COVID-19 Village Updates

The following information is published by Brian Opoka, director of public safety. It is shared with John Knox Village associates and residents. If you have questions, please contact Brian at 816-347-2932 or bopoka@jkv.org.


April 13, 2021

Reopening the Village, Cautiously

John Knox Village is excited to announce that Phase II of our Independent Living Reopening plan will go into effect on Monday, April 19.

  • Watch JKtV Channel 2 for a presentation by Maria Timberlake, vice president of senior living, explaining the new steps toward more active living. It will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 15; 5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. Sunday.
  • Details also will be published in the April Mid-Month Voice that comes out on Friday, April 16, and in the Daily E-Blast and on www.JKVLife.org

Share Facts Not Fear

Current news regarding the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village:

Village Care Center

  • There have been no new resident or associate positive cases so far this month. As of today, all care neighborhoods at the VCC are open to visitors.
  • Don’t forget: You now you can simply stop by within visiting hours:8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The end times are hard-stop times due to available staffing. Entry will be denied after visiting hours close. Visitor(s) must complete a visitor log and screening prior to entering resident care area.

Village Assisted Living 

  • There has been one new positive case in the past week.
  • April 6: A non-direct care associate who works in the assisted living 400 wing and apartments 105-125 in the 100 wing tested positive on April 6, so in-person indoor visitation and non-essential outings were paused for all of assisted living and Memory Care 1 & 2.
  • April 9: Because no new cases were discovered after facility-wide testing of all residents and associates, VAL re-opened indoor visitation and non-essential outings for all Memory Care neighborhoods as well as the 200 and 300 wings, and part of 100 wing in Assisted Living. Those in the affected areas cannot have indoor visitation or non-essential outings until we receive the results of follow-up testing on April 14, but they can still do outside visits.
  • April 13: Results from the second round of testing are in, and ALL tests were NEGATIVE. All parts of Village Assisted Living are now available for visits and non-essential outings.
  • Renovation work is ahead of schedule. What was expected to be a six-month renovation project starting Feb. 1 is now on track to be complete in only four months, wrapping up in May! Watch for photos in the May Village Voice magazine.
  • Visitor(s) must complete a visitor log and screening prior to entering resident neighborhoods.

All areas outside of VCC and VAL

  • There have been NO new resident or associate positive cases reported so far this month.
  • The easing of restrictions and allowing visitors on campus seems to be going smoothly. I hope that many of you have been able to enjoy visits from friends and family.

Vaccinations

A few vaccination-related announcements and tips:

  • Effective April 9, the State of Missouri opened its vaccine distribution plan to all Missouri residents age 16 and over. https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/residents/
  • The City of Lee’s Summit and the State of Missouri are hosting a drive-thru mass vaccination event on April 14 and April 15 at the Legacy Park Soccer Venue, 1501 NE Legacy Park Drive, from noon to 8 p.m. on both days, with up to 2,200 doses of the Pfizer vaccine expected to be administered per day. Registration is required using the Missouri COVID-19 Vaccine Navigator. After registering, an e-mail will be sent to schedule an appointment. You can also register by calling 877-435-8411. Volunteers from the John Knox Village EMS team will be assisting. For information: cityofLS.net/ls-vaccine-event.
  • If you have senior friends outside of John Knox Village who are trying to figure out how to get the vaccine, direct them to this web page: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/seniors/

News

News items to be aware of:

  • Federal health officials have issued guidance recommending a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine “out of an abundance of caution,” as they investigate recent reports of adverse reactions. The FDA and the CDC say these events appear to be extremely rare, and stressed that there have been no significant safety concerns about the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
  • The CDC updated its “surface cleaning guidelines” April 5, noting that the risk of contracting the virus from touching a surface was less than 1 in 10,000. Except for health care settings, they say that regular cleaning with simple soap and water – in addition to hand washing, mask-wearing and social distancing – is sufficient. However, if you have had a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your personal space in the past 24 hours, cleaning and disinfection is warranted.
  • COVID-19 positives among fully-vaccinated people. The Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are nearly 100% effective at preventing severe infection and hospitalization from the coronavirus after two doses, and they prevent 90 percent of infections, according to the CDC. Several states are reporting that a small number of fully-vaccinated people are testing positive for COVID-19, and so far their incidence rates support the statistics above. 

April 2, 2021

Reopening the Village, Cautiously

A number of news stories came out over the past week regarding the coronavirus, vaccination processes, vaccinated people, travel recommendations and gathering with others. Please know that John Knox Village is continuing to monitor the agencies that provide us with guidance, including the CDC, CMS, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Mid-America Regional Council, and the Jackson County Health Department. And we are constantly watching for new ways that we can open up more opportunities for active living here at the Village.

Here are a few announcements and tips you may want to be aware of:

  • Effective April 9, the state of Missouri is opening its vaccine distribution plan all Missouri residents age 16 and over. https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/residents/
  • If you have senior friends outside of John Knox Village who are trying to figure out how to get the vaccine, you might want to direct them to this web page: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/seniors/
  • Jackson County has announced plans to ease more COVID-19 restrictions on April 9. More to come on this.

Facts Not Fear

Here’s the current news at John Knox Village concerning COVID-19:

Village Care Center

  • One associate tested positive on March 27; the individual had minimal contact with residents. As of today, all care neighborhoods at the VCC are open to visitors.
  • In addition to welcoming visitors in resident rooms or outside, they have implemented updates to the visitation policy. One notable change: you no longer need to schedule your visits, now you can simply stop by within the set visiting hours. VCC visiting hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  They are emphasizing that the end times are hard-stop times because the VCC does not have staff available outside of those hours to greet and screen visitors. Entry will be denied after visiting hours close. Visitor(s) must complete a visitor log and screening prior to entering resident care area.

Village Assisted Living

  • There have been NO new positives in the past week.
  • Tables in Fireside Dining can now be pulled together so VAL residents can dine together, and group size limits for activities have been removed; six-foot distancing must be maintained in both circumstances. VAL residents can now leave for non-essential outings, but will be screened and monitored for symptoms upon return and twice daily for 72 hours after returning from a brief outing. Further details will be shared with residents and family at the time.

All areas outside of VCC and VAL

  • There have been NO new positives reported in the past week.
  • The easing of restrictions and allowing visitors on campus seems to be going smoothly. I hope that many of you have been able to enjoy visits from friends and family.

A word of caution

Please be careful this weekend. Family holiday gatherings have been a significant source of community spread in the past. Let’s keep the Village a safe space so we can continue the process of reopening.

What You Can Do

At John Knox Village, caution is still essential, masks and social distancing are still requirements, and outdoors is always the best way to visit (weather permitting). We are cautiously letting people into our bubble of safety that contains a vulnerable population, so we all need to continue our  diligence in using the pillars of COVID-19 infection control:

  • Wear masks
  • Wash hands
  • Stay 6 feet from those not from your household
  • Avoid large gatherings

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following:

  • 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 noes
  • 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. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.

·    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!


March 27, 2021

Reopening the Village, Cautiously

Independent Living: There have been NO new cases of COVID-19.

Village Assisted Living. There have been NO new cases of COVID-19.

The renovations in Assisted Living and Memory Care 1 are progressing nicely. By the end of Friday, the Garden nurses station and medication room, 200 hall restroom and laundry room will be complete. Pendant lights, memory boxes, signage, and artwork are next. The Memory Care 1 corridors, dining, kitchen, sunroom, and common areas all have been painted, new carpet in the sunroom has been laid, and the new furniture completes the plan. 

Village Care Center.  There have been NO new cases of COVID-19. 

Times for in-person visits are changing to allow more flexibility. 

  • Beginning Monday, VCC visiting hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. 
  • Please be aware that the end times are hard-stop times, because they do not have staff available outside of those hours to greet and screen visitors. Entry will be denied after visiting hours close.  

These visits need to take place in the resident’s room OR outside, with the preferred method still being outside. 

Administrator Anthony Columbatto was interviewed on KCTV5’s “Better KC” show this week to share about some of the cutting-edge technology we are using in the Village Care Center to help keep people safe and give the best possible care to the residents and patients at the VCC. I think you’ll enjoy learning about it. If you’d like to see that portion of the show, click here.

PLEASE REMEMBER:

At John Knox Village, caution is still essential, masks and social distancing are still requirements, and outdoors is always the best way to visit (weather permitting). We are cautiously letting people into our bubble of safety that contains a vulnerable population, so we all need to continue our  diligence in using the pillars of COVID-19 infection control:

  • Wear masks
  • Wash hands
  • Stay 6 feet apart from those not from your household
  • Avoid large gatherings

What You Can Do

At John Knox Village, caution is still essential, masks and social distancing are still requirements, and outdoors is always the best way to visit (weather permitting). We are cautiously letting people into our bubble of safety that contains a vulnerable population, so we all need to continue our  diligence in using the pillars of COVID-19 infection control:

  • Wear masks
  • Wash hands
  • Stay 6 feet apart from those not from your household
  • Avoid large gatherings
It’s a Wrap! On Monday, March 22, this life-size rainbow of Easter “Peeps,” helped us wrap up the last of 11 hugely successful Independent Living COVID-19 vaccination days. This was an enormous team effort involving dozens of associates from nearly every part of the Village working together to make sure our residents had a safe, smooth and seamless experience. It was an outstanding example of P.R.I.D.E. in action: Personal Responsibility in Delivering Excellence.

March 17, 2021

COVID-19 at John Knox Village

Village Care Center

  • One newly-admitted Village Rehabilitation Unit resident tested positive on March 5 and has since recovered.
  • -Another VRU resident tested positive on March 13, within 24 hours of admission, and has been moved to the isolation unit. The Jackson County Health Department determined that we do not need to include this patient in our count because the virus was acquired outside of the VCC. Testing of potentially-affected persons took place during the day on March 16, with no new positives.
  • During routine associate testing at night on March 16, one associate in Memory Care tested positive.

Village Assisted Living: No new positive results from scheduled testing on March 9, 10 and 11. All VAL associates are scheduled for regular testing on March 18.

All Areas outside of VAL and VCC: We have had no new resident or associate cases reported. 

Reopening the Village, Cautiously

Visitors Welcome to JKV Campus – Effective Monday, March 15

After a year of waiting, it is happening. Reopening finally started at John Knox Village on Monday, March 15.

Independent Living: REOPENING PHASE I

This is Phase I of a multi-phase plan, so watch for more announcements about further reopening steps in coming weeks.

Village Care Center
As of Monday, March 15, VCC residents also may now have visitors in their rooms. Weather permitting, outdoor visits are still the preferred method of visitation; they are safer and have fewer criteria that affect when they can happen. Indoor visits have a number of restrictions which can cause them to start and stop periodically for the whole building, or for an individual care neighborhood. There are limits on visit length and number of people. Indoor visitors should check in at the reception desk to be screened before going directly and only to the resident’s room. Masks and distancing are required. Call 347-2400 at least the day before to schedule a visit. NOTE: VCC indoor visits are currently paused, due to the recent positive cases.

Village Assisted Living
As of Monday, March 15, VAL residents also may now have visitors in their apartments. Appointments are not necessary, but visitors will still need to enter at the main entrance to each care neighborhood (AL, Memory Care 1, 2 or 3), check in and be screened, and then go directly and only to the resident’s apartment. No more than two visitors at a time.

  • These visits could be paused from time to time, if they become aware of new COVID-19 cases in the building. Outdoor visits are still the safest and best option. Masks and distancing are required.
  • Assisted Living (non-memory care) families visiting after 5 p.m. on weekdays, and anytime Saturday or Sunday: Please call 347-2723 or 347-2302 to let the team know you have arrived to visit a loved one. If you wait more than 5 minutes for someone to open the door, please call again. Also, please let someone know when you’re ready to leave so they can let you out of the building.
  • Please continue to wear your masks through the entire duration of the visit.
  • IMPORTANT: You MAY NOT enter VAL through the doors connecting to other buildings (no passing through yet), and Fireside Dining is still for VAL residents only. Outpatient Therapy patients must still use their exterior entrance.

PLEASE REMEMBER:
Other new recommendations issued by the CDC do NOT apply at John Knox Village.  Yes, many residents and associates are fully-vaccinated, but we are still a community of people who are vulnerable to the worst effects of COVID-19, AND no one knows how long immunity lasts, AND most importantly, we feel safe because we have created our own “bubble” at the Village, but the level of community transmission outside of the Village is still quite high. 

Feb. 26, 2021

One sentence says it all. There have been no new positive cases of COVID-19 reported at the Village this week. Zero.

Vaccination Week: Part 2

There really is “no place like home” when it comes to getting John Knox Village Residents vaccinated!  At our second week-long vaccination clinic for Independent Living residents, while the Wizard of Oz cast kept everything running smoothly with a dose of fun, about 980 shots were administered.

So far, Village-wide, nearly 2,000 residents and associates have received first or second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. I have never been more proud of our organization.

What’s next?

If you are one of the people was vaccinated this week, I’d like to urge you to do two things:

  • Take a minute to read the flyer you were given when you left. It includes information about side-effects you may experience, as well as some general information about what you should and should not do now that your body is busy building up a defense. [HINT: Don’t throw away those masks.]
  • Find your vaccination information card and put it, and your pink copies of the forms you filled out in a safe place. They are important documents, and you may need them at some point in the future.

Getting your loved ones vaccinated

New level opening in Missouri’s Vaccination Plan. Governor Mike Parson announced yesterday that Phase 1B – Tier 3 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan will be activated on Monday, March 15. At that time, Missourians in Phase 1B – Tier 3 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This includes those who keep the essential functions of society running, including K-12 educators and school employees; child care providers; grocery store employees; and energy, food, agriculture, and other critical infrastructure workers, among others. With the activation of Phase 1B – Tier 3, approximately 550,000 more Missourians will be eligible for the vaccine. For the full list of categories included in Phase 1B – Tier 3, click here. Missourians in Phase 1A and Phase 1B – Tier 1 and Tier 2 will also remain eligible.” 

The Jackson County Health Department issued this announcement recently: “With only 8% of the state’s vaccine supply going to public health (departments), we recommend that area residents fill out all available vaccine interest forms. We want all eligible individuals who are anxiously awaiting the vaccine to be able to access it as quickly as possible, which is why we encourage residents to sign up in as many places as they can.
     “Please visit https://jacohd.org/covid-vaccines to find COVID-19 vaccine interest forms available to Jackson County residents. We will keep this page updated with information as we receive it. We know that navigating this process has been frustrating. We thank you for your continued patience. Know that we will continue to contact individuals who signed up on our form to schedule appointments as vaccine is made available to us.”

