← Back to Blog

Village Assisted Living COVID-19 Update

Village Assisted Living Updates

The following is communication sent via email to the families and loved ones of Village Assisted Living residents. If you have a question, please contact Marie Winter-Calvillo, administrator, at 816-347-2701 or mwinter-calvillo@jkv.org.

Jan. 20, 2021

Community spread of COVID-19. According to the Mid-America Regional Council, the positivity rate in Jackson County is continuing to rise. As John Knox Village is a microcosm of the community around us, our associate cases around the campus are continuing along the same trend.
From Jan. 13 through today, we have had zero VAL residents and 2 staff members test positive for COVID-19.
What we are doing.

  • I am happy to say that in our testing yesterday all residents tested negative.
  • All residents will be tested again Monday, Jan. 24.
  • If a resident exhibits any symptoms, we will test immediately.
  • We will continue to test all of our associates and residents per CDC guidelines.

Elsewhere in the Village:

  • Village Care Center: Zero residents and eight associates currently have active cases of COVID-19.
  • Independent Living Residents have reported only a small number of new cases since last week.
  • Associates Outside of VCC and VAL: Five active cases in various parts of the Village.

I know that this is frustrating, but I can tell you that we are doing all that we can to keep your loved ones safe. We appreciate everyone’s help with this, so please, if you’re feeling any COVID-related symptoms, before you arrive please get tested or quarantine for the appropriate amount of time. (See CDC guidelines here.)
At-Home Test Kits. You may have heard on the news that every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests are completely free. The official website says that orders will usually ship in 7-12 days, and they recommend ordering your tests now so you have them when you need them. Please visit this website for information on how to order. (Place your order here.)
In addition, they have provided this link to more information. If you need a COVID-⁠19 test now: “Please see other testing resources for free testing locations in your area.”
Visiting VAL. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued revised guidance on 11/12/2021, which states that having residents and/or associates test positive will not affect your ability to visit.  These guidelines say that we are to inform loved ones of the presence of positive cases, and the risks associated with visiting (including being exposed to COVID-19), and it is then up to the visitors to assess the risk and decide on whether or not to visit.
It is recommended that:

  • after visitors are screened in the lobby, they should go directly to the resident’s room and remain there for the duration of the visit, then go directly out of the building.
  • visitors should remain masked and socially distance while in our buildings.
  • do not stay in main areas
  • large gatherings, parties, or events, should be avoided in our buildings, as social distancing would not be able to be maintained.

Please stay safe out there.

Jan. 13, 2022

I’ll start with the not great news first. I’m sorry to say that one more resident in Memory Care 3 has tested positive today for COVID-19 and will need to be in isolation. I know this string of positive test results is concerning, so I hope you can take comfort in the fact that so far all residents have had no, or mild, symptoms.

But there also is good news:

  • Today one resident was able to return to us after being in isolation
  • If all goes well, two more will return to us tomorrow (Friday).
  • We will be testing everyone again on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

At the Village Care Center, zero residents have tested positive to date this week, but five associates had positive tests from Jan. 10-13. Since these associates are in a variety of roles and locations, there will be additional rounds of testing for all residents in the VCC. COVID+ associates have had no, or mild, symptoms. They are still accepting visitors, but ask – as we do – that you DO NOT visit if you have ANY of these symptoms:

As always, in Village Assisted Living and VAL Memory Care we are focusing on:

Infection Prevention and Control

Wash/sanitize your hands

  1. Physically distance by 6 feet
  2. Wear a mask. Medical grade masks are more readily available now and are considered more effective against the new variant. That said, a two-layer cloth mask still adds more protection.
  3. Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  4. Don’t touch your eyes or face
  5. Stay home if you’re sick

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued revised guidance on 11/12/2021, which states that having residents and/or associates test positive will not affect your ability to visit.  These guidelines say that we are to inform loved ones of the presence of positive cases, and the risks associated with visiting (including being exposed to COVID-19), and it is then up to the visitors to assess the risk and decide on whether or not to visit.

Jackson County (Mo.) still has a “severe” community transmission rate right now, which means there are a large number of new cases being diagnosed in this county.

It is recommended that:

  • after visitors are screened in the lobby, they should go directly to the resident’s room and remain there for the duration of the visit, then go directly out of the building.
  • visitors should remain masked and socially distance while in our buildings.
  • do not stay in main areas
  • large gatherings, parties, or events, should be avoided in our buildings, as social distancing would not be able to be maintained.

