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John Knox Village banner about COVID-10 response

 

John Knox Village remains in close contact with the Jackson County Health Department, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and other local and regional authorities. Staff also monitors the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Stay informed by using reliable information sources, including:

  • John Knox Village: JKV.org and www.JKVLife.org. Both sites are updated regularly.
  • Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Health.MO.gov
    HOTLINE Available for Reporting, Questions & Concerns: 1-877-435-8411
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment: kdheks.gov
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: cdc.gov
  • The Village also has a daily email newsletter called the Daily E-Blast. To subscribe, please send your request to szeilstra@jkv.org.


COVID-19 Village-wide Updates

Friday, Sept. 10, 2021

Once again, there has been a lot of new information in the news about vaccinations, including an announcement from President Biden last night. It will take some time to learn which parts of the President’s “Path Out of the Pandemic” plan will pertain to the Village, and what they will mean for our community as a whole. Our management team will be working closely with local, county, state and federal authorities, as well as LeadingAge and LeadingAge Missouri. If you would like to read the plan for yourself, you can find it here: www.whitehouse.gov/covidplan/
Positive Cases
As the number of positive cases increases in the surrounding community, so too are the number of positives here at the Village. This influx of cases is leading to more testing, as well as more contact tracing by public safety.
Village Assisted Living had an associate test positive at the beginning of the month, prompting a temporary stoppage of indoor visits, communal dining and group activities. They re-opened several days later.

Yesterday VAL reported one new positive associate test result belonging to a patient care associate. Marie Winter-Calvillo, the new administrator at VAL, who joined us this week, announced that this new positive will NOT cause an interruption of indoor visitations, activities, salon services or communal dining, due to a new plan approved by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The Compassionate Care Visit program for VAL essentially states that if one associate (who has been masking and using PPE appropriately) tests positive, VAL will carry on with business as normal, while carrying on additional testing and monitoring for a period of time. If a resident tests positive, they will need to cease all indoor visits, activities, group dining, etc., until they are cleared through having the appropriate number of all-negative test results.

Village Care Center. Unfortunately, the VCC is experiencing a number of positive cases among associates and residents, in several areas of the building, including the Village Rehabilitation Unit, and Memory Care. In addition, several associates who have had varying degrees of contact with our residents/patients, have tested positive after participating in VCC-wide follow-up testing. The building is still closed for indoor visits and they have paused activities and communal dining, but outdoor visits and video calls are still great options.

Finally, the Village Care Center also recently went through its first Annual Survey since March 2019 (due to COVID-19 restrictions). Surveyors were on-site – using appropriate protection – for five days. Overall, Vice President of Health and Community Services Anthony Columbatto considers it to be an excellent survey. The only areas commented on were administrative in nature and can be easily resolved.
Areas outside of assisted living and skilled nursing: An independent living resident tested positive at the beginning of the month, after experiencing mild symptoms and quarantined at home. Public safety conducted contact tracing. The resident has fully recovered and is no longer quarantined.
More news you need to know
  • Upcoming JKV Vaccination Clinic: Residents and associates who are ready to get vaccinated for COVID-19 for the first time can participate in a Village clinic on Wednesday, Sept. 22. SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT to get the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Call or email Ginger Warner at 816-347-2031 or gwarner@jkv.org. Ginger will send you a confirmation email, including time, date and location. (Because vaccines are ordered a week in advance of the clinic, please make your appointment by Monday, Sept. 15.)
  • Jackson County Testing and Vaccination Clinics: If you or a family member needs to be tested or immunized for COVID-19, the Jackson County Health Department regularly schedules clinics in the community. They now have compiled all of this on one calendar that you can find here. Clicking on the tabs located directly above the name of the month will show you all vaccine clinic dates or you can find drive through dates, no appointment needed dates, or choose the vaccine you want to get.
  • Other sources of free testing: https://www.ComeBackKC.com/testing-events/
  • JKV Gala. The John Knox Village Gala is still scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 18, at The Pavilion. COVID protocols are being put in place to ensure the safety and health of our guests. If we need to make changes to the event for reasons related to safety, we will let you know.
I cannot reiterate enough the importance of consistently wearing a mask when in public – regardless of your vaccination status – especially with the school year starting and the increase in the number of positive cases around the metro area. Remember, we also ask our vendors, and residents and their guests to wear a mask while on campus.
COVID-19 vs. Cold vs. Flu vs. Allergies
Think you know whether your runny nose, cough or sore through is COVID-19? This chart from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment shows just how many symptoms are common to ALL of these: colds, flu, allergies and COVID-19. A remarkable number of people who test positive say, “Really? I thought it was just a cold!” (Or allergies.) REMEMBER, if you have COVID, you are contagious BEFORE you even have symptoms. Leave the diagnosis to the experts and report ANY symptoms.
9/10/21 Table

Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021

Since my last update, there’s been more COVID-related activity across the Village. As the number of positive cases ticks up in the surrounding community, so too are the number of positives here on the Village campus. In addition to conducting more testing, this influx of cases also is leading to more contact tracing. Here’s a quick recap about what’s happening around the campus as of this morning.

  • Village Care Center: On the Village Rehabilitation Unit, six patients have tested positive for COVID-19 since Sunday. Five of the individuals were fully vaccinated and one was partially vaccinated; all are presenting with mild symptoms. We have done a thorough round of contact tracing and cannot link any of these cases to a VCC associate. All the COVID+ patients have been moved to the isolation unit. Of the two residents who tested positive earlier, one has recovered; the other is still being treated for the virus. On the associate side, one individual is still ill, and the other is fully recovered. Currently, residents can participate in outdoor visitations, but indoor visits, communal meals, salon visits and activities have been temporarily suspended.
  • Village Assisted Living: Because an associate tested positive Tuesday, VAL needs to push pause on indoor visitation, communal dining and group activities. Staff plans to complete facility-wide testing tomorrow with the goal of re-opening Thursday morning. The resident who tested positive earlier this month has recovered and is back at home in VAL.
  • Areas outside of assisted living and skilled nursing: An independent living resident has tested positive after experiencing mild symptoms. The resident is quarantining at home. Public safety is working through a short list of individuals to meet contact tracing protocols.

Please, Wear a Mask

As I mentioned before, the number of reported cases in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area has risen sharply in the last month, as has the number of people who are hospitalized because of their symptoms. People who go to the hospital because of non-COVID issues are having to wait just to be seen by a health care professional or for a bed to open. Our health care system is extremely stressed right now.

What’s more, every time there is a positive case detected in either the Village Care Center or Village Assisted Living, the respective community must ask their residents to push pause on activities, eating in dining rooms, enjoying a salon visit and/or participating in indoor visits. These changes to routines are very difficult on our residents and their loved ones. The one silver lining we are seeing is that though some of our residents are infected with the virus and becoming symptomatic, we are not seeing the serious illness and hospitalizations that we experienced last year.

There is one thing we can ALL do to help lessen the spread of COVID-19 — it’s to please wear a mask here at the Village and out in the community. In fact, Jackson County (Mo.) just extended its public health order requiring universal mask-wearing in indoor public places for those age 5 and older, regardless of vaccination status, until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2021.

Wear your mask for others. Neither masking nor immunization will end this on their own, though. We must layer our actions to protect one another. The virus may get past a few of these practices, but the more layers of protection we each use, the better we can stop ourselves from transmitting it to others. Wearing your mask properly is as easy as 1-2-3!

Vaccination News: Booster Shots, Mandates and Clinics

  • Booster update: We learned from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that eight months after the second dose of the vaccine is administered, it is appropriate to get a booster shot. However, we are awaiting specific details from CMS. Additional information will be released as plans are finalized.
  • Mandatory vaccinations for associates: CMS also announced that it is creating a new regulation mandating that all nursing home associates receive their COVID-19 vaccines. Again, we are awaiting details on this announcement, which will be released in September. We will work closely with the regulators to ensure we are in compliance.
  • Upcoming Vaccination Clinic: If you ready to get vaccinated, the Village has a COVID-19 vaccination clinic set for Wednesday, Sept. 8. SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT to get the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Call or email Ginger Warner at 816-347-2031 or gwarner@jkv.org. Ginger will send you a confirmation that includes your appointment time, date and location. (Because vaccines are ordered a week in advance of the clinic, please make your appointment by Wednesday, Sept. 1.)

Remember: If you have any of the signs or symptoms of COVID-19, please don’t self-diagnose.

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor.
  • If that’s not possible, call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services COVID-19 Hotline at 877-435-8411.

