VENTURE OUT ADVISORY -UPDATE JULY 14, 2020
Dear Venture Out In Park Residents
Our Palm tree trimmer who has done our work for us these past five years, continues to have trouble fielding an entire trim crew. He has promised that his crew will be out tomorrow to re start the palm tree removal work and the stump grinding and at the latest will start trimming now on the 21st. He has stated several times, it’s an “Industry wide problem” trying to find the labor to trim these trees. He believes that with unemployment benefits averaging about $21.00 per hour right now, there is no incentive for their normal labor pool to get up off the couch and get to work. He is hopeful that at the end of July, when those additional Covid unemployment benefits run out, the laborers, will return to work. As I drove in this a.m., I did notice that almost all of the Cal Am parks are not trimmed either and they are normally all trimmed by now. Lynette ( in our office) tells me that her park at Val Vista, is not scheduled until the end of July.
When they do start, they will first be trimming the 300 block along Aero and Navajo to get any debris out of the drainage areas as quickly as possible and then move out from there.
We have had two car break ins in the last two weeks. In both cases the cars were left unlocked and someone went through the cars looking for items. Please keep your car and unit doors always locked.
We continue to watch Covid ravage Arizona, but we are lucky in the community to not have any cases in Venture Out THAT I AM AWARE OF. I again attribute that to everyone following the rules, social distancing, wearing masks and using sanitizers. The Condo Board and Social Board continue to work on plans to safely re-open our facilities this fall. It’s going to be a whole new world for a while, but every day we are healthy inside VO is a victory.
Stay safe out there!
Mary L. Schmit/CMCA
General Manager, Venture Out at Mesa Inc.
VENTURE OUT ADVISORY – UPDATE JUNE 30, 2020 EXECUTIVE ORDER
By orders from Governor Ducey .. the Fitness center was closed last night at 8:00pm and remain closed until his executive order is lifted. This is due to the skyrocketing cases of Covid-19 in Arizona. All other facilities remain open at this time. Please follow all Social distancing, face masks requirements that you received earlier.
Mary L Schmit, General Manager
VENTURE OUT ADVISORY – UPDATE JUNE 26, 2020
The State of Arizona, Maricopa County and the City of Mesa have all recently issued mandatory precautionary procedures to address the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. These procedures are contained in the following documents. The full documents are available via the links, which you can copy and paste into your internet browser. The documents are also being placed on the Venture Out web site under ‘Latest News.’
State of AZ Exec Order 2020-40 issued June 17th
County of Maricopa – Regulations Requiring Face Coverings in Maricopa County issued June 19th
City of Mesa Fourth Proclamation of the Mayor under the Declaration of Emergency issued June 20th
https://www.mesaaz.gov/home/showdocument?id=40078Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 – CDC
The documents mandate the wearing of face masks and maintaining physical distancing (6’) in the circumstances and locations listed in the documents. In addition there are exemptions to the requirements also listed in the documents.
Please read through the entirety of the documents to familiarize yourself with the requirements.
Part 1, section E, page 3, of the Maricopa County document lists the locations defined as being ‘Places of Public Accommodation.’ It then states in Part II section A (page 3) Use of face Masks who and where a person ‘must wear a Face Covering under the following circumstances.’
The issuance by the City of Mesa provides further information on the local requirements, in Part 1, Sections ‘a’ through ‘l.’ Of note in section ‘f’ there is language regarding outdoor activities, and in Section ‘g’ information on exercising in a gym.
Each document has an extensive amount of information, and rather than attempt to paraphrase it, residents are encouraged to read through the entirety of the documents.
The focus of each order is to require the wearing of masks when in a public facility and to exercise physical distancing of 6’ between persons.
The CDC recommendations for wearing cloth covering is listed in the following:
Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission
Below is a quote from page 1, of that document.
‘CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States. We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.’
CDC CIVID-19 – What to Do If You Are Sick is attached. This Guideline provides information on COVID-19 symptoms, and what to do, beginning with: Stay home except to get medical care. (page 1 Steps to help prevent spread of COVID-19 if you are sick.)
In Venture Out signage will be posted at the entry doors identifying the locations that require the wearing of a face covering (mask) and self-distancing.
The State, County and local requirements apply to all businesses listed in the documents, so you will be seeing masks in supermarkets, retail stores, and other public places.
Please read over the documents, familiarize yourself with the requirements, and ensure that you are following these safety procedures.
Ken Winters, President, Venture Out Condo Board
VENTURE OUT COVID-19 Updates
VENTURE OUT ADVISORY
Dear Venture Out Residents everywhere,
Arizona is facing a real struggle right now. We re-opened and within weeks we started a steady upward surge of cases. Some of this was initially thought to be due to increased testing, but now with more results, it appears this is the result of people going out and not observing safety precautions such as social distancing, avoiding crowds and wearing a mask.
The Governor’s address on Wednesday was sobering (you can view this on line) and he issued a new executive order, which applies to all businesses including Non Profits such as Venture Out.
We have been doing almost all of it since we started our COVID-19 mitigation process in March. Now it is no longer ‘Guidelines’ these are ‘Requirements’ within the state of Arizona. Some of the items that I took particular note of…were that the data now shows, that indoor events are much riskier than outdoors, and that masks and safe social distancing at all times of at least six feet are recommended and or mandated for some businesses. The chance for infection is greatest, when you are in close contact with an infected person and neither party is wearing a mask. In addition research has shown that the virus can be airborne transmitted by exhaling, coughing and sneezing.
The link to most recent report for COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County is:
https://www.maricopa.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5033 (to open you will have to copy the link and paste it in our browser)
The governor was very clear that our most vulnerable population were those that were 65 and over and persons with underlying health issues.
We are attaching the Governors ‘Requirement’s’ for businesses and non-profits, so that you can read them for yourselves. They are lengthy.