Jan. 11, 2022

Unfortunately, two additional residents in our Memory Care 3 area have tested positive for COVID-19 during our group testing yesterday (Jan. 10).  This brings us to seven positive residents from MC3, and one from Assisted Living. All are currently being isolated, to prevent further spread of the virus. Thankfully, those affected are only experiencing mild symptoms at this time.

We will be testing everyone again on Thursday, Jan. 13.

As always, we are focusing on:

Infection Prevention and Control

  1. Wash/sanitize your hands
  2. Physically distance by 6 feet
  3. Wear a mask. Medical grade masks are more readily available now and are considered more effective against the new variant. That said, a two-layer cloth mask still adds more protection.
  4. Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  5. Don’t touch your eyes or face
  6. Stay home if you’re sick

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued revised guidance on 11/12/2021, which states that having residents and/or associates test positive will not affect your ability to visit.  These guidelines say that we are to inform loved ones of the presence of positive cases, and the risks associated with visiting (including being exposed to COVID-19), and it is then up to the visitors to assess the risk and decide on whether or not to visit.

Jackson County (Mo.) still has a “severe” community transmission rate right now, which means there are a large number of new cases being diagnosed in this county.

It is recommended that:

  • after visitors are screened in the lobby, they should go directly to the resident’s room and remain there for the duration of the visit, then go directly out of the building.
  • visitors should remain masked and socially distance while in our buildings.
  • do not stay in main areas
  • large gatherings, parties, or events, should be avoided in our buildings, as social distancing would not be able to be maintained.

Below is the last table published showing the number of COVID-19 cases at John Knox Village. I have updated the Village Assisted Living row to reflect our cumulative numbers as of today. My next letter should contain updated numbers for the full campus.

Jan. 6, 2022

Unfortunately, there have been an additional two residents in our Memory Care 3 area who tested positive for COVID-19 during our group testing yesterday (Jan. 5).  We are testing all Memory Care 3 residents again today because of the additional positive tests. These are the PCR test, so we should have the results on Friday, Jan. 7.

Also, during our testing yesterday, a full-time nurse from MC3 and a full-time staff member in our assisted living area both tested positive for COVID-19.

Thankfully, those affected are only experiencing mild symptoms at this time.

As I have mentioned before, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued revised guidance on 11/12/2021, which states that having residents and/or associates test positive will not affect your ability to visit.  These guidelines say that we are to inform loved ones of the presence of positive cases, and the risks associated with visiting (including being exposed to COVID-19), and it is then up to the visitors to assess the risk and decide on whether or not to visit.

As always, we are focusing on:

Infection Prevention and Control

  1. Wash/sanitize your hands
  2. Physically distance by 6 feet
  3. Wear a mask. Medical-grade masks are more readily available now and are considered more effective against the new variant. That said, a two-layer cloth mask still adds more protection.
  4. Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  5. Don’t touch your eyes or face
  6. Stay home if you’re sick

Jackson County (Mo.) has a “severe” community transmission rate right now, which means there are a large number of new cases being diagnosed in this county.

It is recommended that:

  • after visitors are screened in the lobby, they should go directly to the resident’s room and remain there for the duration of the visit, then go directly out of the building.
  • visitors should remain masked and socially distance while in our buildings.
  • large gatherings, parties, or events, should be avoided in our buildings, as social distancing would not be able to be maintained.

Jan. 3, 2022

Unfortunately, I need to let you know that we have had three residents test positive for COVID-19.  The first two who tested positive live in Memory Care 3, where no positive staff have worked, and the other resident resides in the Assisted Living area. These residents are quarantining in their rooms for the time being.

Therefore, we will be testing all of our residents and associates agon on Wednesday, January 5th, and I will notify you of those results.

As I have mentioned before, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued revised guidance on 11/12/2021, which state that having residents test positive will not affect your ability to visit.  These guidelines say that we are to inform loved ones of the presence of positive cases, and the risks associated with visiting (including being exposed to COVID-19), and it is then up to the visitors to assess the risk and decide on whether or not to visit.

Jackson County (Mo.) has a “severe” community transmission rate right now, which means there are a large number of new cases being diagnosed in this county.

