Village Assisted Living COVID-19 Update

Village Assisted Living Updates

The following is communication sent via email to the families and loved ones of Village Assisted Living residents. If you have a question, please contact Heather Scott, administrator, at hscott@jkv.org.

Aug. 11, 2020

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

We were informed late yesterday of a direct care worker in assisted living (non-memory care) who 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.

We were notified on the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 10 that the results were positive. At this time we have no residents or associates with symptoms.

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

Due to the current circumstances, we are:

  • Testing potentially-exposed residents 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.
  • 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.

Our testing lab typically returns results to us within their promised 72 hours – often sooner. We will notify you as soon as possible once we are informed of the results.  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.

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

To summarize our current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/11/20:

  • 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 8/11/20:

  • 2 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 8/11/20:

  • 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. 7, 2020

I am happy to share this week that we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Village Assisted Living or Village Assisted Living Memory Care residents or employees.

The Village Care Center has had one new associate from a non-direct care part of the building test positive, as part of their hiring and orientation process. Those who were determined to have had the closest contact have been tested and remain off work, pending results. Additionally, an Independent Living associate, from the Sales, Marketing and Communications department has tested positive. This person has limited contact with others outside of this department. Their last day worked was Wednesday, Aug. 5, testing took place Aug. 6 and results were returned the morning of Aug. 7. All members of the department have been tested; five are negative – the rest are awaiting results.

Outside Visits: This week we began our outside visits in assisted living and all of our memory care neighborhoods.  We could not have picked a more perfect week  for this – the weather was absolutely beautiful.  I think it is fair to say that everyone was so happy to participate in the visits – I saw families play the violin, display artwork, or even bring old friends along!  We look forward to more of these visits (and continued compliance with the guidelines).

Podiatrist: The podiatrist will see residents in Assisted Living and Memory Care neighborhoods August 12 to 14.  The podiatrist and assistant will be screened for COVID-19 via the standard questions, have their temperatures taken, and will follow all infection control requirements, including wearing masks.

Feedback? We are in uncharted territory with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the paths we are creating are being made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the Missouri Department of Health, and Jackson County.  I want to make sure you know that I welcome feedback on our how I communicate and advocate for you and your loved one as we try to navigate our way through these unfamiliar waters.  If there is anything you would like to share with me, please do!

To summarize our current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/7/20:

  • 2 residents and 13* associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 2 residents and 12 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/7/20:

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

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:
Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/7/20:

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

*1 is a non-JKV employee who works in the building. Also, we have had some cases who, upon re-testing, we suspect they may have been false positives. However, 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. 1, 2020

I want to give you an update on the COVID-19 re-testing performed this week and other COVID-19 cases on the John Knox Village campus.

Because we were notified on Friday, July 17, that a Fireside associate tested positive for COVID-19, we followed up by tested and retested potentially exposed associates.  We received the results back on the re-testing on Thursday, and all the results came back negative!

The Village Care Center recently returned to random testing of 10% of associates from various parts of the building and different shifts. This week, one asymptomatic associate who last worked the night of July 28 had a positive test result. This associate is in a patient care position in the Garden View long term care neighborhood. As a result, all Garden View residents and any associates who may have been in contact with this person were swabbed today for COVID-19 testing. At this time, no residents are showing any signs or symptoms. All families of potentially exposed patients have been contacted via telephone.

Also this week, on Wednesday afternoon, the Village announced that a JKV Auxiliary shops associate received a positive test result. This person passed their screening on Friday, July 24, then began experiencing symptoms over the weekend. The General Store has been disinfected by Public Safety’s new portable equipment.

To summarize our current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 7/31/20:

  • 1 resident and 3 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 7/31/20:

  • 2 residents and 12* associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 2 residents and 11* associates have recovered from COVID-19

 All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:
Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 7/31/20:

  • 5 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 4 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.

I am pleased to say, that even though, as a campus, we are experiencing more presence of the coronavirus – as is the whole metropolitan area – we have not had any indication of transmission from the affected associates to anyone else at JKV. Our processes and procedures seem to be working well. We discover cases early, isolate the individuals and give them time to recover, and when they meet our criteria they are approved to return to work.

