’s make good decisions.  Continue social distancing, washing your hands, sanitizing the surfaces you touch frequently, and wearing face coverings. We have done an exceptional job at keeping COVID-19 out of our community.   I am proud of the entire Cedar Lane team; let’s keep the good news going.

Sincerely,

Beverly A. Stickles

President & CEO

P.S. If you haven’t already, please share your thoughts with us by filling out the activities survey we delivered to you this week. Completed surveys can be dropped off at the front desk. Your opinion matters!  Remember to contact Wanda Fenwick at 301.475.8966 ext. 24, if you are in need of a new fabric mask or have other concerns or needs.

More Senior Snack Saks arrive from the Food Bank of Southern Maryland – third week in a row!

The Food Bank of Southern Maryland brought more smiles (and calories) to the residents of Cedar Lane yesterday with another delivery of Senior Snack Paks.  The mission of the Senior Sak Program is to fill the gap of hunger among low income seniors in St. Mary’s County MD. The bags are filled with senior friendly, nutritious snacks, and sometimes a little personalized note or joke. One resident said the bags contained goodies she wasn’t likely to buy herself, so it was a very nice treat at the end of another long week during the coronoavirus pandemic. Thank you to Brenda DiCarlo and her team.

Cedar Lane President Beverly Stickles (in pink) and Cedar Lane maintenance team member Kenny Shorter (in green) accept two cartloads of snack bags as Brenda DiCarlo keeps a healthy social distance.

Community Update – May 8, 2020

Dear residents, families, staff, caregivers and friends:

We are monitoring the continuing progression of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. I want to assure you that Cedar Lane is placing the health and wellness of its community members at the forefront of all decision-making as the days unfold.

COVID-19 update

As of today, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Cedar Lane.

Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery

While the stay at home order is still in place, it appears Maryland is moving in the right direction. Governor Hogan has released a Roadmap to Recovery designed to reopen Maryland gradually, once hospitalization rates, testing capability and surge capacity rates have reached targeted levels. If Marylanders continue to stay at home, the Governor believes we can achieve the rates we need to see and begin a slow, safe and effective path to recovery. We are not there yet. We still have a long road ahead of us. Please continue to wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing and wear your mask when outside your apartment.

Three Stages of Recovery

Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery has divided businesses and activities into three stages: stage 1 is low risk, stage 2 is medium risk and stage 3 is high risk. We have not reached stage 1 yet. Large social gatherings and resuming visitation to communities like ours are in the high-risk stage. That means resuming meals in the dining room or permitting family members back in to visit are long-term goals. There are no projected dates for reaching any of the stages. We will continue to take our direction on these matters from Dr. Brewster, Health Officer for the St. Mary’s County Health Department.

PPE Supplies

Cedar Lane has a good supply of personal protective equipment for staff and residents. If your mask doesn’t fit correctly, or if it is already worn out from frequent washing, please contact Wanda Fenwick at 301-475-8966 ext. 24 for a replacement.

COVID-19 Testing

Maryland’s ability to test for the novel coronavirus has increased and we are a key demographic for testing. If you are experiencing shortness of breath, fever, cough, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell, please contact your health care provider and ask to be tested. If your physician won’t order a test, please let me know and I will make the call for you. If you are tested and told to isolate, please follow that directive and go straight to your apartment without stopping to speak to staff members or other residents. Common areas at Cedar Lane are not considered part of your safe isolation area.

Leonardtown Town Council Results

The annual town election took place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Mayor Dan Burris was reelected to the position of mayor and the two town council seats were filled by Nick Colvin and Jay Mattingly.

2020 Presidential Primary Election

The primary election has been postponed until June 2, 2020. Every eligible voter will automatically be mailed a ballot – you do not need to apply to receive a ballot by mail. Mark your choices with a black ink pen. You do not need a stamp to mail your ballot. If you need assistance, please contact Service Coordinator Kirk at 301-475-8966 ext. 14.

Happy Mother’s Day

I want to take this opportunity to wish a happy Mother’s Day to the moms at Cedar Lane. This will not be an easy day for many of us. We are all experiencing “social distancing fatigue” and we really miss seeing our family members and friends. I hope you are able to connect to the people you love in some way this weekend and for anyone who needs someone to talk to, live, highly trained service professionals are available by calling 2-1-1-. All calls are confidential.

Tell Us What You Want or Need

Cedar Lane continues to receive an outpouring of support from friends, family members of residents, and organizations in the community. If you have a particular need or want, we want to hear about it – whether you need a medication to be picked up from the pharmacy, prefer a specific category of snacks in the snack sack or long for a certain activity that you can do in your apartment. Please call Wanda Fenwick at 301-475-8966 ext. 24.  A huge thanks to those who have already provided this feedback.

Want to Help Us Say Thanks?

Several thoughtful residents have given us letters and cards to forward to our community supporters in thanks for their generous donations of masks, snack packs and other helpful items. Notes like these brighten the day of the people who are committed to making our time during “stay at home” orders more enjoyable. If you would like to contribute a thank you letter or card, simply drop it off at the front desk and Wanda will ensure it is delivered to the deserving person or organization.

I’m happy to close this week’s letter with the announcement that both the Cedar Lane news channel and the Cedar Lane movie channel have been repaired and are working once again.   

Please be safe and stay well.

Sincerely,

Beverly A. Stickles

President & CEO