It is recommended that:

  • after visitors are screened in the lobby, they should go directly to the resident’s room and remain there for the duration of the visit, then go directly out of the building.
  • visitors should remain masked and socially distance while in our buildings.
  • large gatherings, parties, or events, should be avoided in our buildings, as social distancing would not be able to be maintained.

I will provide an updated chart in tomorrow’s letter to inform you of the presence of COVID-19 elsewhere at John Knox Village. We are still working to compile the new data for the other areas.

As always, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns and please stay safe!

Dec. 31, 2021

I’m writing today to give you an update about COVID-19 testing in Memory Care 2 and the main assisted living area that was initiated when three staff members tested positive earlier this week. I’m happy to report that no residents tested positive for the virus; however, we did have one additional associate who has tested positive.

As I mentioned in my letter earlier this week, per the new visitation regulations handed down by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), these positive cases do not affect visits from loved ones. I do want to mention that metropolitan area data shows a rapid increase in the number of people testing positive again, and every decision we make affects countless others. If you are feeling ill, please postpone your visit until you are well.

I also wanted to provide an update about the presence of COVID-19 in other areas of John Knox Village.

  • Village Care Center. Resident testing that was related to an exposure was completed and all residents tested negative for COVID-19. The three associates who previously tested positive have all recovered. On Dec. 31, the VCC received the results of one associate who did test positive. However, because this associate was exposed after the last shift, they worked at the VCC and has not been in contact with any residents since then, no further testing is needed at this time. Finally, the VCC currently does not have any resident on isolation precautions related to COVID-19.
  • All Areas Outside of the VCC & VAL. Two residents have tested positive. In addition, eight associates have tested positive.

Dec. 27, 2021

Hello all,

I hope you all have had a great Christmas! I love seeing family members coming in to visit their loved ones!

I’m writing today to inform everyone of three staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19: one who was tested at the door, and so had no resident exposure; one who asked to be tested after beginning to not feel well on Sunday, and was then sent home after a positive test result; and then today, as part of our building-wide testing, another tested positive and was then sent home. These staff members worked in Memory Care 2 and the main assisted living area.

We will test again on Thursday and we will continue to inform you of the outcomes.

With the new regulations on visitation handed down by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), these positive cases will not have an effect on visits from loved ones. Therefore, my letters are more informational in nature, and are for your benefit so you can be aware of the risk involved in visits.

Since I haven’t written in several weeks, here is a quick summary of the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village.

  • Village Care Center. One associate and one resident tested positive earlier this month. And over the past three days, three associates have tested positive – though none have had any recent exposures to residents. Tomorrow, due to the positive case in the memory care area a couple of weeks ago, they will do a final round of testing within memory care.
  • All Areas Outside of the VCC & VAL. Near the end of November, 3 associates tested positive, and so far this month there have been two.

Local data shows a rapid increase in the number of metro area people testing positive again. Please do be careful out there and take good care of yourselves so that you do not inadvertently spread COVID-19 to others.

Nov. 19, 2021

Well good news on several points!  Our outbreak testing was completed, and we have all negative tests!

I’m sure some of you may have heard about CMS’s recent update to their visitation guidance. (More on that below.) This is especially welcome news to all of us – especially before the holidays!

Also, as the holidays are upon us, please remember to reach out to us if you plan on taking your loved one out.  This way, if needed, we can have medications ready for your outing.

Thankfully there also no active Independent Living resident cases. There are three associates outside of the VCC and VAL who are currently COVID+ and away from work. The majority of residents are fully vaccinated and have received boosters.

As I said, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently issued new guidelines which require all staff members of organizations that are certified providers of Medicare and Medicaid to be vaccinated within 60 days of the mandate (released Nov. 4, 2021). John Knox Village falls under this rule.

  • This mandate, designed to protect residents, clients, patients, and staff, requires all John Knox Village associates, regardless of where they work or their job title, to receive a full dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) to be employed by John Knox Village.
  • In addition, all volunteers, agency personnel and students also need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • At this time, vaccination boosters are not required for those who are fully vaccinated.
  • I would love for you to listen to what our President and CEO, Dan Rexroth, has to say: https://bit.ly/3CDI70e

In another development, CMS has significantly changed the guidelines for Nursing Home Visitation. It is so exciting that we are starting to see some “normalcy” for all of us!  I do ask that everyone follow the guidelines carefully, as my primary goal is still to keep our residents safe.