State and Local Resources

There are currently appointments being scheduled through a huge number of sites: state, county and city health departments, local hospitals, and some retail and pharmacy chains, to name a few. Unfortunately there is not a good centralized list anywhere right now, so your best option is to monitor as many pages as you can which are curating lists and updating them regularly.

Figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. The City of Lee’s Summit maintains a good Coronavirus resource page with dozens of links to pertinent websites: cityofls.net/coronavirus as do the City of Blue Springs: http://www.bluespringsgov.com/vaccine; and Mid-America Regional Council: https://preparemetrokc.org/covid19/vaccines/. Additionally, you can visit these resources. This is by no means comprehensive, but it is at least a starting place.


Feb. 19, 2021

I cannot tell you how pleased I am to finally send an e-mail that is filled with NOTHING BUT GOOD NEWS!

For those of you who’ve been waiting for light at the end of the tunnel, please read on. Here is some of the latest news about the presence of COVID-19 cases on the John Knox Village campus (or perhaps I should say LACK of COVID-19 cases) and where we stand on vaccinations.

COVID-19 Cases

Please just take a moment to really let this sink in:

  • Village Care Center. It has been more than 28 days since there has been an active associate or resident COVID -19 case in the VCC, which means their outbreak is officially over. They will continue with scheduled testing to stay aware of any new cases. I am very hopeful that they will be able to continue this streak as we move forward.
  • Village Assisted Living. They have had a few isolated cases during which contractors who had little or no resident interactions tested positive, but there have been no new associate or resident cases since Jan. 28. They will continue with scheduled testing to stay aware of the presence of the virus in their buildings.
  • Areas outside of VCC & VAL. There are no current associate or resident cases of COVID-19 reported.

I know that has been a collective sigh of relief across the campus as each person reads this. What does it mean? It means that what we’re doing to control infectious spread is working. It means the vaccine is working to keep infection rates low here – at the Village.

Maybe the most important thing now is to not get too comfortable, because it is definitely NOT what is happening outside of the Village. So enjoy this moment AND let’s keep doing everything we can to make sure this moment lasts a long time.

Visitations

The Village Care Center and Village Assisted Living have both begun scheduling 30-minute appointments for loved ones to visit in controlled surroundings that meet CMS and CDC standards. Visit rooms have been set up that allow for face-to-face visits using strict safety measures and screenings. 

These visits can only take place if there have been no positive resident or associate cases in that building for 14 consecutive days. If a positive case turns up, the clock is re-set and visits cannot resume until 14 more days go by without an additional case.

Vaccination Clinics

Next week is Independent Living’s turn to get their second (booster) dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Starting Monday morning, we will again spend five days vaccinating close to 1,000 residents – including a few associates and residents who have opted to get their first dose this time around. The process will work much the same way as last time. You should already have received a flyer at your home informing you of the date and time of your appointment. Transportation is being provided.

CDC says improving fit of masks improves filtration

The CDC recently emphasized the importance of wearing a mask that fits well.

The effectiveness of a mask – for the wearer AND for those nearby – improves significantly when there is less leakage of air around the edges. COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when people breathe, cough, sneeze, talk, shout, or sing. Last month, the CDC examined two modifications to the use of medical procedure masks. The goal was to improve the fit of these masks and reduce the receiver’s exposure the coronavirus in airborne water droplets.

  • Wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask (double masking) or
  • Knot and Tuck: Knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask where they attach to the mask’s edges and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face. (See illustration below.) 

The exposure of the person inhaling was reduced by more than 95% when both people were fitted with modified medical procedure masks.

What You Can Do

We must all work together to make sure the virus doesn’t continue its spread. Even if you are able to shake it off, your spouse or neighbor may not be as lucky. Please continue to use the layers of protection that I’ve talked about so many times.

Even if you’ve already tested positive. Even if you receive the vaccine.: 

  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and others you encounter.
  • Do not attend gatherings with others outside your household – even if the host says there will be social distancing or opportunities to congregate outside. Social gatherings provide the perfect opportunities for this virus to spread.
  • Please wear a mask anytime you leave your home. You should also wear a mask when someone comes to your door — even if that person is a John Knox Village associate that you know! I know its cumbersome and can be an inconvenience, and I sound like a broken record, but wearing a mask works!
  • Please remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do it often. If soap and water isn’t available, use hand sanitizer.

Feb. 1, 2021

COVID-19 Update at JKV

Independent Living

  • I really hate having to tell you that two residents have passed away in the past 10 days. It is so hard to watch this kind of loss shift from one part of the Village to another, and I am so sorry for all those involved.
  • Additionally, one resident was confirmed as positive on Jan. 23. John Knox Village conducts its own thorough contact tracing. Associates and residents will be contacted by the Village if there is a possibility that there was an exposure.
  • On a more upbeat note, at last week’s five-day vaccination clinic nearly 900 independent living residents received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine! This was an incredible effort that included associates from all across the Village, and I have heard nothing but good things about what a streamlined operation it was.

Village Assisted Living

  • Several rounds of resident and associate testing took place last week, and of all of those tests, only one associate received a positive test result. Because this person is in a direct care position, associates in that care neighborhood will wear additional PPE for the next several days, residents will be encouraged to stay in their rooms, vital signs will be checked four times a day, and additional testing will be conducted.
  • Their second COVID-19 vaccination clinic is Feb. 8.

Village Care Center

  • Another week has gone by, and I am happy to report that we have not seen any new COVID+ test results for our residents and associates! We are now four weeks from our last COVID+ residents and eight days since our last COVID+ associate.  
  • They, along with VAL and the rest of the Village, are working with state and federal regulators and requesting guidance regarding re-opening.

The second vaccine clinic for residents and associates of the Village Care Center will be Feb. 3.

COVID-19 VACCINE – On to Round 2 Vaccination Clinics

All parts of the Village have now had the opportunity to receive their first shot, which is great news.

Round 2 for Independent Living will include booster shots for those who already received their primer dose, and primers for those who opt in by Friday, Feb. 5. The five-day clinic will take place during the week of Feb. 22.

HAVE YOU DECIDED TO GET THE VACCINE? Independent Living residents must notify us by calling the Concierge at 816-347-2405 by no later than 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5.

A good reason to smile: Watch this KCTV5 Better KC segment from Thursday morning showing our independent living residents getting vaccinated! 

Here are two of the MANY positive comments we received from residents:

  • “The Covid vaccination process was flawless from start to finish in our opinion. Thanks to everyone who planned and executed this, and to all Associates in every aspect-you were kind, conversational, welcoming, friendly-what more could we have asked for? From our helpful bus drivers to the guide with Pom-Poms! EVERY SINGLE PERSON WITHOUT FAIL WAS THE EPITOME OF WHAT JKV STRIVES FOR! God bless you!”
  • “The vaccination process was outstanding! Great organization, thorough communication, friendly attention at every stage. The seating, the signage, even the timers in the waiting area were just right. I enjoyed seeing how all the bases were covered. Thanks for a great experience.”

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Side effects are normal Side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine are normal signs your body is building protection. Side effects may even feel like flu and might affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting vaccinated, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

The CDC wants you to tell them how you feel after you get each shot by using their v-safe smartphone reporting tool. Sign up at www.cdc.gov/vsafe and you will receive text messages reminding you to check in for a brief four-question survey each day for the first week, then once a week for five more weeks, then it will switch to 3, 6 and 12-month check-ins. If you report any serious health problems, someone from the CDC may call to follow up.

What Should I Do? 

Caution continues to be gravely important especially for and around individuals over the age of 65, and those with underlying health conditions.

·    Please continue to wear your mask around those not from your household, practice social distancing, and PLEASE do not attend group gatherings. Even if you’ve already tested positive. Even after you receive the vaccine. We still do not know how long immunity lasts, and some people will have had false positive or false negative test results, or were tested too early. Set a good example so others don’t stop wearing their masks.

·    Masks are REQUIRED in John Knox Village buildings. Please exercise your P.R.I.D.E. and wear them properly to protect our residents and associates – covering both your nose and mouth. If it falls down while you’re speaking, pull it up using the top of your mask.

·    Please wear a mask anytime you leave your home. You should also wear a mask when someone comes to your door – even if that person is a John Knox Village associate whom you know!

·    Please remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do it often.

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!

Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week.

Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/

Please keep yourselves safe and healthy. Won’t you consider watching the “Big Game” at your own home this year? This is no time to let down your guard! Let’s finish strong together!

Jan. 25, 2021

I wanted to update you about some great news around the Village. 

Village Care Center. First and foremost I am excited to report that last week the VCC achieved 13 days with NO new resident OR associate COVID+ cases! Also, it has been 20 days since the VCC’s first vaccination clinic. All residents and associates appear to be doing well, and to my knowledge, no one had a serious adverse reaction. As Administrator Anthony Columbatto said In a recent letter to families: “We finally have what we have not felt in such a long time: Hope.”  

Unfortunately, on Friday, Jan. 22, after routine testing of all residents and associates, one non-direct care associate did test positive, but I believe they can reach 14 days or more next time.

The VCC will continue to test all residents weekly until they reach 14 days without a positive test (associate or resident). Associates will be tested twice weekly until the Jackson County, Missouri, positivity rate drops.

Additionally, the Village has requested guidance from state, county and national regulatory bodies regarding when (after the second round of vaccinations) dining, group activities – and most importantly – visits, can resume.  

Village Assisted Living: These residents and associates have experienced many emotions last week. While sad about the recent loss of a resident due to complications related to COVID-19, they also were elated that 190 residents an associates received their first (primer) dose of the Moderna vaccine on Monday, Jan. 11. The following day, more than 200 residents and associates were tested, with only one positive COVID-19 test result for a resident in Memory Care 2. At the end of the week, associates and residents were re-tested, and there were NO new positive resident OR associate tests.

More good news: On Feb. 1 renovations will begin in the corridors and common spaces in the original portions of the building. Their last facelift was new paint and carpet in 2010. And their activities department announced today that they are cautiously beginning to offer small group (limit of 9) activities for residents again!  

Independent Living: Four Independent Living residents tested positive this past week, as well as four associates who work in different parts of the Village. As always, know that we work hard to balance the need to protect others and the rights to privacy when discussing those who live and work outside of our licensed facilities (which have different reporting standards). John Knox Village conducts contact tracing on campus, and neighbors and associates are notified if it appears that they have experienced contact with someone who has tested positive.

Wear Your Mask Well to Protect Others. Face masks with air gaps provide less protection. Please make sure your mask covers your mouth AND nose. I know it can be a challenge.

  1. Adjust the wire nose piece in the top of the mask, if it has one.
  2. Some masks (like the John Knox Village logo masks) have rubber rings on the ear loops that can be adjusted to snug it up. If yours doesn’t, you can pinch the ends of your ear loops and twist a small rubber band around several times to shorten the loop. Or put in a couple of quick stitches with needle and thread.
  3. Use hairpins to secure the loop to the hair behind your ears.
  4. You can order more John Knox Village face masks through the Foundation office.

Vaccine. Today is Day 2 of Vaccination Week for independent Living residents. Day 1 was a great success. A great deal of planning took place leading up to this moment, and so far it looks like the process of transporting residents to Places, getting their vaccines is working very well.

IMPORTANT: Keep Wearing Your Masks. You are NOT instantly immune once you get the vaccine. You won’t be at your highest level of protection until 2 weeks AFTER your SECOND shot. Even then, Village associates and residents will still need to keep wearing face masks, keep their distance from those who don’t live with them and keep away from large gatherings. Why? Because scientists don’t know yet how long the protection from severe disease will last, nor whether vaccinated persons can still spread it to others. Secondly, the level of community spread in Jackson County, MO is extremely high, and this is just not the time to let down our guard.  The vaccine is a FOURTH layer of protection. And it is a source of hope. What Should I Do? Caution continues to be gravely important especially for and around individuals over the age of 65, and those with underlying health conditions.

  • Please continue to wear your mask around those not from your household, practice social distancing, and PLEASE do not attend group gatherings. Even if you’ve already tested positive. Even after you receive the vaccine.
  • Masks are REQUIRED in John Knox Village buildings. Please exercise your P.R.I.D.E. and wear them properly to protect our residents and associates – covering both your nose and mouth. If it falls down while you’re speaking, pull it up using the top of your mask.
  • Please wear a mask anytime you leave your home. You should also wear a mask when someone comes to your door – even if that person is a John Knox Village associate whom you know!
  • Please remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do it often.

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!

Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week. Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/


Jan. 23, 2021

JKV Vaccine Update

We are so fortunate to have CVS bring the vaccination clinics to us this week. When I see news accounts of people standing in line for hours elsewhere in the country, it is a great reminder to me of the significant benefits to living—and working—at a Life Care Community with strong leaders who have strong connections with local, regional and state-level decision-makers. 

THIS WEEK: Independent Living Resident Vaccination Clinics

Monday, Jan. 25 – Friday, Jan. 29, Places Manhattan Room

This week CVS will conduct a 5-day long vaccination clinic at the Village to give the primer dose of the Moderna vaccine to 900+ Independent Living residents who registered to take part.

  • Only residents who have registered for this event should attend.
  • You should have received a flyer with your date, time and location of your bus pickup.
  • We discourage residents from driving themselves. Transportation is being provided, so that we can get everyone in line in time for their appointments.
  • Do not arrive at a different day or time. It is essential to the workflow. We cannot accommodate people who show up on the wrong day or out of order.
  • If you have not registered, watch for more information on registering for a second round in February.
  • Be sure to wear a mask and dress so that your upper arm is easily accessible.
  • Non-residents providing assistance should arrive early enough to check in at the Public Safety building first, and then arrive at Places Manhattan Room at the time of the resident’s appointment.

ATTENTION: You are NOT instantly immune once you get the vaccine.

You won’t be at your highest level of protection until 2 weeks AFTER your SECOND shot.

Even then, Village associates and residents must keep wearing face masks, keep their distance from those who don’t live with them and keep away from large gatherings.

Why? Because scientists don’t know yet how long the protection from severe disease will last, nor whether vaccinated persons can still spread it to others. Also, the level of community spread in Jackson County, MO is extremely high, and this is just not the time to let down our guard.

Choose wisely.

