JKV Staff Members Test Positive for COVID-19

At this time, no residents have tested positive.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Emily Banyas, Sr. Marketing Communication Specialist
ebanyas@jkv.org

LEE’S SUMMIT, MISSOURI (June 15, 2020) – John Knox Village has learned that five people who work at the Village Care Center have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

All have been asymptomatic and have passed their daily pre-shift screenings. One person, who is a non-JKV health care worker, also saw patients at Village Assisted Living the week prior to testing positive. None have worked on the campus since the positive confirmations. No residents have tested positive. The Village Care Center employs approximately 300 individuals. The latest diagnoses bring the number of people who work at the skilled nursing facility and who have tested positive for COVID-19 to nine. (Please see below for a breakdown of the numbers.)

John Knox Village is a life plan retirement community in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, that provides a full continuum of care on its campus, including independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing, as well as ambulance, home health and hospice services. Employing more than 1,000 associates who provide care and services to about 1,500 residents, the Village remains in close communication with local, regional, county and state authorities to ensure all the appropriate steps are being taken throughout the continuum of care under the current circumstances.

At this time, John Knox Village does not have any additional known cases outside of the Village Care Center.

Independent Living
Census: 1,061 residents

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially among the high-risk population of residents that the Village serves, the organization closed its campus to visitors and guests on March 23, 2020, on the orders of Gov. Mike Parson as well as Jackson County. Staff has been using a variety of communication tools to keep residents up to date about the Village’s response to the virus. To date, no residents of independent living are known to have tested positive for COVID-19.

Village Assisted Living
Census: 155 residents

A state-licensed facility, Village Assisted Living and Village Assisted Living Memory Care closed their doors to non-health care visitors on March 12, 2020. Staff has been sending out at-least weekly updates via email and posting information on www.jkv.org to keep families and loved ones up to date during this time.

Currently, there are no known COVID-19 positive residents or associates within the facility. However, a non-JKV health care professional who tested positive on Saturday, June 13, saw patients in the building the week leading up to the diagnosis.

This person was first voluntarily tested about two weeks ago with a negative result. Then, as part of the process of testing everyone who works within the Village Care Center (see below), this person was re-tested late last week and received a positive result.

For the protection of staff and residents, Village Assisted Living is proactively taking the following actions.

  • Beginning a methodical testing of residents and associates who may have been exposed, to gain a clear picture of whether the COVID-19 virus is present in the facility.
  • Taking immediate steps to increase infection control efforts by:
    • Requiring direct caregivers to wear N-95 surgical masks instead of fabric covers;
    • Doubling daily vital sign screening of residents to four times a day; and
    • Placing a hold on resident activities while they assess the current situation.

Village Care Center
Census: 200 residents

At this time, none of the 200 residents who live at the Village Care Center (VCC) skilled nursing center have tested positive for the virus. Between March 16 and June 10, four associates have tested positive for COVID-19 – one in March, one in May and two in early June. Staff has been sending out at-least weekly updates via email and posting information on www.jkv.org to keep families and loved ones up to date during this time.

Because of the most-recent, unrelated cases of COVID-19, the Village Care Center decided on Thursday, June 11 to be proactive and begin testing everyone who works in the building. The tests resulted in the five additional positive results. All of these people have been asymptomatic and have passed their daily pre-shift screenings. None have worked on the campus since the positive confirmations.

The newest cases involve associates who have roles in a variety of departments. Most have not had ongoing contact with residents, and none have worked together recently. About 30 VCC associates, most of who work in administrative and non-patient care positions, will be tested the week of June 14.

“Because of the sporadic scattering of the associates who have tested positive, we do not believe it is being spread within the building; rather it appears to show that our infection control procedures are doing their job,” said Anthony Columbatto, Village Care Center administrator. “However, these outcomes have led us to also begin administering tests to our residents.”

In addition to following recommendations issued by local, regional, county and state authorities, the VCC also is following guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to reduce the impact of COVID-19. For the protection of staff and residents, the Village Care Center is proactively taking the following new actions.

  • Completing testing of all residents and those who work in the building, to gain a clear picture of where the COVID-19 virus may be present in the facility.
  • Taking immediate steps to increase infection control efforts by:
    • Requiring direct caregivers to wear N-95 surgical masks instead of fabric covers;
    • Doubling daily vital sign screening of residents to four times a day; and
    • Stopping most new admissions for a limited time.

“Given the size of the Village Care Center, we have always anticipated, and planned, for the fact that an infection could happen here at any time,” Columbatto said. “We are confident in our procedures, and we are prepared if a resident tests positively.”

On May 27, surveyors from CMS visited the facility to conduct a now-routine infection control inspection and deemed the Village Care Center to be deficiency-free – the highest rating assigned by the state agency.

“The safety and well-being of our residents and associates is our top priority, and we are doing all that we can to limit and contain any possible cases of COVID-19,” said Rodney McBride, vice president of health and community services. “For the last 12 weeks, every member of our staff has been working extremely hard and making sacrifices to keep everyone who lives and works here safe and healthy. This is a responsibility that weighs heavily on us every day.”

 BY THE NUMBERS: Prevalence of COVID-19 at the Village Care Center
March 16, 2020 through June 14, 2020  VILLAGE CARE CENTER CONFIRMED COVID-19 Diagnoses: RESIDENTS – 0   ASSOCIATES – 9 NEGATIVE COVID-19 Test Results: RESIDENTS – 40   ASSOCIATES – 261 RECOVERED from COVID-19: RESIDENTS – N/A   ASSOCIATES – 3