If you test positive for COVID-19 – notify your physician, then call Public Safety so we can protect your neighbors.  And please—stay at home!

Please use safe practices. It is going to take continued vigilance on the part of every associate, resident and visitor to this campus to keep everyone safe. Thank you for doing your part.

 

Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021

Please bear with this long message. Since my last update, there has been a lot of new information about vaccinations. We have been working to figure out which new recommendations and policies will pertain to the Village and what they will mean for our community as a whole. The following are summaries of what we know so far. If you have any questions about anything included in this update, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Positive Cases

  • Residents: As you’ve heard on the news, the virus’s Delta variant is spreading throughout the Kansas City Area, leading to a surge in positive cases. However, here at the Village, I am happy to report that we haven’t had any additional positive cases in our resident populations. In fact, the three individuals (1 in independent living, 1 in assisted living and 1 in skilled nursing) who tested positive earlier this month are on the road to recovery. One resident has been cleared, and we anticipate the remaining 2 will be cleared tomorrow.
  • Associates: Positive cases continue to occur within our associate population. Since last Wednesday, 5 additional staff members who work in different areas of the campus have tested positive. However, contact tracing is proving that these cases are not related, which means, the virus is being picked up in the surrounding community and is not being spread on our campus. This is good news.

Vaccination News: Booster Shots, Mandates and Clinics

  • Booster update: We’ve been getting questions about the news that broke late last week about recommendations for a third vaccination booster for individuals who have received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Currently, we are at the very beginning stages of planning how this may happen at the Village. Once we have all the details nailed down, we will share the plans via our various communication tools. Stay tuned!
  • Mandatory vaccinations for associates: Again, news broke late Wednesday about the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate for all skilled nursing/nursing home employees. We have not received any additional concrete information about exactly what this means for life plan communities or the Village since the announcement. In coming days, the Village’s state and national associations will be holding informational sessions to help us better understand what may be coming when CMS publishes the rule in September. I’ll be sure to share with you what I learn.
  • Upcoming Vaccination Clinic: If you want to get vaccinated, the Village has a COVID-19 vaccination clinic set for Wednesday, Sept. 8. You can schedule an appointment to get the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine by contacting Ginger Warner at 816-347-2031 or gwarner@jkv.org. Ginger will confirm with you the time, date and location of your appointment. (Because vaccines are ordered a week in advance of the clinic, please make your appointment by Monday, Sept. 1.)

JKV Gala

Lots of people have been asking if the John Knox Village Gala, which is set for Saturday, Sept. 18, will be held. The answer is “Yes,” based on what we know now. COVID protocols are being put in place to ensure the safety and health of our guests. If we need to make changes to the event for reasons related to safety, we will let you know.

Please, Wear Your Mask

I cannot reiterate enough the importance of consistently wearing a mask when in public – regardless of your vaccination status – especially with the school year starting and the increase in the number of positive cases around the metro. Please remember, everyone (residents, associates, vendors and guests) who is on our campus must wear a mask. Please remind your visitors to bring a mask to wear, and if someone is currently or recently has been unwell or has symptoms of illness, please postpone your visit.

Hospitals are at capacity. Wearing masks (whether cloth or medical grade) can slow down transmission of the virus. We must layer our actions to protect one another. The more layers of protection we each use, the better we can stop ourselves from transmitting it to others.

Remember: If you have any of the signs or symptoms of COVID-19, please don’t self-diagnose.

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor.
  • If that’s not possible, call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services COVID-19 Hotline at 877-435-8411.

If you test positive for COVID-19 – notify your physician, then call Public Safety so we can protect your neighbors.  And please—stay at home!

 

Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021

  • Independent Living: We have not had any additional residents test positive. The residents who were a part of the contact tracing associated with last week’s positive case have all been contacted.
  • Village Assisted Living: One resident has tested positive after participating in routine testing because of last week’s COVID+ case. The resident is fully vaccinated and is asymptomatic. Through contact tracing and testing, we are certain that the exposure occurred outside of Village Assisted Living. Further contact tracing is being conducted in the areas of the Village the resident visited prior to the positive result. Another round of follow-up testing will take place on Thursday, Aug. 19. The resident has been moved to the isolation unit at the Village Care Center.
  • Village Care Center: For the first time since March, we had a resident test positive for COVID-19 on Monday. This resident has been vaccinated and is exhibiting very minimal, mild symptoms. The resident has been transferred to the VCC isolation unit for closer monitoring. The result came while testing all Village Care Center residents after last week’s exposure; all residents will participate in another round of testing this Thursday. Because of the positive, the VCC will need to continue their pause in indoor visits, communal dining, salons and activities.
  • All Village Areas Outside of VCC & VAL: Three additional associates in various areas of the Village have tested positive. Appropriate contact tracing is being handled internally.

COVID-19 Vaccinations Available on the JKV Campus

Do you want to get vaccinated right here on campus? You are in luck! The Village has a COVID-19 vaccination clinic set for Wednesday, Aug. 25. CALL TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT to get the Pfizer, Modera or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. (Please call by 3 p.m. Aug. 19; participant counts need to be turned in one week prior to the clinic.) Call or email Ginger Warner, gwarner@jkv.org or 816-347-2031, to schedule.

The next clinic will be Wednesday, Sept. 8. You simply can’t beat a free vaccination and the convenience of getting it where you live!

Other Vaccination News              

There is a lot of developing news about booster shots. Because of the complexity and ever-evolving nature of the situation, John Knox Village continues to weigh a variety of options and monitor how other industry leaders are reacting.

Please Wear a Mask

As mentioned in last week’s communication, Jackson County (Mo.) issued a public health order requiring universal mask-wearing in indoor public places for those age 5 and older, regardless of vaccination status. The order is in effect for 30 days and will be re-evaluated as necessary.

Masking can help our entire community

If you listen to the news, you know that hospitals – especially in states where there is a high transmission rate – are nearly at capacity. Wearing masks (whether cloth or medical grade) can slow down transmission of the virus.

Wear your mask for others. Neither masking nor immunization will end this on their own, though. We must layer our actions to protect one another. The virus may get past a few of these practices, but the more layers of protection we each use, the better we can stop ourselves from transmitting it to others.

Remember: If you have any of the signs or symptoms of COVID-19, please don’t self-diagnose.

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor.
  • If that’s not possible, call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services COVID-19 Hotline at 877-435-8411.

If you test positive for COVID-19 – Notify your physician, then call Public Safety so we can protect your neighbors.  And please—stay at home!

Please use safe practices. It is going to take continued vigilance on the part of every resident, associate and visitor to this campus to keep everyone safe. Thank you for doing your part.

 

Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2021

Mid-Week Update

  • Independent Living: One resident tested positive this week. Contact tracing is underway.
  • Village Assisted Living had one associate, who has limited resident interaction but has been in many parts of their buildings, test positive. In response, they have:
  • Temporarily halted indoor visitation, as well as activities, salons and communal dining in Fireside.
  • Tested all residents and associates in Assisted Living and Memory Care 1, 2 and 3.
  • All results were negative. Indoor visitations, activities, salons and communal dining all resumed.
  • Another round of follow-up testing will take place on Monday, Aug. 16.
  • Village Care Center announced a positive test result from a direct-care worker, during facility-wide testing connected to a previous positive case.
  • This means that they will need to continue their pauses in indoor visits, communal dining, salons and activities for at least another week.
  • They will continue weekly testing through Tuesday, Aug. 17.
  • All Village Areas Outside of VCC & VAL: Three associates in various parts of the Village have tested positive. Appropriate contact tracing is being handled internally.

Jackson County Mask Order – Effective Monday, Aug. 9

In case you haven’t heard, Jackson County (Mo.) Executive Frank White, Jr. issued a public health order effective Aug. 9, 2021, requiring universal mask-wearing in indoor public places for those age 5 and older, regardless of vaccination status. The public health order is in response to a rising number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. The order is in effect for 30 days and will be re-evaluated as necessary.

Masking can help our entire community

If you listen to the news, you know that hospitals – especially in states where there is a high transmission rate – are nearly at capacity. The number of people who are seriously ill with COVID-19 is growing, and hospitals report that these patients’ ages range from early 20s to mid- 60s. The tables below, from the Mid-America Regional Council website (www.marc2.org/covidhub/), show that in the Greater Kansas City Metro Area roughly 85% of adults age 65 and over have been vaccinated. The second table shows the local vaccination rate for adults age 18-64.

Why wear a mask?

    1. The Delta variant is two to three times as infectious as the original virus. Many experts say this one is as infectious as chickenpox.
    2. If you are unvaccinated, you can contract COVID-19 and spread the virus, unknowingly, for up to 14 days prior to symptoms showing up – if you have symptoms. Whether you have symptoms or not, you can spread virus when you exhale.
    3. The vaccine provides a great deal of protection from contracting COVID-19, and even better protection from serious illness, hospitalization and death.
    4. With the Delta variant, even vaccinated people can spread the virus. Though it is uncommon to have a breakthrough infection, it is more common in those who are older, or have significant underlying conditions that leave them more vulnerable, or have compromised immune symptoms.
    5. Because the Delta variant is different, this means it is possible to have a breakthrough infection and have no symptoms or very mild symptoms and transmit it to others.
    6. Wearing masks (whether cloth or medical grade) can slow down transmission of the virus NOW. Masks work. If you’re not sure about that, here is a great video from the University of Kansas Health System which demonstrates how well masks can work: https://youtu.be/pgY7D4pqKo8
    7. Wear your mask for others. Neither masking nor immunization will end this on their own, though. We must layer our actions to protect one another. The virus may get past a few of these practices, but the more layers of protection we each use, the better we can stop ourselves from transmitting it to others.

 

Friday, Aug. 6, 2021

Weekly wrap-up

  • Last Friday, July 30, the Village Care Center announced
  • Zero positive results after testing all residents for COVID-19.
  • One positive test result from a symptomatic unvaccinated agency staff member who works in a direct care position.
  • On Monday, Aug. 2, the VCC announced that they had completed additional testing over the weekend and these results were all negative.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 4, a fully vaccinated independent living resident with mild symptoms reported a positive test result.
  • Yesterday, VCC’s latest round of required testing yielded zero positive resident results, and one asymptomatic and unvaccinated direct caregiver testing positive.
  • Today, Village Home Health reported a symptomatic unvaccinated non-direct care associate has tested positive.

Jackson County Mask Order – Effective Monday, Aug. 9

Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. issued a public health order effective Aug. 9, 2021, requiring universal mask-wearing in indoor public places for those age 5 and older, regardless of vaccination status. The public health order is in response to a rising number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. The order is in effect for 30 days and will be re-evaluated as necessary.

Masking can change our course

COVID-19 has been hard at work in the Kansas City area, and because John Knox Village is in the middle of it all, what happens “out there” happens “in here” in some form or fashion. We are continuing to have positive cases here – and so is the rest of the area.

This morning, I listened to a presentation by 11 Chief Medical Officers representing hospital and healthcare systems across the Greater Kansas City metro – stretching from Lawrence, Kan. to North Kansas City. They actually have been meeting and sharing information and best practices every week since before the COVID-19 pandemic reached this area. Despite being direct competitors, they have been comparing notes and sharing their data, experiences and resources weekly, for the greater good of the community.

Today, they asked to speak to members of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Mid-America Regional Council’s Emergency Rescue Committee for the sole purpose of sharing clear, science-based information about actions we can all take to slow the transmission of the deadly coronavirus. Each one of them urgently asked EVERYONE to wear mask, regardless of vaccination status.

Why? They reported a total of 576 inpatients with COVID-19 today, including 154 in the ICUs. They are full. They are having to turn away transfer patients from other areas. They are re-scheduling surgeries and trying to find ways to handle urgent health needs in the midst of this spike in cases. And like everyone else, they are having a staffing shortage.

Together, they said: “We need your help!”

  • Wearing masks (whether cloth or medical grade) can slow down transmission of the virus NOW. Masks work. If you’re not sure about that, here is a great video made by two of today’s presenters which demonstrates how well they can work: https://youtu.be/pgY7D4pqKo8
  • If you’re vaccinated, wear a mask anyways. The Delta variant has changed the rules of the game. It is far more infectious, and now vaccinated people CAN become infected. While your symptoms may be mild, you CAN spread it to others, and you COULD require hospitalization if you have other underlying health issues.
  • Immunization, is the long-term solution that will help end the pandemic, they said. But we need masks now, while we keep working on vaccinations. Remember, with the 2-shot regimen, it takes 6 weeks before most are fully immune.

Neither masking nor immunization will end this on their own, though. We must layer our actions to protect one another. The virus may get past a few of these practices, but the more layers of protection we each use, the better we can stop ourselves from transmitting it to others.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following. If you are fully-vaccinated, your symptoms may be milder.

  • Fever of 99.9oF or higher ~ Chills ~ Cough ~ Shortness of breath/Difficulty breathing ~ New loss of taste and/or smell ~ Fatigue ~ Muscle of body aches ~ Headache ~ Sore throat ~ Congestion or runny nose ~ Nausea or vomiting ~ Diarrhea

If you have any of the signs or symptoms, please don’t self-diagnose.

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor.
  • If that’s not possible, call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services COVID-19 Hotline at 877-435-8411.

If you test positive for COVID-19 – Notify your physician, then call Public Safety so we can protect your neighbors.  And please—stay at home!

Please use safe practices. It is going to take continued vigilance on the part of every resident, associate and visitor to this campus to keep everyone safe. Thank you for doing your part.

 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

I am writing to let you know that another person has tested positive for COVID-10 at John Knox Village.

Yesterday, as part of routine testing of unvaccinated Village Assisted Living associates, we discovered that an asymptomatic agency nurse who worked a full shift in VAL’s Memory Care 1 neighborhood Saturday, is COVID+.

Unfortunately, due to this positive result, all associates and residents in VAL are being tested and, to protect everyone’s safety, all activities, group dining and indoor visits are paused until we know the results of that testing. After that, weekly testing will continue for at least 2 weeks to keep a watchful eye on the situation. If there are no other positives in this current round of testing, they should be able to re-open for indoor visits.

After going more than three months without reporting a single case at the Village, this is the fourth letter I’ve sent in 10 days to report positive associate cases in various parts of the Village.

Some facts to be aware of:

  • We are fortunate that so far these cases have been scattered around and are unrelated to one another – which means we’re not passing it around. But we cannot assume that it will remain that way.
  • Please remember that, while nearly 100% of residents are now vaccinated, a large number of your friends and neighbors also have underlying health conditions. These leave them vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, though it would likely be less severe.
  • Hospitals are filling up. The Village’s EMS team also transports patients who do not live at the Village. Right now, OUR ambulances are transporting an average of 4 COVID+ patients per DAY, and they’re taking them to hospitals that are further away.
  • Why? Yesterday’s Kansas City Star reported:

“Like other hospitals in the Kansas City region, the University of Kansas Health System is turning down transfer patients (from other areas) because its beds are full, setting up a potential crisis, its chief medical officer, Steven Stites, MD, said Wednesday. …Across the state line, Missouri health officials on Wednesday reported the highest daily increase in infections since mid-January with 2,995 additional cases.”

Here’s how you can help:

  • Be mindful when moving around outside of the Village. According to statistics maintained by the Mid-American Regional Council (which the Village is a member of: https://marc2.org/covidhub/), in Jackson County, MO only 49% of those age 18 and over are fully immunized. In Johnson County, KS, the number is 66%. So generally, it would be reasonable to assume that roughly 1 out of every 3 adults you encounter in this area could pass the COVID-19 virus to you.
  • Let’s exercise our P.R.I.D.E. (Personal Responsibility in Delivering Excellence) by using these precautions to NOT transmit the virus, unknowingly, to other people while at the Village.
  • Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds.
  • If your guest is not fully vaccinated, ask them to follow CDC guidelines by wearing their mask AND maintaining a 6-foot distance.
  • Even if you are vaccinated, these are still really good ideas.
  • Keep a mask with you at all times. Wear it as often as you like.
  • If you’re entering another resident’s home, it’s good practice to ask that person’s preference.
  • Please note: This DOES NOT pertain to visits to the Village Assisted Living or Village Care Center. Village Assisted Living follows Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services guidelines, and the Village Care Center is required to follow CMS guidelines. At this time, neither entity is relaxing its mask-wearing guidance.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

I am sorry to say that the Village Care Center has another associate who tested positive for COVID-19. This test result came out yesterday afternoon, during routine follow-up testing due to the positive VCC case I wrote about last week. This VCC patient care associate, who is fully vaccinated, also had mild symptoms described as “stuffy nose and light-headedness, that felt like a slight cold.”  To the best of our knowledge, this person had no contact with the other positive associate.

What Does This Mean for the VCC?

Due to this COVID+ result, and to protect the safety of their residents, associates and visitors, the VCC is:

  • Testing all residents and associates, beginning Friday.
  • Continuing testing weekly for at least 14 more days after that (2 more rounds). I will keep you informed of the results.
  • Suspending indoor visits until all results are in. Outdoor visits are still OK, weather permitting.
  • Suspending all resident activities, as well as dining in their main dining room, and salon services, until further notice.
  • Requesting that all Village departments conduct business with them remotely, unless it is essential for them to be in the building.

To set up an outdoor visit, please contact the unit secretary for the care neighborhood where your loved one lives, and they can help you make arrangements.

Please Be Aware

John Knox Village has now had a few fully vaccinated people test positive. This is a good time to remind you of a few things:

  • What happens on our campus will always be a reflection of what is happening in our community. We are fortunate to have as many vaccinated residents and associates as we do at the Village, because it lowers the likelihood of large-scale transmission here. But people leave our campus “bubble” every day – to shop, to eat, to be with family and friends – so what happens out there, also eventually arrives here.
  • It is essential that you wear masks while in the corridors and common areas inside of Village Assisted living, AND that you check in and are screened when you arrive.
  • The vaccines are highly effective at preventing people from getting COVID-19, but not 100 percent. Please be very careful when moving about in the greater community, especially with this more infectious variant in the area.
  • COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following. If you are fully-vaccinated, your symptoms may be milder.Fever of 99.9oF or higher ~ Chills ~ Cough ~ Shortness of breath/Difficulty breathing ~ New loss of taste and/or smell ~ Fatigue ~ Muscle of body aches ~ Headache ~ Sore throat ~ Congestion or runny nose ~ Nausea or vomiting ~ Diarrhea
  • If you have any of the signs or symptoms, please don’t self-diagnose.
    • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor.
    • If that’s not possible, call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services COVID-19 Hotline at 877-435-8411.
    • If you test positive for COVID-19 – Notify your physician, then call Public Safety so we can protect your neighbors.  And please—stay at home!

      Please use safe practices. It is going to take continued vigilance on the part of every associate, resident and visitor to this campus to keep everyone safe. Thank you for doing your part. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

      As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Friday, July 16, 2021

I have great news to share. The Village Care Center has completed their first round of testing all residents and all associates, and the results are all negative.

What this means for the VCC:

  • Effective immediately, in-person indoor visits for VCC residents are back!
  • Salons, activities, and the main dining room have re-opened for residents.
  • The VCC will still need to complete 2 more rounds of weekly testing.
  • Even one new positive will cause us to halt indoor visits again.
  • It is essential that all visitors adhere to the VCC’s visitation guidelines.
  • Because we are starting to see positive cases within the Village again, and for the safety of our residents, the VCC is continuing to ask Village departments to conduct business with them remotely, unless it is essential for them to be in the building.

To follow up on the other two other unrelated cases I mentioned Tuesday (one non-VCC/non-VAL associate, and a guest from outside of the Village), contact tracing has been conducted, as well as testing, and we have not discovered any further positive cases related to either of these.

Since then, two further non-VCC/non-VAL associates have tested positive. Again, they are in different departments. Contact tracing and testing connected to one associate has been completed, and no new cases identified. This process is still underway in connection with the last one.

How bad is it in Missouri? After several weeks with no states on its travel advisory, the Chicago Department of Public Health has now issued a travel advisory advising unvaccinated travelers arriving from Missouri and Arkansas to provide proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test or to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in the city.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following. If you are fully-vaccinated, your symptoms may be milder.

Fever of 99.9oF or higher ~ Chills ~ Cough ~ Shortness of breath/Difficulty breathing ~ New loss of taste and/or smell ~ Fatigue ~ Muscle of body aches ~ Headache ~ Sore throat ~ Congestion or runny nose ~ Nausea or vomiting ~ Diarrhea

If you have any of the signs or symptoms, please don’t self-diagnose.

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor.
  • If that’s not possible, call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services COVID-19 Hotline at 877-435-8411.

If you test positive for COVID-19 – Notify your physician, then call Public Safety so we can protect your neighbors.  And please—stay at home!

