As we all know, COVID-19 continues to affect a growing number of people across the U.S. and around the world. We have continued to monitor our residents and staff on a more than daily basis and will continue to do so.

At this time, we have no cases of COVID-19 and will make every effort to mitigate the potential. We continue our investments in process, education and equipment to deal with the potential. Like any complex healthcare organization, we deal with many moving parts on any given day. Our focus each and every day is to do our best to manage the situation in front of us, which is the potential exposure to COVID-19.

One area you often hear or read about is the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in healthcare settings.

Our supplies remain adequate and while they don’t tend to grow over time, we have maintained adequate levels for the safety of our staff and residents. It will continue to be a challenge though and we utilize strategies to safely conserve and extend our current inventories. We have also made purchases of products and technology in order to move away from the “disposable” PPE healthcare has relied upon for so long. One proactive example is our purchase of helmet mounted air purifiers for our staff to use in place of disposable N95 masks should the need present. These helmets are state of the art PPE and are essentially infinitely reusable. These units have a long production lead times due to demand, but will definitely still be of immense value when they arrive. There is little doubt that we will be employing mitigation and PPE strategies well into the fall. Another example is our purchase of special purpose negative air modules for use in designated patient care rooms in the event we have need of specific isolation protocols. While negative air pressure rooms are not required for the management of COVID-19, it is definitely the best way to approach it. These specialized units prevent the air from leaving a room, filter it and discharge it out of the building. It is a preventive strategy and one you won’t find in many LTC facilities. Again, there is a lead time to manufacture, but they should arrive in mid to late May. These two examples represent significant capital investments in the short term, but will be utilized in the future for many different applications. We have long used different levels of patient care “precautions” and PPE in the delivery of care. We will move away from the “disposable PPE” mentality.

Our staff of dedicated people in all departments continue to report for duty and care for the elders at Oakridge, Gardenview and The Gardens of Fountain Way. They are doing great work and have not wavered in their commitment to care, they are essential in so many ways and deserving of thanks.

We hope you are all well and doing your best to stay Safer at Home!

A brief update March 27, 2020

There have been many changes in just a short time because of the COVID 19 virus. What has not changed is the understanding and cooperation we have received from all of our staff, residents and families in what is uncharted territory for our entire society. Much has been asked of all of you and you have given your best.

We remain committed to ensuring our residents and staff remain healthy. We continue to see many changes and new rules from Federal, State and now local government. This presents an obvious challenge in that we have to reconcile all of them almost on a daily basis. Sometimes they say slightly different things about the same subject. That’s inevitable I suppose, we are all doing our best to make the right decisions with the information at hand.

Visitation remains as “essential” only. We have no indication it might be possible to relax this policy, but you can be sure we will celebrate that day together when it does come. We continue to screen all staff and residents on a daily basis, following CDC guidelines for health care. The Safer At Home Act is new for all of us, but our staff, vendors and support agencies are all considered essential so there will be no interruptions in availability. While this act may be difficult for some to comply with, it is a bold and necessary step to stop the spread of this virus and I thank our Governor for his actions.

More changes and challenges are sure to come to all of us, both in the facility and out in the community.

I close by offering a prayer that I received from our friends at Shepherds Care ministry related to the current crisis, I keep it on my desk: I pray the residents and care givers can be spared any overwhelming impacts and God will hasten the day when they can be fully accessible again.

Thank you