We are looking forward to seeing our students in-person once again. When will that happen? The information swirling around COVID-19 (C-19) is positive, then negative; is clear, then mysterious; is known, then unknown.
For the past 21 years we have met in large, assisted living facilities and want to continue this tradition. However, facilities are not sure about allowing large groups to use portions of their facility or be in resident areas. (Renting hotel space is expensive and would significantly drive up our costs.) Plus, administrators are telling us not all residents and staff are vaccinated.
Then comes news from an assisted living in Seattle where 98% of residents were fully vaccinated, but only 52% of staff took the vaccine. That facility, C-19 free for 15 months, had 19 residents and 5 staff infected either from a resident returning from the hospital or from a member of the staff.
Could this happen in California?
During our live streaming courses, we are hearing from administrators they are not mandating all staff and residents take the vaccine. In one case, 92% of residents were fully vaccinated, but less than 60% of staff were. Would our students want to be around unvaccinated staff and residents? Do facilities want to host a group of 30-plus people for 10-hours a day? Most of our former host sites have said no until the unknown is known, the negative is positive and there is no longer a mystery.
This is the likely scenario: students will have to prove they are fully vaccinated, present without symptoms, and wear a mask when outside of the classroom. Social distancing may also be required. We will no longer do four, 10-hour days, but two, 10-hour days, with the remaining 20 hours done online, leaving another problem. The pandemic has revealed many administrators have computer “challenges.”
We will keep you informed. After June 15—the apparent day C-19 is vanquished from California—we will know more. Until then, we are continuing our live streaming courses through July, and our online courses are always available. We have no current direction from DSS about the state of continuing education past June or July.