Lasell Village: COVID-19 Policies & Updates
Welcome to Lasell Village’s Coronavirus update page. We are committed to providing residents, their families and friends with up-to-date and transparent information about our COVID policies and community health status. We wish you all strength, health, and comfort as we move forward with hope.
April 1, 2021: Opening Days
Dear Residents, Staff, Family and Friends,
Tomorrow is opening day for the Red Sox, this year with fewer fans in the stands. Like the Red Sox, Lasell Village is experiencing our opening days, too; while we are not roping off seats, we are carefully offering musical events, visits, and exercise classes with appropriate distancing. I concur with Red Sox executive, Pete Nesbit’s, advice:
“A lot of the camaraderie, a lot of the high-fives and hugs that you would see for a home run or for a walk-off, those are things we’re trying to discourage.”
Likewise, while there were no hugs and high fives in Margaret’s Café today when I stopped by, there were lots of smiles and conversation between bites of sandwich (with masks on when not eating).
Lasell Village’s strong vaccination rate remains among the highest in the Commonwealth: 99% of all residents and 89% of all employees are vaccinated. Given our vaccination partnership with CVS, new employees joining since February are able to be quickly vaccinated, allowing us to reduce Covid-19 risks. As a result, we updated protocols, highlighted in the attached document. Residents may now join hybrid exercise classes (in-person and online), visit and share meals in apartments, meet resident friends for lunch in the Café (and soon in the dining room), and hear live music.
Even as we carefully re-open activities, we are attentive to risks in the broader community: the U.K. variant is becoming widespread and there has been an uptick in infection rates in some parts of the country and in the Commonwealth over the last week. We await further guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Commonwealth’s Department of Public Health regarding protocols for vaccinated individuals.
It has been delightful to welcome so many new residents in the last month to the Village, Studios, and Lasell House. The “class of 2020/21” has bonded over their shared experience of making masked friends. The entire community is abuzz with new in-person opportunities and the lure of springtime weather for many outdoor activities.
For those of you lucky enough to have Red Sox tickets, enjoy with masks on! For everyone spending time together this weekend with friends and family, please continue to take Covid-19 precautions.
February 26, 2021: One Year with Covid
Dear Residents, Staff, Family and Friends,
Listening to President Biden’s solemn and heartfelt remarks on Monday night honoring the more than 500,000 lives lost to Covid in the United States, I joined the world in a reflective moment. A year ago most of us had no idea what would hit us, no idea that “you’re on mute” would seemingly become the most common phrase in the English language (at a time when having a voice is ever more important), no idea that loneliness and pain would define too many lives. Now, as we round the corner on one year with Covid, together we are remembering the friends, neighbors, family members, and those we never knew, but whose stories we read, imagining the lives they left behind.
Even as we have been physically distant, togetherness has defined the Lasell Village community. The links in our circle have grown stronger as we have supported each other and looked out for each other; we’ve celebrated our 20th anniversary together, and we have mourned together.
Over the last 365 days, I have grown accustomed to the staccato rhythm of writing email updates, remaining open and transparent about what we knew, what we didn’t know, what we were learning. Sending frequent emails opened up a new communication pathway and meant the joy of two-way communication, hearing back from many of you with questions, concerns, suggestions, and notes of appreciation, all of which helped the team and me to prioritize steps to support living through Covid, not just coping through Covid.
This week we held our final vaccination clinic: we are delighted to report that 99% of residents and patients and 89% of all staff have received two doses. In addition, on-site vendors and caregivers were also vaccinated. We are proud to have a vaccination rate that far exceeds the average in our industry.
With vaccinations and new guidelines from the Governor, Lasell Village is introducing several new protocols to focus on resident wellbeing and socialization. We ask all members of our community to use good judgment, visit outside establishments at times when they are not crowded, and continue to take protective steps, even with those who have been vaccinated.
We are glad to begin to open the Village in small ways. Beginning right away, the following new Lasell Village protocols will permit greater socialization. In groups of up to four individuals, wearing masks and social distancing:
- Residents may visit with each other in their apartments with food and drink permitted (masks on when not eating/drinking);
- Guests, family and friends may visit in apartments without food or drink permitted;
- Guests, family and friends are invited to join ping pong and table games at the Village;
- Residents may visit family and friends outside of the Village.
Guests need to continue to complete the health screening at the Welcome Desk.
Togetherness has defined Lasell Village and will continue to do so as we adapt our protocols in the coming months. The team is continuing to assess in-person dining options, activities, and more. Lasell Village has demonstrated that we are a community that prioritizes residents’ wellbeing, engagement, intellectual curiosity AND health. Thank you for continuing to bring out the best in each other as we round the corner on one year with Covid.