Not all COVID-19 infections happen because of our own choices. But many of them do. We all have a role in keeping each other healthy. Each time I am tempted to make an exception for myself, I also think about what might happen as a result. If I came back to work the next day and got someone else sick, or if I brought it to my family, I could never forgive myself.

Please keep yourselves safe. We are so close to the finish line. Let’s finish strong together.

Brian Opoka, Public Safety Director


Jan. 12, 2021

JKV Village Assisted Living

I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of one more VAL resident who passed away on Jan. 2 due to complications related to COVID-19. I hope that this ongoing sadness there ends soon.

Scheduled testing and follow-up testing are happening regularly, yielding these recent results: I’m happy to say that on Jan. 4 all AL and Memory Care 1 residents were tested, and all tests came back negative.

On the same day, an additional 100+ associates were tested, and there were 5 positive results. On Jan. 7 another associate tested positive during regularly-scheduled testing. On the same day, all assisted living and Memory Care 1 & 3 residents were tested, and all were negative!

Friday, Jan. 10, a Memory Care 2 associate reported a positive test result. Follow-up testing and added safety precautions are being put in place in each of these areas.

Village Care Center

What a change there has been at the Village Care Center. It would appear that, for the time being, the virus has run its course. I’d like to show you a snapshot of the latest reporting of positive cases at the VCC so far this month. What a great start to the New Year! Clearly, this has nothing to do with the vaccine, since they just had their first round of inoculations, but it certainly looks like a good place be as we start our vaccination program! [These are posted on our website every day. You can find it at: https://www.jkv.org/village-care-center-covid-19-update/]   

  • Jan. 11: No new cases.
  • Jan. 10: No new cases.
  • Jan. 9: No new cases.
  • Jan. 8: No new cases.
  • Jan. 7: One associate, who works in the isolation unit, tested positive.
  • Jan. 6: No new cases.
  • Jan. 5: Two associates tested positive; one in direct care in the memory care unit and the other in non-direct care.
  • Jan. 4: One associate, who works in a non-direct care role, tested positive during routine testing.
  • Jan. 3: No new cases.
  • Jan. 2: No new cases.
  • Jan. 1: No new cases.  

Other Parts of the Village Between Dec. 23 and Jan. 10, there were 13 additional independent living residents with positive COVID-19 test results, as well as 15 associates in a variety of departments outside of the Village Care Center and Village Assisted Living. John Knox Village conducts its own thorough contact tracing. Associates and residents will be contacted by the Village if there is a possibility that there was an exposure.  

COVID-19 VACCINE WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Side effects are normal Side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine are normal signs your body is building protection. Side effects may even feel like flu and might affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting vaccinated, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

The CDC wants you to tell them how you feel after you get each shot by using their v-safesmartphone reporting tool. Sign up at www.cdc.gov/vsafe and you will receive text messages reminding you to check in for a brief four-question survey each day for the first week, then once a week for five more weeks, then it will switch to 3, 6 and 12-month check-ins. If you report any serious health problems, someone from the CDC may call to follow up.  

COVID-19 Vaccine at JKV: Deadline approaching The Village urges all associates and residents to get the vaccine. We see this as the first step in moving past the pandemic and believe it will help us open up the campus sooner and more safely.

INDEPENDENT LIVING RESIDENTS: Your ONLY OTHER OPPORTUNITY to get the Primer (first) shot at John Knox Village will happen during the week of Feb. 22. To receive the vaccine you must CHANGE your answer from “No” or “Unsure” to “YES.” Contact the Concierge Desk NO LATER THAN 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5 at 816-347-2405.

What Should I Do?  Caution continues to be gravely important especially for and around individuals over the age of 65, and those with underlying health conditions.

Please continue to wear your mask around those not from your household, practice social distancing, and PLEASE do not attend group gatherings. Even if you’ve already tested positive. Even after you receive the vaccine.

We still do not know how long immunity lasts, and some people will have had false positive or false negative test results, or were tested too early. Set a good example so others don’t stop wearing their masks. Masks are REQUIRED in John Knox Village buildings.

Please exercise your P.R.I.D.E. and wear them properly to protect our residents and associates – covering both your nose and mouth. If it falls down while you’re speaking, pull it up using the top of your mask. Please wear a mask anytime you leave your home. You should also wear a mask when someone comes to your door – even if that person is a John Knox Village associate whom you know!

Please remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do it often.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following:

  • 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 noes
  • 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. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.

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!

Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week. Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/  


Jan. 8, 2021

HELP JKV FINISH STRONG: COVID-19 Vaccines

NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO GIVE UP. Don’t lose your resolve – we’ve finally begun the vaccination process at the Village! However, we also have the highest number of active cases among independent living residents that we’ve ever had. It is exactly 14 days since Christmas and 8 days since New Year’s Eve. Protect your neighbors. Protect our associates. This is SO important.

  • IF YOU GATHERED WITH OTHERS OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD ANYWHERE IN THE LAST 2 WEEKS, PLEASE STAY AT HOME.
  • SYMPTOMS typically appear 2-14 days after exposure.
  • You are CONTAGIOUS 2-3 days BEFORE symptoms appear.

ANOTHER REASON FOR CAUTION: You will not be able to receive the vaccine if it’s been less than 14 days since you tested positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccines at JKV

Over the course of Wednesday and Thursday this week, with the help of CVS, we were able to give primer dose vaccinations to 130 Village Care Center residents and 400 associates from the VCC and elsewhere around the Village who elected to participate!  Though the days were long and strenuous, they were able to get everything completed, and these residents and associates have now had their first of two doses. 

Village Assisted Living is scheduled to work with CVS on Monday, Jan. 11, to inoculate their residents and associates who elected to participate (100% of their residents said Yes!) in assisted living and all three memory care units. Subsequent (booster) doses for those who receive their shots in January will be about 4 weeks later, in February.

And, of course, Independent Living Residents who have already elected to receive the vaccine will be assigned a day and time during the last week of January. Watch for more information if you’ve already said Yes to the vaccine.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Getting the Vaccine is ANOTHER LAYER of protection

Vaccines boost your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. This is an ADDED layer of protection, not a substitute for current infection control precautions. While experts keep learning more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools we’re already using to protect yourself and others from getting and spreading COVID-19. Get the Facts Here: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/facts/

  • Please continue to wear your mask around those not from your household, practice social distancing, and PLEASE do not attend group gatherings. Even if you’ve already tested positive. Even if you receive the vaccine. We still do not know how long immunity lasts, and some people will have had false positive or false negative test results, or were tested too early. Set a good example so others don’t stop wearing their masks.
  • Masks are REQUIRED in John Knox Village buildings. Please exercise your P.R.I.D.E. and wear them properly to protect our residents and associates – covering both your nose and mouth. If it falls down while you’re speaking, pull it up using the top of your mask.
  • Please wear a mask anytime you leave your home. You should also wear a mask when someone comes to your door – even if that person is a John Knox Village associate whom you know!
  • Please remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do it often.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following:

  • 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 noes
  • 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. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit. 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!

Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week.

Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/


Dec. 31, 2020

Happy New Year!  We’ve had a lot of developments occur since my last COVID-19 update. So, please bear with the length of this message – a lot has happened throughout the Village that I’d like to make you aware of! 

Vaccines

We have received confirmation from CVS, our vaccine partner, on a series of COVID-19 vaccination clinics that will be held throughout the continuum of care for our residents and associates. This is such an exciting development!

Earlier this month, residents of independent living were asked to contact a Concierge to convey whether they were interested in getting vaccinated. Residents who have not yet reported their intent – yes, unsure or no – have until 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 4 if they want to attend one of on-campus clinics set for the week of Jan. 25 to get the primer vaccine. To learn more about the clinics, visit www.jkvlife.org to watch a video with additional details about this exciting development!

COVID-19 Update at John Knox Village

Assisted Living Update

I am very sorry to share that last week Village Assisted Living lost two more residents because of COVID-19 complications. Testing continues for both residents and associates in the area resulting in two residents who tested positive for the virus. Additionally, two associates also tested positive. I am very happy to report that CVS has confirmed Jan. 11 as the date for a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Village Assisted Living. Everyone is very excited about this new development!

Village Care Center

Unfortunately, the Village Care Center lost two more residents to complications caused by the virus. Although the number of new cases continues to decrease, the pain and devastation this virus causes has not. They continue to fight using all the tools and tactics possible. In addition, only one resident on the 200 side of the long-term care neighborhood tested positive for the virus this week. All other resident tests came back negative. Regarding its associates, three new associates tested positive for the virus; two are non-direct care and one is in direct-care. They will continue to perform associate testing twice weekly until Jackson County’s positivity rate goes down.

Finally, the VCC has finally received the date of its COVID-19 vaccine clinic. CVS will be onsite Jan. 6-7 to administer vaccines to VCC residents and associates who have elected to participate in the first round of inoculations. 

Other Parts of the Village

Elsewhere in the Village, there have been four residents and nine associates who have tested positive since Dec. 23. The Village conducts thorough contact tracing. Associates and residents will be contacted by the Village if there is a possibility that there was an exposure.

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic for independent living residents is set for the week of Jan. 25. There is a lot of behind-the scenes planning and organization that is happening to ensure the clinics run smoothly. Be sure to check the various JKV communication tools for updates and requests.  

The Pavilion Update

In other news, I wanted to let you know about new activity that is happening at The Pavilion. The Jackson County Health Department will be using the building as a vaccination site for health care workers not affiliated with John Knox Village during the month of January.  

Jackson County has signed a long-term, paid lease for The Pavilion so it can administer COVID-19 vaccines to health care workers who are not tied to hospitals, first responders and other specific groups.  I want you to know, the Jackson County events are different and separate from the CVS clinics that will be held for our residents and associates.   Because of its size and central location, The Pavilion is an ideal location for such a large-scale, lengthy event. The health department will have access to the building through the end of January. The contract could be extended into the future, but that is an unknown at this time.   

The announcement about the Health Department’s clinics coupled with the knowledge that we will have on-campus clinics for our residents and associates is wonderful, welcome news as we move edge toward the new year. Stay tuned!  

Please Remain Vigilant!

We are so close to having a vaccine and moving toward a better time for our residents and associates. Please, do not let your guard down. We must work together to make sure the virus doesn’t continue its spread. Please continue to use the layers of protection that I’ve talked about many, many times:

  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and others you encounter.
  • Do not attend gatherings with others outside your household.
  • Please wear a mask anytime you leave your home. You should also wear a mask when someone comes to your door – even if that person is a John Knox Village associate whom you know!
  • Please remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do it often.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following:

  • 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 noes
  • 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. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit. 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!

Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week. Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/


Dec. 23, 2020

WINTER HOLIDAY SAFETY

Before I share news about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village, I first want to ask each of you to think carefully about your choices as we head into the peak weeks for holiday celebrations. Please remember, the safest way to celebrate is at home with the people who live with you. Traveling and attending gatherings with people you don’t live with increase your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19.

Now is not the time to let down your guard. We are so close to having the vaccine and moving toward a better time for our residents and associates.

COVID-19 VACCINE

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Vaccines Have a History of Saving Lives

Vaccinations have saved hundreds of millions of lives over the last century. Scientists have developed vaccines for Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis, Meningitis and more. The COVID-19 vaccine is undergoing the same levels of review and meet the same effectiveness expectations as these other lifesaving vaccines.

Data from clinical trials indicate a 95% effectiveness rate for Pfizer’s vaccine and a 94.5% effectiveness rate for Moderna’s vaccine and a 90% effectiveness rate for AstraZeneca’s vaccine (which is not ready for use yet).

Get the Facts Here: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/facts/

COVID-19 VACCINE AT JKV

  • WOW! — Nearly two thirds of Independent Living residents have responded already, and a whopping 97% said “YES, I want to get the vaccine!”
  • WHEN is it coming? We still do not have dates for when CVS will bring the vaccine to the Village Care Center, to Village Assisted Living, nor to the rest of the Village. But there are indications that we may be notified soon. This will be your opportunity to get the vaccine before it is widely available in the community. We’ll let you know when we have more information.
  • HELP US BE READY: The Village urges all residents and associates to get the vaccine. We see this as the first step in moving past the pandemic and believe it will help us open up the campus sooner and more safely. There is no telling how much time we’ll have to prepare when we are told the plan for vaccinating independent Living residents. Here’s what you need to do so we can to be ready at a moment’s notice.
  • Call the Concierge Desk (if you haven’t already) at 816-347-2405 and tell them if you want to receive the vaccine here at the Village (Yes, No or Maybe). This doesn’t lock you in – it helps us know how many doses will be needed.
  • You should have already received a letter from Senior Living Vice President Maria Timberlake that contained a SAMPLE Consent Form. Please review the form and have the information requested on the form at the ready so you can complete the REAL form when they arrive at the Village.
  • MAKE SURE you have copies of the front and back of your current health insurance and prescription insurance cards. (If you don’t have a way to do this yourself, you can ask one of the Village offices to help you.)

Media Attention

The Kansas City news media is again turning to John Knox Village as a trusted source of information – this time to learn about the new vaccines to prevent COVID-19, and when residents and associates at senior living communities in this area will be able to start getting their first shots. Rodney McBride, vice president of health and community services was interviewed by two TV news stations:

COVID-19 UPDATE AT JKV

Village Care Center

The Village Care Center has had only one resident from the 200 side of the long term care neighborhood test positive this past week! All other residents in the building tested negative. They are being cautiously optimistic about this sudden improvement in test results. While it feels like they are nearing the end of their outbreak, they recognize that they can never take this for granted, and will remain highly vigilant.

Village Assisted Living

I am extraordinarily sad to say that Village Assisted Living has lost two residents due to conditions related to COVID-19. These are the first losses they have experienced and I know they are as devastated as we have been. My heart goes out to the families, friends and neighbors of these residents, as well as those who have worked among them and befriended them over the years.

Lots of regular testing and follow-up testing has been going on in their building, and only two associate positive cases have been reported in the last week. They also are waiting for notification from CVS as to when their vaccine clinic date will be.

Other Parts of the Village

Elsewhere in the Village, there have been four additional associates who tested positive, and five recoveries. To protect the privacy of associates outside of our licensed facilities, all future positive cases will be reported as a single overall group, rather than by department. John Knox Village conducts its own thorough contact tracing. Associates and residents will be contacted by the Village if there is a possibility that there was an exposure.