July 30, 2020

I am thrilled to announce that we are ready to take our first steps with resident and family visitation on Monday, August 3!

Our teams have been busy gearing up for next this.  The maintenance crew has been carefully creating multiple Plexiglas® structures on casters, to facilitate safe, almost face-to-face visits outdoors.  Our nursing teams have been eagerly collaborating with our activities coordinator, Kristin, and our admissions coordinator, Melanie, to determine the best times to schedule visits, and in turn Melanie and Kristin have created Sign-Up Genius accounts that you can use to sign up for visits.  Needless to say, we are READY for next week, and I hope you are as excited as we are!

Our visits are initially scheduled for 15-minute increments and will take place either on our memory care courtyards, or near the assisted living circle drive.  Village Assisted Living has established guidelines we all must adhere to for the duration of the visit.  I recognize it may sound very stringent, but we are following recommendations from the Missouri and Jackson County health departments.

Please watch for a separate e-mail from either Kristin Lennard or me, containing a link to your sign-up webpage and visit guidelines.

Memory care visits will be in the courtyards.  Please call your neighborhood for directions to the courtyard if you are unfamiliar.  Once you arrive in the courtyard and are screened, our team will bring your loved one out to see you!  We will have a chair available for you, however, you may want to bring a parasol for shade, as we are limited on options to provide shade.

Assisted living visits will occur near the circle drive, so go ahead and park in a parking spot and walk to the main lobby entrance.  Once you arrive in the vestibule, we will screen you and work with our nursing team to bring your loved one to the lobby.

Without a doubt, this is a work in progress.  I encourage feedback so that we can ensure the visits are safe and as comfortable as possible for everyone.  Thank you for entrusting your loved one’s care with us during this unprecedented time.

July 21, 2020

I am happy to share this week that we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Village Assisted Living or Village Assisted Living Memory Care residents or employees.

Outdoor Visits: Our Village Care Center will pilot courtyard visits next week, and Village Assisted Living and Village Assisted Living Memory Care will pilot courtyard* visits beginning August 3, 2020!  More details about the design, dates, and times will be sent out in my weekly email next week.  If we find the initial offerings are not frequent enough, we will expand the number times available for visitation.

*Village Assisted Living does not have a courtyard that is accessible without entering the building, so an alternate location will be used for Village Assisted Living residents and families.

Activities: This week we moved from offering one-on-one activities with our residents to offering small group activities.  We are exercising, “bingo-ing”, walking, and gathering in the courtyards in groups of ten or less.  We continue to disinfect surfaces and items between use and avoid sharing objects.  I believe everyone is excited to be back at it, albeit slightly modified.

Parking Lot Maintenance: The Memory Care 2 parking lot will receive maintenance (crack seal, seal coat, and stripe) on Monday, July 27.  The parking lot will not be accessible during this time.  If there is an item that needs to be delivered to a resident, please drop it off at the main lobby located at 1704 NW O’Brien Road.  Our team will make sure it quickly gets to our Memory Care 2 neighborhood for quarantine.

The Village Assisted Living main parking lot will receive maintenance (asphalt patch and crack seal) on Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28.  Areas will remain accessible during the work, but some re-routing to get to your intended destination may be possible.

COVID Response : On July 17 Village Assisted Living announced that a Fireside Dining associate with no resident contact had tested positive. All coworkers who were tested had negative results.  Retesting will occur next week, and I will keep you apprised of the results.

We are looking forward to welcoming you into our courtyards* very soon!  Thank you for entrusting your loved one’s care with us through this unprecedented time.  I hope we are on the other side of this very soon, but until then, know we are diligently working, each and every day, to keep COVID-19 away from our residents.

July 21, 2020

I want to give you a brief update regarding the COVID-19 testing performed over the weekend.

Because we were notified on Friday, July 17, that a Fireside associate tested positive for COVID-19, we tested potentially exposed associates. We tested all but three on Saturday, July 18, and tested the last one today.  As of this morning, we have received all but one result back, and I am pleased to report all results have come back negative!  I believe it will be Thursday or Friday before the last associate result is received, but I didn’t want to make you all wait until the end of the week for this news.