January 14, 2021: Lasell Village Vaccination Clinics off to a Great Start
Dear Residents, Staff, Family, and Friends,
Congratulations to all who were vaccinated this week! With careful preparation and the full attention of the Village team, this week’s two on-site clinics moved along without a hitch and with a celebratory feel. CVS told me that this was their smoothest vaccination clinic site yet, thanks to the team’s planning and pre-work and to residents’ cheerful cooperation. As one resident said, she never knew that a shot in the arm could be the best present ever! A special bonus was the chance for staff and residents to enjoy live – and lively – conversations, even with masks on and at the appropriate distance.
Vaccinations by the numbers:
Nearly 400 first doses of the Pfizer Covid vaccine have been administered across the entire Village, Lasell House, and Studios! We are thrilled with the results: 100% of Lasell House and Studios’ residents and over 98% of independent residents have received the vaccine along with aides and some on-site vendors who have frequent community contact. At our first clinic in late December, 75% of all staff were vaccinated. Additional staff are being vaccinated next week.
Residents who received their first dose on Monday, January 11 will receive a second dose on Monday, February 1. Residents who received their first dose on Tuesday, January 12 will receive their second dose on Tuesday, February 2.
We all need to keep our guard up, as a recent Sunday New York Time’s article articulated. It reminds us that even when people are fully vaccinated (a week or two after the second dose), they still may become virus carriers, and we must remain careful. We have over a month to adjust protocols at the Village. By the end of February, when nearly everyone in the community has received their second dose and there is protection, we will update protocols based on CDC and Department of Public Health guidance and the then-available best medical evidence.
The team is delighted that this week we were able to deliver peace of mind. I loved seeing so many smiling eyes above masks on our vaccination days!
As we approach our national day to honor The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., his words remind us of the power of love: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” These are words to carry us into the New Year.
January 5, 2021: Exciting New Years Vaccination News
Dear Residents, Staff, Family, and Friends,
Great news for the start of the New Year: Lasell Village has been given the green light to vaccinate all independent residents!
In my last note, I announced that 75% of all employees and 100% of all Lasell House and Studios residents had been vaccinated last Tuesday. We are delighted to be able to offer the vaccine to the rest of our community next week, on Monday, January 11 and Tuesday, January 12. We are pleased to be at the front of the vaccination schedule in Massachusetts, even though it is with short notice.
Residents will receive a hard-copy packet including the consent form, the vaccination schedule, and Frequently Asked Questions. Read the instructions carefully and fill out your consent form right away. My advice: settle in with a cup of tea, read all of the materials, and complete the homework below as soon as possible, but no later than Thursday, January 7 at noon.
We learned from the first CVS clinic to expect the unexpected as the team works hard to make the process move along smoothly. Bring patience, your smart phone, and a smile under your mask. Being one of the first Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the state to vaccinate all our residents is a wonderful New Year’s gift!
LASELL VILLAGE RESIDENT COVID-19 VACCINATION INSTRUCTIONS
WHEN: CVS will vaccinate residents over two days next week, followed by two additional vaccination dates three weeks later to administer the second dose. Each resident is assigned to a Monday clinic or a Tuesday clinic.
Monday: First vaccine: Monday, January 11; second vaccine: Monday, February 1
Tuesday: First vaccine: Tuesday, January 12; second vaccine: Tuesday, February 2
Each resident’s assignment is listed by building. The schedule is tight! Arrive on time but expect this to be a bit like the opening of your favorite store. The line may move quickly or there may be delays; the line may be long since CVS is still working out the process….so bring patience!
WHO: CVS will administer the vaccine to all independent residents, employees not previously vaccinated, and others who have been part of the Village testing program. We are delighted to be able to extend the vaccination program to residents’ private aides, whether working for an agency or privately, since they have been part of our testing program. Aides and their residents should plan to be vaccinated at the same time if possible.
—Which vaccine? CVS will administer the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.
WHERE: CVS will administer the vaccine in one half of the Lasell Village Ballroom, with post-vaccination observation (15 minutes) held in the adjacent Ballroom space. On the day of vaccination: proceed to the Great Room for registration and further instructions.
- CVS Covid-19 Vaccination Consent form:
- Please fill out the consent form immediately, but no later than noon on Thursday, January 7 and return to the Wellness Center. Each person must fill out the consent form to receive the vaccination (each resident, each aide, each employee).