  • We are now able to allow visitors without appointments, with no limit to the number of visitors.
  • We MUST continue to follow a set of Core Principles of Infection Control. These require visitors to the Village Care Center to be screened when they arrive, be diligent in practicing hand hygiene and social distancing, and wear masks.
  • I have attached a new version of our Visitation Guidelines specifically for VAL that further explain these. Please take a moment to review these guidelines prior to your next visit.
  • Visits still must be limited to the resident’s room or designated visitation area.
  • If Jackson County community transmission level is substantial or high, all residents and visitors, regardless of vaccination status must wear face coverings at all times.

Each of us cares about the safety of our residents – and we care about you. Please make safe choices through the holiday season – especially when it comes to attending large gatherings. The last thing any of us wants is to become infected with the COVID virus and bring it into this building. And, please be sure to notify us if, after a visit, you learn that you had an exposure or have tested positive for COVID-19.

As always, thank you for your support of us and your support of your loved ones and family members.  We are so appreciative of you all!

Nov. 8, 2021

During our first round of testing today, we did find an additional positive staff member.  This staff member was vaccinated and is not displaying symptoms.  On one hand it is hard news to have another staff member test positive, but on the other hand, at least we know and were able to send this person home to quarantine and recover away from our residents and associates.  All residents were negative. 

We will test again on Friday the 12th and then again on Wednesday next week unless something changes.

At this time, we will not be pausing indoor visits.  We will continue to use the Village Assisted Living Compassionate Care Visit Program, as announced few months ago.  I’ve included the details here for your reference:

  • If an associate or agency worker who works in VAL tests positive for COVID-19, and was wearing PPE properly and as required, we will continue to allow pre-scheduled indoor visits with our residents.
  • You can call me, Marie Winter-Calvillo, directly, at 816-347-2701 with any questions, and you may call Ann at 816-347-2700 to schedule an appointment Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  In the evening or on the weekend, please call the nurses station at 816-347-2702.
  • While visiting your loved one, please wear your mask and follow safe distancing guidelines.
  • We will continue to have communal dining with safe distancing from each diner at the recommended 6′ of social distancing.  When they are not eating, residents will wear their masks.
  • We will continue to have communal activities with safe distancing and masks being worn, as recommended.
  • IF a VAL resident tests positive, then we would need to pause indoor visits, activities, communal dining and salon services until there was one round of all-negative tests.
  • Compassionate care visit criteria is more strict when a resident tests positive. Basically, to have a visitor, residents need to have experienced a mental, physical, or emotional change of some kind to qualify for a scheduled, indoor visit, or they need to be on hospice or palliative care or have had something happen that has caused a change for them.
  • After the appropriate number of all-negative COVID-19 test results, we will return to regular/unscheduled visits, but of course we will continue to screen loved ones at the door.
  • As always, in either scenario, outdoor visits are always permitted and encouraged, as they have been deemed the safest way to visit.
  • And, in all situations, all visitors will continue to be screened prior to their visit with their loved ones.

Additionally, for now, we are canceling the Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan (I-SNP) insurance meeting, as a safety precaution.

 

Nov. 6, 2021

On Friday We tested those associates who were exposed to the staff member who tested positive on Tuesday, Nov. 2. All were negative.

Today, however, a staff person who worked on Memory Care 2 and in the general assisted living area was not feeling well and tested positive. This person did not have contact with the staff member from Tuesday.

We will test all residents and staff members on Monday Nov. 8,  which is, coincidentally, the same day as one of the booster shot clinics for staff members.

We will test again on Thursday or Friday, at the end of this week.

I hate that this continues to happen, here and everywhere, but I am grateful that our residents have had their booster shots. I can’t wait to get mine on Monday.

Here are the current stats at John Knox Village – since the first day that COVID-19 was present on our campus.

Sept. 15, 2021

We have had one patient care associate test positive for COVID-19 today. We will not be doing additional testing related to this positive, as we are already scheduled to test all residents and associates tomorrow (Sept. 16), due to the COVID+ associate reported on Sept. 9.

All Village Assisted Living associates and residents were tested Monday, Sept. 13, and all residents tested negative. One associate, who did not provide direct care, did test positive in that round of testing. This associate was notified of the positive test result and is asymptomatic and fully vaccinated.  In addition to tomorrow’s testing, we will test all residents and associates again on Wednesday, Sept. 20.  VAL will be considered cleared when we complete two rounds of testing with no new positive cases.

