Community Update: August 7, 2020
Dear community members:
St. Mary’s County recorded 84 new cases of COVID-19 last week, which serves as a timely reminder that we must remain COVID-safe and COVID-vigilant to keep our community as protected as possible. Here are this week’s news items for Cedar Lane:
COVID-19 Status on Our Campus:
As of today, there are still no known cases of COVID-19 at Cedar Lane. Continue to wear your mask and wash it frequently. If you need a new filter, please call the Front Desk and ask for Wanda Fenwick. Testing is available with no doctor’s order and no appointment for St. Mary’s County residents. To learn more, call the COVID-19 Community Hotline at 301-475-4911, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Signs of the Times:
You will start to see some decals going up around property that offer important reminders to help keep yourself and those around you safe during this ongoing health crisis.
Teleworking Staff Returning to Campus
You may have spotted some Cedar Lane staff members who have returned to campus. While it’s great to see their faces again, please do not knock on office doors. In order to keep residents and staff as safe as possible, we must all keep a social distance. Instead, please call the Front Desk and ask to be transferred to the person/department you wish to reach. We will assist you by phone or schedule an appointment using appropriate safety precautions. When paying your rent, please drop it in one of the rent boxes. Your completed confidentiality form can be left at the Front Desk for Kirk Turner or Crystal King.
Upcoming MOR for Building II
Several members of our team are preparing for an upcoming HUD Management and Occupancy Review for the Burch Building. All Section 8 project-based rental assistance programs are subject to these routine audits and inspections – even during a pandemic. Our staff members are hard at work checking and double-checking that everything is in compliance.
The Bus is Back in Business
The St. Mary’s Transit System (STS) has been restored to full service. If you have questions, you can phone the STS Office at 301-475-4200, ext. 1120.
Were you ready for that storm?
Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through our region with rains, winds and tornadoes, resulting in heavy flooding and downed trees. We were very fortunate here at Cedar Lane. As of yesterday, 1.8 million customers were still without power on the East Coast. Please report any storm leaks or damage to your apartments by calling the Front Desk.
Be prepared for severe weather
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts 2020 will be an above-average hurricane season. Predictions call for 19-25 named storms. Out of those, three to six are forecasted to become major hurricanes of Category 3, 4 or 5. An average season brings three major hurricanes. To receive weather alerts, call the Department of Public Safety at 301-475-4200 Option 6 then Option 3 or use the following link https://www.stmarysmd.com/coderedweatherfaq.asp
If you haven’t yet prepared your stay-at-home hurricane emergency kit, it’s time to make it a priority. Your stay-at-home emergency kit should contain:
• 3 day supplies of non-perishable food and water (1 gallon per person per day)
• Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Sanitation and hygiene items
• Basic kitchen utensils, including a manual can opener
• Cash/checkbook/credit card
• Medications, supplies and extra batteries for medical devices like blood sugar monitors
• Record of medical conditions, allergies, and current medications, stored in a waterproof container
• Pet food, water & supplies for managing pet waste
• Charge your cell phone before every storm
Tornado Safety Tips for Apartment Buildings
With winds that can top 250 miles per hour, tornadoes are no joke. A tornado warning means that severe thunderstorms with tornados are imminent or are occurring, take immediate action to get in a safe place. Remember:
- Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls
- Get as far inside the building as possible
- Get as close to the ground as possible
- Get into a small room, such as a closet or bathroom
- Do not use the elevators
Turn Around Don’t Drown®
More flooding is in the forecast. Flooding is the leading cause of severe weather-related deaths in the U.S. Just six inches of water can knock you down, and a foot of water can carry away most cars. Remember, it is NEVER safe to drive or walk into floodwaters.
St. Mary’s County Board of Elections
As a reminder, the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections is working by appointment only. If you have questions about your voter registration, mail-in ballots or want to make an appointment, please call 301.475.4200 ext. 71625.
President & CEO
Community Update: July 31, 2020
Dear community members:
On Wednesday, Governor Hogan announced a pause on further reopening plans for Maryland, triggered by a recent increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations. Here are the main takeaways from his press conference, along with some news items for Cedar Lane.
Expanded Masking Order for Maryland
Governor Hogan is expanding the statewide masking order that has been in effect since April 18. Under this order, which takes effect Friday, July 31 at 5:00 p.m., all Marylanders over the age of five are required to wear face coverings in the public spaces of all businesses across the state. Face coverings will also be required in outdoor public areas, whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing. The Governor says that wearing a mask is the single best mitigation strategy we have to fight the virus.