Here at Venture Out, I would say our population gets a Gold Star. Several Gold Stars. I believe that most if not all have taken all these notices to heart. We are sanitizing constantly, and our residents are right there with us, sanitizing surfaces behind them as they use them. So again, to date, we know of no cases in Venture Out.
We are doing more. I spoke with a Representative at Banner Baywood a few weeks ago and asked her why there had been no outreach by the medical profession to 55 plus communities. Arizona has one of the highest senior snowbird populations in the country, and soon, hopefully, people will be returning. We all need to be on the same page to protect our populations. She agreed and took that suggestion all the way up the food chain to the Banner CEO. He also agreed and offered to have a valley wide conference with 55 plus communities, to help us ask questions of the medical field and to set up some ‘Best Practices’, so that we can all safely re-open and operate. Albeit, in the middle of this crisis, we expect things to be greatly changed.
The Recreation Department and the Social Board have a particularly difficult time determining exactly how they will function next season. They have been working on plans all summer and continue to do so. The Condo Board and Staff are also working on plans to safely re-open facilities, but you will need to expect that there will be limits to occupancy and social distancing in all facilities. More of this will be detailed as we work through it this summer.
We will also be initiating new cleaning methods with the arrival of two electrostatic sanitizers that we expect at the end of June. These machines are used by hospitals, airlines, and hotels, to sanitize large areas quickly and efficiently.
I have found that I need more janitorial people than anything else right now, to stay on top of cleaning all these areas. We are reviewing our current workload and employees to determine if we can reallocate hours to cleaning and sanitizing.
We also are very careful to watch our own staff. If ANYONE demonstrates any type of illness they are not allowed to come to work. I want to thank the staff; they have constantly and repeatedly come forward to pick up those shifts. Often supervisors, themselves, are working weekends to make sure we stay on top of our disinfectant schedule.
Covid-19 is not the only thing we are doing at Venture Out, we still have all the same projects we must complete each summer. The road work is for the most part done, the last thing to do was cleaning the streets. The lighting project is ongoing, with many issues, of lights going out for no apparent reason. They are 50 year old direct buried wires, and they are simply at the end of their life. The Palm tree trimmers are now behind, all due to Covid. They cannot field their normal crew due to fears of employees. Something you don’t think about, people just being afraid to go to work!?
VO staff, by contrast, keeps soldiering on. Maintenance, is in the process of trying to replace as many standpipes (we budget 75 a summer) as possible during the summer. Sometimes they can dig for days, before they locate the saddle to one unit. If we did nothing else, the maintenance staff would have a few years’ worth of work replacing all these standpipes. It is hard labor, tedious and time consuming. But slowly we are getting it done, and at the same time, mapping out the different types of pipes and connections that were used in the park with each different phase as it was developed. I told my Maintenance Supervisor, David the other day, that this was a great deal like an archeological dig.
In closing the most positive news I can give you, is that we have almost completed the conversion park wide to the new shared Gig line. This has allowed us to eliminate 11 costly DSL lines and we are now sorting through which analog lines we can also drop. Instead of an internet bill in the thousands of dollars each month for all those lines, our total internet bill for the one shared Gig line is less than $500/mo. This will be a great savings and it couldn’t come at a better time. Gulam Chowdury our IT and Channel 17 employee has been working alongside with M5 to accomplish this conversion.
Mary Schmit, General Manager, Venture Out At Mesa Inc.
Message from the President of the Venture Out Condo Board
I am back in Massachusetts and I watch the COVID-19 data for both here and in Arizona. Massachusetts had a spike in cases in the late spring and imposed strict guidelines with stay at home orders, restricting all non-essential businesses, and requiring social distancing and masks at all times, while out in public. When Francine and I returned in late May we were subject to 14 days of self-isolation. It is now routine for wearing masks I see no one without one, in stores.
The results are that this state since May 20th has reduced new cases by -92%, and hospitalization rates by -72%. We are now in the process of a ‘soft’ reopening but maintaining the strict requirements for distancing and wearing masks.
I continue to watch medical updates and progress both on the cable news channels and the internet. Today I read a CDC Guideline Update (COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios) showing data that approximately 40% of the new cases of COVID-19 may be transmitted by persons who are either asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. So, what does that mean? Persons who are showing no physical signs of being infected are in fact able to transmit the virus to other people.
This is why it is critical we plan for the fall and the return of our seasonal residents. From speaking to year-round (summer) residents the Guidelines have been working, we have been able to safely open certain recreational activities. I’ll call this process the ‘lessons learned’ and now we need to take the information and overlay the procedures in a larger resident population.
So, wherever you are, enjoying the summer, please be cautious and observe the recommended safe procedures.
Ken Winters, President, Venture Out Condo Board
VENTURE OUT ADVISORY
(UPDATE – JUNE 4, 2020)
Dear Venture Out Residents
This week we finally got our sneeze guards in for the front office desk. These types of supplies are on back order everywhere. We will re-open the Admin office on Monday. The Admin office has also been measured for the necessary ‘Social Distancing’ and the maximum that can be in the lobby at any one time is five people. We ask that you wear a mask when visiting the office.
We are still working on getting a sneeze guard installed for the Activity office. As it is much larger this is more complicated, and materials have been scarce. We hope to have that installed soon so that office can be re-opened as well.
We continue to order supplies and we continue to be backordered on many items. An owner referred us to a distillery up in his home state that converted to making hand sanitizers and we were able to get several cases from that source that were less than half what we were being quoted by the suppliers down here. So, a big thanks for that referral. Hand sanitizer is critical these days to remaining operational.
Amenities that are now open are tennis, pickleball, bocce ball, pools, fitness center and just recently the putting green. Please follow the rules at each.
I spoke with a representative at Banner Baywood today and she gave me a message to pass along …‘Covid is not going away, it is worse and their hospitals on Power Rd and Higley are both filling up. The warm temperatures did not reduce it, the numbers are increasing, and she does not understand why people are not paying attention still to the requirements to wear masks and social distance’.