Also, the Village Care Center reported on Monday that a resident in their Village Rehabilitation Unit tested positive over the weekend for the COVID-19 coronavirus, as part of their standard protocol for testing patients prior to transferring them to other communities. That patient is being re-tested and is now resting in the isolation unit, as a precaution. Residents and associates in that part of the building are now being tested. I will keep you apprised of that situation.

To summarize our current status with COVID-19 cases at John Knox Village:

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 associate 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.

I will continue to keep you updated with our COVID-19 response as I have information.

July 20, 2020

Today I have all sorts of good news to share!

Activities: Treva began her role as activity coordinator on Monday, July 13.  The first few days were spent familiarizing herself with the history of the role and the current whereabouts of everything related to our activity program.   Treva scheduled hallway meet-and-greet activities, and on Thursday and Friday, then led some small group exercise classes in the activity room, with proper distancing and hygiene protocols in place.

Last week, Treva and I also hired a part-time activity assistant who will be here three days a week.  Her name is Christina Campbell, and she will begin on August 2.  Christina has a “contagious” positive energy and her passion is leading games and trivia in fun and exciting ways!

We are still searching for another part-time activity assistant to cover the other two days of the week.  I’ll be sure to let you know when we find him or her!  Until then, we continue to have Bonnye Brown, from Independent Living to assist with the activity program on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

DHSS Reopening: I mentioned in my weekly email on July 10 that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) issued guidance on reopening Long-Term Care Facilities.  John Knox Village is still in the process of reviewing this information.  We are working closely with our regulators to see how we can safely conduct outdoor visitation with residents who are negative for COVID-19, are asymptomatic, and have not had a known exposure.  We will continue to keep you informed as we move forward.

Podiatrist: The podiatrist has had to reschedule visits originally planned for the week of July 27.  Patients will be seen in Assisted Living and Memory Care neighborhoods on the dates of August 12 – August 14.  The podiatrist and assistant will be screened for COVID-19 via the standard questions, have temperature taken, and will follow all infection control requirements, including wearing masks.

Optometrist: The optometrist will be on site to see patients August 4.  The optometrist also will answer the COVID-19 screening questions, have temperature taken, and will follow all infection control requirements, including wearing masks.

Fireside: And, finally, we opened Fireside Dining today!  I spoke with some residents this morning after breakfast, and I can tell you that they were so happy!  The reasons for their joy were many, and I am delighted to know that our residents are happy.  If you or your loved one have feedback about our modified operation in Fireside dining, please let me know. We will take that information and modify processes, as appropriate.

We are taking careful and considered steps to reopen various services offered to our residents where we are able.  On July 1 we opened the salons, on July 16 we began small group activities (with less than 10 people), and on July 20 we opened Fireside dining.  We will continue to cautiously bring more services online, so stay tuned for more information.

July 17, 2020

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

We were informed today of one additional positive case in VAL. This Fireside Dining associate has worked in various halls in the assisted living (non-memory care) portions of our main building. On their last day worked, Thursday, July 9, the person had no symptoms, passed the daily pre- and post-shift screenings and wore an appropriate face covering throughout the shift. On the following day, the associate began experiencing some mild symptoms, was tested July 14, and informed us today that the results were positive. At this time we have no residents with symptoms.

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

Due to the current circumstances, we are:

  • Testing potentially-exposed associates on Saturday, July 18.
  • Increasing temperature tests of potentially exposed residents to four times per day.
  • Shifting to use of surgical masks – rather than fabric face coverings – in assisted living (non-memory care) areas by those performing direct care, as well as associates in Fireside Dining, housekeeping and therapy.

I also want to update you about the presence of COVID-19 in other parts of our campus. This 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 Care Center patient care associate who works in long term care.

I am pleased to say, that even though, as a campus, we are experiencing more presence of the coronavirus – as is the whole metropolitan area – we have not had any indication of transmission from the affected associates to anyone else at JKV. Our processes and procedures seem to be working well. We discover cases early, isolate the individuals and give them time to recover, and when they meet our criteria they are allowed to return to work.

