Update April 11, 2020
We were informed today that a resident who resides on the Rosemont Unit tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, we have a total of four staff members who tested positive for COVID-19. Two of those staff members have already been cleared to return to work by their physicians. The other two have not yet returned. There are ten staff members who were tested but the results were negative for COVID-19. Additionally several staff members are out due to community exposure or symptoms.
I know that this is a very frightening time for everyone but I want to assure you we are doing our very best to provide the best care possible for our residents. My goal is to remain as transparent with you as possible while maintaining respect for the confidentiality of the residents and staff. I am especially aware of how difficult this must be for you in light of the visiting restrictions we have had to implement due to the pandemic. Please know that my heart is with you and I completely empathize with how you must feel right now.
Our team has prepared as much as possible for our response to this situation. In light of the elevated concern for the dementia population, we did receive permission from the Department of Health to lock the doors on Rosemont. That was completed on April 6th. Staff on Rosemont are required to follow strict isolation precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. They have been following heightened restrictions in the last week when the resident first developed symptoms. These staff have not been assigned to any other unit to prevent potential for any cross contamination. Our Medical Director has recommended that we review licensed nursing tasks to free up time for nurses to provide more hands on care. He has asked our pharmacy consultant to review the medication lists and identify non-essential medications to be discontinued, such as Multi-Vitamins. Additionally, he is recommending combining some medication dosing times. These efforts will reduce the medication pass time thus allowing the nurses to provide hands on care as needed. I have restricted all non-essential staff from the patient care areas. That means the residents will have less exposure to people in an effort to protect them.
We continue to monitor the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control on a regular basis and implement all recommendations including those from Department of Health and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. We are following isolation precautions throughout the facility. All staff have been required to wear masks since March 27th. Residents have also been wearing masks and social distancing when out in common areas. I have also asked nursing staff to have residents wear masks when they are providing direct care. As our Secretary of Health has said, "my mask protects you, your mask protects me."
We will continue to keep you updated as changes occur. Thank you for your on-going support of our staff as we work through this extremely difficult time. Your prayers and kind words have continued to strengthen the staff on a daily basis. Please feel free to call me or send e-mail with any questions or concerns.