September 2020 Village Care Center Updates

Sept. 30, 2020

Yesterday, as part of our weekly testing, we received four new COVID+ associate results. Here are the details:

  • One non-direct care associate – 100 side of long-term care.  Last worked: 9/29
  • One non-direct care associate – Back of the memory care neighborhood.  Last worked: 9/29
  • One direct-care associate – Village Rehab Unit.  Last worked: 9/28
    Called in yesterday after becoming symptomatic.
  • One non-direct care associate – Memory care neighborhood.  Last worked: 9/29

Today, 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.

Resident Update
Of the six resident cases we reported last week:

  • Three have been discharged from the isolation unit back to their rooms.
  • The last three are scheduled to discharge back to their rooms Friday, 10/2.
  • Two have been and remain completely asymptomatic, while one of the residents developed minor symptoms that have since resolved.

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.

Thank you all for your patience and grace as we work to understand and contain the spread of COVID-19 within the VCC.  As always, please let me know if you ever have any questions or concerns.

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

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/30/20:

  •  CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 16 residents and 39 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  •  RECOVERIES: 9 residents and 29 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/30/20:

  • 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 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.


Sept. 27, 2020

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 residents who have previously tested positive are doing well and remain asymptomatic.  Two are scheduled to come off the isolation unit today, which also is great news.

Unfortunately, following this week’s routine testing of all associates at the Village Care Center, we received nine new associate COVID+ results.  All of these associates are currently asymptomatic, and they do not seem to have any connection to each other, nor to any previous positive cases.  To help give you a clearer understanding, here is a breakdown of where and when they last worked:

  • One activity associate – Long-term care neighborhood.  Last day worked: 9/24
  • One direct-care associate – Isolation unit.  Last day worked: 9/22
  • One direct-care associate – Memory care neighborhood.  Last day worked: 9/22
  • Two direct-care associates – 200 side of LTC (different teams and shifts).  Last days worked: 9/22 and 9/24
  • Three direct-care associates – 100 side of LTC (different teams and shifts).  Last days worked: 9/24 and 9/26
    [the 9/26 associate also has been working on the isolation unit]
  • One CNA student – 200 side of LTC.  Last day worked: 9/25

Our awareness of the coronavirus is growing, thanks to the increased testing mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. We are working diligently to minimize exposure of residents and team members to COVID-19 in our building through our ongoing infection control procedures, as well as the following actions:

  • Due to all the recent positive cases, we will be temporarily going into quarantine throughout the VCC.  Each resident will be asked to remain in their room for the next week, to the extent possible, so we can ensure 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.
  • Our Isolation Unit staff always wear N95 masks and also use additional PPE as necessary to the tasks they are performing.

We will continue to do courtyard visits and salon appointments, as these have been deemed very low-risk activities that are important to the health and wellbeing of our residents.

I know these continued positive cases are frustrating to hear; they are also very frustrating to report.  However, the positive side to us conducting frequent testing is the fact that we are catching COVID+ cases that would ordinarily go undetected and could become super spreaders.

We will continue to be proactive in our actions, and steadfast in our support of our residents and our employees. 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. 

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


Sept. 24, 2020

Last week we informed you of some new resident and associate COVID+ cases.  As a result, we conducted follow-up testing of all potentially-exposed residents.  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.
  • We have an awesome team of associates who 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.
  • Lastly, all other resident, patient, and associate test results have, so far, come back are 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 out 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. We have received new guidance from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) telling us that outdoor visits can occur, regardless of the facility’s COVID-19 status.  With this new guidance, and knowing how important it is to have you all visiting your loved ones, we will resume courtyard visitation on Monday.  In order to reduce any chance for cross-contamination, these visits must occur in the courtyard where your loved one resides.  As always, to schedule a visit, please reach out to Vicki Davis by email at vdavis1@jkv.org or by phone at 816-809-3051.