To summarize our current status with COVID-19 cases:

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 7/17/20:

  • 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 7/17/20:

  • 1 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 7/17/20:

  • 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.

On a personal note, because 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 VAL 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.

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

July 10, 2020

For many reasons, I am very happy to write to you this week!

The first reason is that we have no new positive COVID-19 cases to report between our associates or our residents.  I am doubly happy to share that one resident and one of the two associates that were identified as positive in June have recovered.  We completed our methodical retesting of associates today.

The second reason is that yesterday, July 9, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) issued Guidance on Reopening of Long-Term Care Facilities.  This is the first time DHSS has issued guidance on visitation since the pandemic began in March 2020.  I can tell you that I am excited to learn what needs to be done to move forward, and it feels great!

We are currently in Phase 1 of their three-phase guidance. Missouri may allow visitors in Phase 2, assuming certain conditions are met by the facility, but we also need to work within the orders and recommendations put forth in Jackson County’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan. Since the Missouri Guidance just came out yesterday, we will need time to review it and see how to best integrate it into the bigger picture for John Knox Village and Village Assisted Living.

In the meantime, we are fortunate. We have four nurses who are trained to perform nasopharyngeal swabs at a moment’s notice, and we have a contract with a local laboratory to provide testing supplies and results within 72 hours.  Plus, we are continuing our work to keep people safe by doing our daily pre- and post-shift COVID-19 screenings, our infection control procedures, and conducting COVID-19 testing for all new employees in VAL and VCC. We also require employees to call the Return to Work Line when away from work due to illness or vacation.  All that to say, I believe we are doing the right things now, and that will put us in a good place to act on the DHSS guidance when the time is right. I will share more details as soon as I can.

The final reason for my excitement is that we are working with our podiatrist to see our residents during the week of July 27. Everyone is looking forward to this! Once I have a date confirmed, I will be sure to let you know.

Thank you for being on this unprecedented journey with us.  I feel so much better now that we know there is a path forward toward helping our residents and families reunite.  As always, thank you for entrusting your loved one’s care with us.

To summarize our current status with COVID-19 cases at Village Assisted Living:

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

  • 1 resident and 2 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 1 resident and 1 associate have recovered from COVID-19
July 3, 2020

I know you’ve been waiting since my letter Monday, June 29, to learn more about what’s happening regarding COVID-19 in our buildings. While I don’t have complete information at this point, I’m sharing what we do know now – as I don’t want to leave you wondering.

Because we had 1 associate who works in a direct care position at Village Assisted Living (memory care neighborhoods excluded) test positive last week, we began testing associates on June 25 who had contact with this individual, as well as residents who lived in the 100 and 300 wings.

This was the first positive case of COVID-19 at Village Assisted Living. The lab returned the results on the other tested residents and associates, and all were negative.

As an extra layer of information-gathering, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services recommended a second round of testing on the same people. The re-testing has identified one resident, in assisted living, as COVID-19 positive, and one additional associate (in Memory Care I, day shift). The resident has been re-tested and we are patiently waiting for that result. The newly-diagnosed associate will be re-tested later this week. Because the lab processes them in batches, the results have come in sporadically, over a couple of days. Most results are back – we are currently waiting for 4 more associate results, plus the re-test of the resident.

As I mentioned previously, we have increased our infection control efforts by doubling the frequency of temperature checks to four times a day, and all our associates are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. We are continuing 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. These are the same protocols followed by the Village Care Center (which also must follow the guidance of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). CMS recently re-visited the VCC to do a follow-up infection-control survey, and once again they received zero deficiencies, so we have a great deal of confidence in our procedures.

We had hoped to re-start the drive-by family parades, but I’m sorry to say that we have put them on hold again as we assess the current situation. The salons are still operating, but we have decided to continue just with meal delivery for Fireside dining, for the time being.

Our focus remains squarely on the health and well-being of our entire John Knox Village community. I am so proud of the way our residents and staff have worked together in being diligent with our procedures, while still finding ways to have meaningful and caring relationships with one another.

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 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.

May 15, 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 suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Village Assisted Living or Village Assisted Living Memory Care residents or employees.