This is such a concern that we are now trying to form a Valley Wide task force with Banner Baywood to have outreach to our 55 plus communities, so that people can return safely in the fall and all be on the same page.
Meanwhile at Venture Out we are making plans to open safely. Watch for the summer newsletter that will soon be coming out, with the thoughts from both Social and Condo Board on how this can be achieved.
The valley gutter road work is moving rapidly. Its good that we did not put out a schedule because they are moving faster than anticipated. I expect they will be close to finishing next week instead of the three weeks scheduled.
Palm tree removal is almost complete, and trimming will start right behind it. All normal summer work is in progress as we go into each building and do all maintenance and repair work necessary.
We hope that you are all having a safe summer.
Mary L. Schmit/CMCA
Venture Out at Mesa Inc.
Venture Out Covid-19
(Update & General Information – 5/22/20)
We are pleased to announce that after a week of working with club representatives for Bocce, Pickleball, Tennis and Billiards, all four facilities are open now or will be open by Monday. Bocce will not open until Monday. Club representatives, Condo Board members and Social Board, met to work on new guidelines for play that will have to be followed to maintain safe play during Covid 19.
Many of the guidelines that have been agreed upon, come straight out of the USAPA (Pickleball Association) and the USTA (Tennis Association). It was helpful that those large organizations had thought through all the issues of play for us.
Bocce and Billiards did not have similar guidance so that was worked out between Board members and club members, figuring out how to maintain Social Distancing while playing and to sanitize equipment, hands etc.
There are rules attached for each club, to this FASTMAIL so you can read these in advance before play. They are also available at each club to take home and are posted. There are sanitation stations at each location to sanitize equipment and hands. Masks are required in the Billiards room and Bocce. For Tennis and Pickleball which is more strenuous they, are not required. The Board strongly encourages that everyone wears a mask when out and about in the park to protect your neighbors.
The Bathroom on the west side of the Billiards room and the west door to Billiards will be open. Pickleball, Tennis and Bocce will all share the Pickleball bathrooms. Since we are stretched thin trying to constantly sanitize surfaces, please pay particular attention to our requests to help us keep the bathrooms sanitized and safe for your use.
Open courts for Pickleball, Tennis and Bocce will be unlocked or marked off. Courts 7 & 8 for Tennis, will not be available yet, until construction and tree work conclude this summer and we can open bathrooms again, which are currently being used by contractors.
The roads with new asphalt will be re-opened late Friday May 22. There will still be contractors working in the area, but you can now drive on it and park your cars at home. The final work on the asphalt, and streetlights will continue into June.
On June 1st we will start the valley gutter work on Grumann and three laterals. We will put that map out next week and place maps on all doors of those affected and go into more detail at that time.
Solar panel cleaning will start next week. Please remove all cars from the Community Center no later than Monday evening, as we will be barricading it off.
We will be cleaning off the solar panels at the EPC as well and then begin to paint that building, the pump house and fences. We recommend that you use the West Pool while they are painting.
There are many summer projects we are working on as we normally do, but Covid 19 has put a new focus on janitorial and the comprehensive measures we will need to implement this summer and into the fall to keep spaces clean and sanitary.
This summer we will be working with the Social Board and Recreation to determine out how we set up clubs the same as we just set up our outdoor sports. Everything from how you first step through the door and maintain your social distance while using your facility will have to be mapped out and thought through carefully. Today while chatting with an avid pickleball player, we both acknowledged…it’s a new world and just like after 9/11 we have to figure out how we move about that new world and function in it.
In closing, I think we are doing something right. We are still right in the middle of a valley hot spot for Covid 19, # 1 this week; but I have yet to learn of a case in the park. Earlier this week I was talking to a Banner Hospital Rep asking them if they were going to focus their outreach to all the senior communities in Mesa so we don’t end up at their hospital. When I told her that we did not have a known Covid case yet in the community. her response was simply…” Wow!” So keep up the good work and have a great weekend!
Mary L. Schmit/CMCA Ken Winters Lorriane Hee
General Manager President President
Venture Out at Mesa Inc. VO Condo Board VO Social Board
VENTURE OUT ADVISORY – “DANGER HOT ASPHALT!”
Attention! DO NOT WALK ACROSS THE FRESH ASPHALT!. The asphalt comes out of the paver at 300 degrees and cause severe burns if you walk across the pavement. Contractors are equipped with steel toed heavy soled boots and they don’t walk on it if they can avoid it! It will remain hot for hours. Please stay OUT of the construction zone. This is very dangerous.!
Mary L. Schmit – VO General Manager
Venture Out Covid-19 Update
Ken Winter, VO Condo Board President
Residents, Venture Out
Last Tuesday, May 12th, the Governor of Arizona issued Executive Order 2020-36 allowing prior Orders (Stay at Home) to expire. The link to the Order is: https://azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/executive_order_2020-36_return_stronger.pdf
On the ZOOM teleconference last week I mentioned the ‘new reality’ has become the ‘new normal.’ What I meant was that the reality that struck in early March when the epidemic started, included fear of the unknown, reports of widespread transmission of the virus, hospitalizations, and fatalities. In the past month and a half the ‘new normal’ has become an understanding of the virus, how contagious it is, how it is spread, and the mitigation tools that thankfully have slowed the transmission and allowed for the measured reopening of the economy. In our case in Venture Out the reopening of the pools and fitness center, and discussions on how to reopen certain other recreational activities.
To further define the ‘new normal’ and the COVID-19 mitigation process for controlling the virus, absent a vaccine, there are five key precautions:
- Self-distancing, 6’ separation, 2) personal hygiene, 3) sanitation and disinfecting, 4) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks, gloves, 5) limitations on gatherings, 10 or fewer.
