To All Families, Residents and Staff
I’m writing today regarding face mask protocol on the Wesley Community campus.
As you know there have been many news articles regarding masking over the past week. Several of them did not carry all the facts. Suffice it to say that masking remains a complicated topic for all of us here on the Wesley Community Campus. I want to take a moment and clarify where we are at in our various settings on campus.
Last week’s CDC new guidance relating to the elimination of face coverings for fully vaccinated individuals had no bearing on us at all. This is because in New York State, Governor Cuomo’s masking policy was stricter than that of the CDC. As a result, the Governor’s policy is what needed to be followed.
On Monday May 17th, the Governor modified his own policy for some but not all locations. This change allows for fully vaccinated people to not wear a mask in many settings. It does however, allow for businesses to maintain a masking policy that is stricter if they choose to do so. Further it requires that masking and social distancing remain in place in any long-term care facility in the State, i.e. nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
As a result, at Wesley Health Care Center and in assisted living at Woodlawn Commons the Governor continues to require masking for all staff and visitors at all times, no matter if you are inside the building or outside on campus. As an example, a family visiting with a nursing home resident or an assisted living resident within any of our courtyards or in other locations inside or outside of the facility, would need to all remain masked.
The Wesley Community campus is home to over 600 individuals who are a part of the most vulnerable population if they were to contract the COVID-19 virus. As a result, at the present time, we have decided to continue to require all residents and families at Embury and Woodlawn’s independent apartments to maintain the masking and social distancing policy when they are inside our buildings. The Community Garden, the shuffleboard courts and perimeter sidewalks are examples of where no mask would be required for fully vaccinated individuals with social distancing being maintained.
This is not a decision that has been arrived at lightly. Until we put more distance between the last spike of the virus and can gain certainty on the length of the vaccine’s effectiveness we need to proceed with caution.
I do understand that for some this is not a welcomed decision. I apologize for that but please know that as the CEO of the campus I must chart a path that keeps everyone’s safety as the primary goal.