COVID-19 Update: January 21, 2021
COVID-19 Update: November 19, 2020
As the CDC warns of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases, please know your Ocean Reef Community Association is dedicated to safeguarding the health of this community. As you know, ORCA exclusively represents the interests of property owners here on the Reef. Your ORCA board represents no other interest. Listening to our member's concerns and seeking your input remains paramount and is key to combating this pandemic.
At the onset of the pandemic, ORCA immediately crafted and implemented action plans to protect Ocean Reef residents and ORCA employees. We continue to evolve and improve those protocols by working with the Medical Center, consulting scientific and legal advice, and coordinating with the Ocean Reef Club. ORCA has gone to great lengths to limit contact between employees, between employees and contract workers, and between employees and members.
Protocols are in place at the Welcome Center and Front Gate to minimize contact. For example, contractors are using online registration for day passes, scanning their own entry passes, or conducting businesses through a window at the Welcome Center. Most importantly, ORCA continues working with contractors to ensure and assist them with health-safe practices at their worksites and among their employees.
ORCA has also adjusted the way we offer services to you, our members. At Public Safety, members communicate via a telecom at the front door, and prescriptions and keys are placed in a drop basket to eliminate contact. Big or small, we are adjusting everything we do to be more health-conscious. This even includes contactless delivery of our 2021 Member Directories.
Also, all ORCA Public Safety staff follow strict guidelines to stay safe while they continue to provide all security, medical and emergency services. These practices include additional questions when someone calls 911 for a medical emergency and added protective gear for responders. ORCA's Public Safety has worked hard to formulate and implement strategies that protect our front-line workers without compromising the quality of any service to our members.
As Florida a homeowner's association, ORCA is legally limited in the health and safety protocols we can enforce. We can control all the practices within our departments and be the voice of your concerns. With teamwork and cooperation, we will successfully overcome the challenges of COVID-19. ORCA welcomes your ideas and input as we put all of our resources toward protecting you.
COVID-19 Update: November 12, 2020
Get Your ORCA Directories Today!Community Patrol Officer Jose Morataya Delivering ORCA Directories
Don't forget to get your hands on the new 2021 ORCA Directories. Get your books, which include frequently called numbers, member listings with photos, ORCA approved businesses, and more through ORCA's new minimal-contact distribution options.
ORCA Public Safety will make complimentary contactless home deliveries with the directories tucked in new ORCA branded reusable bags! Click here
to fill out the request form or call the ORCA office at 305-367-6304 to request home delivery. Drop-offs are made daily Monday through Friday.
Pickup at Public Safety
Residents may also pick up books at the Public Safety building Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. After you ring the doorbell on the telecom, Member Services Coordinator Connie Williams will provide you with your directories.
ORCA provides two free books per property, with additional copies available for $5 each. To request extra directories, please call the ORCA office at 305-367-3067.
COVID-19 Update: October 29, 2020
From the Medical Center About COVID-19: What You Need to Know at Ocean Reef
This year has been unlike any other previously experienced. Many of you have called into the Medical Center to express your concerns, ask questions and understand how best to ensure the welfare of family, friends and our Ocean Reef community. In an effort to provide additional guidance, your Medical Center has developed the following recommendation. This information is a composition of guidance sourced from the CDC. Additional information can be referenced by visiting the CDC’s web page at www.cdc.gov.
Arrival and Departures
• The Medical Center recommends establishing a base line and test before arriving to Ocean Reef.
If you have COVID symptoms, tested positive or have been in close contact with someone that has the virus; Defer your arrival to the Reef until you are negative or have successfully completed the quarantine period.
Pre-travel testing would reduce the risk of allowing COVID-19 infected people on airplanes and other forms of public transportation, provided that the results of the testing are known and acted upon before travel begins. Ref. CDC.
Post-arrival testing can help reduce the risk of infected persons spreading the virus at their destination (whether at home or at their travel location). Ref. CDC.
If you opt for “post-arrival” testing, the Medical Center recommends setting aside a 3-5 day self-quarantine period for each member of your travel party to include family and friends. Please call the Medical Center to schedule your testing appointment
Not all testing methodologies are the same.
• It is important to confirm with your State and local government agencies to ensure you have identified the appropriate test for travel.
• The timing (turn-around time) of results may vary. Plan accordingly.
- The wearing of a mask in all designated areas defined by the CDC and/or when required.
- Implement Social Distancing strategies whenever and wherever appropriate.
- Avoid large social gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Engage in pro-active sound sanitation techniques.
Testing:Considerations for who should get tested
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
- People who have had close contact (close contact as being within 6 feet of someone with the virus for a cumulative total of 15 minutes (or more) over a 24-hour period.) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
- People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or State health department.
• Not everyone needs to be tested.
• If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional. A negative coronavirus test result means you didn’t have the virus when you took the test (or you were tested too early in the infection for the virus to be detected). It doesn’t protect you from future infection after you leave the testing site and take a plane, train, bus or car on a trip.
• If you test positive for COVID-19, know what protective steps to take if you are sick.
• Most people have mild COVID-19 illness and can recover at home without medical care. Contact your healthcare provider if your symptoms are getting worse or if you
have questions about your health.