Out-of-State Travel Health Advisory
Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to states with COVID-19 positivity rates of 10% or higher. Anyone traveling from these states should get tested and self-quarantine for 14 days. This public health advisory — which takes effect immediately — applies to personal, family, or business travel of any kind. Marylanders are advised to postpone or cancel travel to these areas until their positivity rates decline. As of today, this advisory applies to Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Nebraska, and Idaho.
Through contact tracing, Maryland has confirmed the top three sources of virus spread — family gatherings, house parties and outdoor events. These are now considered higher-risk activities and should be avoided.
COVID-19 Status on Our Campus:
There are still no known cases of COVID-19 at Cedar Lane Senior Living Community.
Moratorium for evections has expired
In March, the Federal Government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which temporarily banned evictions and late fees for renters. The protections covered in the Act expired last Friday, July 24, 2020. Property owners are required to provide renters with a 30-day notice to vacate before they can be evicted.
Quick Visual Apartment Inspections
Cedar Lane will be reinstituting regular apartment inspections beginning this August. In the interim, Facilities Director Calvin Boozer will be coming around to make a quick visual inspection of every apartment to determine condition and any necessary repairs, starting with the first floor of the Church Building. If you are not home when Calvin knocks on your door, he will come back later to complete the visual inspection. Please continue to report all maintenance issues to the front desk.
Hot Weather Trash Tips
Summer and seafood go hand-in-hand, especially here in Maryland. But fish scraps, crab and clam shells can get very smell, very fast. After you’ve enjoyed a seafood feast, please be considerate of your neighbors’ noses and you take your bagged trash directly to the dumpster outside, rather than the trash rooms.
It’s Doggone Hot Outside – Summer Safety Tips for Dog Owners
Many pet parents don’t realize that during the summer months, hot pavement, asphalt, and dark or metal surfaces can very quickly become scorching hot – too hot for paws. Every summer, veterinarians treat dogs with serious, painful burns to their paw pads after a well-meaning parent took their dog for a walk without checking the temperature of the surface below. One quick, easy way to tell if the ground is too hot for your pup’s paws is to remember the “3-Second Rule.” Before walking your dog, place the back of your hand on the ground and hold it there for 3-seconds. If the heat is unbearable, please find another place to walk, outfit your pup with a pair of booties, or reschedule your walk for another time when the ground isn’t so hot. Walking in shaded, grassy areas is always best.
Of course you should never leave your dog in a car, no matter how quick you think your errand may be. Even with the windows cracked, a car’s interior can climb to more than 100 degrees in 10 minutes on an 85-degree day. And don’t forget, it’s important for both you and your dog to drink plenty of water on these hot, hazy, humid days of summer.
I hope you all have wonderful weekend and a happy start to August.
President & CEO
Community Update: July 24, 2020
Dear community members:
Here we are, already one month into summer. While our community remains free of any known COVID-19 cases, many of us are feeling worn out from this battle we’ve been fighting since March. We are tired of the worry, the restrictions, the isolation, and not knowing how or when it will all end. Now more than ever, we must have patience with each other and treat each other kindly.
Vacation season is here, and some Cedar Lane residents have travelled to states classified as coronavirus hot spots. The safest thing you can do is assume that everyone you encounter has been exposed. Wear a facemask and keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and everyone else. The week of July 12 saw the third highest number of new COVID-19 cases in St. Mary’s County since the pandemic began. Maryland health officials and some government leaders are even asking Governor Hogan to consider rolling back his reopening plan and re-imposing some restrictions to slow the virus spread.
We have done well so far in looking out for each other. With our continued safety in mind, I am reminding everyone that our community’s regular policies and rules remain in place as we monitor and adapt to COVID-19 developments.
Cedar Lane is a Smoke-Free Campus
Recently, I have received complaints about residents smoking on campus. Smoking is prohibited on Cedar Lane property, including individual apartments and all common spaces. The only area where smoking is permitted is the outdoor gazebo, located just past the parking lot. Everyone who lives here agreed to abide by this policy. Failure to comply can result in your eviction, and no one wants that to happen.
Use the Front Door for Everything
As a reminder, please do not open any of the secondary entrances or side doors to allow people to enter, hand things off to someone you know, or accept deliveries from family members or friends. As a protective measure, all entry and deliveries are limited to the main entrance only. If you require assistance with a large item delivery, please contact the front desk.
