April 20, 2020

Today we received confirmation that six residents tested positive for COVID-19.  There are another three that are currently being tested There are a total of 23 residents who have tested positive to date. Additionally, there are a total 15 staff members who have tested positive.  The majority of cases remain on Appel, Rehab and Rosemont.  There are several staff members who are currently being tested or waiting for test results.  Staffing has become increasingly more challenging as staff are going out for testing.  In anticipation of the staffing challenges, we had already put our support staff through the approved nurse aide training course which is being offered through AHCA.  This was an approved waiver issued by CMS several weeks ago.   Several support staff from non-nursing departments took the eight hour course and passed the required competency test.  We were not able to mobilize these staff until the PA Department of Health approved this option. Fortunately, we got notification from the Department last evening and we were able to being utilizing our support staff to assist in patient care.  We monitor our staffing situation on a daily basis, several times throughout the day, to ensure that we have the necessary coverage to care for our residents.  Our administrative nurses are out on the units helping with medication pass since many of the nurses have also had to be off for testing.  
Social Service and other support staff started calling designated family members today.  If you did not receive a call today, you will be getting one this week.  We appreciate the kind words of encouragement and support that you shared. Those will be passed on to the front line staff. It means so much to know that they are appreciated!
Our early planning and preparation has helped us to manage as we move through this pandemic.  Every day presents a new challenge. Our medical director has shared that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It is important for all to understand that it will take time for us to get through this.  Staff are working together as a unified team with many doing things that they could not have imagined would be part of their daily tasks.    Our focus in the face of this pandemic remains that we continue to provide the best care possible for your loved ones.  These are truly very trying and unprecedented times.  I have seen the department managers develop into a united team that works collaboratively and supports each others efforts in every possible way.  They take on responsibility without being asked.  They are out there working on the floor to support the nursing team in meeting the needs of the residents.  Our infection control nurse has provided extra education to all staff to make sure that they are following all precautions and using proper PPE.  Despite the daily challenges, we continue to adapt and problem solve to address this thing that none of us in this country has ever faced before.  We will continue to fight and we will continue to do what we do for the residents every day to the best of our ability despite these unique challenges.  I thank you for your continued support and prayers every day.

Sharon

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