COVID-19 Update 3 March 26, 2020

Wintergreen Owners:

To minimize emails to owners, these weekly updates include public safety updates as well as WPOA general updates.

From Executive Director Roberts:

As outlined in the previous (COVID 19 – Update 2) update, the WPOA offices remain closed to walk-in traffic.  Please send an email or call for assistance.  If we are unable to address your needs remotely, we will identify a time to meet one on one.  The feedback I have received is positive, this approach is working very well thus far.

WPOA Roads Maintenance, Landscaping and Facilities Operations continue to serve the community.  We are working smaller crews, working staggered shifts (reducing staff interaction) and cross training to support Fire & Rescue Operations.  Our need to-do and want to-do lists are being scrutinized.  Some projects may be postponed while others are being brought forward.

Snow removal equipment is transitioning back into regular service.  Some of our snowplows and salt spreaders are being removed from our truck fleet a little earlier than usual.  This is being done to facilitate the use of smaller crews and less employees riding together.  April weather can be very unpredictable, with unexpected snow events not uncommon.

We are planning to close the Ravens Roost Overlook starting Monday April 6th for a renovation project.  The deck platform is getting a much-needed facelift, with all deck boards and handrails being replaced.  If all goes well, we anticipate re-opening this overlook in May.  The status of COVID 19 in Virginia could impact this project.  We will provide additional information in the update next Friday.

Tuckahoe School will remain closed through April 10th.  We will re-evaluate the need to keep this facility closed on a week by week basis and use these updates to keep you informed.

WPOA’s business is not immune to what is going on outside of our community.  We are being forced to plan for the unknown and adjust our expectations almost daily.  The unintended consequences of such rapid change will require patience from everyone and a commitment of regular communication and transparency from WPOA.  By keeping you “in the loop” we hope we will better serve your needs and retain the trust and support you have always given WPOA.

From Chief Sheets:

The number of confirmed Virginia cases has risen from 100 last week to nearly 500 today.  15% of Virginians testing positive have been hospitalized and 3% have died. We have at least one case within Nelson County. We’re now operating under a modified regional protocol.  We may not be able to transport all patients.  We have an algorithm to determine which patients are best suited for treatment at home.  If that’s the conclusion and the patient does not agree, together we will dial Medical Control for a consultation with a physician.  The hospitals are taking this firm position to improve their surge capacity.

Over the past week 10% of our staff have been ordered to quarantine pending test results.  The average “time out” has been three days.  This makes scheduling our crews very difficult.  If you dial 911, it’s imperative that you answer all screening questions asked by the dispatcher as accurately as possible.  We don’t have enough PPE to protect ourselves on every call.  Partial or inaccurate disclosure to the dispatcher during screening could place our staff in harm’s way.

We have now received a modest shipment of personal protective equipment from the strategic national stockpile.  We believe we have a supply which will last us three weeks, and we remain hopeful that the supply chain will be restored.  We’re still accepting donated masks in the foyer of our stations.  Several people in our community are busy sewing masks, just in case we need them.  It’s also possible these sewn masks could benefit our local hospitals.

There are several volunteers ready to assist community residents needing assistance with minor tasks.  See “COVID Update 2” for a list of services and contact information.

The best overall clearing house for Coronavirus info remains vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/

Like all challenges faced by our community before, we will get through this.