Pet Waste Cleanup
Picking up pet waste is more than being a good neighbor – it is your obligation as a responsible pet owner living in an apartment community. Please do your part in keeping our community clean and safe.
Please Don’t Seal Rent Check Envelopes by Licking
In an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, the Finance Department is asking you not to lick the envelopes that you use when dropping off your rent checks. If using one of your own envelopes, please use a wet sponge or cloth to seal it. Better yet, reuse the self-seal envelope that your Cedar Lane statement came in!
Mask Filter Facts
Some of you have facemasks that require filters. Did you know coffee filters are perfect for this purpose? If you don’t have a coffee filter to use, you can request a new mask filter by calling the Front Desk and asking for Wanda.
Health Department COVID-19 Testing Hours, Leonardtown & Lexington Park
You can receive a free COVID-19 test without an appointment or a doctor’s order. Please bring insurance information if you have it (uninsured residents are still welcome).
Leonardtown Office: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
21580 Peabody Street, Leonardtown
For assistance or accommodations, call ahead to (301) 475-4330
Lexington Park Office: Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
46035 Signature Lane, Lexington Park (co-located with U-Haul Moving & Storage)
For assistance or accommodations, call ahead to (301) 862-1680
Another Treat from Friends of Cedar Lane This August
The directors on the Friends of Cedar Lane board want to hear from you! They are planning to treat residents to another socially distanced meal this August. So the big question is, what would you like to have? It doesn’t even have to be dinner. It could be breakfast! Just keep in mind that the menu items need to be things that can be easily packaged and delivered at a safe temperature for consumption. Have ideas? Call the Front Desk and ask for Wanda to share your thoughts!
President & CEO
P.S. I hope you enjoyed your ice cream delivery from Tonya and Wanda on Tuesday. There’s nothing like ice cream on a hot summer day to make us all feel like kids again.
Community Update: July 17, 2020
Dear community members:
Back when the current health crisis began, we had hoped that by mid-July, things would look much different. Sadly, COVID-19 is continuing to spread at alarming rates. On Wednesday, the world saw its highest single-day increase in coronavirus cases. I would like to share the following news and updates that directly affect our community.
Outdoor Bingo Games Postponed
We recently announced that we were working on plans for a safe and socially distant day of bingo sessions outdoors. Unfortunately, this event will have to be postponed due to increasing coronavirus rates and the current heat wave. We will keep you updated on further developments.
Face Coverings and Social Distancing are Mandatory
No one enjoys wearing a facemask; however, masks are required in all public areas outside your apartment at Cedar Lane, even if you are the only person using that space. This includes the library, elevators, Burch lounge, corridors, hallways, restrooms and any space that is not your apartment. Not wearing a mask is considered endangering the health of fellow tenants and staff, which is an actionable lease violation. Staff will remind those who fail to comply with this policy to put on a face covering and to practice social distancing. This is important, and necessary action will be taken against those who continue to ignore these policies. We do not want it to come to that, so please do your part to protect the health of those who live and work at Cedar Lane.
Why are Masks so Important?
This past Tuesday, Maryland saw the largest single day jump in confirmed COVID cases in five weeks. Daily case counts in the US continue to set records. The CDC affirms that cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when used by everyone within a community.
New Screening Forms to Address Recent Travel
We will be revising the health screening form we use at the Front Desk to address the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s public health advisory for anyone returning from travel to states with significant community spread of COVID-19.
We are experiencing mechanical issues with the air conditioning in the hallways of the Elizabeth Mattingly Church Building. The required replacement part is on order; however, we do not have a confirmed delivery date. The heat wave continues this weekend, with a heat factor of 100ºF+. We encourage all Cedar Residents to stay in their air-conditioned apartments and to report any maintenance issues regarding air conditioning to the Front Desk.
Apartment Inspections to Resume
Back in March, HUD postponed all housing inspections due to the pandemic. We are now directed to resume apartment inspections, which will be conducted in safe and responsible manner. You will be notified in advance of any inspection.
A Sweet Way to Keep Cool
Now for some fun news. Activities Coordinator Tonya has planned a sweet summer treat to be delivered door-to-door on Tuesday, July 21 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. That’s the inside scoop!
Look to the Skies for Comet Neowise
Neowise, the brightest comet in 23 years, is gracing the morning and evening skies this week across the world. Here in Leonardtown, you can try to see it at the following times:
Friday, July 17……………………………………………………………… 9:50 p.m. – 12:12 a.m.
Saturday, July 18……………… 4:03 a.m. – 4:36 a.m. and 9:49 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.
