95% of our independent living residents, currently here at Dow Rummel, have received one or both of their vaccines; with a few getting their second Feb 16. With that in mind and the fact that our county positivity rate continues to stay down under 10% and we have no positive active COVID cases here at Dow Rummel, we are going to begin some procedures for reopening our independent living areas. We will monitor the situation over the next couple weeks and continue to offer more reopening procedures if our county positive rate stays down and we don’t have any positive COVID cases in our independent living areas. The COVID vaccines are a wonderful step towards fighting this virus but please remember that with a 94% to 95% effectiveness there is still a chance you could come down this virus or be a carrier and expose someone else.

If a resident has completed the full vaccine treatment (14 days waiting period after 2nd vaccine), they can have 1 visit a week in their apartment with up to 2 people who have completed the full vaccine treatment. Masks are required to be worn by visitors at all times and recommend residents also wear a mask at all times when with these visitors. We ask you and your visitor(s) to keep the visit at your apartment and not in our Dow Rummel common areas. We will continue health screenings (including taking temperatures) with all visitors entering through our main entrance at 1321 W. Dow Rummel Street. They must also show proof of their vaccine treatment each time they visit. It will take extra staff to complete health screenings so we would like to get some volunteers. We are looking for residents or family members/friends who have completed their full vaccine protocols. If you are interested, please contact Cindy at 605-575-0298. Thanks for your consideration in assisting us. It will be important to have a group of volunteers to assist us as we start to move forward with other reopening procedures.

We recommend only essential shopping at this time such as grocery shopping, pharmacy, banking or shopping for other essential items. We highly recommend you wear a mask when going out. HyVee recommends seniors shop between 6:00-11:00 am or 7:00-11:00 pm (or 1:00-2:00 pm if you have to go in the afternoon). We will resume free transportation for shopping on Tuesday mornings next week (Feb 23).

We are not recommending that you go visit family or friends in their homes yet. I am sure you are asking why we are recommending going out to do essential shopping but not going out to visit with family. It is because of the exposure rate when doing these things. You have much less opportunity for close contact (6 feet or less for 15 minutes or more) with someone in a grocery store than you do going to visit family. Many positive COVID cases have come from spending time with family or friends at gatherings in their homes when someone had been exposed but didn’t know it until after the gathering and thus now had unknowingly exposed all the people they were with.

We think it would be fine to go to church only if the church has a mask mandate at the service you want to attend. We highly recommend you wear a mask at all times even if you visit with friends at a “coffee hour” after church which means not having coffee or refreshments but still being able to visit with friends.

We do not recommend going out to eat at restaurants in general. Restaurants have very high exposure potential since people aren’t wearing masks while eating and you are around people you don’t know for longer periods of time. However, Dow Rummel is working on coordinating with several restaurants to reserve private space where independent living residents of Dow Rummel can go together and eat out as a group which would be very similar to eating with your Dow Rummel friends and neighbors in Covell’s here.

If new residents who move in have not completed their full vaccine treatment (14 day waiting period after the 2nd vaccine), we will test them on day of admission and again on day 7 (if day 1 test result was negative). If both test results are negative, the quarantine will end after 7 days. If they have completed their full vaccine treatment, we will test them upon move in and if the test result is negative, they will not be required to quarantine once the test is done.

If you choose to do things beyond what is recommended, we ask you to limit your interaction around the Dow Rummel campus (such as not eating in the breakfast areas or Covell’s or attending social gatherings) but be sure to wear a mask at all times when out of your apartment. If you have not received the vaccines and choose to do things beyond what is recommended, we ask you to limit your interaction around the Dow Rummel campus (such as not eating in the breakfast areas or Covell’s or attending social gatherings or participating in wellness classes) and double mask whenever out of your apartment. Whether you have received the vaccine or not, we also ask that you not go into any of our licensed areas (Village South assisted living, Village East memory care and assisted living and the nursing home) if you choose to do things beyond what is recommended. Please be respectful of all your friends and neighbors here at Dow Rummel some of whom would be impacted significantly if they got COVID-19.

You will not be required to quarantine if you are gone overnight for medical procedures/hospital stays.

New CDC quarantine guidelines for persons vaccinated against COVID-19 are:

  • Vaccinated persons should continue to protect themselves from COVID-19 exposure by wearing a mask, social distancing and using good hand hygiene.
  • No quarantine is required for vaccinated person exposed to someone with COVID-19 if you do not live in a long term are facility (nursing home, memory care or assisted living):
    • Are fully vaccinated (14 days or more after receipt of 2nd dose)
    • Are in the 3 months window period after receipt of 2nd dose
    • Remain asymptomatic since being exposed

However, if you are traveling out of state, you will be required to quarantine for 7 days and be tested at days 5 and 7. If the COVID test results are negative, your quarantine period will end after 7 days. If the test result is positive; you will need to isolate for 10 days. Please contact Mike at 605-575-0199 before you travel.

If you know you have been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 or if you are showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (whether you have received the vaccine or not), we ask you to self-quarantine and please not visit anyone in our licensed areas at Dow Rummel (nursing home, memory care or assisted living).

If you show signs or symptoms of COVID-19 whether you have received the vaccine or not, you should call your doctor to visit about the situation and determine whether you need to quarantine or get tested.

If you have not received the vaccines, we encourage you to continue to restrict your activities outside of Dow Rummel and to double mask if you do leave Dow Rummel.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Darla at 575-0177 or Mike at 575-0199.