At this time, we will not be pausing indoor visits.  We will continue to use the Village Assisted Living Compassionate Care Visit Program, as announced in our last e-mail. I’ve included it here as a reference:

  • If an associate or agency worker who works in VAL tests positive for COVID-19, and was wearing PPE properly and as required, we will continue to allow pre-scheduled indoor visits with our residents.
  • You can call me, Marie Winter-Calvillo, directly, at 816-347-2701 with any questions, and you may call Ann at 816-347-2700 to schedule an appointment.
  • While visiting your loved one, please wear your mask and follow safe distancing guidelines.
  • We will continue to have communal dining with safe distancing from each diner at the recommended 6′ of social distancing.  When they are not eating, residents will wear their masks.
  • We will continue to have communal activities with safe distancing and masks being worn, as recommended.
  • IF a VAL resident tests positive, then we would need to pause indoor visits, activities, communal dining and salon services until there was one round of all-negative tests.
  • Compassionate care visit criteria is more strict when a resident tests positive. Basically, to have a visitor, residents need to have experienced a mental, physical, or emotional change of some kind to qualify for a scheduled, indoor visit, or they need to be on hospice or palliative care, or have had something happen.
  • After the appropriate number of all-negative COVID-19 test results, we will return to regular/unscheduled visits, but of course we will continue to screen loved ones at the door.
  • As always, in either scenario, outdoor visits are always permitted and encouraged, as they have been deemed the safest way to visit.
  • And, in all situations, all visitors will continue to be screened prior to their visit with their loved ones.

I know it is difficult hearing of more positive staff member cases, but what I would say is at least we are aware of the positive cases and the associates are now safely quarantined at home.  I want to reassure you that we will continue doing all we can to keep everyone safe who lives and works at Village Assisted Living.

Here is a quick update about the status of the rest of the Village:

  • Village Care Center: Unfortunately, the VCC  has been experiencing a number of positive cases among associates and residents, in several parts of the building. They are continuing follow-up testing of residents and associates.  Yesterday they tested all residents in VCC memory care and the Village Rehabilitation Unit, and all results were negative! Residents in these two areas will need to test again next Tuesday. Their building is closed for indoor visits, and they have paused VCC activities and communal dining. Outdoor visits and video calls are still great options!
    Also, the Village Care Center 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.
  • All Areas Outside of the VCC & VAL: Earlier this month, one independent living resident tested positive, after experiencing mild symptoms. The resident is now fully recovered.

Again, please feel free to call, stop by, or e-mail at any time – I look forward to getting to know all of the residents, resident family members, and associates of John Knox Village as time goes on!

 

Sept. 9, 2021

Before I start sharing today’s news at Village Assisted Living, I’d first like to take a moment to introduce myself, and to say thank you to everyone who has greeted me kindly in the halls, introduced themselves, or stopped by my office. My name is Marie Winter-Calvillo, and I am the new administrator for Village Assisted Living. I have been an administrator in senior living, locally, for approximately five years, but I have worked in health care for the entirety of my career. I have heard nothing but amazing things about the care here at John Knox Village and I am so proud to join this team and continue this wonderful legacy of care.

Unfortunately, my first message is to let you know that we learned this morning that a Village Assisted Living patient care associate is COVID+. This person is vaccinated, had patient contact, and has quarantined at home. At this time, we will NOT be pausing in-person visits. We will test all residents and associates on Monday, with a second round of testing on Thursday. VAL will be considered cleared when we complete two rounds of testing with no new positive cases.

With that said, this is also a great time to share a piece of good news. As a team, we have been working on a new plan with the State of Missouri regarding what can and cannot take place when we have new positive COVID-19 cases within our associate base. We were able to gain approval from the State today regarding Compassionate Care Visits during outbreak testing.  This came just in time!

