Shift to Phase 2, progress at Westfield both positive signs

Article Image Alt Text

Our community took a giant step forward this week on the COVID front, in more ways than one.
The most obvious change is the progression from Phase 1 to Phase 2 safety protocols, which will quite literally allow a little more breathing room in how and where we are able to get together. It’s a refreshing change to anyone and everyone who has grown weary of the tight restrictions we’ve been under since mid-March, and at this point who doesn’t count themselves in that crowd.
Judging by what’s happening throughout the state and nation, we need to be cautious moving forward, wearing masks in public places like the grocery store and limiting exposure whenever possible to ourselves and others. Phase 2 is more relaxed, but a far cry from the Phase 3 protocol now in place in all but four Nebraska counties.
The other positive step in our community involves Westfield Quality Care, which was hit hard early during this pandemic with a wave of COVID cases impacting staff and residents. It’s been a tough, tough time for all involved there, especially those who lost loved ones, as well as residents who have been isolated from family and friends at a time their support is needed most.
The good news is that a partnership with two local companies -- Westfield Quality Care and Vancare, Inc. -- has cleared the facility of any positive tests, with no symptoms reported for the past 30 days. A story on this week’s front page reports that tests results due back this week could confirm the “all clear,” which would be a huge relief for residents, staff members and families at Westfield who have been at ground zero in this COVID fight for weeks. It’s so encouraging, but certainly not surprising, to see local companies working together to find a solution.
While we can briefly celebrate all of these developments, the reality is that this pandemic is far from over. Community and business leaders, as well as individual families, should take careful note of lessons learned over the past three months and be prepared to kick in heightened safety measures, or in Westfield’s case reapply the electrostatic disinfectant, as needed.
Today is a day for cautious optimism, which is in and of itself a giant step forward.
Kurt Johnson

Rate this article: 
No votes yet