Within Venture Out, I’ll add a 6th key element – establishing and following safe Guidelines for every aspect of our (VO) reopening. We have drawn information from the CDC, AZ Dept of Public Safety, state and local government, and now, in the case of Pickleball and Tennis, from USA Pickleball Assoc (USAPA), Pickleball Canada, and the United States Tennis Association (USTA). We are in the process of establishing our Guidelines for safe play including information provided by these organizations. After coordination with the Social Board President, Lorraine Hee, and Club officers, we met yesterday with pickleball and tennis designees, who are summer residents and reviewed the recommendations from the above noted Associations. We are finalizing the Guidelines drawing from these publications. We are also having discussions about other activities including the putting green, Bocce, the Billiard Room, and as we move forward we will speak with residents from those activities.
In all cases the discussions begin and end with safety. Two weeks ago in anticipation of the Governor relaxing some restrictions we held meetings to prepare for the announcement. Sanitation supplies were inventoried, social distancing limits were established for each activity, in the case of the pools, chairs were moved 6 feet apart, tape applied to the decking, and a detailed walk through conducted from the entry gates, to the pools and hot tubs, into the Cabana, and the bathrooms. Each step (literally) was subject to a discussion of how to maintain safety, where to place sanitation stations, sprays, paper goods, and to establish and post Guidelines. This process will continue as we move to reopen other activities.
I have heard from a few residents (emails, phone calls) that we should open all the facilities and activities, now. Actually ‘NOW!!!’ Or – ‘we are adults, we don’t need Guidelines, we can take care of ourselves.’ (Some of these came in during the Stay at Home’ period) And finally, a few with name calling, and other derogatory comments. (Be advised these are not the norm or majority of resident comments, far from it) I can tell you the CB Members and our Admin Staff have focused on one thing – our safety. Now safety in the context of how we get back into reopening some of our recreational activities.
For anyone who thinks the latest Exec Order opened the door to a return to the pre-COVID-19 environment, please read the following excerpt from the Order, page 3.
- All individuals, when in public areas, should maximize physical distance from others.
–Social settings where appropriate physical distancing is not practical should be avoided
unless precautionary measures are observed and CDC guidelines are followed.
- Any business, whether for-profit or non-profit, institution, profession or entity that
physically operates in this state and serves the public or is an employer shall develop,
establish and implement policies based on guidance from the CDC, Department of Labor,
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and ADHS to limit and mitigate
the spread of COVID-19 including the following:
- Promoting healthy hygiene practices;
- Intensifying cleaning, disinfection and ventilation practices;
- Monitoring for sickness;
- Ensuring physical distancing;
- Providing necessary protective equipment;
- Allowing for and encouraging teleworking where feasible;
- Providing plans, where possible, to return to work in phases; and
- Limiting the congregation of groups of no more than 10 persons when feasible and in relation to the size of the location.
And now for the 7th key precaution – personal behavior, adherence to safe practices and the posted Guidelines for each park activity. All of the sanitation and disinfecting supplies will only work when we all conscientiously use them. As the phrase goes – early and often. Same for self-distancing, at all times, in all places. Lastly, reading and following the Guidelines.
The COVID-19 is highly contagious, both by contact, moisture, and airborne, from coughing and exhaling. This virus has another sinister element – a person can be infected for up to 14 days, not experience any symptoms, and during this a symptomatic period they are contagious and can spread the virus.
Until a vaccine is developed the ‘new normal’ requires that we follow the mitigation procedures that we know will work.
We are asking the residents, all of us, to follow the Guidelines as we move forward.
President, VO Condo Board
VENTURE OUT ADVISORY – POOLS AND FITNESS CENTER
Today the Venture Out Condo Board authorized the opening of the pools and fitness centers. The Board further had a motion to “Review other recreational activities within Venture out that can be re-opened, for compliance with the safe practices guidelines that have been established by the CDC, All in compliance with the Governor’s executive orders” We will continue to update you on the progress of that work. Please see the guidelines above that are necessary for us to have continued safe operations of the pool and fitness center.
VENTURE OUT ADVISORY – BOARD CHANGE
Mistake on the agenda, there will not be an open meeting at the Oasis. There is not room at the Oasis to do a Zoom meeting, everyone will be on their own computer.
Venture Out Covid-19
While we are not being hit nearly as hard as some surrounding states, we are seeing the cases rise in Arizona and it appears that the original peak date that was projected weeks ago, for today April 24th, may be accurate. We will only know if this is the case by watching the coming day’s reports and the trends. The # 1 zip code for Covid cases in Arizona remains the district to our south, with Leisure World and Sunland Village East falling squarely in that region. Cases continue to rise with the total count today of 6045 with 276 new cases confirmed as of yesterday across the state. Maricopa County showed a one day increase of +160 as of yesterday. Listed below is data from prior days.
Sun Mon Tue
Cases +43 +85 +123
Hospitalized +7 +20 +26
ICU +2 +7 +4
The Maricopa County COVID-19 web site address is:
Probably more concerning, was the news this week of the Assisted living facility in Chandler that was hit so hard, with 13 deaths and more infected. They stressed this was the assisted living side, where people were ambulatory living in their apartments, sharing communal spaces, in other words, being active out and about.
I continue to receive questions as to why we cannot open the pools. Venture Out pools fall directly under Governor Ducey’s executive orders in which he singled out the closure of communal pools and specifically stated “Condominiums”. There is not one 55 plus community (or any other HOA) that I am aware of that has any facilities open right now. Everyone has locked down, like us, and are waiting for this storm to pass over. I also go online and read the news feeds from HOA’s across the country. We are all in the same boat; closed and waiting for more information. Unfortunately, no one has the playbook for a worldwide pandemic. This is all new territory and we must adjust daily to the information that comes out.