The Village Assisted Living Compassionate Care Visit Program is as follows:

  • If an associate or agency worker who works in VAL tests positive for COVID-19, and was wearing PPE properly and as required, we will continue to allow pre-scheduled visits with our residents.
  • You can call me, Marie Winter-Calvillo, directly, at 816-347-2701 to call ahead to schedule your visit.
  • While visiting your loved one, please wear your mask and follow safe distancing guidelines.
  • We will continue to have communal dining with safe distancing from each diner at the recommended 6′ of social distancing.  When they are not eating, residents will wear their masks.
  • We will continue to have communal activities with safe distancing and masks being worn as recommended.
  • IF a VAL resident tests positive, then we would need to pause in-person visits, activities, communal dining and salon services until there was one round of all-negative tests.
  • Compassionate care visit criteria is more strict when a resident tests positive. Basically, to have a visitor, residents need to have experienced a mental, physical, or emotional change of some kind to qualify for a scheduled, in-person visit, or they need to be on hospice or palliative care or have had something happen.
  • After the appropriate number of all-negative COVID-19 tests, we will return to regular/unscheduled visits but of course we will continue to screen loved ones at the door.
  • As always, in either scenario, outdoor visits are encouraged, as they have been deemed the safest way to visit. And all visitors will continue to be screened prior to their visit with their loved ones.

I would like to continue my introduction with just a little more about myself, so you know who is guiding the care of your loved ones here at Village Assisted Living.

I have my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UMKC and my master’s in Health Services Administration from UMKC, as well. I have four children, two daughters in college, a daughter who just started high school, and a four-year-old son who just began day care. I’m married to a hard-working gentleman and my dad lives with us. We also have four dogs so there is never a boring moment! I love to cook when I’m off, I bake all the time, and I love to read! As time goes on, I hope to learn about each person here and I hope you will all learn about me as well.

During this uncharted and challenging time, I have found it is even more important for all of us to rely on one another and to work together to provide love and care to our residents, associates, and family members.  Just as you all have been through some trying times with COVID, I have as well, and I would like to reassure everyone that just as John Knox Village has been open and transparent, I am that way as well.

I hope everyone feels they can stop by, call, or e-mail at any time.  I look forward to hearing from you and getting to know all of you. And, finally, I want to assure you that we will continue doing all that we can to protect those who live and work at Village Assisted Living!

Marie Winter-Calvillo
Administrator
Village Assisted Living

 

Sept. 1, 2021

Village Assisted Living and the three Memory Care neighborhoods have completed baseline testing, and all came back negative.  VAL can resume normal business starting Thursday, Sept. 2.

 

Aug. 31, 2021

I need to inform you that this morning a direct care associate that works throughout Village Assisted Living and Memory Care 1 and 2 has tested positive for COVID-19.  The associate is fully vaccinated and is presenting with mild symptoms.   Unfortunately, we will need to close indoor visitation, communal dining and group activities for today and tomorrow.  We will work on completing facility-wide testing tomorrow with the goal of re-opening Thursday morning.

Secondly, I wanted to let you all know that the Village Care Center has had six patients on the Village Rehabilitation Unit test positive for COVID-19 over the past couple of days.  Five of the patients were fully vaccinated and one was partially vaccinated for COVID-19 and all are presenting with mild symptoms. We have done a thorough round of contact tracing and cannot link any of these cases to an associate.   All of the COVID+ patients have been moved to the isolation unit. Testing of residents and associates in the rest of the building has not turned up any additional positive cases.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that I share your frustrations.  I know that the continued opening and closing of the licensed areas on campus is very difficult on our residents and their loved ones.   The one silver lining we are seeing is that though some of our residents are becoming infected and symptomatic with the virus, we are not seeing the serious illnesses and hospitalizations that we saw last year.

 

 

Aug. 16, 2021

I need to inform you that today, one of our Village Assisted Living residents has tested positive. The routine testing is a result of last week’s COVID+ case. While I cannot divulge too much information due to privacy laws, I can tell you that the resident is fully vaccinated and is asymptomatic.  Due to the lack of symptoms, we have performed a follow-up PCR test to determine whether or not this may be a false positive.   I also can tell you that through contact tracing and testing, we are pretty certain that the exposure occurred outside of Village Assisted Living.

Unfortunately, this means that we are closed to indoor visitation at this time on all units EXCEPT for Memory Care 3.   We will be conducting more testing on Thursday with the goal of re-opening indoor visits on Friday.  We also have had to suspend group activities and communal dining until we complete our baseline testing.

Of course residents are more than welcome to have outdoor visitation at all times.
I will keep you informed as we learn more. Your continued support is much appreciated as we work to keep your loved one healthy and safe.

