Dear Beatitudes Community,
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have come together as a community to protect our residents, staff and community. You have heard the good news that an efficacious vaccine that will protect us against a coronavirus infection should be available very soon. As we approach the opportunity to be immunized against the coronavirus, let us not forget that 291,403 Americans have lost their life to this virus; 7,154 of these were Arizonans. In fact, Arizona now has the highest transmission rate of COVID-19 in the country, with the average infected person now passing along the disease to 1.22 people. A vaccine will help us save lives in the future and allow us to turn the page on this deadly virus.
I want to assure you that the team and I are in contact with the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, as well as CVS (with whom we have partnered for our vaccine clinics) as these three agencies are responsible for the distribution of the vaccine when it arrives in Arizona. The plan for distribution of the vaccine is still fluid, but what we are told now is that residents and staff in our Health Care Center will be among the first to receive the vaccine, followed by residents and staff in Assisted Living and then Independent Living. We know that misinformation and fear can sometimes spread more virulently than the virus itself, so right now, we are in the process of compiling critical information that we will send to you and post on our website about the vaccine itself, about the plans for the vaccination process, and about specific plans for Beatitudes Campus. We will share the benefits and risks of the vaccine so that you can make an informed decision for yourself. As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our residents and staff.
On Monday, December 7, we tested 273 staff and contractors for COVID-19. We received 272 negative results and one positive result. This staff person who was positive works in maintenance, and contact tracing for possible exposure has been completed. We send our prayers for recovery to this staff person.
We are committed to following the facts and science as the COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and distributed. Until our country has been broadly immunized, I urge you to continue protecting yourself and others by wearing a mask, washing your hands, keeping a social distance from others. These actions remain essential.
Know that your health and safety continue to remain our top priority and we will get through this together. Stay well.
Michelle Just, President and CEO