A letter to family and friends of Thompson House from our administrator (December 30, 2020)
Dear Thompson House Residents, Staff, and Families,
On Tuesday, 12/29/20, one staff member at Thompson House tested positive for COVID – 19 antibodies during their daily antigen test. This result was confirmed by PCR test. Thompson House is antigen testing all staff, daily, upon reporting for work. In addition, all-staff PCR testing is being conducted weekly. Thompson House immediately initiated transmission precautions including the donning of N95 masks, goggles, and gowns for care. We are working with VDH and D.A.I.L. closely and are implementing policies to contain the spread within the facility. As before, our staff continue to demonstrate best practice in their adherence to infection prevention.
Coincidentally, Tuesday morning Thompson House residents and 50% of the staff received the first of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, administered by HealthDirect Pharmacy staff. We applaud Gov. Scott’s focus on the safety of LTC Residents in vaccine and antigen test distribution. This availability of antigen testing is how we became aware of this staff member infection so quickly. Evidence suggests that the vaccine should also better prepare us in the event that there is any facility spread. Going forward, the vaccination of Nursing Home residents will reduce the death toll across Vermont by at least half, and save so many grandmas and grandpas.
To the benefit of Brattleboro and at the beginning of the pandemic BMH, Thompson House, and other local health care facilities formed a COVID – Response Group. Throughout this crisis, this allegiance has enabled a well-coordinated effort to protect the most vulnerable of our population. We are continuing to work with this team to stem the spread, and safeguard the lives of our residents.
The recent spike in cases in Windham County is demonstrative of the behavior of people in our community. Vaccines are being distributed, but we cannot let our guard down in this, our most hopeful time of the pandemic. The increasing number of cases in our community at large means this virus, with heightened virility, is now breaching our defenses at the Long Term Care facilities in Windham County at an alarming rate. I speak for the Residents, Staff, and Board of Directors in our plea: Wear your mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance.
Dane A. Rank, Administrator