Indoor Visits. Lastly, the new guidance from DHSS also 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.  We are obviously not there right now but it is a goal that we are striving, as a team, to achieve.

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

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. 19, 2020

I need to share some important news.  As a result of the follow-up testing from Thursday’s COVID+ results, we have identified four additional COVID+ associates as well as three residents.

For the residents, two reside on the Village Rehabilitation Unit (VRU) and one resides on the 100 side of the long term care (LTC) neighborhood.  All have been moved to the isolation unit and remain asymptomatic.

Regarding the COVID+ associates, two of them work on the VRU, and are roommates of the VRU associate who tested positive earlier this week; they last worked on Thursday night.  The other two associates are non-direct care and work throughout the VCC; they have very limited interactions with residents and last worked in the VCC yesterday.  These four associates are currently asymptomatic.  All other associate and resident test results are negative, with 36 results still pending.

To be certain that we remain aware of any further changes, we are taking the following actions:

  • As a strategy to box the virus in, we have closed down each neighborhood, increased temperature checks, and moved the three COVID+ residents to the isolation unit.
  • We will be re-testing the residents on the VRU and the 100 side of LTC on Tuesday of next week.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, we will also be testing the residents on the 200 side of the LTC neighborhood.
  • We have been successfully able to seal off our memory care neighborhood by not sharing their associates anywhere else in the building.  Because of this, we do not believe it is necessary to test memory care residents at this time.
  • All associates will continue to be tested weekly, due to positive cases within the VCC, as well as the county’s positivity rate.
  • Lastly, all associates on the VRU and both sides of the LTC neighborhood are wearing N95 masks until we resolve these cases.

I know this news is extraordinarily frustrating – and concerning. I assure you we will continue to educate associates and work to isolate people, as necessary, to mitigate the presence of the COVID-19 coronavirus at the VCC.

While we are working hard to contain any possible spread, we want to continue to sound the alarm that what is happening in nursing homes continues to be the canary in the coal mine for what is happening in the broader community.  It is not at all surprising to us that we are seeing positive cases two weeks post-Labor Day.

Though we do need to suspend all courtyard visits at this time, we will increase our capacity for video visits. As always, please contact Vicki Davis at vdavis1@jkv.org for questions or assistance in scheduling video visits.

As always, please not hesitate to reach out to us with any, and all, questions and concerns.  We want to continue to be fully transparent with what is happening within the VCC and all that we are doing to keep your loved ones and our associates safe.

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.


Sept. 17, 2020

I wanted to let you know that six associates who work in the Village Care Center have tested positive for COVID-19.

With our new equipment and updated routine testing schedule, we are now testing all associates each week.  Out of 786 associate tests performed since August 31, only one other has come back positive.  All six of the current COVID+ associates were tested as part of these weekly testing efforts.  Three of the associates who were asymptomatic at the time have since developed minor symptoms and are recovering at home.   The other three were and remain asymptomatic.

Four of the associates work in non-direct care roles with limited or no resident interaction (one is a Village associate who does not work for the VCC).  The fifth, a direct-care associate who works on the 100 side of the long-term care (LTC) neighborhood, last worked during the day shift yesterday.  The last, a direct-care associate who works on the Village Rehab Unit (VRU), last worked the morning of September 11.

As always, all potentially exposed residents’ and patients’ responsible parties will be notified of the exposure.  Due to the nature of these test results, we will be testing all residents on the 100 side of the LTC neighborhood and all patients on the VRU today.  Co-workers who likely had direct contact with these associates also are being tested. We hope to have most results back by the weekend and will send notifications when we know more.

Additionally, due to the potential for exposure, we will be limiting courtyard visits to only the 200 and memory care neighborhoods for the time being.  Vicki Davis will be in contact with you on potential new protocols with these visits.