KEEPING THE VIRUS AWAY

We must all work together to make sure the virus doesn’t continue its spread. Even if you are able to shake it off, your spouse or neighbor may not be as lucky. Please continue to use the layers of protection that I’ve talked about so many times. Even if you’ve already tested positive. Even if you receive the vaccine.: 

  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and others you encounter.
  • Do not attend gatherings with others outside your household – even if the host says there will be social distancing or opportunities to congregate outside. Social gatherings provide the perfect opportunities for this virus to spread.
  • Please wear a mask anytime you leave your home. You should also wear a mask when someone comes to your door — even if that person is a John Knox Village associate that you know! I know its cumbersome and can be an inconvenience, and I sound like a broken record, but wearing a mask works!
  • Please remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do it often. If soap and water isn’t available, use hand sanitizer.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following:

  • 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 noes
  • 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. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.

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!

Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week. ·    Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/

Stay safe,
Brian


Dec. 16, 2020

Here is the latest information about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village, as well as information about the vaccine. 

There has been an avalanche of news and activity surrounding the approval and transportation of the first vaccine to be authorized for use (Pfizer) and the anticipated Emergency Use Authorization of a second version (Moderna) at the end of this week.

To help you sort through it all, the Village will be sending an ongoing series of communications, both to help you understand where we fall in the process of inoculating associates and residents, and to help you understand your options. You should have already received a letter from Senior Living Vice President Maria Timberlake, sharing the very early information that we have, and providing instructions for you to let us know your intention, so we have an idea of how many vaccine doses to request when our opportunities arise to help you get vaccinated. If you have not received this, please contact your area manager.

COVID-19 VACCINES: Get the Facts

Vaccinations have saved hundreds of millions of lives over the last century. Scientists have developed vaccines for Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis, Meningitis, Chickenpox and more. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says that the COVID-19 vaccine will undergo the same level of review and meet the same effectiveness expectations as these other lifesaving vaccines. Data from clinical trials indicate a 95% effectiveness rate for Pfizer’s vaccine, and a 94.5% effectiveness rate for Moderna’s vaccine.

Q: Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

A: No. Every day, a healthy immune system successfully fights off thousands of germs. Antigens are parts of germs that cause the body’s immune system to go to work to build antibodies, which fight off diseases. The antigens in vaccines come from the germs themselves, but the germs are weakened or killed so they cannot cause serious illness. The vaccines contain only a tiny fraction of the antigens you encounter every day in their environment. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to fight off serious vaccine-preventable diseases. Learn more at: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/facts/

COVID-19 Update at JKV

Village Care Center. It does appear that things are slowing at the Care Center. Since Dec. 8, they have had only six additional residents test positive, four more have recovered, and there have been no additional deaths. Associate cases have slowed down, as well, with only four additional positive tests, and seven more recovered. We are all cautiously taking a deep sigh of relief.

Village Assisted Living. There has been one resident and one associate test positive in Memory Care 3 recently, but so far, the additional testing surrounding positive cases, and the regular weekly associate testing results have been negative.

Other Areas of the Village. Independent Living has not had any new residents report positive tests, and one resident has recovered. There have not been any further deaths. Associate positives are scattered: Two in operations, one in dining services, two in home health, one in dining services; six associates have recovered.

We must all work together to make sure the virus doesn’t continue its spread. Even if you are able to shake it off, your spouse or neighbor may not be as lucky. Please continue to use the layers of protection that I’ve talked about so many times. Even if you’ve already tested positive. Even if you receive the vaccine.: 

  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and others you encounter.
  • Do not attend gatherings with others outside your household – even if the host says there will be social distancing or opportunities to congregate outside. Social gatherings provide the perfect opportunities for this virus to spread.
  • Please wear a mask anytime you leave your home. You should also wear a mask when someone comes to your door — even if that person is a John Knox Village associate that you know! I know its cumbersome and can be an inconvenience, and I sound like a broken record, but wearing a mask works!
  • Please remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do it often. If soap and water isn’t available, use hand sanitizer.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following:

  • 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 noes
  • 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. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.
  • 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!
  • Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week.
  • Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/ 

Dec. 8, 2020

Here is the latest information about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village. 

In Independent Living, three residents have tested positive since I last reported; all three have symptoms. Contact tracing resulted in further testing connected to one of the residents. Also, additional associate positives have been reported in Housekeeping (1), Village Home Health (1), and Village Hospice (1).

Village Care Center. I am so sorry to say that we have lost five additional residents to complications connected with COVID-19. I offer my most sincere condolences to these families, as well as to the associates who cared for these residents. These are such very difficult times. Other developments include:

  • 200 side of the Long Term Care (LTC) neighborhood.  Five new COVID+ residents have been moved to the isolation unit where they are being treated.
  • VCC associates. One associate tested positive for COVID-19 since I last reported. The individual is a direct-care associate who primarily works on the 200 side of the LTC neighborhood who took part in routine testing. 
  • Actions. The team there is continuing to use all of the safety measures in their arsenal. Additionally, they have expanded the isolation unit to meet the growing need across all parts of John Knox Village. The Village decided early on that the VCC would be the hub for all COVID+ residents who need a higher level of care. Because we are now seeing an increase in John Knox Village cases, as a whole, the isolation unit expanded from 19 beds to 30, with the possibility of expanding to 45, should the need arise. The unit is completely sealed off from the rest of the building. All associates enter and exit through an exterior door, and all deliveries go through that same entrance, all in order to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination. 

Village Assisted Living has re-tested their Memory Care 2 residents after three residents there tested positive on Dec. 1. All of these new results were negative. One direct care associate in this area tested positive. Additionally:

  • Two assisted living residents who were tested due to a potential exposure on Dec. 2 have tested positive. Re-testing for both groups has been scheduled.
  • Group activities and in-person dining at Fireside have been canceled, and the 300 hall of assisted living has been quarantined.    

Now for the light at the end of the tunnel. I know you are all wondering about vaccine availability for our residents and associates. On Friday, Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services announced that the state has procured enough of the vaccine to immunize all nursing home residents and associates by the end of the month—if all of the appropriate approvals are in place that would allow this process to move forward. Assisted Living also appears to be included in the first phase of the Missouri plan for vaccine distribution. We are seeking clarification of where (and/or when) the rest of our Life Plan community (a.k.a. continuing care retirement community) falls. I will keep you informed as we learn more. We do not yet have the date(s) for vaccine administration. Please be aware that things could move rapidly once we reach this stage, so stay tuned. We’ll let you know soon what information you’ll need to have ready when our date arrives.

Caution continues to be gravely important for individuals over the age of 65, especially those with underlying health conditions.

  • Please continue to wear your mask around those not from your household, practice social distancing, and PLEASE do not attend group gatherings. Even if you’ve already tested positive. We still do not know how long immunity lasts, and some people will have had false positive or false negative test results, or were tested before their bodies had enough viral load to start shedding it when they breathe. Most importantly, you will be setting a good example so others don’t stop wearing their masks.
  • Masks are REQUIRED in John Knox Village buildings, and IN YOUR HOME if an associate is there, for any reason. Please exercise your P.R.I.D.E. and wear them properly to protect our residents and associates – covering both your nose and mouth. If it falls down while you’re speaking, pull it up using the top of your mask.

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

  • Common Symptoms: Fever of 99.9oF or higher, chills, new cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, new loss of taste and/or smell, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion/runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. You may have several of these simultaneously, or in a random sequence.
  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.
  • 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!
  • Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week.

Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/


Dec. 4, 2020

Today I am doing something a little different for my COVID-19 update. I want to focus solely on how COVID is affecting you and your neighbors in independent living. Next week, I’ll go back to my normal format that includes a complete report about what’s happening around our community.

Unfortunately, two additional residents have reported positive test results since my last update on Dec. 1. Both were symptomatic, and both have been treated at local hospitals. The other residents who have been battling the virus are improving with each passing day. Finally, an associate who works in housekeeping also received positive test results today; the individual will be retested on Monday, Dec. 7.

I think it’s important to address what’s happening in our independent living neighborhoods because we all need to take personal responsibility in stopping the spread. This virus is everywhere. And it’s sneaky. Because symptoms don’t show up immediately – sometimes it takes several days after an exposure for them to appear – you have to act as if everyone you encounter has COVID-19.

I know you are tired of all things COVID, but right now, we simply can’t give up or give in. We must all work together to make sure the virus doesn’t continue its spread because even if you are able to shake it off, your spouse or neighbor may not be as lucky. Please continue to use the layers of protection that I’ve talked about so many times: 

  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and others you encounter.
  • Do not attend gatherings with others outside your household – even if the host says there will be social distancing or opportunities to congregate outside. Social gatherings provide the perfect opportunities for this virus to spread.
  • Please wear a mask anytime you leave your home. You should also wear a mask when someone comes to your door — even if that person is a John Knox Village associate that you know! I know its cumbersome and can be an inconvenience, and I sound like a broken record, but wearing a mask works!
  • Please remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do it often. If soap and water isn’t available, use hand sanitizer.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and could include the following:

  • 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 noes
  • 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. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.
  • 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!
  • Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week.
  • Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/ 

Dec. 1, 2020

I want to provide you with an update about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village.

Village Care Center. It is with great sadness that I share with you that five additional residents have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. This virus is absolutely merciless, and it continues to cause much pain and anguish for so many families and so many associates. In addition, two more residents who live in the back of the memory care neighborhood tested positive for the virus. Both were transferred to the isolation unit and currently are being treated. Finally, four associates also have tested positive. Two work in nursing; the remaining associates work in non-direct care positions in different departments. 

           Additionally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – otherwise known as CMS – has asked that the VCC begin posting the new COVID+ cases on our website (https://www.jkv.org/village-care-center-covid-19-update/) from the previous day. The new procedure will begin Dec. 2. The website will state whether the positive is a resident or associate; where that person lives or works; the date of the positive test; and, for associates, when they last worked. Staff will continue personally contacting the loved ones of residents who may have been in contact with a COVID+ individual.  

Village Assisted Living. Two Memory Care 2 direct care associates who had negative results during routine rapid testing on Tuesday, Nov. 24, tested positive on Friday, Nov. 27. Both were sent for additional testing due to self-reported COVID-19 symptoms after testing on the 24th

           On Friday, Nov. 27 we tested Assisted Living and Memory Care 2 residents who were potentially exposed to the virus on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, respectively. 

  • The residents who were tested in Assisted Living all had negative results.  
  • Of the Memory Care 2 residents who were tested, one resident has tested positive for the virus.  

           Both groups of residents will be retested Wednesday, Dec. 2. Our team is truly distressed to learn of the positive resident cases on Memory Care 2 because we know it will be a more difficult situation to manage. We will continue to do what we know to do: monitor our residents’ vital signs four times per day; wear N95 masks with goggles or face shield; and limit the number of associates who may work on the neighborhood, while also encouraging the residents to wear masks and remain in their apartments as much as possible. As always, we will continue to remind our team to report any – even the slightest – symptom related to COVID-19, and continue to educate the team during our twice-weekly testing. 

Independent Living Residents. Three additional residents of independent living tested positive for the virus late last week. Two were asymptomatic and will be retested. Both have been asked to remain in their homes. The third resident is symptomatic and has remained in their home since symptoms started on Nov. 23.  

Associates Outside of VAL/VCC. Three associates who work outside of Village Assisted Living and the Village Care Center tested positive over the weekend. One associate works in Village Hospice, and two associates work in Village Home Health. Contact tracing is being conducted and further testing is being performed.  

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

We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms. 

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit. 
  • 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! 
  • Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week. 
  • Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/ 

Nov. 25, 2020

I want to provide you with an update on the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village. 

  • Village Care Center. I am so sorry to say that five more VCC residents have died over the past week. These numbers do appear to be slowing, and I know that team there continues to be heartbroken. It will a difficult Thanksgiving for all involved with this amazing place. This week’s testing revealed nine new COVID+ residents from the back of their Memory Care unit, and these people have been transferred to the Memory Care isolation area. While there have been 11 new positive associate results in the building, there have been no new positives in the long term care or Village Rehab neighborhoods, and more and more associates are recovering and returning to work.

Additionally, there has been quite a bit of news media attention directed toward the Village Care Center, both because of the number of positive cases they have had over the last couple of months, and because of the number of residents there who have died with COVID-19 as a contributing factor. Overall, the coverage has been fair and thorough. They have mostly reported this story to demonstrate to the public that this is the end result of the virus numbers in our community spiking. I’ve included links at the bottom of this letter to two articles, as well as a heartfelt editorial column by VCC Administrator Anthony Columbatto that was published on the front page of the Lee’s Summit Tribune.*

  • Village Assisted Living. All of their resident re-testing in assisted living came back negative. The resident re-testing in Memory Care 2 (due to a potential exposure Nov. 18) delivered 3 positive results. On Tuesday, their scheduled testing of all associates also yielded 3 positive results. Additional testing of residents who may have been exposed will take place this Friday. Due to the results this week, they will be moving to twice weekly testing of associates, beginning next week. The hope is that testing twice a week will have a better outcome for everyone.
  • Independent Living Residents. I am extraordinarily sad to report that a second Independent Living resident has died due to complications from the COVID-19 virus. Again, I am sorry that I cannot provide more information, but we are bound by HIPAA privacy rules.
  • Associates Outside of VAL/VCC. Additionally, five associates outside of Village Assisted Living and the Village Care Center have now tested positive. These include one each in administration, human resources, dining services, renovations, and emergency medical services. Contact tracing was conducted, and further testing was performed in connection with two cases, but no further positive cases were discovered.

REMEMBER: Small gatherings are currently the most significant source of spread in this area. It’s OK to say, “No thanks, I think I’ll stay home.” It’s OK to wear a mask when others aren’t. It’s OK to distance yourselves from others – for everyone’s protection. 

    *Examples of news media reports about the Village Care Center:

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

We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms.  

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your health care provider.  
  • 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 – or think you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19: 

Call the Return to Work Line at 816-347-2111 and stay at home! 

USE ALL THE LAYERS of protection: Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Don’t gather with others outside of your household. Wash your hands. Help us keep the Village safe.

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

We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms.

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.
  • 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!
  • Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week.
  • Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/ 

Nov. 18, 2020
I want to provide you with an update on the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village. 

Independent Living: Two residents have recovered, and one additional Independent Living resident has reported that they have tested positive. No exposures to others were reported.

Village Care Center: It pains me greatly to report that we have lost 10 more of our residents at the VCC. As we continue to experience how devastating this virus can be on our residents, I send my deepest condolences to the families, and to associates around the Village who may have provided care for these residents at some point. Everyone there is continuing the fight.

