I hope you and your family are well and that your New Year is off to a great start. It’s been a while since our last COVID-19 update, and I want to fill you in on where we are with COVID-19 cases and vaccine distributions.
Since mid-December, Evergreen has experienced large spikes in Louisiana and Texas cases, as well as increases in all of the other states where we provide services, except Georgia. Evergreen has had close to 300 people we serve and staff members infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. We are heartbroken to report that we have now lost seven people we serve and two staff members to COVID-19.
Thankfully, vaccinations across nearly all of our divisions are now underway. The only exception is Florida, where the people we serve in day training are not among the first residents in the state to qualify to receive the vaccine. To encourage people to choose to be vaccinated, we have launched a vaccine education and incentive program in all of our divisions.
We predict that it will be several more months before herd immunity is established in our community homes, programs and offices. In the meantime, most of our day programs will remain closed, and community home residents will be served from their homes. The visitation guidelines that we shared before the holidays are still in place.
Moving forward, we will be providing you with a COVID-19 update like this one at the end of every month until we are fully reopened.
Thank you for your patience and prayers. I look forward to putting the pandemic behind us and seeing everyone soon.