July 2020 Village Care Center Updates

July 23, 2020

First and foremost, as a follow-up to our COVID+ patient on the Village Rehabilitation Unit, we needed to test every VRU patient and associate.  Out of that testing, we found one positive, asymptomatic direct-caregiver.  The caregiver did not come in contact with the COVID+ patient at any point during the previous 10 days, so there appears to be no connection. This associate has not worked since Sunday, July 19.

All other associates and patients tests came back negative and all potentially exposed residents remain asymptomatic.  Additionally, we are happy to share that the COVID+ patient has since had two consecutive negative tests, remains asymptomatic, and has been successfully transferred to a different community.

Regarding the follow-up testing on our long term care neighborhood, I am pleased to report that all resident and associate tests came back negative!  Unless there are further developments, we are moving back toward our previous strategy of testing 10% of our associates from different departments and shifts, bi-weekly.  As always, we will keep you all apprised of those results.

Good News

On a much more pleasant note, I am pleased to announce that we will be officially starting courtyard visits next week.

If we are successful with these visits, we will look to expand to more creative outdoor visits for our residents and loved ones.  However, if the guidelines and protocols we have established along with our regulators are not strictly adhered to, we will be forced to discontinue these visits.

I know these are not ideal, but it is the best we can offer under our current circumstances.  We will do everything in our power to expand on outdoor visits as it is safe to do so, I only ask that you do your part to ensure these visits remain safe for everyone.

On another positive note, our third infection control survey was conducted yesterday and we again passed with zero deficiencies or concerns!  We are fortunate to have an outstanding team here, and it has now been validated once again by a third party.

Lastly, I am taking some much-needed time off next week and will not be available for communications.  Tami Hoversten will be sending out our weekly communication next week and will let you know if there are any further developments.

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 7/20/20:

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

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 7/20/20:

  • 2 residents and 11* associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 2 resident and 9* associates have recovered from COVID-19

Non-VCC/VAL: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 7/20/20:

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

*1 is a non-JKV employee who works in the building. 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.


July 20, 2020

I wanted to report another COVID+ case within the Village Care Center.  Here are the details:

  • Over the weekend, a patient on the Village Rehabilitation Unit tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The patient was tested in preparation for transferring to another community, per our standard protocols.
  • The patient was, and remains, without symptoms (asymptomatic), but has been moved to the isolation unit as a precaution.
  • As a result, all associates and patients on the VRU will be tested for COVID-19.
  • Additionally, all associates on the VRU who were tested as part of our ongoing practice of random testing last week also came back negative over the weekend.
  • The lab we are using is a local company in Lee’s Summit and have proved to be very responsive. Results typically are submitted to us within 72 hours.
  • All families of potentially exposed patients are being contacted via phone call.
  • We will continue providing updates until we are certain that no new cases are developing.

This new COVID+ case is extremely vexing to all of us, as there is no rhyme or reason to it.  I am sorry I do not have a better explanation for this, but after five months of this pandemic, it is safe to say there is still so much about the transmission and testing that we just do not know.  We do know that our diligence in physical distancing when possible, good hand hygiene, and wearing a face covering at all times is critical and is working.

I also want to update you about the presence of COVID-19 in other parts of our campus. Late last week, the Village announced 5 other positive cases in associates. These include 2 associates in our Emergency Medical Services group, 2 in Information Technology, and 1 Village Assisted Living non-patient care associate who works for Fireside Dining. Additional testing has happened in these situations, as well, with no new cases reported outside of these.

On a more pleasant note, the VCC long term care associate we notified you about on 7/16, who also tested positive for COVID-19, continues to isolate at home, but is feeling better. And all of the results from testing in our long term care neighborhood (both residents and associates) have come back negative!

We are still working closely with our regulators to see how we can safely do outdoor visitation with residents that are negative for COVID-19, are asymptomatic, and have not had a known exposure.  As soon as we have the blessing of those involved, we will be reaching out to schedule some safe and much needed outdoor visits.

To summarize our current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 7/20/20:

  • 1 resident and 3 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 1 resident and 2 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 7/20/20:

  • 2 resident and 10* associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 1 resident and 9* associates have recovered from COVID-19

Non-VCC/VAL: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 7/20/20:

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

*1 is a non-JKV employee who works in the building. 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.


July 16, 2020

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

We have recently been informed of one additional positive case in the VCC. This patient care associate has worked in two halls in our long term care neighborhood. On their last day worked, Monday, July 13, the person had no symptoms, passed the daily pre- and post-shift screenings and wore an appropriate face covering throughout the entire shift. On the following day, the associate reported to us a loss of taste and smell, was tested July 15, and informed us today that the results were positive. At this time we have no residents with symptoms. All families of potentially-exposed residents have notified.

Our facility remains in very close communication with local, regional, county, and state authorities to ensure we are taking all of the appropriate steps under current circumstances. We also are following guidance from CMS and the CDC to reduce the impact of COVID-19.