  • Unfortunately, the rest of the residents in the front part of memory care and two residents in the back part of the memory care neighborhood now have tested positive. They have been moved to isolation, per CMS guidelines. Efforts to isolate, deep clean, and cleanse the air did not stop the spread in this area. Due to their dementia diagnoses, difficulty in maintaining mask wearing and physical distancing is a constant challenge. They are now are working closely with physicians to treat them as effectively as possible.
  • Outside of memory care, the VCC has experienced the lowest number of new cases since the spread there started several weeks ago. I’m happy to report that, as of yesterday, there were no new positive tests for long term care residents They will discontinue weekly testing for them, but will continue to test all associates weekly.
  • Additionally, all of the residents and associates on the Village Rehab Unit tested negative last week. This is certainly an encouraging sign.  

Village Assisted Living

  • Re-testing of residents and associates who may have been exposed on two separate dates has been ongoing. One new AL resident tested positive last week as part of this round of testing, so the residents in that wing have been tested.
  • On Friday, we learned of a Memory Care 3 worker who tested positive for the virus. Residents were tested yesterday. We do not have the results yet.
  • Fireside Dining has re-opened with additional precautions in place, and Village Assisted Living is actively putting together a plan for indoor visits when we meet state health department criteria that will allow it. There are stringent guidelines about when this can begin, how it can be conducted, and what the COVID+ thresholds are that would require a pause in that activity, but we know it’s important for the residents’ wellbeing.

Elsewhere in the Village 

  • Public Safety. One associate tested positive Nov. 11. EMS staff was tested and all other results were negative.
  • Village Hospice. Three direct care associates tested positive recently. Contact tracing was performed, those who may have been exposed were tested, and all results were negative.
  • Village Home Health. Two direct care associates tested positive. Contact tracing was performed. Additional testing was conducted as necessary, and all results were negative.

Lastly, and especially with Thanksgiving looming, I want to continue to urge extreme caution. I cannot emphasize enough that hospitals are at or near capacity. If we, as a metropolitan community do not begin to change our behaviors, the COVID+ results after the holidays will severely tax the health care system’s ability to care for people. All people. Heart patients, cancer patients, needed surgeries, and COVID-19 patients.

Small gatherings are currently the most significant source of spread. Please use the utmost caution as you decide how to handle your Thanksgiving holiday.  

For the sake of your friends and family and neighbors, PLEASE use ALL layers of COVID protection:

  • Keep six feet between you and the next person.
  • AND don’t gather with others outside of your household.
  • AND wear your mask.
  • AND wash your hands for 20 seconds – OFTEN.

 If you have any of the signs or symptoms, please don’t self-diagnose. We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms.

If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.

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!

Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week. Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/


Nov. 9, 2020

I am writing to let you know more about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village since my last update.  

Independent Living 

I am so sad to tell you that we have lost our first independent living resident due to complications from COVID-19. Making these announcements never gets easier. My heart goes out to this resident’s family. This is one more time that we will have to grieve together while at a distance, because coming together as a community would only endanger more people. But we must be patient to protect each other.

Unfortunately, I also have several new cases of the coronavirus to announce on our campus.

  • Emergency Medical Services: One of our EMTs tested positive this morning. This associate last worked Nov. 6 and was asymptomatic at that time, but developed symptoms over the weekend. Co-workers who were potentially exposed will be tested Friday, according to CDC guidelines. 
  • Independent Living. Another resident has shared with us that they tested positive. This person was notified Oct. 27 that they had been exposed to someone else who tested positive. The resident was asymptomatic when tested on Nov. 5, received results Nov. 6, and began developing symptoms over the weekend. The resident and spouse had extremely limited contact with others outside of their household; both are isolating in their home.
  • Dining Services. One associate who was asymptomatic when working yesterday has tested positive today, after developing symptoms overnight. This person had no interaction with residents or associates while working. 

We are a reflection of the community – because we ARE the community.

I spoke last week about how very present COVID-19 is in this metropolitan area. I think this message bears repeating because YOU LIVE in this area. So does your doctor. Your friends. Your family. And so do our associates.

I’ve been hearing feedback from around about residents congregating together to eat meals, play cards, do puzzles, and spend time visiting. I’m sure the temptation to do all of these things is growing, now that the weather is changing and it gets dark earlier.

PLEASE RESIST THAT TEMPTATION. COVID-19 is here – don’t spread it around. Maybe you had dinner with friends over the weekend, thinking it would be no harm. You were careful. But then your next door neighbor was really lonely and needed company. Or maybe it was an associate you haven’t seen for a long time here at the Village. One small decision after another. That’s how this happens. The next thing you know, the virus cascades from one person to the next.

It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard to wait and wait and wait for the day that it will OK to be with your family for holidays and weddings – and funerals. But please remember these very real facts:

  • Intensive Care Units are at 70% of capacity throughout the metro area.
  • Since Oct. 30, the prevalence rate for Jackson County, as well as Missouri and Kansas, have seen their sharpest 7-day increase since April.
  • The rate of confirmed positive cases in our zip code has increased 146% since Sept. 1.

For the sake of your friends and family and neighbors,

PLEASE use ALL THREE layers of COVID protection:

  • Keep six feet between you and the next person.
  • AND wear your mask.
  • AND wash your hands for 20 seconds – OFTEN.
  • Help us keep the Village safe.

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

We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms.

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.
  • 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!
  • Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week.
  • Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/ 

Nov. 6, 2020

I am writing to let you know more about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village since my last update.  

Village Care Center  

I am sad to say that we have lost another four residents due to complications from COVID-19.  We continue to grieve with and for their families during this time of ongoing loss.   

Things do finally appear to be slowing down, though.

  • Long Term Care: As part of continued routine testing on the 200 side of LTC, only 3 residents were COVID+; all were asymptomatic at the time and have been moved to the isolation unit.  
  • Memory Care. While 3 additional residents in the front part of memory care tested positive for the virus, there are 6 residents in that area who continue to test negative and are doing well; they are being isolated away from the memory care neighborhood.
  • Village Rehab Unit. Only 1 patient tested COVID+. After contact tracing, it appears the exposure was outside of the VCC.

There also are some bright spots in their reports.

  • This has been the lowest number of new cases in the VCC since the spread there started six weeks ago.
  • In testing all Village Rehab patients, as well as the back of the memory care neighborhood, these results all came back negative. 
  • VCC administration is working hard on a plan that they hope will allow for visitors during the holidays and moving forward. They hope to share more details by the middle of next week with regarding indoor, in-person visitation. Needless to say, this will be a flexible plan that will adapt, as needed, to keep everyone safe.

Finally, on Monday surveyors from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services performed the VCC’s eighth standard infection control survey since the building was closed to visitors. They spent 10 hours examining their COVID-19 policies and procedures, and once again, they did not find any deficiencies nor share any concerns about what the VCC is doing. 

Elsewhere in the Village

In other parts of the Village, there is just a smattering of COVID-19 activity.

  • Village Assisted Living has completed their latest rounds of re-testing surrounding a couple of the positive cases announced earlier this month; this testing produced zero new positives.
  • Village Home Health has one associate with extremely limited patient contact who tested positive Wednesday. This individual last worked Oct. 31, wore full PPE and saw only one patient.
  • Village Assisted Living has reported one positive Fireside associate who is asymptomatic, worked very limited hours and works in a non-direct care position.
  • One Independent Living resident has reported a positive test result. Based on the nature of this case, other residents in the building have been contacted and, as appropriate, were asked to self-isolate and contact Public Safety immediately if they experience symptoms.

This should be a wake-up call.

COVID-19 spread is VERY high in our area. Intensive Care Units are at 70% of capacity throughout the metro area. Since Oct. 30, the prevalence rate for Jackson County, as well as Missouri and Kansas, have seen their sharpest 7-day increase since April. The rate of confirmed positive cases in our zip code has increased 146% since Sept. 1. For the sake of your friends and neighbors, PLEASE do not congregate with others outside of your immediate household. This includes gathering for cards, games, puzzles, dining or other activities in Village common areas.

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

We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms.

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.
  • 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!
  • Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week.
  • Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/

Help us keep the Village safe.

USE ALL THREE LAYERS of protection: Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:  


Nov. 3, 2020

JKV COVID-19 UPDATE: Facts Not Fear
I am writing to let you know more about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village since my last update.   

Village Care Center   I am so sorry to report that three more of our residents have passed away from complications due to COVID-19. We are brokenhearted for all of their loved ones and the hurt we know they are experiencing.   As I mentioned last week, the VCC had its first 7 confirmed cases on the memory care neighborhood; today they are at 35. When this pandemic began, staff knew that managing the virus in this area would be a great challenge because it is nearly impossible for residents of memory care to practice social distancing and wear face coverings. Although the VCC had implemented new strategies to mitigate the spread, which included isolating the non-COVID+ residents and adding air scrubbers and UV lights to that isolation unit, they sadly are not seeing the impact for which they had hoped. Staff continues to work to keep the rest of the residents healthy and remains vigilant in their efforts to keep the virus from making it to the back of the memory care neighborhood.  There is a small sliver of a silver lining: the VCC has not had any new cases on either side of the long-term care neighborhoods (LTC) or the Village Rehab Unit. Another blessing is that 12 residents have been discharged back to their homes from the isolation units.  Finally, six new associates have COVID+ results. Once again, they work in a variety of positions throughout the building, and only two appear to be connected to the outbreak.   

Village Assisted Living and Independent Living  Finally, I want to make you aware of additional positive cases in other areas of the Village:  

  • Village Assisted Living and Memory Care: 3 new resident cases and 3 new associate cases. Per our protocols, the residents have been transferred to the VCC’s isolation unit.  
  • Outside licensed facilities: 3 associates who work in administration, maintenance and communication have tested positive. One is asymptomatic and the other two have exhibited symptoms. 

If you have any of the signs or symptoms, please don’t self-diagnose.   We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms.  

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

We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms.  

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit. 
  • 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! 
  • Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week. 
  • Other sources: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/ 

If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your health care provider.  

If that’s not possible, call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services COVID-19 Hotline at 877-435-8411. 

When participating in pre-shift screenings, do not minimize or mislead the screener about any symptoms you have. If you have symptoms or have been in a situation where you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you must disclose the information or face disciplinary action.   

Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week. 

Other sources: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/ 

 Help us keep the Village safe. USE ALL THREE LAYERS of protection: Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. 


Oct. 29, 2020
I am writing to let you know more about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village this week.

Village Care Center

I am so sorry to report that three more of our residents have passed away from complications due to COVID-19. Their passing and the associated grief for their loved ones weighs very heavy on our hearts.  

Unfortunately, the VCC continues to find new cases.

  • 7 residents tested positive during routine testing of all residents on the 200-side of the long-term care neighborhood (LTC) yesterday. 
  • 1 direct care associate tested COVID+ yesterday in memory care. Rapid tests were then administered for all residents in the front part of the MC neighborhood, yielding 7 positive results. These are the first in this area of the VCC.
  • 9 new associate cases from all over the building and do not seem to have a relationship to each other. 
  • A new and surprising trend is that we have several residents and associates who have tested negative, and then test positive less than 24 hours later.   

The Village is taking following actions at the VCC, based on the recommendations of an industrial hygienist:

  • Installed air scrubbers on the isolation unit last week and added additional scrubbers for each hall of the 200 side of long term care
  • The air scrubbers are equipped with HEPA filters
  • Adding special UV lighting 
  • Using a third party to deep clean and sanitize the long-term care areas daily

Village Assisted Living and Independent Living

Finally, I need to share that:

  • 2 residents in Independent Living at the Village have tested positive. One spouse is being treated at a hospital, the other is asymptomatic. Public safety is assessing the situation to determine any further actions.
  • 1 Village Assisted Living non-direct care assoc. tested COVID+ Sunday, Oct. 25. (Tested negative Oct. 22; last worked Oct. 21.) They are not concerned about the spread of the virus from this associate to other associates or residents.

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

We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms.

  • If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit.
  • 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!
  • Free testing is readily available in multiple locations through the Jackson County Health Department every week.
  • Other sources of free testing: https://www.comebackkc.com/testing-events/

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:  

Help us keep the Village safe.

USE ALL THREE LAYERS of protection: Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.


Oct. 23, 2020

I am writing to let you know more about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village this week.  Village Care Center First and foremost, I am so sorry to say that we have lost another resident of the Village Care Center to the coronavirus. We are deeply saddened by this loss. Please join us in our continuing our fight. As a geriatrician in Wisconsin said this week, “We are all woven together as the fabric of this community, and our choices have the potential to have an enormous impact on those around us.”   One key way to control the coronavirus is by remaining aware of its presence of the virus, so the VCC continued their testing this week.

  • There were zero new positives in the 300 and 400 care neighborhoods, and 1 patient from the Village Rehab Unit tested positive.
  • 10 associates tested positive, most of whom work in the long term care neighborhoods, and all of whom likely had contact with a COVID+ resident or associate at some point in the past 14 days. About half are asymptomatic and the other half are experiencing very mild symptoms.  
  • All other associate and resident tests have come back negative. 
  • Many associates are recovering and coming back to work.  

Village Assisted Living On Tuesday VAL completed a second round of testing all residents, and associates who worked in the week prior. Only 1 additional resident and 4 direct care associates tested positive. VAL is continuing their isolation and containment measures and will continue regular testing, as appropriate. 

Elsewhere in the Village Of associates who work outside of our licensed facilities, 5 received positive test results. These include three in dining services who had no, or limited, contact with residents. One is asymptomatic, two had symptoms. Co-workers have been tested and thus far all other results received are negative, but some are still pending. 

‘Done with’ COVID?Now is not the time to throw in the towel. We ALL have to be persistent and consistent in our efforts to help keep the Village safe. The prevalence rate of COVID-19 in Jackson County has increased 86% over what it was on Sept. 1. Hospital ICUs are filling up rapidly. Numerous hospitals in the area have had to send ambulances elsewhere because they could not accommodate them.

REMEMBER:If you have any of the signs or symptoms, please don’t self-diagnose. We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms. If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit. And free testing is readily available in multiple locations, if you’re worried about the cost. 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!

USE ALL THREE LAYERS of protection: Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Stay safe.


Oct. 21, 2020
I am writing to let you know more about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village this week.

Village

We have four associates who work outside of our licensed facilities who received positive test results.

