June Village Assisted Living COVID Updates

June 24, 2020

I need to share some important news with you. We were notified early this morning that a John Knox Village associate has tested positive with COVID-19.

The associate works in a direct care position at Village Assisted Living (memory care neighborhoods excluded) and last worked on campus during the evening shift on Sunday, June 21. The associate passed all pre-shift screening protocols that day. This individual was not included in the group of associates and residents who were tested last week.

This is the first positive case of COVID-19 at Village Assisted Living. It should be noted that at this time we have no known resident cases and no other known associate cases.

We will test our residents who live in the 100 and 300 wings Thursday, June 25. Associates who came in contact with this individual will be tested as well.

We continue to work with a local lab called Viracor for all our COVID-19 testing. Thus far, they have been extremely responsive and held to their commitment to return lab results within 72 hours.

What’s more, staff is immediately taking steps to increase infection control efforts by doubling the frequency of temperature checks to four times a day. In addition, all our associates in direct care positions and housekeepers will wear N-95 masks. All other associates will wear surgical masks in lieu of cloth face coverings.

Our team continues to follow infection control protocols and procedures recommended by the local and state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to protect our residents and associates. We also are following Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services guidance.

Our focus remains squarely on the health and well-being of our entire John Knox Village community. Because of this development, we must postpone our plans to reopen the salon and the dining room at Fireside Dining.  Additionally, we must also postpone the drive-by parades. I know that our residents will be disappointed, but we must ere on the side of caution in order to keep everyone safe.

I understand that you may have questions, and we will share additional information, as appropriate, through our various communication tools. Please direct your questions to me at 816-347-2701 or hscott@jkv.org.

June 22, 2020

It’s important to me to get back to you today with a summary of the recent testing we have done for COVID-19 on our campus. We have all the results in, and the news is VERY good!

First let me summarize the situation:

In early June, one VCC associate was sent home after a pre-shift screening showed a temperature of 99.9o or above. Later in the month, a second worker there also did not pass the daily screening and was sent home. Both tested positive.

This spurred the VCC to test associates who they may have come in contact with. They saw a few more asymptomatic positive test results, one of whom is a non-John Knox Village health care professional who saw patients in the Village Care Center and Village Assisted Living on three days in June, after previously having tested negative. At this point, they chose to be proactive by testing all residents and all who work in the building.

We are thrilled to announce that the VCC had ZERO additional confirmed positives, and most of those with positive results are now recovered! While this brings their total for the year to nine positives, these associates did not work with one other, and there does not appear to have been any spread from these individuals to others in the Village Care Center.

At Village Assisted Living, we also tested all residents and associates who may have come in contact with the non-JKV health care professional, and we also had ZERO confirmed positives.

It was incredibly important to the Village to be proactive and test everyone at the VCC, as well as those in VAL who may have been in touch with the healthcare professional who came here.

We needed to see where we stood. We all have worked very hard on our infection control procedures, and we’re constantly updating and fine-tuning them, to keep everyone as safe as we can. It’s gratifying to see that those individuals who tested positive appear to have acquired the virus from outside, and that there does not appear to have been any spread within the VCC.

In addition, having zero positive test results at Village Assisted Living was our best possible outcome, and I am so proud of the work my team has done. Every decision we make here is based on what’s best for the residents and how to keep them safe. The people who live here and those of us who work here, we’re all one big family. We love each other – from more of a distance now – and I know we all lost a lot of sleep while we waited for these results.

CUMULATIVE TOTALS from 3/16/20** to 6/22/20:
Village Assisted Living

  • _0_ Residents and _0_ associates have confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
  • _0_ Residents and _0_ associates have recovered from COVID-19.
  • _41_ Residents and _39_ associates have tested negative for COVID-19.

Village Care Center

  • _0_ Residents and _9* associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
  • _0_ Residents and _7_ associates have recovered from COVID-19.
  • _240_ Residents and _287_ associates have tested negative for COVID-19.

*Of these, 3 Associates 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 having recovered.

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

June 19, 2020

Earlier this week, we shared communication regarding a non-JKV healthcare professional who saw patients in Assisted Living and all three of our Memory Care neighborhoods, and tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, June 13. Village Assisted Living proactively tested residents and associates who were exposed to this individual.  As of today, I am very pleased to say that we have received all resident tests results back, and all results for our residents are negative for COVID-19. We are still awaiting results for a small number of remaining staff, but the results we have received thus far are all negative for COVID-19, as well. I will be certain to share the rest of the results just as soon as I have them.

In addition to the health care professional I mentioned (who also saw patients in Village Care Center), the VCC tested a number of associates and residents. Four other associates there also tested positive; all five of these people had no symptoms and had no interaction with each other. The VCC is now testing all residents and associates, just to be sure. Many, but not all, of these results have come back, and so far, things are looking good there, too.

Next week is shaping up to be quite a busy week for everyone. Father’s Day is Sunday, June 21, and we are ready to celebrate all the dads in our care! Our teams began their preparations for this big day months ago, and no doubt we have had to make modifications to our original plans, but we still have a great day of appreciation planned. Today all of the Dads in Assisted Living will receive a special poem and gift bag from Trisha. On Sunday, our dining team, Fireside, will prepare a special lunch, complete with a lovely keepsake bag filled with yummy goodies. Also on Sunday, our memory care neighborhoods will have a special day, where our Dads will have donuts with coffee, and gift bags!