Another important factor that most do not realize; the VO Condo Board has the fiduciary responsibility to follow all Government orders and regulations. If they did not exercise that responsibility, the Insurance Company would not defend them or the Association if someone wanted to sue the Association for failing to adhere to the Government regulations. That is a very heavy mantel for anyone to wear. So please say ‘Thank You’ to those Board members, they take all of this very seriously and this has not been easy for any of them.
I also recently had the question of “Will we be ready to open and when can we?” Unfortunately we do not have an answer for that question at this time. We are all anxiously awaiting an update from Governor Ducey in the form of a new Executive Order and/or an update to the ‘Additional Guidance on Essential Services, effective April 3rd, 2020.
To be ready for that event, we are building up our supplies slowly. We literally must ‘stand in line’ for supplies as they become available. Our suppliers have told us that many of their regular shipments have been appropriated by FEMA and sent to hospitals, nursing homes and first responders across the country (as they should be). What they do receive, they then dole out to their customers in as fair of a fashion as possible.
With the slower summer season we will accumulate supplies like a squirrel sets aside nuts and I hope by fall if things return to normal, to have a six month supply of janitorial products, stored in every nook and cranny available to us as storage space in Venture Out is famously limited. There are still some things we simply cannot get, such as bleach, which we are making ourselves out of liquid chlorine we use in the pools, and hand sanitizers. Face masks are ridiculously expensive, from where they used to cost pennies on the dollar, they are now $1.25/each and IF you can get the much more protective N95 mask, they are over $8.00 apiece.
Now for something positive. The road work and the tree work is proceeding as planned. Next week the road milling process starts, make sure you have your cars moved, if you are on the blocks, I mentioned in park wide FASTMAIL regarding the road work.
Staff will start working again, doing landscaping work for owners in the park. The Board has also authorized us for one time only, to take care of weeds that are on lots where the owner has left. We know that many of you left in a hurry in the middle of a rainy spell and did not have time to prep your lots, so we will do that for you and let you know it is done. After that, you need to make sure you have a caretaker lined up. This is particularly important if some of you are not back next season as we think may happen.
Staff has made it through all the buildings and sanitized them; thanks to Teresa and David Frick for scheduling all of that. We can now go in and start our normal routine maintenance. With less traffic in the park, the Maintenance crew has also been able to focus on standpipe replacements. This is an ongoing, years long project and David Frick voiced the hope that with approximately 400 done, they might be able to get a large portion of those done this summer. As many are 50 years old, they are overdue.
So as before, Stay Isolated and Stay Healthy. We have no doubt we will get through this and like all of you, we will be very happy to see the back side of Covid-19.
Mary L. Schmit Ken Winters
General Manger Condo Board President
Venture Out at Mesa Inc. Venture Out at Mesa Inc.
Venture Out Covid-19
Dear Venture Out residents, here and beyond,
Arizona seems to be faring better than a lot of states surrounding us. With cases totaling 4500 in the state and 169 deaths as of this writing. The other main take away from the State’s statistics is that Seniors account for 72% of the fatalities and of those 59% are men, the majority of those here in Maricopa County.
Closer to home, the updated Covid map, shows that the zip code directly to our South, that contains Leisure World and Sunland Village has had a 74% increase in reported cases since last week, jumping from 53 reported cases to 92 as of today. The caveat to that of course is that most still cannot get tested. Based upon my quick survey of the map, that is the highest count in Maricopa County.
Our zip code which contains most of the Cal Am Properties and Velda Rose remains stable at 34. Clearly, we need to be very cautious considering the number of cases surrounding us.
You can go on line and check out the Covid map update yourself by clicking on the link below: https://adhsgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/84b7f701060641ca8bd9ea0717790906
Arizona was supposed to reach its peak number of cases around April 24th and I believe that is still the projection. The Governors executive orders are in place until AT LEAST April 30th. We have no indication if those restrictions will be lifted at that time or if they will be extended. They include the pool and public bathroom closures.
Normal work continues. Teresa and David Frick took on the job of coordinating with staff to methodically schedule each building to sanitize all surfaces and equipment, prior to staff going in and starting their normal summer maintenance, adding additional work to the summer schedule.
Trees do not wait for Covid 19 either. Landscaping work must start next week in order to be completed prior to the monsoon storms starting. Each year, we must have the trees trimmed on the west side of the park before July 1st, in order to keep palm fronds out of the drainage system, which could back up and cause homes to flood. This year we have added the removal of 195 palm trees in the easement. If you have never been here when we work on Palm Trees you are in for a ‘treat’ as you watch them use these large booms reach over the roof tops to access the trees. Work will start in the zero, 100, and 200 blocks and then move counterclockwise around the park.
Our Landscaper has developed a very careful protocol to keep his workers isolated and practicing health and safety precautions, starting with each of them taking their temperatures daily, and crews working to keep as much distance from each other as possible.
Right behind the trees, the road work will start on April 29th. Roads too must be completed prior to the first of July and monsoon storms. There are many other contracted jobs scheduled this summer from painting to lining sewer lines to drywell cleaning. All on top of the normal routine preventative maintenance.
We will work carefully with these outside contractors to maintain their distance from homeowners and keep all of us healthy.
As Always, Stay Isolated and Stay Healthy.
Mary L. Schmit/CMCA
Venture Out at Mesa Inc.
Venture Out Advisory
(Update – Covid-19)
April 13th, 2020
Residents, Renters, Guests, Staff at Venture Out
FAST MAIL – COVID-19 Mitigation – Phase 3
As part of our Phase 3 plan we solicited volunteer residents to act as Block Captains in Venture Out. The Block Captains have been reviewing their section of the park (by pie) visually observing and recording residences that appear to be occupied. The Phase 3 plan also mentioned a Resident Survey form to be completed by residents who are still in the park. We now have the survey form and plan to have the Block Captains deliver it to your residence commencing tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14th, starting in mid-afternoon. Delivery will continue through Wednesday morning. The forms are in an envelope addressed as follows:
To: VO Resident
Wellness Information Sheet – Enclosed
Delivered by your Block Captain
The envelope has a cover letter explaining in detail what is contained on the enclosed forms, how to complete the information, and once completed, how to return one of the forms.
Please note – this is voluntary, but we encourage you to complete and submit the form. The cover letter explains why we feel this is important.
Today a group of volunteers collated, folded and inserted the pages into the envelopes. We all wore masks and gloves. The envelopes are now packaged in sealed zip locked bags. The Block Captains who will be delivering the envelopes will likewise be wearing masks and gloves. The plan is to place the envelope near your front entry and abide by safe distancing. We will be using blue painters tape where necessary, to secure the envelope and make sure it does not blow away. Please read over the cover letter for further instructions.
I have asked Mary Schmit, our General Manager, to add current information on the virus that reinforces the need for us all to continue to practice safe personal habits, safe distancing, sheltering in place, and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when in public places.
Ken Winters, President, VO Condo Board
This morning on 12 News they announced that there is a new map showing active Covid cases in Maricopa County. To access this map, go to:
You will see that the zip code for Venture Out currently has 34 active cases and most of that zip code is north of Main street/north of VO. They also specifically pointed out on the news this A.M. that Leisure World had 53 active cases. Their zip code appears to also include parts of Sunland Village. They stressed again that those hospitalized are primarily seniors. To date I am not aware of any residents in VO that have been diagnosed. So be aware, it’s out there, it’s surrounding us, and we must continue to be diligent in our actions and above all take precautions when going out anywhere, wearing a face mask and if possible, gloves always.
Stay Isolated! Stay Healthy!
Mary L. Schmit/CMCA
Venture Out General Manager
Venture Out Advisory
(Update – Covid-19 04.07.20)
On March 18th we abruptly closed the Administration Office when one of our front-line employees left very ill. I did that out of an abundance of caution, not knowing anything more than how she looked that morning. She was never able to get a Covid test as they deemed her “too young and healthy “but told her she had “Covid like” symptoms and to stay at home and treat herself. I have kept in contact with her daily and I can tell you it has been a very rough three weeks for her.
Then on March 21st, a second Admin employee went to the emergency room. This employee we had asked to self-quarantine upon her recent trip to Washington State to see her father. She had not been in the office since March 10th. She began to experience the exact same symptoms that the first employee had. Again, since she was younger, they would not give her a test. Both women have repeatedly asked for tests and have been refused.
Their symptoms were identical and in fact diagnosed the same at first. Sinus infection. That morphed into the extreme fatigue, fever and the hacking cough that we read about. The symptoms tick off every box for a Covid-19 patient, but without any tests we do not know for sure and may never know.
Yesterday a third Admin employee went to the Dr. with similar symptoms. They indicated that they had not been feeling 100% for two weeks but thought it was allergies. That employee was able to get a test and now we must wait anywhere from two days to two weeks to know if they are in fact positive.
While waiting for test results, the only thing we can do is assume that they will test positive and act accordingly. I am having most of the Admin office staff work from home as the Activity office has been doing successfully for the last two weeks. This limits personal contacts. Fortunately, we frequently work from home, so we are set up for it.
Security and I will remain in the building, self-isolating from each other and continuing to try to stay on top of this ever-changing situation. Keith our Architectural Inspector is filling in as we need him, and department staffs are teaming up and cross training so that for instance Maintenance can work in Security if need be.
This latest incident made me rethink my earlier theories for contamination and backtrack with the employees questioning them about prior contacts history in Venture Out. They remembered some people checked in with the normal coughs and colds this year, but one couple specifically said they had delayed their trip due to how sick they had been. One of them had a terrible hacking cough. All three employees had direct contact with that that couple. They were in the office on March 9th and the 10th. We, now, think it is likely that their illness stemmed from this check in since the staff all remembered the terrible cough.
If you were in the Admin Office Between March 9th and when we closed on the 18th and are healthy you are probably fine. We have been practicing social distancing and sanitizing everything repeatedly in this office for weeks now and the third employee was also doing this, being careful to keep their distance. The rest of the Admin staff seems to be ‘Ok’ at this point.
For those of you that remember, just three weeks ago, was the same time that the two Boards were getting together and determining what and when to shut things down. In retrospect, seeing what has happened to our office staff and knowing how sick they have become; I believe the Board was just a few steps ahead of what could have been a serious problem in VO and they were 100% right in taking action.
Also, for anyone that is not aware, the Governor’s most recent decree (April 4th) required the shutdown of public pools and public bathrooms specifically those in Condominiums. The safest place for you to be is in your own bathroom.
The staff will be off this coming Good Friday as a previously scheduled Holiday. Please keep your trash until Tuesday or take it directly to the roll offs.
In closing, I know this will be a most difficult Easter for everyone. You cannot attend Church as you normally would or see family and friends. We hope you stay healthy and reach out perhaps using one of the many different social mediums available and talk to your family this weekend. With time we will get back to normal.
Thanks to the many supportive e-mails we have gotten in this office. It has been a very hectic time.
Stay Isolated and Stay Healthy,
Mary L. Schmit/CMCA
Venture Out at Mesa Inc.
Venture Out Advisory
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Residents/Renters/Guests/Staff at Venture Out
Venture Out – COVID-19 – Planning – Phase 3 Activation
On Tuesday, March 24th we sent out a Fast Mail listing the actions that might be required in Phase 3 to accelerate the mitigation efforts of Venture Out regarding the potential for spreading of the CIVID-19 virus. The latest information from Maricopa County is listed below.
Cases in Maricopa County as of 4/1/2020
One week ago there were 130 cases with 2 deaths. The virus is spreading and we need to increase our preventive measures in Venture Out. It is therefore timely and necessary that we take the following actions:
Bath Houses – The Bath Houses will be closed effective 5 PM, Friday, April 3rd, 2020. The staff employees have been doing their best to maintain the cleanliness of the facilities, however cleaning and sanitizing supplies are running low. There is the issue of proximity and persons maintaining a safe distance, coming in contact with objects and items. But most importantly, we have only a few days left in our supply of facial masks, which protects our workers, especially working in such an environment, where they could be exposed to the virus. We have no expectation of receiving additional masks due to the severe shortage across the nation.
Front Gate Access – Limit the Guest List to care givers, relatives, and friends providing support for resident needs. We will be asking residents to update their Guest List accordingly. We need everyone’s cooperation with this. We cannot and should not be allowing entrance for social gatherings. Thinking this through one option was to eliminate the current list and have residents re-enter names for care givers, relatives, friends that provide care and support. We decided at this point to rely on the cooperation and compliance of the residents. Next to the internal actions taken with common facilities, recreation and clubs, this is the next critical action to keep our residents safe. We need to limit the access to the park.
Block Captains – Volunteer Block Captains have been surveying residents in the park as to how long they will be staying or if they are year round. The information is being entered into a database. We want to know by week who is in the park in case of a critical need or emergency. Attached to this FASTMAIL is a list of the Block Captains, please refer to your Venture Out Phone book to contact them directly if you need to.
Medical and Wellness Information – The current ‘File for Life’ should be updated and available at each residence. In addition we have created a ‘Wellness Information Sheet’ to record other (non-medical) information. We are currently updating the items on the ‘sheet’ and discussing the most efficient manner to distribute the form. More information will be forthcoming. Attached is a list of the volunteer ‘Block Captains.’
Please consider these actions, and those taken in Phase 1 and 2, as necessary and in the best interests of all the residents. We need everyone to cooperate and adhere to the restrictions on activities, safe distancing, and personal preventative care.
On a secondary note. Yesterday’s FASTMAIL had the wrong date for when SRP will be shutting off the power to the park. It is projected to be shut off NEXT TUESDAY, APRIL 5TH FROM 9:00 A.M. UNTIL NOON.
Venture Out Advisory
Dear Venture Out Residents,
In response to Governor Ducey’s executive ‘Stay at Home’ order effective tonight at 5:00 P.M. the Venture Out Condo Board will hold an Emergency Condo Board meeting, Wednesday, April 1st 10:00 A.M Arizona time. You can ‘attend’ by dialing in to one of two phone numbers:
1 669 900 6833 Or 1 346 248 7799 then when prompted punch in the meeting number 755 377 597.
You would then be able to attend the meeting via your phone and listen to the Board deliberations, regarding what this order means and doesn’t mean and the steps Venture Out will or must take.
In the meantime, staff will be reporting to work as normal. In our review and understanding the executive order, we feel that most departments, are essential, especially in that we are caring for a Senior population.
Our staff will be working in a different fashion during this period. Staff members will be assigned to a single building by themselves, with specific maintenance, painting, cleaning or repair to be done in each building, the same as we do every summer. The only difference is, we are starting our summer jobs earlier and we will be working alone in most cases. Supervisors will continuously circle to check on staff assigned to the buildings. In addition, we still have the normal trash pickup, work orders, landscaping, pool servicing etc. All jobs specifically cited as ‘essential’ in the Governor’s order.
The offices will continue to be closed to walk in traffic and we are actively working to distance ourselves from each other in the offices. We hope by taking these measures we will be able to avoid this virus spread. We are extremely busy, Covid 19 has just added to the workload.
My biggest concern, and you will hear it at the meeting tomorrow, is that we continue to be back ordered on supplies. We don’t see that improving any time soon. Sanitation items, gloves, masks, etc. we cannot get.
The GOOD news is… to date I am not aware of any active COVID 19 cases in the park. I think everyone taking care to self-isolate or keep their distance will pay off. I hear that is starting to happen across the country.
We have pushed the tree trimmers back to the last possible week at the end of April. They must start their work by then in order to complete the work before the Monsoon season. Fronds in the drainage areas can cause flooding back up into homes.
One more thing, we were just informed by SRP that they will have the power to the park, SHUT OFF, ON TUESDAY MAY 5TH FROM 9:00 UNTIL NOON. to replace a transformer. My only response to that is … ‘What is next? Locusts?”
Stay Isolated! Stay Healthy!
Mary L. Schmit/CMCA
Venture Out at Mesa Inc.
Venture Out Covid-19 Advisory
Dear Venture Out Residents.
I have been asked what are the results for the potential Covid-19 exposure in the park, after I have sent employees home.
Two employees in the Admin are still out sick, but because they are ‘Young and Healthy’ they do not qualify for testing. They remain out until such time they feel 100% and can return to work.
In regards to the potential third party exposure to the Recreation department, the relative of that employee also ‘young and healthy’ and was initially refused a test. After several days a Doctor she was seeing was able to get her a test and she DID test positive for Covid-19.
I believe because we acted instantaneously as soon as we knew and isolated the Recreation crews at home, that incident will turn out well for us. So far everyone reports feeling ‘Ok’. We also immediately went into the Post Office and cleaned that thoroughly again.
After the announcements this weekend asking all of us to remain isolated until at least April 30th, I hope by now most of you are staying indoors, OR if you are going outdoors you are keeping your social distance from anyone near you.
Staff is coming in every day and working to keep you safe, but we need you to help us and not put them or your neighbors at risk, by not practicing the social distancing that could save many lives.
Thank you and as before. Stay Isolated…Stay healthy
Mary L. Schmit/CMCA
Venture Out at Mesa Inc.
Covid 19 Update- Venture Out at Mesa Inc.
Dear Venture Out Residents and those now beyond the walls,
I feel like I should start these missives off with “Stardate 03.27.2020” because it truly feels like we are in another world now. Each passing hour brings new information. We are trying to share that information with you and keep everyone as safe as possible out there.
The first item of importance. We are aware that some residents are going over to the Cal Am properties because they have kept some of their facilities open. See the attached memo that Cal Am sent out to their residents on Monday. They acknowledge that they do have active Covid 19 cases in their communities but not saying which ones. The only thing they are asking is that those persons refrain from using the common elements?!
Anyone that is following the news, understands that this virus is passed on so easily because most often people are asymptomatic, several days before feeling sick BUT are shedding the virus the entire time. This is how it is passed on so easily and so quickly.
If you are over at Cal Am properties OR anywhere out in the public right now, that perfectly healthy appearing person standing next to you could be sick. We again are urging extreme caution. Keep your social distance of six feet from all parties, except we understand, the person you are living with. By practicing this, we believe we can get through this in good shape.
Block Captains have been formed for each “pie” so there are block Captains assigned to the 900 block, 700, 800 etc. You will already see them out on the property, wearing yellow vests. They are helping management tally up who is still in the park, since many people left in a hurry and did not check out and because we closed the ADMIN office due to illness.
The Block Captains will work through the weekend and by then formulate their plan for the duration of this health crisis and what exact assistance they will offer to the residents. We chose largely people who will be here year-round, so we have continuity.
The first employee at a Fry’s grocery was diagnosed with Covid 19 at Main St. and Alma School. I am certain after every human in the valley has streamed through those grocery stores for the past several weeks, that this will be the next area of concern. Now is the time to learn how to order groceries & pharmacy items online. Those that are already ordering on line, report about a four day wait for an order, but it’s easy to do. Once those groceries arrive you are advised to carefully sanitize every item purchased.
Finally, there is a second attachment to this FASTMAIL on the virus. Lorraine Hee had this information forwarded to her. It is directly from a Professor of Infectious Disease at John Hopkins. By carefully reading this, it should help us all to better understand the virus and steps to take to prevent contracting it.
Stay Isolated, Stay Healthy.
Mary L. Schmit, General Manager, Venture Out at Mesa Inc.
Venture Out Corona Virus Update- 03/12/20
Dear Venture Out Residents,
The Venture Out Condo and Social Boards have been trying to be proactive and stay current with the news on the Corona Virus situation in the Unites States and make logical decisions for Venture Out to protect our residents from the spread of any disease. To that end, some events are being canceled effective immediately.
Those events were identified as anything that has to do with ‘shared food’: Tuesday Potluck, Monday Meatless Potluck, The Ice Cream Social and the Monday Grapevine (with donuts), as of this moment, those are the only cancellations. As this is a fluid situation, please pay attention to your FASTMAIL alerts.
Attend any other scheduled events taking all precautions and awareness of the situation. Even though we do have janitorial services, it would absolutely not hurt for you to bring wipes and wipe down surfaces before you sit at a table or a chair, taking an abundance of precaution, the same as you would travel on a plane today.
The Condo Board has also been proactive in setting up a task force comprised of Medical Professionals that currently reside in the park, including Dr’s, Nurses and Hospital Administrators. They will be filming a public service announcement that we expect to have on Channel 17 by the end of the week.
If you are considering your travel home soon, you may want to carefully examine that now, as the Airlines adjust their schedules. Most are waiving re-scheduling fees now. If you do decide to leave Venture Out earlier than normal you do NOT need to come into the Administration to check out, simply e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you have left.
The attachments to this Fast-mail is a message from Condo Board President Ken Winters and a list of recommendations that will lower your risk for the disease.
Please take all of this seriously as our population is considered most at risk
Mary L. Schmit/CMCA
Venture Out General Manager
Venture Out at Mesa Inc.
President’s Comments on Corona Virus
I would like to change subjects and discuss the Corona Virus. The virus is being discussed on all of the television news outlets, physicians and public officials are being interviewed and providing guidance on how to address the risks associated with the virus.
I went online and found a series of articles focused on prevention, and precautions, in dealing with the virus. In addition, I looked for guidance on how to deal with meetings, gatherings, and social events in which people come in close contact with one another. This is especially the case in senior centers and developments, and for persons over 65. I think Venture Out falls into both categories.
So far, the recommendations are just that recommendations. Most deal with sanitary procedures, hand washing, and disinfecting objects.
So, the question becomes how we should, in Venture Out address the situation.
It seems to me that relying on health care professionals is the first step and we are fortunate in Venture Out to have residents with a medical background.
I asked Lowell Butman, to come today and talk about the situation. We have other residents with a medical background who could also assist in our plans to address the virus, the precautionary measures that we should take collectively, as in park wide, and individually.
In addition, I have asked Greg Shelby to put his communications plan into motion starting with the dissemination of information about the virus. We should gather current information from professional and governmental sources and distribute the information within the park.
Finally – I urge each resident to exercise caution and become aware of the recommendation to lower your personal risk. We will monitor and follow the directives from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), local, state and federal officials, To my knowledge there have not been directives to cease having public gathering and functions, although there are numerous instances where events are being canceled or, in the case of sporting and political rallies, the event is being conducted with no audience.
Please refer to the document “Recommendations to Lower Your Risks” for a list of precautions.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO LOWER YOUR RISK
These habits and precautions to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus infection are helpful for preventing the cold and the flu virus as well:
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes
- Stay at home if you are sick
- Cover your cough and sneeze using a tissue
- Throw away any used tissues in the trash
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating, after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose, and after using the restroom.
- When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a great option.
- Clean and disinfect any objects and surfaces touched with a cleaning wipe or spray.
- Face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms to prevent the spread of the disease, however, they are not recommended to people who are well.
- Minimize handshaking – use fist bump, elbow bump, slight bow, etc.
- Use knuckles to touch public light switches, elevator buttons.
- Gas stations – use glove or paper towel to lift gasoline dispenser
- Open doors with close fist or hips – especially public doors
- Use disinfectant wipes with grocery carts
- Wash hands with soap and water when returning home from any activity
- Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer available at home entrance and in car