  • Emergency Medical Services – 1 associate tested positive during routine testing within the department. This person has already had 2 negative test results and returned to work.
  • Village Home Health – 1 associate who became COVID+ while on vacation and did not return to the campus.Oct.
  • Dining Services – 2 associates who had no, or limited, contact with residents. Both had symptoms. Last dates worked: Oct. 10 and Oct. 21. Co-workers have been tested and thus far, all results are negative.

Village Assisted Living

This past Tuesday, all residents in assisted living and memory care were tested, as well as all associates who have worked in these areas in the week preceding. This was follow-up testing conducted due to prior COVID+ results in the buildings.

  • 1 resident in the Memory Care 2 neighborhood tested positive.
  • Residents in all other areas have tested negative for the virus.

These results also included four direct care associates who tested positive for the virus, all of whom tested negative on the last round of testing on Oct. 13. All residents and family members potentially impacted by the four positive associates have been notified.

  • 3 direct care Assisted Living associates. Last dates worked October 12, 14 and 16, respectively. 
  • 1 direct care Memory Care 1 associate who last worked October 15.

All VAL residents are being encouraged to remain in their apartments as much as possible. Meals will continue to be delivered to apartments and outside visits will remain canceled. Staff will continue wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. 

Watch this

I strongly encourage you to watch this brief video that Dan Rexroth recorded earlier this week in response to many of the recent developments on campus. The numbers have changed by now, but his message is a great reminder of the compassion that is at the heart of all we do at John Knox Village.  https://youtu.be/ES3FYx-jPIg

Tired of COVID?

We are too. We ALL have to be persistent and consistent in our efforts to help keep the Village safe.

USE ALL THREE LAYERS of protection: Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

REMEMBER:

If you have any of the signs or symptoms, please don’t self-diagnose. We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms. If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit. And free testing is readily available in multiple locations, if you’re worried about the cost.

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!

Stay safe.


Oct. 19, 2020
I am writing to share information about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village. While things have seemed quite calm around campus lately, over the past couple of weeks a battle has been underway in the Village Care Center to protect the lives of residents and associates once it became clear that the coronavirus was spreading in the long term care portion of the building.

I am sorry to say that we have lost more residents. These losses are painful. The Village really is a family, and even one loss is too many.

I know how hard all of the people in the VCC work each day to prevent spread, keep spirits up and keep residents in contact with loved ones.

I believe this is another time when it is better for you to hear the details of this news directly from Anthony Columbatto, Administrator of the Village Care Center. I am afraid I would not do justice to the message by trying to put it in my own words.


I wanted to share a very sad update on our battle with COVID-19. This past week, we have lost four of our beloved residents due to COVID-19.  Before I move forward with more details, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the families impacted by these losses. We are hurting so badly here; I can only imagine what you all are going through. 

The situation in our building is continuing to evolve, bringing with it some hopeful news and some less so.

  • On the 200 side of the LTC neighborhood, over the past week 7 additional residents have tested positive. Of these, 4 became symptomatic and were tested right away. The other 3 tested positive this morning as a result of this week’s routine testing and are currently asymptomatic. I am thankful that the rest of the residents on the neighborhood tested negative this morning.
  • The Village Rehabilitation Unit had 1 positive test result from a resident who was showing symptoms.
  • On the 100 side of LTC, we have no new resident cases.
  • We also have none in our memory care neighborhood.
  • Regarding associates, we have had 7 test positive over the past week from various departments. 
  • We continue to follow CDC guidance prior to letting associates return to work and on discharging residents from the isolation units. 

This past Thursday, we had our sixth infection control survey performed by the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services. They left with no deficiencies or concerns and said we were doing the best we could do. In ordinary times, we would take this as good news. This time, we were really hoping an objective third party would see something we hadn’t seen. That there was a new method that could help us prevent the spread. “You are doing the best you can.” This keeps running through my head. This virus is so destructive and “the best we can” doesn’t seem to be enough right now to defeat the enemy. 

With the CDC’s announcement that the virus can be aerosolized, and trends we are hearing about within our industry, we felt this was a good time to bring out an industrial hygienist to see if they could offer suggestions for anything we can do differently to better manage our air quality. We are awaiting their report and hoping they have some good practical recommendations.

We have also been seeing and hearing disturbing trends within the broader area healthcare system. I have mentioned several times that nursing home infections are early indicators of something more broadly happening within the community. Over the weekend learned that our area hospitals are at capacity and are on diversion for new admissions due to COVID-19 (https://www.kansascity.com/news/coronavirus/article246530983.html). Please be careful out there. 

This week we hit a mark I had hoped beyond all hope that we would never hit. We grieve. We hurt. We continue to fight.

Best,

Anthony Columbatto
VCC Administrator


Oct. 13, 2020
I am writing to share information about the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village. Since Friday, we have learned of a number of new positive cases inside the Village Care Center and Village Assisted Living, as well as an associate who works outside of these facilities. 

Village Care Center Residents: Three new residents from the 100 side of the long-term care (LTC) neighborhood tested COVID+. All have all been moved to the isolation unit. All other tests from that neighborhood came back negative. A new outbreak appears to be emerging on the 200 side of LTC. Over the weekend, one resident with mild symptoms tested positive for COVID-19, and routine testing of the rest of that neighborhood turned up 12 additional asymptomatic COVID+ residents Monday. Due to the number of new positives, a new isolation unit was created within the 200 neighborhood. Associate testing at the VCC produced 15 new COVID+ results from several different departments and areas of the building. Only three seem to be linked. I would like to point out, though:

  • While the numbers are growing, almost all of VCC COVID+ residents have only mild to moderate symptoms. The early interventions that the VCC continues to provide seem to be helping, such as IV fluids. Additionally, associates there are doing a fantastic job of monitoring and reporting symptoms so our physicians can provide these early interventions.
  • The number of recovered residents and associates also is growing. In the past week, 9 residents at the VCC have recovered, as well as 9 associates. See the table below to get the big picture.

Village Assisted Living: A direct care associate tested positive on Friday, Oct. 10. Today they conducted facility-wide testing on all associates who worked during the past 10 days and all residents in AL and their memory care neighborhoods. With 14 associates left to test (they will not work until tested), only one new resident positive result has materialized. A second round of testing will take place next week. Until then, they are cautiously optimistic while they continue to encourage residents to isolate in their apartments, deliver meals to residents’ apartments and temporarily suspend activities and outdoor visits. 

Other areas of the Village: A Village associate who has had limited contact with residents in the past week has tested positive. The Village is in the process of notifying and testing those this person came in close contact with at John Knox Village, and this person will be isolating away from the Village until released to return to work.  

Three layers of protection: I cannot urge you strongly enough to continue following the guidance that has been out there for some time now:

  • Wear a mask whenever you will be (or are likely to) be in the presence of others
  • AND Keep a physical distance of at least 6 feet between you and others not in your household
  • AND Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds – frequently.

This is NOT an either/or proposition. Each of these actions on its own is only minimally effective at preventing the spread of the coronavirus to others. It is a multi-layer infection control protocol. Think of it this way: Would you rather use a single layer of toilet tissue? Or triple ply?  

If you have any of the signs or symptoms, please don’t self-diagnose. We are at the intersection of Cold Season, Flu Season, Allergy Season, and COVID-19, all of which have similar symptoms. If you feel something out of the ordinary, call your doctor. Chances are good that they’ll do a telephone visit. And free testing is readily available in multiple locations, if you’re worried about the cost.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:

Help us keep the Village safe. USE ALL THREE LAYERS of protection: Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.


Oct. 7, 2020
I want to provide you an update with what is happening at John Knox Village concerning the coronavirus. 

First let me assure you that we have not experienced any new deaths associated with COVID-19.

However, we do have new positive cases in Village Assisted Living and in the Village Care Center. Here are their latest updates:

Village Assisted Living

A non-direct care associate on Memory Care 2 has tested positive for COVID-19. As part of the pre-shift screening process on Oct. 6, the associate reported having one or more symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and was immediately swabbed using a rapid-test. Because of the positive result, the residents of Memory Care 2, as well as the associates who came into contact with the individual will be tested on Friday, Oct. 8, per the Jackson County Health department. All associates, residents and responsible family members have already been notified that the testing will take place.

To be extra safe, per the direction of the John Village Medical Director, we have increased vital sign checks from two times a day to four in Memory Care II and all associates working on the neighborhood are in N95 masks. At this time, all our residents and associates are asymptomatic.

Village Care Center

100 Long Term Care Neighborhood. Unfortunately, we are seeing further cases of COVID-19 develop within the 100 side of the long term care (LTC) neighborhood. Since my last update, 6 additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been moved to our Isolation Unit. Three associates also have tested positive – 2 are direct care providers and 1 has limited contact with residents. They are continuing the enhanced infection control and containment measures in this neighborhood that I described last week.

200 Long Term Care Neighborhood. Two residents tested positive for COVID-19 and have been moved to the Isolation Unit, where we are managing their symptoms. One resident went to the hospital Sunday for an unrelated reason and tested positive at hospital; their symptoms are being treated there. The rest of the neighborhood was tested via rapid testing, and those results were all negative. As an additional precaution, to better prevent what happened on the 100 side, the residents are isolating within their rooms to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All associates continue to wear N-95 masks. Also, 2 direct care associates in this care neighborhood tested positive.

Elsewhere in the VCC. Fortunately, we have not seen any new resident or patient cases on the Village Rehab Unit or the Memory Care Neighborhood. They are continuing to keep each neighborhood isolated from the rest of the building and are not sharing associates between units, to prevent cross-contamination. The residents currently staying in the Isolation Unit are doing relatively well. Most have mild to moderate symptoms and are being treated according to the best practices approved by the Medical Director. Additionally:

  • 1 non-direct care associate in nutrition services tested positive
  • 1 direct-care associate in memory care tested positive last week but has since had two negative tests

A bright spot to share

I would like to share a spirit-lifting story that VCC Administrator Anthony Columbatto shared in his letter to families yesterday:

“A VCC associate got married last weekend, in a park with their parents and two witnesses, after canceling their previously planned wedding. She has been asked repeatedly why she cancelled her wedding and she replied, ‘I would never have been able to live with myself if my wedding caused COVID to enter my work.’ I was so moved by her response and her sacrifice she made for her residents. Even writing it now moves me to tears. It reminds me of a quote from Fred Rodgers when he said ‘When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”‘ I hear this associate’s story and I know she is helping.

“We will continue to work hard to care for and protect your loved ones. I am so thankful for everyone who has reached out with kind words. It means the world to us. We are tired. We are hurting. But we will continue to fight.”

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases: 
Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/6/20: 

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 32 residents and 45 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses 
  • RECOVERIES: 11 residents and 29 associates have recovered from COVID-19   
  • DEATHS: 1 resident

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/6/20: 

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 2 residents and 10 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses 
  • RECOVERIES: 2 residents and 9 associates have recovered from COVID-19 

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:  Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/2/20

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses 
  • RECOVERIES: 8 associates have recovered from COVID-19   

We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors. 

As we move into the cool weather of fall and begin thinking about the onset of the flu season, the relentless nature of COVID-19 can be discouraging. Eastern Jackson County is currently seeing outbreaks in many nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Our county and 64081 zip code positivity rates are still on the rise, and Missouri, with the 5th highest positivity rate of any state, is now considered in the “Red Zone.”

Do not let your guard down. This is a time for all of us who live and work in this environment to work together and help one another. Continue to be diligent in your safe practices. Please help us keep the Village safe. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.


Oct. 2, 2020

First and foremost, I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

I apologize for sending this so late in the day. I would like to share information that Village Care Center Administrator Anthony Columbatto sent to VCC families over the last couple of days regarding the presence of COVID-19 in the building. Rather than have me try to re-interpret it, sometimes I think it’s better to hear information straight from the source.

This is long, but please take time to read it. It is important.

***********************************************************

Sept. 30, 2020
Dear VCC Loved Ones:

Tuesday, Sept. 29, as part of our weekly testing, we received four new COVID+ associate results. Three non-direct care associates who are all asymptomatic, and one direct-care associate in the Village Rehab Unit who called in Wednesday after developing symptoms. 

Wednesday, Sept. 30 we received four new COVID+ resident results on the 100 side of the long-term care (LTC) neighborhood.  All four are asymptomatic and have been moved to the Isolation Unit.  

Of the six resident cases we reported last week, five have been discharged from the isolation unit back to their rooms. 

I will be honest with you that we are very miffed about these resident cases.  The fact that over 90% of our people with COVID+ results are completely asymptomatic – including residents – is much different than what we were seeing earlier.  Our best theory is that our residents were exposed to COVID+ associates, and that diligent mask use by residents and associates limited the amount of the virus in our residents’ systems. This yielded a positive result, but perhaps not enough to make them ill.  Clear as mud, I know. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oct. 2, 2020
Dear VCC Loved Ones:

This is an e-mail I hoped I would never have to write.  We are experiencing a very real outbreak of COVID-19 within the 100 side of the long-term care (LTC) neighborhood. It is important to me that you know the facts and know what we are doing to address the situation.

Yesterday, we learned of 8 new residents testing COVID+ in that portion of the VCC, in addition to the four I wrote about on Wednesday evening.  At this time, approximately half of them, including the four from Wednesday, are displaying mild symptoms.  The rest remain asymptomatic.  While this is awful news, all other residents’ and associates’ tests have come back negative.  

Additionally, I am devastated to say that we have had our first resident death associated with COVID-19.  While the resident was already on hospice, Dr. Twenter, our medical director, believes that COVID-19 accelerated the resident’s condition. We are all heartbroken that this person’s family has had this added to their grief.

All of our work since March has prepared us for this reality. The state health department has visited several times over the past 6 months to review our infection control processes and procedures, and each time they have said we’re doing all of the right things.

Our goal now is to continue to isolate the virus to 100-side of LTC and will continue to be aggressive in our efforts to treat residents’ symptoms.  All residents who have tested COVID+ have been moved to the isolation unit.  The rest of the 100 neighborhood residents are isolating in their rooms, to limit further spread.  

In the rest of the building we are: 

  • Limiting associates to working on only one neighborhood to avoid any chance of cross-contamination
  • Providing all associates with surgical masks
  • Allowing residents to engage in activities on their neighborhood
  • Continued weekly testing of all associates
  • Monitoring blood pressure, temperature, and oxygen levels twice daily
  • Ongoing staff education
  • Performing routine handwashing audits

To be honest, we are all devastated.  While each of us has mentally prepared for this moment to arrive, we were always hopeful, and have worked tirelessly, in the hope we would avoid it.  I know that you, too, are concerned for the health and wellbeing of all who live and work here. We are resolved to continue to work relentlessly to fight this battle and mitigate the spread.  

