December 24, 2020
Dear Residents and families:
First, I want to wish all our residents, families and friends a very Merry Christmas. As we near the end of 2020, I can only say that I am both incredibly grateful and deeply saddened by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Grateful because so many residents and families have shared their prayers, words of encouragement, gifts and love with my staff and I. Saddened because we have tried our best to protect ourselves are others from COVID-19, but it just seemed inevitable that it would somehow make its way into our community. As I am sure many of you are aware our community has experienced a recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases. To date, we have had 30 residents and 7 staff members test positive. Most of the residents whom first tested positive on 12/04 have now been cleared to come out of quarantine as they were no longer symptomatic and are now doing well. At this time, we currently have a total of 8 residents active with COVID-19 and must remain in quarantine until at least 14 days has passed or until their symptoms subside. Any resident that is showing signs or symptoms of the virus are put into quarantine and observed very closely by designated staff to ensure they do not continue to spread the virus and their needs are met.
Per protocol, all residents and staff who have not already tested positive must test at least every 7 days. It is the recommendation of CDC and The Department of Public Health to not retest anyone that already tested positive for COVID-19 for at least 90 days, unless that person shows symptoms again. Once we have at least 2 “rounds” of all negative tests, licensing will lift our building quarantine. Based on our most recent test results from 12/18, the spread of the virus has significantly slowed down. However, we still have a few residents showing symptoms of the virus and are currently in quarantine even though they have not had a positive result yet.
Most residents are currently stable enough to recover inside of the facility, and do not currently need to transfer out. Unfortunately, some residents have needed acute care based on their symptoms and have been admitted to the hospital.
On a more personal note: I am truly sorry to the families who have lost their loved ones to this virus. My staff and I feel at times that this virus has defeated us because so many of us have done all we can to keep the virus out of our community. However, through all of our staff’s efforts and perseverance we continue to fight this horrible virus and prevent it’s spread amongst our residents and staff. From here on we can only continue to remain positive and fight on. Again, I am grateful and thankful to all of you who support us and are there for us when you need you the most.
Thank you to all of our residents who have remained patient and understanding during our building’s “lockdown”. I can only imagine how hard it must be to stay in your rooms all day and night and to be separated from your friends and families during the holidays. We truly understand how difficult this must be, and I promise we will work hard to stop this virus and hope one day soon some normalcy will come back to The Grove.
As a reminder, I’ve listed a few interventions our facility has in place to help prevent or mitigate further spread of the virus in our community:
- Requiring that all staff wear masks and practice social distancing when in the facility and encourage staff to do so while off-duty outside of the facility;
- Strongly encourage (and ask family members to also encourage) all residents to wear masks and engage in social distancing when outside of their rooms and when interacting with others;
- More frequent cleanings of all high touch surfaces in common areas throughout the building;
- Continue restrictions on visitation, group activities and dining, and activities inside and outside the facility;
- Assess and check temperatures of all staff and essential visitors (external healthcare providers, end-of-life visitors) upon entry into the building; and
- Monitor all staff and residents for any signs and symptoms of the virus.
As we have from the beginning, we will continue to monitor local health department, CDC and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) communications regarding any changes we can safely make regarding the current restrictions.
As is usual, we will notify residents’ primary physicians and designated family members of any changes in their loved one’s condition, whether potentially related to COVID-19 or not.
We are currently working with CVS pharmacy to obtain a date of availability for the COVID-19 vaccine. Once I secure a date I will update everyone.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Briana Boyd Espinoza
The Grove Care & Wellness Assisted Living