Due to the current circumstances, we are:

  • Increasing temperature tests of potentially exposed residents to four times per day.
  • Testing potentially-exposed residents
  • Testing any associates who recently worked with this individual

Unfortunately, government privacy requirements restrict us from divulging specific information about the individuals involved, unless they are your family member and you have the necessary permissions to receive such information. These are the people who are contacted if your loved one has been exposed, is suspected of having or is diagnosed with COVID-19.

On a personal note, because these privacy laws cause us to be rather vague, I worry that we come across sounding uncaring about the people involved. Nothing could be further from the truth. We care very much about all in the VCC family, and situations like this keep me up at night on a regular basis.

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.

Here are updated number regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 in the VCC:

Cumulative Totals From 3/16/20** to  7/16/20:

Village Care Center

  • 1* Residents and 10* associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
  • 1 Residents and 9 associates have recovered from COVID-19.

*1 is a non-JKV employee who works in the building. 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.

**The date that the John Knox Village campus was closed to visitors.

Please call or e-mail me and I will do my best to answer any questions and help keep your in contact with your loved one.


July 10, 2020

I wanted to offer a brief update and let you all know that we have not had any new COVID+ residents or associates!  We completed two weeks of testing to cover all direct-care givers on each neighborhood, so seeing all of them come back negative was very encouraging.

On another note, Missouri’s Department of ​Health and Senior Services (DHSS) released new guidance regarding how and when skilled nursing facilities could be able to open back up to visitors.  We are still digesting these guidelines and having dialogue with DHSS and other communities on how to interpret the new guidance.  What we do know is that we are still considered to be in ​their Phase One, which does not allow in-person visitation.  I will send out some clarification early next week on what re-opening might look like for the Village Care Center and Village Assisted Living.

Regarding testing, we ​have now done one round of systematic testing of all associates and another round of targeted testing of all direct-care associates.  We made the decision earlier this week, and it was validated by DHSS yesterday, to begin randomized bi-weekly testing of 10% of the VCC’s workforce.  Our sample will consist of multiple departments, which will allow us to do more targeted testing, should the need arise.

I will have a lot more information to send next week, but I wanted to make sure you all were up to date with events here at the VCC.   I wish you all a safe and happy weekend and please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or ideas.

To summarize our current status with COVID-19 cases at the Village Care Center:

Cumulative Totals from 3/16/19 to 7/10/20:

  • 1 resident and 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 1 residents and 9 associates have recovered from COVID-19

July 3, 2020

We are about to enter the nineteenth week of our COVID-19 response, and to be honest, our knowledge of this virus continues to shift and evolve.  Across the country and the world, we are seeing rising cases of asymptomatic carriers.  There seems to be ongoing debate on the strands, infection rates, and the number of antibodies asymptomatic people carry after they recover.  Many of us at John Knox Village have been studying this virus for well over five months now, and though we are better prepared to mitigate the potential spread, it is hard for me personally to give, with absolute certainty, many facts about COVID-19.

Last week, during the systematic testing of residents, we received one COVID+ result.  The resident was asymptomatic and had never come into contact with any of our COVID+ associates.  We immediately moved the resident to our isolation wing and performed two additional COVID-19 tests, both of which came back negative.  After working through all the possibilities, we, along with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), and the family of the individual all believe the first test to be a false-positive.

On June 25 and 26, as part of our efforts to test more strategically rather than responsively, we tested associates working in our long-term care neighborhoods; all results came back negative.  On Monday, June 29, through auditing our results, we noticed that one test, for a direct care worker, was submitted, but the result was missing from our reports.  Out of caution, we re-tested the associate that same day; that test came back negative.  On Thursday, July 2, we were notified that the earlier test result (swabbed on June 25) came back as positive.  The associate has not worked in the building since June 25.  Additionally, the associate, along with all other direct-care associates at that time, was wearing an N-95 mask out of an abundance of caution.  After reviewing the incident with our medical director and DHSS, we believe that there was no risk to any of our residents.

As part of our continued testing strategy, we will next test associates who work in our memory care neighborhood and our rehabilitation unit.  We continue to screen those working and living in the building daily, ensure all associates are donning masks, and work closely with state and local health departments.  This week we have been educating our teams on the importance of wearing masks in public places when they are away from the VCC, as well as the importance of exercising good judgement during the upcoming holiday weekend.

As I mentioned initially, this virus is very humbling, and I can tell you that we are all dumfounded by it.  After reviewing the incidents above, I cannot in good faith tell you absolutely that these people’s results were false-positives, whether they have a new strain of the virus that is not as contagious or harmful, or whether there is something else entirely going on.  All I can say with absolute certainty is that we continue to do everything in our power to keep everyone safe.  We are doing the very best we can with the information that is available to us.

Here are updated number regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 in the VCC and VAL:

Cumulative Totals From 3/16/20** to  7/3/20:

Village Care Center

  • 1* Residents and 9* associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
  • 1 Residents and 7 associates have recovered from COVID-19.

*1 is a non-JKV employee who works in the building. 3 associates and 1 resident who originally tested positive, were re-tested and confirmed negative. While they may have been false positives, we are erring on the side of caution and counting them as testing positive and as recovered.

**The date that the John Knox Village campus was closed to visitors.