As we have seen throughout the world, this virus is relentless. We must fight just as relentlessly to prevent its spread throughout this metro area.  It is imperative that each of us remains vigilant in our defenses as we work to fight this battle.

As I have said on numerous occasions, nursing homes are, and will remain, the canary in the coal mine for what is happening in the broader community.  We are now seeing an outbreak in an abundance of nursing homes within Eastern Jackson County. 

Those of us who work in the VCC live “out there.” Each time the county’s infection rate rises, so does the likelihood that, no matter how careful we are, we might inadvertently bring it back to work with us. Please help us advocate for safe practices every day: 

Stay six feet apart.  Wear a mask.  Wash your hands.  

Stay safe, 
Anthony

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases: 
Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/2/20: 

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 23 residents and 41 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses 
  • RECOVERIES: 10 residents and 27 associates have recovered from COVID-19   
  • DEATHS: 1 resident

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/2/20: 

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 2 residents and 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses 
  • RECOVERIES: 2 residents and 9 associates have recovered from COVID-19 

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL 

Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/2/20 

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses 
  • RECOVERIES: 8 associates have recovered from COVID-19 

We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors. 

***********************************************************

COVID-19 Screening Questions
Keep each other – and our associates – safe.
If you can answer YES to these questions, or are ill, PLEASE STAY HOME, and contact your physician or call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services COVID-19 HOTLINE at 1-877-435-8411 .

  1. Do you have a fever of 99.9°F or higher?
  2. Have you had any contact with – or are you under investigation for – COVID-19?
  3. Have you traveled outside the area in the last 14 days?
  4. Do you have a cough or shortness of breath? OR
  5. Do you have at least two of the following symptoms?
  • Headache 
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever of 99.9°F or higher
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches

Sept. 27, 2020
I would like to provide you with an update on COVID-19 at the Village Care Center. While I do have some new COVID+ associate cases to report, I’d like to start today’s letter with good news.

All of the VCC residents who previously tested positive are doing well and remain asymptomatic. Two are scheduled to come off the isolation unit today.

Unfortunately, this week’s routine testing of all associates at the Village Care Center, yielded nine new associate COVID+ results. All are currently asymptomatic, and they don’t seem to have any connection to one another, nor to any previous positive cases. While they do all have patient-contact positions, they work in a variety of areas, teams and shifts within the building.

I can assure you that the VCC is working diligently to minimize residents’ and team members’ exposure to COVID-19 through their ongoing infection control procedures, as well as the following actions: 

  • The care center will be temporarily going into quarantine. Each resident will be asked to remain in their room for the next week, to the extent possible, so the virus does not have a significant chance to spread within the VCC.  
  • All associates on the long-term care neighborhood will continue enhanced precautions by wearing N95 masks.
  • Isolation Unit staff always wear N95 masks and also use additional PPE as necessary to the tasks they are performing.
  • Courtyard visits and salon appointments will continue, as these have been deemed very low-risk activities that are important to the residents’ health and wellbeing.  

Our awareness, as an organization, of the coronavirus is growing, thanks to the increased VCC staff testing mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. I know these continued positive cases are frustrating to hear – they are also very frustrating to report – but the up-side to conducting frequent testing where our most vulnerable residents live is that we are quickly aware of COVID-19 cases that would ordinarily go undetected and could become super spreaders.  


The Village will continue to be proactive in our actions, and steadfast in our support of our residents and our employees across the Village. Thank you for your ongoing support.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/26/20: 

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 12 residents and 35 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
  • RECOVERIES: 6 residents and 20 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/26/20: 

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 2 residents and 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
  • RECOVERIES: 2 residents and 8 associates have recovered from COVID-19

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL 
Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/26/20

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
  • RECOVERIES: 8 associates have recovered from COVID-19 
    We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors.

COVID-19 Screening QuestionsKeep each other safe. If you can answer YES to these questions, or are ill, PLEASE STAY HOME, and contact your physician or the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services 24 hour hotline: 877-435-8411.

  • Do you have a fever of 99.9°F or higher?
  • Have you had any contact with – or are you under investigation for – COVID-19?
  • Have you traveled outside the area in the last 14 days?
  • Do you have a cough or shortness of breath? OR
  • Do you have at least two of the following symptoms?

Headache New loss of taste or smellSore throatCongestion or runny noseNausea or vomitingDiarrheaFever of 99.9°F or higherChillsCoughShortness of breath or difficulty breathingFatigueMuscle or body aches

  • Headache 
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever of 99.9°F or higher
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches

FLU SHOTS: Finally, our first two on-campus flu shot events have been very well-attended. There are still two dates left – 8 a.m. to noon at The Pavilion, on Wednesday, Sept. 30 and Monday, Oct. 5. Associates and residents are welcome.

Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Stay safe.


Sept. 24, 2020

Last week the VCC announced some new resident and associate COVID+ cases. As a result, follow-up testing of all potentially-exposed residents was conducted. Today we learned of three new residents who tested COVID+. Here’s a summary of what we know:

  • One new patient on the Village Rehab unit has tested positive for COVID-19. The patient was tested 15 hours after their admission, so we, and the Jackson County Health Department, believe this was acquired at the hospital prior to arrival. The patient is asymptomatic and has been moved to the isolation unit. 
  • Two new resident cases are on the 100 side of the long term care (LTC) neighborhood. They initially tested negative but their second test yielded positive results. They live on the same hall where the direct care associate who tested positive (on 9/16) worked, so there appears to be a link. Both residents are asymptomatic and have been moved to the isolation unit.
  • To the best of our knowledge, this is the first true spread we have seen within the VCC thus far. There have been zero residents hospitalized due to COVID-19 at the VCC, and zero deaths.
  • There now are a total of six residents and patients on the isolation unit. Fortunately, all remain asymptomatic. 
  • An awesome team of associates volunteer to work in the isolation unit. Each day, they make sure those who visit this unit are well-cared for, entertained, and in regular contact with loved ones.
  • All other resident and patient test results have come back negative. We still have 121 associate tests that are pending, but we are very encouraged that the spread appears to be limited in nature.  

Infection Control Survey: Due to last week’s positive cases, two DHSS surveyors come to the VCC this past Monday for a focused infection control survey. I am pleased to report that they did not cite any deficiencies and told us they believe we are doing everything in our control to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Outdoor Visits. New guidance from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) tells us that outdoor visits can occur, regardless of the facility’s COVID-19 status. With this new guidance, and knowing how important it is for you to visit your loved ones, courtyard visits at the VCC will resume on Monday. In order to reduce any chance for cross-contamination, these visits must occur in the courtyard where the VCC resident lives. To schedule a visit, contact Vicki Davis by e-mail at vdavis1@jkv.org or by phone at 816-809-3051.

Indoor Visits. Lastly, the new guidance from the Department of Health and Senior Services includes long-awaited instructions on indoor visitation for long term care communities. Essentially, the facility can allow structured indoor visitation following the same protocols established for outdoor visitation IF the facility has not had an associate or resident test positive for 14 consecutive days. 

FLU SHOTS

Finally, our first two on-campus flu shot events have been very well-attended. There are still two dates left:

8 a.m. to Noon at The Pavilion, on Wednesday, Sept. 30 and Monday, Oct. 5

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases: 

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/24/20: 

  • 12 residents and 26 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses 
  • 6 residents and 20 associates have recovered from COVID-19  

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/24/20: 

  • 2 residents and 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses 
  • 2 residents and 8 associates have recovered from COVID-19  

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL 

Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/24/20 

  • 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses 
  • 8 associates have recovered from COVID-19 

We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors. 

Stay safe. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. 


Sept. 20, 2020

I would like to share important news about the presence of COVID-19 at the Village.   

Village Assisted Living  A direct care associate on Memory Care 1 has tested positive for COVID-19. This person was was tested as a precaution because they were exposed to someone outside of Village Assisted Living who was positive for the virus. Because enough time elapsed between their last shift and the date of diagnosis, VAL will not conduct additional testing. Good news: On Sept. 15, the VAL team re-tested associates who encountered a non-direct care associate on Memory Care 3 who had tested positive. We have received all results back, and I am pleased to report all came back negative!

Village Care Center  First, a little background. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued new guidelines for how often facilities need to routinely test their associates. Currently the Jackson County, Mo. “positivity rate,” is high enough to require the VCC to test all associates weekly.To help them achieve this, CMS sent on-site rapid test equipment which produces results within 15 minutes. Moving forward, they will use a combination of in-house testing, and our community partner, Viracor.    

Since Aug. 31, the VCC has performed 786 associate tests. During the week of Sept. 4, one 200 long-term care (LTC) unit associate’s test came back positive. Their most recent weekly results include:  

Thursday, Sept. 17 — Families were notified of six associates with positive results, all of whom were asymptomatic when tested.

  • Three of the six have since developed minor symptoms and are recovering at home; the other three remain asymptomatic.
  • Four of the associates (one not employed by the VCC) had limited or no resident interaction.
  • The other two are direct-care associates – one in the 100 LTC unit, and one in the Village Rehab Unit (VRU).   
  • All residents in 100 LTC hall and all VRU patients have been tested, and co-workers who likely had direct contact with these associates also are being tested.  

Saturday, Sept. 19 – Families were notified that, as a result of the follow-up testing from Thursday’s COVID+ results, three residents and four additional associates tested COVID+.  

  • Residents: Two reside on the VRU and one on the 100 side of long term care. All have been moved to the isolation unit and remain asymptomatic.  
  • Associates: Two work on the VRU, and are roommates of the VRU associate who tested positive earlier in the week. Two are non-direct care with very limited interactions with residents. These four associates are currently asymptomatic.   
  • All other associate and resident test results are negative, with 36 results still pending.  The VCC is taking multiple actions to ensure that the virus is boxed in and not spread within the building, including increased frequency of temperature checks, additional testing of residents, use of N95 masks in affected areas, and ongoing weekly testing of associates, and suspending all courtyard visits. 

We are reiterating with associates this message about the importance of being more aware of their surroundings when they leave the Village: Positive cases within nursing homes and retirement communities are, unfortunately, a reflection of what is happening more broadly in the community. 

It is two weeks past Labor Day – and COVID-19’s incubation period is 7-10 days after exposure.  Please continue to practice and preach safe behaviors to those you encounter. 

All of us need to continue combating this virus with the tools we know work: physical distancing, mask wearing, and good hand hygiene. We need to help stop the spread within our community. 

We so badly want and need to open our doors so residents can have visitors.This is so important to their lives.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/19/20:

  • 9 residents and 26 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 6 residents and 16 associates have recovered from COVID-19 

    Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/19/20:
  • 2 residents and 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 2 residents and 8 associates have recovered from COVID-19     

    All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL  Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/19/20
  • 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 8 associates have recovered from COVID-19 We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors.

    FLU SHOTS: Be sure to get your flu shot while Hy-Vee is here to do them. It’s quick and easy. We even have a drive thru option at the Villager Inn on Thursday, Sept. 24! Bring your Medicare cards and your mask! Social distancing protocols will be followed.
  • Thursday, Sept. 24 – 10 a.m. to Noon: Villager Inn Parking Lot
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30 – 8 a.m. to Noon: The Pavilion (indoors)
  • Monday, Oct. 5– 8 a.m. to Noon: The Pavilion (indoors)
    Brought to you by Village Home Health and the HyVee Pharmacy.

TESTING The Jackson County Health Department offers five COVID-19 testing clinics a week held in different locations throughout the community, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Sign-ups for testing clinics close at 3 p.m. the day prior.) 

Monday, Sept. 21 | Lee’s Summit |Register

Tuesday, Sept. 22 | Grandview |Register

Wednesday, Sept. 23 | Blue Springs |Register

Thursday, Sept. 24 | Independence |Register

Friday, Sept. 25 | Raytown |Register
__________________________________________________________
Stay safe. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands.


Sept. 5, 2020

I would like to provide you with an update on COVID-19 at the Village.

Village Care Center

One VCC associate was incorrectly diagnosed with the coronavirus. I am pleased to tell you that this associate actually had a negative result. No testing process conducted by humans is perfect, and in this one case we have been informed that human error caused us to receive the wrong test result. We remain confident in the quality of services that we receive through this vendor, and the Village intends to continue using them as a source for larger group testing.

The VCC also has an asymptomatic associate who recently received a COVID+ test result. The associate is a direct-care giver on the 200 side of their long term care neighborhood. This was the only positive result in a recent planned and systematic testing of 232 VCC associates. As always, all residents who were potentially exposed have been notified, along with their loved ones, and any needed testing there will take place on Monday.

Village Assisted Living

VAL learned yesterday afternoon that a direct care associate in Assisted Living who was swabbed on Sept. 3 has tested positive for COVID-19. The most recent shift worked by this associate, who works only occasionally, was on August 22.  Because enough time elapsed between their last shift and the date of diagnosis, they will not be conducting additional testing at this time.

Today they learned that a non-direct care employee on Memory Care 3 who has no patient interaction and very little face-to-face interaction with staff also has tested positive. We will conduct testing on potentially-exposed associates on Tuesday, Sept. 8. As a precaution, staff will wear N-95 masks until testing and re-testing is complete. No residents were exposed to this individual. 

To wrap up on a high note – all results are in from VAL’s two-week follow-up testing conducted earlier this week, and all results came back negative!

Testing & Prevention

We are working hard to prevent COVID-19 from entering our campus and we must continue to be diligent in following our infection control procedures day in and day out, at work AND away from work for everyone’s safety. Don’t forget to mask up!

TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS: Community testing is available through the Jackson County Health Department next week, Sept. 9-11; samples will be collected by a healthcare professional. This test only detects current infection with COVID-19. Testing is FREE and available to anyone regardless of symptoms. If you have symptoms and want to get tested sooner, call (816) 404-CARE.

  • Oak Grove | Wednesday, Sept. 9 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Register
  • Blue Springs | Thursday, Sept. 10 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Register
  • Raytown | Friday, Sept. 11 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Register 

REMEMBER: Any time you are tested by someone other than John Knox Village, please:

  • Notify Public Safety if you test positive, so we can help reach out to Village friends and neighbors to encourage them to shelter in place and get tested.
  • Remember that this is just a snapshot in time. It does not indicate whether you have had it in the past – NOR does is tell you whether you might get it in the future. There is much that is not known about this particular virus. Take nothing for granted.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/5/20:

  • 2 residents and 8 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 2 resident and 5 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/5/20:

  • 6 residents and 17 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 5 residents and 16 associates have recovered from COVID-19

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:

Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/5/20:

  •  8 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 6 associates have recovered from COVID-19

We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors.