Lastly, and on a more personal note, I would like to emphasize the same message we are reinforcing with our associates: Please continue to practice and preach safe behaviors to those you come into contact with.  It is 10 days past Labor Day – and the COVID-19 symptoms typically show up 7-10 days after exposure. As I have noted before, positive cases within nursing homes are a reflection of what is happening more broadly in the community.  It is incumbent on all of us to combat this virus with the tools we know work: physical distancing, mask wearing, and good hand hygiene.  We so badly want and need to open our doors, but that will not be possible until we stop the spread within our community.

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

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/17/20:

  • 6 residents and 22 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 9/17/20:

  • 2 residents and 8 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 9/17/20

  • 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.


Sept. 11, 2020

First of all, I want to update you on our testing results.  Over the past two weeks, due to weekly requirements and because of our new equipment, we have been able to conducted 538 COVID-19 tests of associates.  In that time period, we had just the one positive result that I shared with you last Friday, giving us a facility positivity rate of 0.19%, which is outstanding.

Due to community positivity rates (8.9% this week in Jackson County, according to CMS), we will continue conducting weekly tests of all associates and providers who come into the VCC, and will keep you notified of these results.

Secondly, I want to announce some important changes to our courtyard visits.  Beginning Monday, September 14, we will begin allowing families to come into the courtyards for visitation.  We know that the Plexiglas and traffic noise from Pryor Road created some sound and visibility barriers, and we hope this will alleviate some of those challenges.  Don’t forget, we’ve added weekend slots now, as well!

While we are excited to enter this new phase, I want to emphasize the importance of adhering to facility guidance (see attached).  Failure to strictly adhere to these guidelines will result in suspension of all in-person visitation, which is a path that none of us want to see.  We believe that family connection is so critical to our residents’ overall health and well-being, but we must also be cautious with those visits.

On a related note, we know some of you have voiced concern about outdoor visits as the fall and winter approach us.  Please know that we are working in the background for methods to host safe indoor visitations, but we are not quite there yet.  As soon as we have a plan that is suitable for the County and for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS), we will let you all know.  Based on the guidance we have received from DHSS and the Jackson County Health Department, to date, visitation is incumbent on community spread going down.

This is an important reminder that for us to regain a sense of normalcy, we all need to do our part in our community to follow basic public health guidance.


Sept. 5, 2020

I need to update you all on the results of this week’s testing, but before I do, I need to explain a little more about the testing process.

For the past five months, we have sent our COVID-19 test samples out to a vendor that uses the PCR testing system, and they typically provide results within 24 to 72 hours. This test tells us if it has been detected, with a simple “Yes” or “No” answer, but does not tell us whether the patient is infected or how much of the virus someone has in their system. We know that COVID-19 is present, but not whether there is enough for them to shed the virus and infect others.

Our new rapid antigen test is conducted in our building and provides results in about 15 minutes. It is less sensitive but 100% specific, which means there will be some “false negatives,” because people may be carrying some virus, but not enough to register. However, all positive results are true positives.

I have a very helpful New York Times article linked below that can better help explain this.

During this week’s testing of all VCC associates we received one positive result back. The associate tested positive with the PCR test, but negative with the antigen. Based on the explanation above and in the article, this means that COVID-19 is present, but likely in minute quantities or just fragments of virus.

We performed 232 tests, giving us a positivity rate of 0.4%, which is significantly lower than Eastern Jackson County. This is great news.

The associate is a direct-care giver on the 200 side of the long term care neighborhood and is asymptomatic. As always, all residents who were exposed have been notified, along with their loved ones. We will be testing potentially exposed residents on Monday and will notify their loved ones of the results.

Also, as a quick update on Village Assisted Living, they are sharing today that they have two associates with COVID+ results. One is a direct care associate in Assisted Living who tested positive but has not worked since Aug. 22. Because enough time has elapsed since their last shift and the diagnosis, they will not do any additional testing related to that. Also, a non-direct care associate in VAL Memory Care 3 who has had no patient interaction and very little face-to-face interaction with staff has tested positive. They will test potentially-exposed associates Tuesday.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

Here is the link to the NYT article I referenced earlier: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html

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.