If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. This does not mean you will not get sick:
A negative test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or that your sample was collected too early in your infection.
You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and then get infected and spread the virus to others.
If you have symptoms later, you may need another test to determine if you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Medical Center will prioritize Symptomatic testing request. All other associated COVID testing request(s) will be scheduled for the first available time scheduled appointment.
COVID-19 Update: September 3, 2020
Prescription Pickup Participation Soars During COVID
Sergeant Andrea Pettorini Placing a Prescription in the Collection Basket Outside of the Public Safety Building
As a member of the Ocean Reef Community Association, you have access to amenities and services that far surpass other private communities. Even during natural disasters or global health crises, providing these critical services and luxury amenities remains ORCA's top priority.
Aside from delivering security, emergency medical services, and fire rescue, one of our most requested services this summer has been Public Safety's Prescription Pickup Program. In July alone, we picked up 643 prescriptions for our members. This is almost double the 384 prescriptions we retrieved in July 2019.
What's all the fuss about?
With the Prescription Pickup Program, when members are at the Reef, you never have to worry about leaving the gate to pick a prescribed medication. ORCA Public Safety will take care of that for you, saving you nearly an hour driving!
All you have to do is have your doctor call in your prescription to a participating Key Largo pharmacy, which currently includes Publix, CVS, and Walgreens. If placed before 2:00 p.m. you can pick them up at the Public Safety building by 7:00 p.m. the same day. Where else in the world can you drive your golf cart to pick up your prescriptions?
For additional convenience, members can call the Prescription Information Hotline at 305-367-3401 to check on the status of your medication(s).
ORCA is constantly striving to surpass your expectations by providing quality services that go above and beyond, even during times of uncertainty.
COVID-19 Update: July 2, 2020
As COVID-19 cases spike in nearby areas, Ocean Reef members have expressed increasing concern. Please know, your Ocean Reef Community Association has no higher priority than protecting your health.
As you were recently informed, with the support of ORCA Public Safety, the Ocean Reef Club has decided to implement temperature testing at the Front Gate, airport and marina. This testing will include all members, guests, and anyone staying at the hotel.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, ORCA has taken numerous steps to ensure the safety of everyone in the Ocean Reef community. Now, ORCA will be expanding protocols to include screening contractors and others who visit the Welcome Center, and piloting a sampling of temperature checks at the Front Gate. This will allow us to obtain additional data used in our decision making process.
Temperature checks are a tool, but it's specific to that moment, and as research has shown, many individuals are asymptomatic and without fever. Those without a fever should continue to adhere to all the recommendations and best practices.
This list is not all-inclusive, but it does capture some of the most important protocols and closures in place:
- Public Safety Building: We require temperature screening for all ORCA Fire/EMS personnel when they arrive and when they finish their shifts each day. All other Public Safety personnel receive temperature checks prior to beginning their shifts.
- The Public Safety Building has modified its procedures, and entry to the lobby is not allowed. Communication is done via an intercom to protect our first responders so we can maintain full staffing for all services, including prescription delivery.
- Welcome Center: Our interaction to process background checks and issue passes is via a window, thereby limiting exposure. For those waiting, a tent with chairs is positioned outside.
- Front Gate: Members and guests will have their temperatures checked as soon as they reach the Front Gate.
- Members, employees, and workers that have ORCA ID Cards or Day Passes scan their own cards to further reduce exposure and the spread of COVID-19. See the bullet point below for more information on contractors.
- Joint-Construction Industry Commitment: ORCA Public Safety and the Chamber of Commerce developed a pledge consisting of several wellness measures based on best practices and guidelines provided by the CDC. As outlined in the pledge, the strategies help reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread amongst workers, members, and employees.
- Expanding Best Practices: We expanded our "best practices" program developed by the Ocean Reef Medical Center. These practices still include wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequent hand washing, but now they also involve health and temperature checks.
Ultimately, all Ocean Reef Community Association members are responsible for their own safety and decisions. We urge all residents to continue to act on best practices as recommended by the Medical Center:
- Wear a mask
- Maintain social distancing
- Wash your hands frequently
Thanks to the thoughtful practices implemented by both ORCA and the Ocean Reef Club, we have experienced only four positive cases of this virus since the beginning of the outbreak. With your continued support, we can keep everyone in our community healthy and safe.
COVID-19 Update: June 25, 2020
Facial Coverings in Public Settings Are Mandatory
PLEASE remember, you must wear a mask when entering any office, building, or store. Should you need to visit the ORCA office or any establishment, a mask or buff is required for your safety and ours.
Per Monroe County, "To reduce the spread of COVID-19, facial coverings over the nose and mouth must be worn by all employees and all customers in business establishments and other public settings where there is a roof overhead."
Together, we can maintain a safe and healthy Ocean Reef community.
COVID-19 Update: June 18, 2020
ORCA Keeps the Reef Running
While we love reading heroic stories of essential workers all over the world who took a personal risk to help combat the COVID-19 crisis, that same selfless dedication has been quietly happening right here at home!
Throughout the pandemic, ORCA staff left their homes and families every morning to keep the Reef running with essential, but relatively invisible services. Their dedication enabled ORCA to continue providing security, medical prescription delivery, irrigation of our landscape, and sewer services, plus traffic control and road maintenance.
Lieutenant Pedro Marin
Beyond our departments' normal tasks, the wonderful people who work at your Ocean Reef Community Association also looked for ways to further help residents. ORCA Public Safety officers reached out to people who were living alone, and ORCA Fire Fighter/EMT-
Paramedics checked on and offered assistance to house-bound residents who likely had no one else to help them.
During our most isolated time, your Public Safety officers checked on dozens of residents. To further reduce COVID exposure, your Public Safety heroes kept the prescription program going with "no contact" pickup at the Public Safety building. Our medical and security officers also responded to countless routine calls, and continued their extraordinary response time for emergencies. Thank heavens, we had our new third ambulance at the ready when our other two ambulances were out on calls or transporting individuals to local hospitals. Thanks to everyone's' efforts, we may have had the best emergency service in the country during this period.
ORCA Public Safety officers continued their patrols around the clock to keep our streets safe. The department also assessed and cleared thousands of people daily to deliver your packages, work at your homes, and spruce up our landscaping, all while you stayed safe at home.
With this selfless, above and beyond attitude, it is no wonder ORCA has received so many calls thanking the officers and ORCA staff. While they won't stop to pat themselves on the back, we have never been prouder of our ORCA team who keep the Reef running, healthy, and safe!
COVID-19 Update: May 21, 2020
COVID-19 Update: May 7, 2020
Vital Signs: Ocean Reef Medical Center During the Pandemic
By Fiona and Randy Woods
We recently talked to Medical Center CEO Keith Young to check up on the essential health asset supported by ORCA, and to learn what has changed and what remains the same at the Medical Center during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is what we learned:
The Medical Center remains fully staffed with all team members doing well and entirely focused on providing appropriate care. Administrators instituted protocols early to keep patients and personnel safe so that staff can feel secure and comfortable moving between work and home.
Telemedicine is the foremost current adaptation, one that Keith feels will, and should, have a lasting impact on the practice of medicine. Communication technologies offer opportunities for certain care to be convenient and prompt, less time-consuming, safer, and significantly more cost-effective. New methodologies may drive a profound cultural shift for the country.
The FDA can currently slice through red tape to make changes that would otherwise have taken years to accomplish. Some adjustments approved by regulators in response to coronavirus will become permanent; others are labeled temporary and may be retracted. Physicians are adapting. At present, doctors can readily acquire requisite new communication software that fully integrates with electronic medical records.
The Medical Center has been able to procure and stockpile all necessary supplies and medicines. Some of these resources have been made available through the auspices of certain ORCA members. Other members have undertaken random acts of kindness (one involving home-baked brownies) to support Medical Center staff, demonstrating the depth of our appreciation for our frontline health workers.
"We have several nameless heroes," explained Keith.
Our residents know to call before coming to the Medical Center. However, should you show up at the door, you will probably be greeted by Keith himself, or COO Chris Grant in a tented entry portal. Assessments are made of the needs and health of the patient before building access is granted if appropriate.
If a patient requires therapies beyond the Reef, advanced care pathways are carefully considered and made available through the Medical Center's close liaison with other healthcare facilities. In the past, Keith spent many evenings and weekends visiting members in regional hospitals to be sure they saw a friendly face, but this is no longer practical. Instead, the medical team at Ocean Reef communicates closely with the treatment team at the appointed hospital, and connects with concerned family who are unable to visit.
For transportation of patients, integrated information software enables our paramedics to efficiently message entire teams involved in patient care. The communication technology allows all parties to know who is on the move, where they are headed, and their condition before they even leave the front gate. Receiving facilities concurrently learn who is inbound and what needs they will have upon arrival.
NORMAL IS AS NORMAL DOES
Although patient visits are currently below historical norms, and access is controlled, the Medical Center is open for business as usual.
Professionals continue to meet the needs of patients who require lab work or other practices. Physical therapy patients are being seen. All forms of care are provided using telemedicine if possible, or in person if not.
Close communications are maintained with Monroe County. The Department of Health connects with positive COVID-19 patients twice daily and monitors sequestrations until health benchmarks are met. Keith receives regular regional situation reports from the Health and Sheriff's Departments. A dedicated team at Baptist Health South Florida also provides information on regulatory updates and resource management.
A senior committee of representatives from ORCA and ORC meets seven days a week at 3:30 PM with Keith and Chris from the Medical Center. At these meetings, the Coronavirus messages sent to our members are generated. Keith noted that keeping us informed is essential, remarking that "in the absence of information, people make up their own."
When asked what he would like to impart to ORCA members, Keith said as a proud member of the community, the Medical Center is working to ensure that everyone receives excellent care in a clean and safe environment. "We are here for you."
Our unexpected finding from this interview was Keith's caring and extraordinary optimism. He clearly delights in his work and takes palpable pride in his dedicated staff. The Medical Center continues to adapt to serve ORCA and the health and safety of our entire community.