President & CEO
P.S. Would you, your friend, family member or caregiver like to receive these weekly updates by email? To join our email list, call the Front Desk and ask for Jennifer Bruckler.
Community Update: July 10, 2020
Dear residents, families, staff, caregivers and friends:
There are still no known cases of COVID-19 at Cedar Lane. Unfortunately, the numbers of confirmed cases in St. Mary’s County continue to rise. As of yesterday in St. Mary’s County, there have been 692 reported cases and the virus has claimed the lives of 51 people. The St. Mary’s County Health Department is reporting more travel-related cases and increased community spread of the virus. If you have travelled to a state that is seeing increased cases, it’s important to be tested for your heath and the continued wellbeing of your neighbors.
Maryland’s Testing Goals:
Governor Hogan has said that widespread testing across each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions is critical for our long-term recovery. He has set a goal for every jurisdiction to test 10% of its population. Currently, St. Mary’s County is short of that goal, with a population-testing rate of 8%. If you have questions about getting tested or retested, please contact the Health Department by calling 301-475-4330, by emailing email@example.com or by visiting www.smchd.org .
Keep Protecting Yourself and Others on Campus
As the pandemic marches on, we can’t become careless about basic health protections. Please continue to wash your hands frequently, wear your mask and practice social distancing. The Centers for Disease Control advises us to wash our hands before putting on our face coverings. When putting on your mask, place it over your mouth, secure it under your chin and try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
We Must Respect Others’ Space – Complaints Have Been Made
I have received complaints, especially from people with mobility and/or health issues, that fellow residents are making it difficult to maintain a social distance. Reports have mentioned residents not wearing masks properly, getting too close to other residents, moving chairs to sit together and not allowing residents to pass while maintaining a distance of six feet. During this public health crisis, refusal to respect others’ space is grounds for a lease violation. As a reminder:
- You are required to wear a face covering at all times when in public spaces at Cedar Lane. Anything outside of your apartment is a public space.
- We have received reports of people only putting on their mask when they see another person. This is dangerous behavior because as you breathe out, you are dispersing particles. Even if you are sitting alone in the library, riding alone on an elevator or using the Wi-Fi in the lounge, you are required to wear a mask.
- We will continue to remove and rearrange furniture as necessary to support social distancing.
- I encourage each of you to politely and gently speak up and remind others to wear a mask and to social distance. Wearing a mask is not intuitive and no one likes to wear a mask. But Dr. Brewster of the Health Department stresses that wearing face coverings is essential to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
- We are in this as a community and we need to act responsibly.
Please Do Not Knock on Office Doors
To prevent any potential viral spread, Cedar Lane staff members are protecting your health by teleworking or working behind closed doors. Please do not knock on the doors to the office suites, or sit outside an office door in an attempt to catch a staff member. Instead, please call the Front Desk and ask for the person you are trying to reach so that we may serve you safely.
A New Resident Moves in this Saturday, July 11
A new neighbor will be moving into the Church Building with the assistance of professional movers/and or family members on Saturday, July 11, 2020. To limit any potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus, we suggest you remain in your apartment between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. while the move takes place. If you can’t stay in your apartment, please practice social distancing. Non-residents assisting with this move will be required to wear a mask, complete the health screening and temperature check at the front desk, and proceed straight to the apartment where the move is taking place. Your new neighbor has agreed to self-quarantine for 14-days.
Another Dinner Planned for August – Your Thoughts Wanted
Friends of Cedar Lane is planning to treat residents to another meal this August. For those who may not know, Friends of Cedar Lane is a fundraising board of directors who solicit donations all year long to benefit Cedar Lane residents. So far, the Friends of Cedar Lane board has paid for two fried chicken meals for residents – one in June and one in July. They choose a different caterer or restaurant each time. This is not a donation from the restaurant or caterer – they are paid for the food they make. For the next meal in August, we want to hear your thoughts about what you would like to have. Please keep the following points in mind:
- The meal must be easy to package and deliver
- Temperature is a concern – it must be safe and tasty to serve after cooking, packaging and delivery
- The Friends board pays for meals for 200 people, so the cost must be reasonable
- Please call the front desk and ask for Wanda Fenwick to share your thoughts
Wishing you all a safe and sunny weekend. We have enclosed some summer safety tips to help you beat the heat.
President & CEO
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
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
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)
- 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
- 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.
President & CEO
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.
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.
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.
President & CEO
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.
Beverly A. Stickles
President & CEO
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.