Many of you probably know that the Parsons City Commisison, at the regular meeting last night, allowed the mask mandate in Parsons to sunset, meaning that, as of today, there is no mask mandate in Parsons. There is also no mask mandate in Labette County. Many of you are probably also aware that the CDC, on May 16th updated their guidance to say that fully vaccinated individuals "can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic."
We have the results of the Survey Monkey questionnaire that we put out yesterday. 47 of you filled out the questionnaire by 3:00 pm today (thank you!). Question #1 was "Are you currently fully vaccinated?" 37 of you said "yes" (78.72%) and 9 said "no" (19.15%). Question #2 was "If you have not yet received any vaccine, do you plan to become vaccinated? 1 said "yes" (2.13%), 7 said "no" (14.89%) and 36 replied "already vaccinated" (76.60%). The last question was "Would you be comfortable with masks becoming optional for staff and clients?" 38 said "yes" (80.85%), and 6 said "no" (12.77%).
Based on everything above, I am ok with Labette Center moving to a "masks are recommended, but optional" position rather than "masks are required" of staff and clients. For the time being, there needs to be two exceptions to that; when transporting clients, and for Navigators, masks need to be worn by both staff and clients. When Navigators is outside, then masks can be recommended but optional.
I want to stress that any staff member or client that wishes to continue wearing a mask is welcome to do so. I also want to stress that, when with a client, you need to determine what his or her preference is for you, and if the client would prefer you wear a mask when you are with them, you should do so, regardless of your vaccination status. You should also be courteous with other staff members, and if someone prefers that staff members wear a mask around them, we should respect that desire, regardless of our vaccination status. If we use our skills and common sense, I believe this transition can and will be successful. Other CMHCs tell me that this is their current stance, and have had no issues with either staff or clients.
It remains important that you follow our guidance that, if you feel ill in the slightest, that you stay home, follow your primary care professional's advice, and get tested for Covid-19 if you meet the current guidelines for testing, or your PCP recommends that.
Also, please be reminded that we continue to "fog" offices and vehicles monthly with a substance that kills the Covid-19 virus for 30 days after treatment.
We will continue to check the temperature of clients as they enter our buildings, and will reschedule their time with us if they have a temperature of 100.4 or greater. The doors to our buildings will remainded locked, so we can control who and how many people enter them.
Covid-19 vaccine is readily available in Parsons and Labette County. For those that do not have a medical reason to avoid it, I would encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to become so.
We'll continue to monitor both the CDC and local case rates, and, should conditions warrant it, we will return to a "masks required" stance.
It's been a long year and a quarter since the Covid-19 pandemic began. I want to thank you for all that you have adapted to. The good news is that we can now start transitioning to a way that is more like "how it used to be" prior to the pandemic.
Thanks everyone, and let me know if you have any questions.