It is going to take continued vigilance on the part of every resident, associate and visitor to this campus to keep everyone safe. Thank you for doing your part. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Stay safe,

Brian Opoka

Public Safety Director

816-347-2932

 

Monday, July 12, 2021

It was such a pleasure to go from mid-April to early July without having to report a positive COVID-19 case (resident or associate) at the Village. Unfortunately, today that has come to an end.

Today I am reporting three positive test results on campus.

One guest to the campus late last week reported a positive test result. Contact tracing is underway.

One associate in a non-resident contact position outside of the Village Care Center and Village Assisted Living has tested positive. Contact tracing and testing have taken place and no further positive cases are being reported.

Also, one non-patient care associate at the Village Care Center has tested positive for COVID-19. This person has minimal contact with residents. To ensure everyone’s safety and in following with State regulations, the VCC is currently testing all residents and associates. All resident testing has been completed today, and all resident tests came back negative. Associate testing began today, and so far, all associate results also have been negative. It will take another couple of days to get all VCC associates tested, due to work schedules. We will let you know of the final results.

Due to this COVID+ result, the following changes are being implemented at the Village Care Center:

  • Indoor in-person VCC visitation is suspended for the moment. Outdoor visits are still an option. Please call 816-347-2400 and ask for the unit secretary for the person you wish to visit.
  • All VCC activities are suspended, as well as dining in the main dining room and salon services, until further notice.
  • All Village departments are being asked to conduct business with the VCC remotely, unless it is essential for them to be in the building.
  • Testing at the VCC will continue weekly for at least 14 days (2 more rounds). We will keep you informed of the results.

It has been tempting to believe that the pandemic is behind us. However, as you’ve likely seen on the news, COVID-19 is on an upswing again in those parts of our nation that have a large number of unvaccinated people. Missouri is very high on that list, and southern Missouri is getting hit especially hard right now.

In Springfield, Mo., there are so many hospitalizations of (mostly unvaccinated) COVID patients that they have run out of ventilators, and they are so full that they are diverting patients to other cities – some as far away as Kansas City and St. Louis. CoxHealth in Springfield, reported yesterday that they had 119 COVID-positive inpatients, compared to only 14 hospitalized there in mid-May. Overall, U.S. numbers are also showing that the vast majority of those who are ending up hospitalized due to the coronavirus are unvaccinated people.

So this is a very good time to go over a few reminders:

Vaccination.

  • Remember that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are about 95% effective in preventing you from contracting COVID-19, and nearly 100% effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, or death if you do become infected.
  • If you have significant underlying health conditions, there is a higher likelihood of serious illness if you are infected.
  • If you have not been immunized yet, and would like to do so, please contact Ginger Warner, in the Administrative Center, at 816-347-2031. She can schedule an appointment with our ongoing vaccination partner, Symbria.
  • If you have not been immunized or have significant underlying health issues, we continue to encourage you to wear a mask around others.

Visits. Independent Living and Assisted Living are still able to have visitors.

  • Independent living residents can have visitors come and go without screenings.
  • Village Assisted Living visitors must fill out the visitor log and be screened prior to entering, and must wear masks in the buildings’ common areas (lobbies, hallways, etc.).
  • Visits are still limited to the resident’s room or outside, not in common areas.
  • Fully vaccinated visitors are allowed to take off their masks once they are in their resident’s room.
  • Fully vaccinated visitors are no longer required to social distance during visits.
  • VAL visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
  • If a VAL associate, resident or visitor tests positive for COVID-19, we will be required to close all impacted areas of that building until we are able to complete testing of all residents and associates in that area to determine whether it is an isolated infection.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following. If you are fully-vaccinated, your symptoms may be milder.

Fever of 99.9oF or higher ~ Chills ~ Cough ~ Shortness of breath/Difficulty breathing ~ New loss of taste and/or smell ~ Fatigue ~ Muscle of body aches ~ Headache ~ Sore throat ~ Congestion or runny nose ~ Nausea or vomiting ~ Diarrhea

If you have any of the signs or symptoms, please don’t self-diagnose.

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor.
  • If that’s not possible, call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services COVID-19 Hotline at 877-435-8411.

If you test positive for COVID-19 – Notify your physician, then call Public Safety so we can protect your neighbors.  And please—stay at home!

It is going to take continued vigilance on the part of every resident, associate and visitor to this campus to keep everyone safe. Thank you for doing your part. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Stay safe,

Brian Opoka

Public Safety Director

816-347-2932