Aug. 31, 2020

As frequently happens, I have a bit of a mixed bag of news in this update about COVID-19 at the Village.

Schools have begun reopening, our nation is weary of precautions, and large venues are starting to schedule events, so the risk for exposure is still great. This means each of us needs to see it as our personal responsibility to not accidentally spread it to others—especially at John Knox Village. As an organization, we remain committed to preventing the spread of illness through daily screenings, enhanced cleaning regimens, excellent hand hygiene and strict protocols about how to respond to situations when there is a possible exposure.

We have two associates who have recently tested positive. One is a new housekeeping associate who is part of a group of new hires going through orientation and was tested as part of that position’s onboarding process. The other is a Lakeside Grille associate who works infrequently. Their last day worked was August 23. Coworkers have been tested, and we are awaiting results. Both are asymptomatic and were tested as part of other processes.

Village Care Center

On a more positive note, the Village Care Center recently received a new piece of equipment that will allow them to complete their own testing on VCC associates. This was provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is trying to get one into every nursing home in the nation. Because CMS is setting very aggressive goals for how often people in nursing homes should be tested, this equipment is essential to ensure that they can get results quickly and act on them immediately. The rest of the Village will continue using our local lab partner when we need to do group testing. We’ll share more about this equipment in the future, when we’ve had a chance to fully evaluate its capabilities and how it will be used.

We are working hard every day, for everyone’s safety. Thank you, again, for your continued support.

REMEMBER: Any time you are tested by someone other than John Knox Village, please:

  • Notify Public Safety if you test positive, so we can help reach out to Village friends and neighbors to encourage them to shelter in place and get tested.
  • Remember that this is just a snapshot in time. It does not indicate whether you have had it in the past – NOR does is tell you whether you might get it in the future. There is much that is not known about this particular virus. Take nothing for granted.

Flu Shots are Coming

Health experts call flu shots crucial this year. Both the flu and COVID-19, individually, can result in hospitalization. This could strain hospital resources during community outbreaks. Also, it is possible to contract the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously, and that combination will be much more difficult to treat.

Residents and associates can attend the dates below.

Associates also can come to the VCC rear parking lot on Sept. 17 and Sept. 24 between 7 and 9 a.m.

A close up of a sign

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To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/31/20:

  • 2 residents and 6 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 2 residents and 5 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/26/20:

  • 5 residents and 17 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 4 residents and 15 associates have recovered from COVID-19 

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:

Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/31/20:

  • 8 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 6 associates have recovered from COVID-19

We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors.

Stay safe.


Aug. 24, 2020

A Village Assisted Living direct care associate who was swabbed on Monday, Aug. 24 has tested positive for COVID-19. This was part of a group testing scheduled after an assisted living (non-memory care) resident tested positive on Aug. 21. (See the Aug. 21 Update.)  The most recent shift worked by this associate, who is asymptomatic, was on August 18.  All others tested as part of this group received negative results.

The Jackson County Health Department’s current guidance is to test those who had contact with someone having a positive result two days prior to diagnosis. In this case, that date would be Aug. 21. Since this person hasn’t worked since Aug. 18, they will not be conducting additional testing at this time.

To be cautious, and per the direction of the John Village medical director, vital sign checks will be increased from two times a day to four in Assisted Living and in Memory Care 1, 2 and 3.  At this time, all VAL residents and associates are asymptomatic.

We are working hard to prevent COVID-19 from entering our campus and we continue to remain diligent in following our infection control procedures day in and day out, for everyone’s safety. Thank you, again, for your continued support.

Flu Shots are Coming

Health experts call flu shots crucial this year. Both the flu and COVID-19, individually, can result in hospitalization, and this could strain hospitals during community outbreaks. Also, it is possible to contract the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously, and that combination will be much more difficult to treat. Please get a flu shot.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/26/20:

  • 2 residents and 6 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 1 resident and 5 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/26/20:

  • 5 residents and 17 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 4 residents and 15 associates have recovered from COVID-19

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:

Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/26/20:

  • 6 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 6 associates have recovered from COVID-19

·     

We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. March 14, 2020 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors.


Aug. 24, 2020

We learned over the weekend that a Village Assisted Living resident has tested positive for COVID-19. This resident took part in a group re-testing process scheduled for last Friday – 14 days following possible exposure through an associate who tested positive earlier this month (see my Aug. 12 message). This person is without symptoms (asymptomatic) and has been transferred to the Isolation Unit in the Village Care Center. All other resident and associate test results from VAL’s Friday testing have come back negative and all other residents are asymptomatic. Because this resident tested negative during the first round of testing, today we are testing all associates who came in contact with this resident since that person’s last negative COVID-19 test.

The Village Care Center Isolation Unit is currently caring for three VCC residents and two VAL residents. Everyone in the unit is doing well.

Jackson County Health Department testing sites nearby next week

There are three COVID-19 testing sites next week in Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, and Raytown. Testing is free and available to anyone regardless of symptoms. This test only detects current infection with COVID-19.

If you have symptoms and want to get tested sooner, call (816) 404-CARE.

  • Tuesday, August 25 | Lee’s Summit | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Register
  • Wednesday, August 26 | Blue Springs | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Register
  • Thursday, August 27 | Raytown | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Register

Flu Shots are Coming

Health experts call flu shots crucial this year. Both conditions, individually, can result in hospitalization, which could strain hospitals during community outbreaks. Also, it is possible to contract the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously, and that combination will be much more difficult to treat.

Residents and associates can attend the dates below. Associates also can come to the VCC parking lot on Sept. 17 and Sept. 24 between 7 and 9 a.m.

A close up of a sign

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How we’re doing

I understand these weekly announcements may cause you to feel concerned. To help ease your mind, I encourage you to always review the chart near the bottom of my messages. You will find a cumulative summary of the number of diagnosed cases, and the number of recoveries.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/23/20:

  • 2 residents and 5 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 1 resident and 5 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/23/20:

  • 5 residents and 17 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 2 residents and 14 associates have recovered from COVID-19

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:

Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/23/20:

  • 6 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 6 associates have recovered from COVID-19

We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors.

Our focus remains squarely on the health and well-being of our entire John Knox Village community.  Please know that we are working extremely hard to keep everyone who lives and works here safe and healthy.  This is a responsibility that weighs heavily on us every day.


Aug. 21, 2020

Village Care Center

  • Last week we notified you that three residents on the 100 side of the long term care neighborhood tested positive for COVID-19. All three remain COVID+, remain on the isolation unit, and are doing very well. All other residents and associates’ results from this round of testing came back negative, and all associates and residents remain asymptomatic. We will complete another round of testing on Tuesday, which is the 14-day mark since they were potentially exposed.
  • Yesterday, as part of of hiring process, we discovered that a new hire was positive for COVID-19. The non-direct care associate was only in orientation one day, had no direct contact with residents, and had very limited contact with other non-direct care associates.
  • Additionally, this morning we learned that a nutrition services associate tested positive for COVID-19. The individual, who was tested by their physician due to a recent loss of taste and smell, has not worked since Sunday, Aug. 16 and had no direct contact with residents or patients. We will test all other potentially exposed nutrition services associates.
  • Also, as anticipated, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services did conduct another focused infection control survey as a result of our COVID+ residents. On Monday, three surveyors visited and, once again, found zero deficiencies. They were especially pleased with their observations of our associates’ hand hygiene and mask compliance.
  • Courtyard visits at the VCC are re-opening cautiously Monday. The Village recognizes how important these visits are to the health and wellbeing of our residents. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Vicki Davis at vdavis1@jkv.org or at 816.809.3051.

Village Assisted Living

On Aug. 10, a non-memory care direct care worker received a COVID+ result after being tested as standard protocol at a routine medical appointment. Village Assisted Living has intensified infection control procedures in those areas and tested potentially-exposed residents and associates. All results came back negative! Out of an abundance of caution, they were re-tested today (14 days after possible exposure) and expect results early next week.

Jackson County Health Department testing sites

There are three testing sites next week in Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, and Raytown. Testing will be done using either an NP swab (nasopharyngeal swab) or nasal swab and collected by a healthcare professional. This test only detects current infection with COVID-19. Testing is free and available to anyone regardless of symptoms.

If you have symptoms and want to get tested sooner, call (816) 404-CARE.

  • Tuesday, August 25 | Lee’s Summit | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Register
  • Wednesday, August 26 | Blue Springs | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Register
  • Thursday, August 27 | Raytown | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Register

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/21/20:

·     5 residents and 17 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses

·     2 residents and 14 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/21/20:

·     1 resident and 5 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses

·     1 resident and 5 associates have recovered from COVID-19

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:

Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/21/20:

·     6 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses

·     6 associates have recovered from COVID-19

We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors.

Our focus remains squarely on the health and well-being of our entire John Knox Village community.  Please know that we are working extremely hard to keep everyone who lives and works here safe and healthy.  This is a responsibility that weighs heavily on us every day.


Aug. 14, 2020

I want to provide you with an update regarding the presence of the COVID-19 coronavirus at John Knox Village.

Village Care Center: Earlier this week, the VCC received news that three Long Term Care (LTC) residents tested positive for COVID-19. All three are without symptoms (asymptomatic). Because of the results, every resident on the long term care neighborhood (100 and 200) was tested and all tests came back today as negative.

Per protocols, all potentially exposed residents will be re-tested a second time in order to truly rule out an outbreak.  Additionally, none of the long term care residents are displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19, which is extremely encouraging. 

Secondly, each of the three COVID+ residents remain free from all symptoms (asymptomatic).  They will remain on the isolation unit until they have two negative COVID-19 tests, 24 hours apart.

Lastly, we have received three additional COVID+ associates results:

  1. A CNA that worked on the 100 side of the long term care neighborhood, that was and remains asymptomatic.
  2. An associate in the laundry department that did not have any resident exposure.
  3. An associate in the staffing office that has been working from home since June but was tested as a result of experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms.

We have reviewed the results with Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), as well as our plan for moving forward.  Due to the COVID+ residents we will have a focused infection control survey (likely next week).

Village Assisted Living: On Aug. 13, the Village Assisted Living team completed nasopharyngeal swabs on potentially-exposed associates in assisted living.  VAL has received the results on all but two of the tests, and all results are negative. As a reminder, all the residents who were tested on Aug. 12 also had negative results. 

This afternoon I learned that a caregiver on the Memory Care 2 neighborhood has tested positive for the virus. The associate last worked the night shift on Aug. 2 and has not been in the building since then. On Aug. 10, this individual developed symptoms associated with COVID-19 and was tested on Aug. 12.

Because of the positive result, the residents of Memory Care 2, as well as the associates who came into contact with the individual will be tested starting tomorrow morning, per recommendations from state guidelines.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/14/20:

  • 1 resident and 5 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 1 resident and 3 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/14/20:

  • 5 resident and 16 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 2 resident and 12 associates have recovered from COVID-19

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:
Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/14/20:

  • 6 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 4 associates have recovered from COVID-19

We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors.


Aug. 14, 2020

Our focus remains squarely on the health and well-being of our entire John Knox Village community.  Please know that we are working extremely hard to keep everyone who lives and works here safe and healthy.  This is a responsibility that weighs heavily on us every day.

The following is an update regarding the presence of the COVID-19 coronavirus at John Knox Village.

Village Care Center: This morning the VCC received news that three Long Term Care (LTC) residents tested positive for COVID-19. All three are without symptoms (asymptomatic). Their tests were conducted as part of routine testing stemming form an associate who had a positive test result 14 days ago. All other long term care residents and associate tests from that early round of testing were negative, and all potentially-exposed residents and associates are asymptomatic.

The VCC is taking the following steps in response to these findings:

  • All residents with positive COVID-19 test results have been moved to the isolation unit.
  • All LTC associates are wearing N-95 masks and will be tested upon arrival to their next shift.
  • All LTC residents are having twice-daily oxygen level checks and temperature checks four times daily.
  • All LTC residents are being tested for COVID-19. Families have been notified that testing will take place.
  • Congregate dining and activities, salons and courtyard visits are suspended until further notice.

The VCC works continuously to assess and improve their COVID-19 processes and procedures, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services continue to monitor their procedures via three recent routine infection control surveys. Each time the VCC passed with zero deficiencies along with positive comments regarding the work they are doing. We will keep you informed as we know more.

Village Assisted Living: A direct care worker in Village Assisted Living (non-memory care) tested positive for COVID-19. On Thursday and Friday, Aug. 6 and 7, the person had no symptoms, passed the daily pre- and post-shift screenings and wore an appropriate face covering throughout both shifts. On Aug. 6 the person was tested as part of standard protocol for a routine medical appointment and worked the following day, assuming they were not positive. On Monday, Aug. 10 VAL was notified that the results were positive. At this time no residents or associates show symptoms.

Potentially-exposed residents were tested Wednesday, Aug. 12, and associates Thursday, Aug. 13.

All associates, residents and responsible family members have already been notified that the testing will take place.
Additionally, Village Assisted Living is:

  • Increasing temperature tests of potentially exposed residents to four times per day.
  • Requiring associates who were potentially exposed, in assisted living (non-memory care) areas, to wear surgical masks – rather than fabric face coverings – until they receive their test results.

To follow up on last week’s announcements:

  • Village Care Center: Last week, a non-direct care new hire’s test came back positive, and those who were determined to have had the closest contact were tested. Their results all came back as negative.
  • Independent Living: One associate in the Sales, Marketing and Communications department tested positive. All members of the department have been tested and all remaining results came back negative.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/12/20:

  • 1 resident and 4 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 1 resident and 3 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/12/20:

  • 5 resident and 13 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 2 resident and 12 associates have recovered from COVID-19

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:
Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/12/20:

  • 6 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 4 associates have recovered from COVID-19

We have had some cases that, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. We are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered. 3/14/20 is when the John Knox Village campus began steps to close to visitors.

Our focus remains squarely on the health and well-being of our entire John Knox Village community.  Please know that we are working extremely hard to keep everyone who lives and works here safe and healthy.  This is a responsibility that weighs heavily on us every day.