To Mask or Not To Mask, Once We Are Vaccinated

While most of us are feeling quite relieved to be vaccinated, and a little less worried about being out and about in the world, the guidance on how to continue to be safe is a bit of a moving target. Although the CDC has offered some guidance here, we at Debra Levy Eldercare still believe we should continue to behave with an abundance of caution.

  • We will continue to remain masked during visits, while transporting clients, and especially when accompanying a client to medical appointments.
  • We will continue to remain masked when out in public.
  • We will continue to limit our socialization with family and friends who have not yet been vaccinated.
  • We have continued to assist our clients in being vaccinated and are working on getting appointments for vaccines at home for our homebound clients.
  • We are following the rules at the various skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities when we are able to visit clients there, which typically includes being double-masked.

We are very encouraged at the statistics that show the number of cases in long term care (LTC) facilities dropping dramatically, with the increase in vaccinations by both residents and staff. Back in December the rate of infection in these facilities nation-wide was about 34,000 cases/week and that has now dropped to 824 cases/week in March! Likewise, in December there were 7,000 deaths/week in long term care facilities and that number has now dropped to only 825 deaths/week. Another reason to celebrate—hugs are possible again! If you have a relative in a skilled nursing facility, the new regulations released by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) actually allow for touch between vaccinated visitors and vaccinated residents, although everyone should still remain masked. To review the regulations, you can read them here.