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April 30, 2020

Dear Extended Cobble Hill Family,

Several weeks ago we made the difficult yet strategically vital decision to close our doors to new admissions.  We did this for principally two reasons: 1) to provide better care to our existing residents by more effectively deploying our limited resources and staff, and 2) to further limit introducing additional COVID-19 cases into our building.  While we knew that doing so would cause significant financial impact, we didn’t hesitate because our residents come first.

By reducing our census from a pre-COVID average of 98% to the roughly 60% it is now, we were able to close several units and redeploy those staff to other units helping us overcome staffing challenges.  For the many of you whose loved ones were moved, we are grateful for your understanding and cooperation.  One of the unique aspects of post acute care (or long term care) are the relationships residents form with staff and other residents.  We understand the value of those relationships and the hardship moving residents can cause.

In addition, we had the added layer of trying so hard to keep symptomatic and asymptomatic residents apart.  As we’ve shared in previous communications, despite very difficult conditions, isolation and infection control were always top of mind.  We were especially happy to learn that a focussed Department of Health infection control survey conducted last week found us compliant with all regulations.

While we still mourn for our residents who passed away during this covid-19 pandemic and will for some time, we are encouraged by the decrease in deaths and those that are sick.  As of today, we’ve had a total of 53 residents pass as a result of COVID-19 with only 2 confirmed with COVID.  The number of residents who are sick with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are now under 25.  Most significantly, over 60 residents who were at some point sick with COVID like symptoms have recovered and are completely off isolation and doing well.

This week, due to better access to testing, our low overall census, our greatly reduced population on isolation, and improvement in staffing, we were able to fully operationalize our cohorting plan.  This was a complex puzzle that took over a week of planning and many dozens of hours to carry out.  Going forward, any new COVID residents will be placed on our dedicated COVID unit where they will remain for the balance of their illness being cared for by dedicated staff.

While we always strive to optimize everything we do, we recognize that we are human and prone to error.  We hope that everyone affected by these moves was treated with empathy and respect.  We worked very diligently to plan and take every residents’ medical and psychosocial wellbeing into account.  We notified you if your family member was affected by the moves and will continue to update you throughout this ever evolving operation.  If you feel we overlooked something in this process and could have done better, please let us know.

I’m grateful to my incredible team for being so dedicated and caring for your loved ones.  We are here for you in every way.  We are humbled by the trust you place in us.

As always feel free to contact our hotline (718) 247-1153, or email us at covid19@cobblehill.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Donny Tuchman, CEO