 

Aug. 10, 2021

I’m writing to let you know that one associate, who has had limited resident interaction but has been in many parts of our buildings, has recently tested positive.

In response to this situation, we have paused all indoor visits, activities, group dining and salons for the moment, and are conducting facility-wide testing of residents and associates in all parts of Assisted Living and Memory Care.

We will know in the morning what those results are, and will inform you as quickly as possible as to whether we will be able to resume daily activities and indoor visits.

Elsewhere on campus.

  • Village Care Center: One direct care worker tested positive today during the VCC’s facility-wide testing in connection with a previous positive case. Unfortunately, this means that they will need to continue their pause in: activities, dining in the Main Dining Room, using the salons, and indoor visits, for at least another week. They will continue weekly testing through Tuesday, Aug. 17.
  • All Village Areas Outside of the VCC and VAL. Three associates in various parts of the Village have tested positive. Appropriate contact tracing is being conducted 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 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.

And, of course, masks are required when entering Village Assisted Living and Memory Care, for everyone’s protection.

I’m so sorry about this latest disruption. Thank you for all of your support as we work to keep our residents safe and healthy.

 

July 30, 2021

I am very pleased to let you know that we have completed our baseline testing of all VAL residents and associates (due to the associate who tested positive on Wednesday) and the results were 100% negative. This means we are back open for visitors!

We will need to do another round of testing on Monday to ensure we are all clear from our most recent positive case.

Always remember that, regardless of test results, outdoor visits are an available option. Whether you choose to visit inside or out, I’m sure you’ll be happy that temperatures are cooling down significantly, starting Saturday.

Village Care Center: Yesterday a symptomatic and unvaccinated agency staff member who works in a direct care position received a positive test result. Because of the timing of the last date this person worked, they do not need to make any changes to their current testing protocol.

More good news:

  • All Village Care Center residents were tested on Thursday – 100% were negative!
  • They are testing associates today and Monday. So far, all associates have been negative, too.
  • If all continues to go well, the VCC should be able re-open for indoor visits on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

I really hate to say that out loud, because I don’t want to disappoint anyone, but I also want you to know how very hard the Village is working to keep everyone safe AND keep you connected with your loved ones. They will test everyone again starting Thursday, Aug. 5.

Masks at John Knox Village: It’s also important for you know that, because of the significant level of COVID-19 transmission in our area and across the state, and due to the CDC’s recommendations, John Knox Village is requiring masks in all buildings, regardless of vaccination status, starting Monday, Aug. 2. This does not change procedures within Village Assisted Living, but if you plan to visit other buildings on campus, be sure to keep your mask handy.

I appreciate your ongoing support as we work together to keep our residents, visitors and associates safe and healthy.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

July 28, 2021

I wanted to inform you that we had an associate test positive for COVID-19 this morning.  The associate has recently worked on Memory Care 1 and Memory 2 Neighborhood.  The associate is fully vaccinated and reported mild symptoms shortly after their shift began, which prompted the test.

Unfortunately, this does necessitate that we pause all indoor visitation and suspend in-person group dining and activities.  After a discussion with Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), they have advised us that we should do a baseline test of ALL residents and associates tomorrow, which we will do as expeditiously as possible in order to return to being fully opened.
Though we need to suspend some of our services, all outdoor visitation can occur, and our residents are welcome to go out with their loved ones during this time.

I will keep you all informed of the testing results. Thank you for your patience.

July 22, 2021

I wanted to inform you that yesterday evening we learned of a new COVID+ case from an agency worker in the Village Assisted Living Memory Care 1 neighborhood. This person’s last full shift was Saturday, and was tested yesterday – as part of routine testing of unvaccinated associates – about an hour after arriving.  Unfortunately, this means we must suspend all in-person visitation at this time.  The nursing leadership team is conducting a round of facility-wide testing of all residents and associates.  Assuming all of those test come back negative, we could be able to reopen as early as tomorrow.

I am so sorry to deliver this news to you, and I am sure you are sad to hear it.  Unfortunately, we fear this will continue to happen until the rate of community spread in the surrounding area decreases significantly.  The team here will continue to work swiftly through the necessary protocols and we will work to be closed as briefly as possible, however everyone’s safety is our highest priority.