- Note! Our team is entering the data into the CVS system, and this is a time-consuming process. For the prior vaccination clinic, CVS entered the consent form data themselves, and they are now asking for our help. Your quick response will help the Lasell Village team and allow the day to run more smoothly.
- In order to complete your consent form, you must attach a copy of your insurance card and your Medicare Part A/B card. If you do not have the physical Medicare card, you must provide the Medicare Part A/B ID Number (MBI). The Concierge Desk can assist if you are unable to make copies with your home printer.
- CDC v-safe smartphone vaccination tool: On the day of the vaccine, please bring your smart phone to sign up for the CDC Covid-19 vaccination check-in site. It takes 2 minutes to sign up and is an important way for the CDC to conduct health check-ins after you receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Participation is voluntary but helps to keep everyone safe. We will provide assistance in the observation room for those who would appreciate the extra help to sign up.
Vaccination schedule: Please call the Studios (Elena Ceban) at 617-663-7123 if you need to change your assigned vaccination date/ time.
Making photocopies of insurance cards: If you need assistance copying your insurance cared and Medicare Part A/B ID Number (MBI), please bring your cards to the Concierge Desk. The copies must be attached to the consent form.
Vaccine: Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions in your hard copy packet.
Clinical questions related to your health status and Covid-19 vaccination: Please speak to your Primary Care Physician. If you cannot reach your PCP prior to next week’s dates, we will work with you to include you in a future vaccination clinic.
Personal Aide(s)’ vaccinations: Please call your home care agency directly to enlist their help in getting each of your aides vaccinated and in ensuring that Consent Forms are completed. The Wellness Center is also a resource, but very busy preparing for the vaccination clinics, and you may need to be patient!
December 29, 2020: Successful Vaccination Day #1
Dear Residents, Staff, Family, and Friends,
Today was an exciting and very busy day at Lasell Village! I am thrilled to report our vaccination results: CVS vaccinated 75% of all Village employees across every department, along with all Lasell House residents/patients, all Lasell Studios residents, and a few of our vulnerable residents. Huge thanks to the entire Village team for patience and good humor on what was a successful and momentous day. Together we took a huge step forward in our fight against Covid-19. CVS will return on January 19th to administer the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. We anxiously await news of the date for vaccination of Village independent residents.
Along with the rest of the Commonwealth, results of frequent Covid-19 testing are continuing to yield positive cases. Positive results from testing this week are below, and we send wishes for good health soon.
Two Lasell House patients, one asymptomatic and one with recent symptoms;
Two Lasell House employees, both quarantining at home;
One independent resident who is in the hospital.
Finally, it is with sadness that I share that Gil Loo, former Lasell Village resident and Lasell House resident, passed away from Covid-related pneumonia. Gil was known for his warm smile, upbeat outlook on life, sharp mind, and formidable hiking skills. He and his wife summitted all 48 of the 4000 foot mountains in New England in all four seasons, joining an elite group who can claim this feat. Gil was always happy to share stories with his Village friends of his beloved birth state of Hawaii and his adventures. Gil died a half year shy of 101 years. We will miss him.
Thank you for being a part of our strong and caring community as we look forward to 2021 together.
December 28, 2020: LV's First Wave of Vaccinations Begins December 29
Dear Residents, Staff, Family and Friends,
This is an exciting and historic moment for Lasell. Tuesday, December 29th, CVS will be on-site to vaccinate the first wave of recipients with the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine. Lasell Village Town Hall will be a very busy place and we request that Lasell Village residents stay clear of Town Hall all day. That will help us to ensure that there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out. The vaccine will be administered in Lasell House and in the Ballroom, with registration staged on the first and second floors of Town Hall.
As you know, the Commonwealth has prioritized long-term care (Lasell House) and supported living (Lasell Studios) residents/patients and staff. CVS will be on-site from approximately 10am to 6pm tomorrow. We have not yet received a vaccination date for our Lasell Village independent residents. We are anxiously awaiting information on when all of our independent residents will be vaccinated. We are looking forward to that day!
Lasell is one of the first senior living communities to roll out the vaccine in Massachusetts. We are learning in real time as few others have paved the way before us. The team has been working very hard and tomorrow we are prepared to process many people through registration, vaccination, and observation. We are excited and ready to go!
Here’s to finishing 2020 on a good note as an early vaccination site!
Looking for an earlier update you don’t see here? Click below to visit the COVID-19 archive page.
In addition to Lasell Village updates, Lasell University regularly posts COVID-19 information. Click below to visit the University’s Fall Reopening / COVID-19 Information Page:
Other reliable sources of information you may find helpful: