As of October 21, there are 0 residents at Monticello West with an active positive COVID-19 test result. The health and safety of residents and employees is our top priority; therefore, we enhanced our internal processes and protocols at the onset of this health crisis to better protect our community. We will remain flexible as this crisis evolves to ensure we’re following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will adapt as these issues continue to evolve, and new challenges arise. We are supporting the affected residents and providing regular updates to the appropriate local, county and state health departments.
We are excited to hear that federal and state governments are beginning to make changes to the visitation guidelines for senior living communities. While this is an encouraging sign, I want to take a moment and explain what this means to us at Monticello West and where we are in the process.
First and foremost, while we are all looking forward to the day when we can resume our lives as a community, take regular walks, and socialize with our friends, the health and safety of our residents and employees must remain our highest priority. From the beginning, we have taken on this challenge as a marathon rather than a sprint. There are no short cuts or easy answers to how we reduce our risk to COVID-19, and it is as important as ever that we continue to remain focused on protecting ourselves and supporting each other.
As many of you know, Governor Abbott made an announcement on September 17, 2020 directing the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to expand visitation options to eligible nursing communities to allow designated essential family caregivers to visit. On September 18, 2020 HHSC sent out their guidance and shortly thereafter, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent out additional guidelines.
I am in the process of reviewing the required guidelines and working on our plan to begin allowing visitation. Please understand that there are certain criteria that must be met to allow visitation and once visitation is allowed, there are certain requirements that must be adhered to by those who visit.
I recognize that it has been challenging for all of us to remain distant from friends and family, and I want to thank you for the sacrifices you have made to protect our community. I am happy that we are able to begin the new phase and look forward to seeing you all again.
You can expect to receive an update from me later this week. In this update, I will outline how we will roll out the new visitation process.
Thank you for your patience, your support, and for embodying that hopeful spirit that Monticello West is known for as we continue to navigate this process together. For more information about COVID-19 and our response to COVID-19, go to https://www.lcsnet.com/covid-19-update/.