Due to this COVID+ result, Village Assisted Living also is:

  • We are requesting that all Village departments conduct business with us remotely, unless it is essential for them to be in the building.
  • All activities are suspended, as well as dining in Fireside Dining and salon services, until further notice.
  • We will continue testing weekly for at least 14 days (2 more rounds). I will keep you informed of the results.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

July 16, 2021

I am very pleased to tell you that the Village Care Center has completed their first round of testing all residents and all associates, and the results are all negative. This means that:

  • Effective immediately, indoor in-person visits for VCC residents are back!
  • VCC 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 the VCC to halt indoor visits again.
  • It is essential that all visitors adhere to the VCC’s visitation guidelines.
  • For the safety of their 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 told you about in my Tuesday letter (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.

Additionally, 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 else do I need to know? If it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed the list of COVID-19 symptoms, why not refresh your memory?

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.

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. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

July 21, 2021

Our fitness center friends have been back for several weeks conducting exercise classes again, and Treva and Christina have been scheduling some great activities. Both are very well attended. It’s great to see the residents being mentally and physically active and engaged with one another again.

I do need to let you know that the Village Care Center has another associate who tested positive for COVID-19.

Even though they are a mile away from our building, it’s still important for you to know what is happening with the coronavirus on our campus. This test result came out yesterday afternoon, during routine follow-up testing there due to the positive 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.

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.
  • They will continue 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.

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:

  • 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.
  • If anyone at Village Assisted Living were to become COVID+, we would have to follow protocols similar to those listed above for the VCC.
  • What happens on our campus will always be a reflection of what is happening in our community.
  • The vaccines are highly effective at preventing people from getting COVID-19, but not 100 percent. It is still important to be very careful when moving about in the greater community, especially with this more infectious variant in the area.

I’d like to share an excerpt of what we include in each of our COVID-19 letters to John Knox Village residents and associates. I think it’s good information for everyone, and I though you might want to take a minute to read and refresh your memories, too.

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.

Headache ~ Sore throat ~ Congestion or runny nose ~ 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 ~  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 if you have been on campus.
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.

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

July 13, 2021

While it has been a pleasure to go from mid-April to early July without having to report a positive COVID-19 case at the Village, yesterday that streak has come to an end. I am writing to report 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 was  completed yesterday, and all resident tests came back negative. Associate testing began yesterday, 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 actions are being taken at the Village Care Center:

  • Indoor in-person 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.

While I am very disappointed that I have to make these announcements, as always, the Village’s primary goal is to keep residents, associates and visitors safe and healthy.

This seems like a good time to go over a few reminders, to help us continue to have activities and visits at Village Assisted Living.

  • Visitors must fill out the visitor log and be screened prior to entering.
  • Visitors 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.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in parts of Missouri, and because we are a mobile population, it will likely continue its spread. CoxHealth in Springfield, Mo., reported yesterday that they had 119 COVID-positive inpatients, compared to only 14 hospitalized there in mid-May. Overall, U.S. numbers are still showing that the vast majority of those who are ending up hospitalized are unvaccinated people.

If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, please give it serious consideration.

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

 

June 2, 2021

Dear Village Assisted Living Families,

My last update was some time ago, and I have lots of new happenings to catch you up on.

Testing

It’s been wonderful over the past month to not have to write about COVID-19 test results.

The last time we conducted facility-wide employee testing was on April 12. We only tested unvaccinated associates, and all test results were negative.

Our next testing date for non-vaccinated associates will be on Thursday, June 10.

Renovations

The renovations to the existing assisted living building continue to progress nicely.

Tomorrow, the new common area furniture will be placed.  Look for lots of activity in the hallways as this takes place.  I’m so excited to see how it looks!

The punch list items for Harmon Construction will be addressed over the next few weeks.

Items to be completed by the Village’s landscaping and renovations crews include a complete overhaul to the Manor Courtyard, new windows on the corridor that leads to Fireside dining as well as the Ambassador room, and the installation of artwork.

Administrator

I shared in my last communication that my last day is June 3.  Since then, I have been working closely with Anthony Columbatto and the team to ensure a seamless transition.  I hope you will find that we have done so quite nicely.  Look for an e-mail from Anthony sometime next week.

Farewell

In 2009 I became the administrator for Village Assisted Living and Memory Care, and it has been a beautiful twelve years.  I am forever indebted to the families who have entrusted their loved ones’ care to us.  Your belief and confidence in us, especially over the past fourteen months, has meant the world to me and will not be forgotten.