It is hard to believe that the coronavirus pandemic is officially one year old. March of 2020 is when America learned that a new version of the coronavirus would be ravaging our country. To date, COVID-19 has taken the lives of over 518,000 Americans, including over 16,500 Michiganders. I ask each of you to pause for a moment of silence this month to remember all our neighbors and citizens whose lives were cut short because of COVID-19.
The good news is that we know so much more about this virus than we did 12 months ago. We understand how the virus spreads and how to protect ourselves and others from infection. Medical providers know how to better treat the illnesses that are caused from COVID-19. And, most importantly, highly effective vaccines have been created and many people have already received one or two doses. Our nation is ramping up the manufacturing process so that vaccines are available to everyone who wants one.
In our West Michigan communities, the percentage of positive cases is continuing to trend downward and has been under 5% for a few weeks. We are feeling hopeful. We are making strides to return to the center but continue to take every precaution as we do not know how highly contagious COVID-19 variants may impact us.
LifeCircles and our community partners are working together to develop a phased approach for reintroducing day center activities. Please be patient. Someone from our team will be in touch with you as soon as we have information regarding the timing on your return to the day center. Unfortunately, we cannot just flip a switch and return to full scale day center operations.
While some of the public health restrictions have been eased, guidelines for mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and COVID symptom screening are still in effect. The CDC and MDHHS guidelines recommend remote work for employees who can work from home. Therefore, most LifeCircles team members will continue working remotely and conducting virtual team meetings whenever possible.
I am extremely proud of our LifeCircles team for the relentless focus on your health and safety over the past 12 months. It has been an honor to partner with you to reimagine how we can continue our mission in these trying times. I know how hard this has been for everyone. I am cautiously optimistic that we are through the worst of this crisis. The key to success is vaccinating more than 75% of the population and not moving too quickly or engaging in risky behaviors. Although we are not yet out of the woods, we are definitely making progress!
Please do not hesitate to call us if you have a question.
Luke Reynolds, Executive DirectorLast Updated on March 2, 2021