I am really excited to share the next bit of news! Yesterday we received guidance from the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) that gave us permission to reopen our salons to our residents! Yes, you read that correctly – we get to reopen our salons! On Tuesday, June 23, our assisted living stylist will begin contacting residents to schedule appointments, and on Wednesday, June 24 we plan to have the salon open for business. On Wednesday, June 24, our memory care stylist will begin seeing residents. No doubt the activity in the salon will be very different as we will be following all the protocols set in place by DHSS, the Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, and Eastern Jackson County.

I appreciate all of your support this week. I know I say this in closing in most of my correspondence, but I sincerely mean it when I write thank you for entrusting the care of your loved one with us.

June 14, 2020

I want to provide you with an update regarding the presence of the COVID-19 coronavirus at John Knox Village. The safety and wellbeing of our residents and associates are our top priority and we are doing all that we can to limit and contain any possible cases of COVID-19.

VILLAGE ASSISTED LIVING

There are no known COVID-19 positive residents or associates within Village Assisted Living. However, a non-JKV healthcare professional saw patients in the building Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, June 10-12.

This person volunteered to be tested about 2 weeks ago, when the Village was exploring a relationship with a new lab for larger group testing. At that time, the person’s test results were negative. Then, as part of the process of testing all people who work within the Village Care Center (see more on this below), this person was re-tested late last week and received a positive test result Saturday. For the protection of staff and residents, Village Assisted Living is proactively taking the following actions:

  • We are beginning a methodical testing of residents and associates within 48 hours who may have had contact with the health care provider, so that we will have a clear picture of whether the COVID-19 coronavirus is present in our facility.
  • We are immediately taking the following steps to increase our infection control efforts by:
  • Requiring staff to wear surgical masks instead of fabric face covers.
  • Doubling our daily screening of residents to taking vital signs four times a day.
  • Placing a hold on resident activities for a few days, as we assess the current situation.

The testing lab we are using is the same one the Village Care Center is using for their larger group testing. They are a local company in Lee’s Summit and have proved to be very responsive. Results typically are submitted to us within 48 hours.

VILLAGE CARE CENTER

Because the Village Care Center recently identified two unrelated cases of COVID-19 in care center associates, they decided on Thursday to be proactive and begin testing all associates working in their building. They now have tested the majority of their associates, and have results from all of the samples sent to the lab Thursday and Friday. I want to be sure that you know they had 5 additional positive results. All of these associates have been asymptomatic, have passed their daily pre-shift screenings, and have not worked since they received their results.

These newest cases include associates with jobs in a variety of departments at the VCC, most of whom have not had ongoing contact with residents, or each other. Therefore 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. Because of these outcomes, they also are beginning to test their residents. We expect resident and associate test results to continue rolling in over the next several days. I will continue to keep you informed as we gain new information.

Here is a more detailed update regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 in the VCC since March 16:

As of June 14,

  • _0_Residents and _9_associates have confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
  • _40_ Residents and _261_ associates have tested negative for COVID-19.
  • _N/A_Residents and _3_ associates have recovered from COVID-19.
  • It has been _0_ days since we were notified that a resident or associate has tested positive.

There currently are no known cases at John Knox Village outside of the Village Care Center.

The Village Care Center is staying in very close communication with local, regional, county, and state authorities to ensure they are taking all of the appropriate steps under current circumstances. They also are following guidance from CMS and the CDC to reduce the impact of COVID-19.

These include:

  • Daily screening of VCC residents, with vital signs taken 4 times a day
  • Daily screening of VCC staff and essential visitors for symptoms
  • Use of social distancing and other infection control procedures
  • Stopping all new admissions to the VCC for the next few days (except John Knox Village contract holders)
  • Restricting visitation and entry of people into the building
  • Carefully limiting communal activities

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. We will contact those people directly if your loved one is suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19.

Please know that the whole Village is 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. Please contact Tressa Dickerson, Village Assisted Living director of nursing at 816-347-2706 or tdickerson1@jkv.org and she will do her best to answer any questions.

June 1, 2020

I hope this message finds you well. I am pleased to say that another week has come and gone, and we continue to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Village Assisted Living or Village Assisted Living Memory Care residents or employees.

On late Friday afternoon, the administrator of our Village Care Center, the director of nursing of Village Assisted Living, and I had a phone call with our Region 3 representatives from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). The purpose of the call was to engage in dialogue about where DHSS is with its reopening plans for our facilities. The short answer is that they are still working on their plans. We did confirm that, in Missouri, all facilities such as ours are still in their Phase Zero.

We were able to ask specific questions about when the main dining room (Fireside Dining) and salons may begin to open, as well as the possibility of having a drive-by parade. Some immediate good news is that we did get approval to have the drive-by parades!

We believe that, once DHSS gives us the approval to proceed to their Phase 1 of reopening, we will be able to bring back use of the dining room – with adequate social distancing, sanitizing and face covers worn by the team and residents, when appropriate. DHSS has not yet determined which phase might include the salons opening, but we know everyone is looking forward to that one!

While the news of reopening in assisted living may not be happening like other places in Missouri and Kansas, I can assure you that everyone on the call was working towards getting back to a life that feels more normal, in the safest way possible.

Stay tuned for more information regarding the drive-by parades from both me and Trisha, our activity coordinator. Until then, thank you for being on this journey with us and for entrusting us with the care of your loved one. If there is anything you may need, please do not hesitate to let me know.