As parts of Missouri begin to open, the recommendations for care facilities begins to change as well.  Beginning this afternoon, our residents in Assisted Living and Assisted Living Memory Care will be required to wear a cloth face mask when outside of their apartment or in the direct care of a caregiver.  This is a change from our previous practices due to the increased mobility of our surrounding community.  We want to ensure there is an extra layer of protection between our team and our residents.  We have made special considerations for our residents who have cognitive concerns and respiratory conditions, and we will make sure, as much as reasonably possible, that our interactions with residents with special considerations are at a 6-foot distance.  The cloth face covers that will be given to our residents were donated by the John Knox Village Foundation.  Each face cover will be laundered weekly by the John Knox Village laundry team. Families are welcome to provide additional covers for our residents. Please be sure to mark them with the resident’s name.

At this time, I do not have new information from CMS regarding when long-term care facilities will begin to reopen.   Our greater community is still in phase one of reopening, and we will continue to evaluate guidance from CMS, CDC, DHSS, and the county as information becomes available.  In the meantime, continue to reach out to our activity coordinators, Trisha trains1@jkv.org for Assisted Living, and Kristin klennard@jkv.org for Memory Care, to schedule your FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype call.  These connections are so important for all involved.

Do know we are looking forward to welcoming you into our neighborhoods as soon as possible.  Thank you so much for your patience and support during this time.  If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.

April 27, 2020

It seems the first question on everyone’s mind is are there any COVID cases?  I am happy to say that we currently do not have any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with Village Assisted Living Memory Care or Village Assisted Living residents or staff.

While life has slowed down for the outside world, we are working hard to keep things moving forward for our residents. As such, I want to tell you about a new and exciting technology that we have implemented.  We began facilitating telehealth visits with Kansas City Medicine Partners on April 13.  With our LPNs’ assistance, the group performs telehealth visits with various residents, as needed, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  This helps us to ensure there is as little foot traffic in the building as possible. We are also assisting with telehealth visits for Saint Luke’s Health System, HCA, and other healthcare providers when requested.

Our activities team is also working hard to keep your loved ones engaged with activities.  As of April 15, we have brought our part-time assistant, Madison, on board full time to get us through this unprecedented time.  No doubt having Madison here more often will help days like National Oatmeal Cookie Day on Monday feel like twice the fun!  Also, our activities team is happy to help you stay in contact with your loved one by adding more time slots for FaceTime visits.  Please reach out to our activity coordinator, Trisha at trains@jkv.org to schedule your time to FaceTime.

You are receiving this email via a distribution group we created based on the people listed in our files as having financial responsibility for each resident.  If there are others you wish to have receive this email, please forward to them.  If there are others who would like to be added, please let me know their email address so I can add them to my distribution list.

I recognize this extraordinary time is be hard for everyone involved.  It means so much to us to be able to care for your loved one. Thank you for the privilege to do so.  We are doing our very best to keep everyone safe.

April 17, 2020

The following is a brief update about how the operations at the Village Assisted Living have changed since Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated that long-term care and assisted living providers close to the public to help lessen the spread of COVID-19.

However, before we get into those details, please know that at this time, we do not have any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with Village Assisted Living residents or staff.

Throughout the last few weeks, the best-practice guidelines we follow have been ever-changing, and we are implementing them as quickly as they come out. To date, we have put the following policies into place to keep the virus out of the building.

  • Screenings. Starting March 13, 2020, we began screening employees and medical personnel before they enter our building. Our screening consists of taking an individual’s temperature and asking them to answer questions about symptoms associated with COVID-19. Associates’ temperatures also are checked before associates clock-out for the day.
  • Salons. All the John Knox Village Salons were closed on March 15, 2020. Our CNAs and activities team are working with residents to help them fix their hair. Although they are not giving haircuts, perms or the like, it’s amazing what some hairspray and kind words will do to boost a person’s mood!
  • Fireside Dining. We closed the dining room at Fireside Dining on March 20, 2020. Currently, your loved one can choose from two meal options for all three meals. Members of our direct care team collect the meal orders. All the orders are prepared at Fireside and delivered to your loved one’s door at mealtime.
  • Face Covers/Masks. We began requiring everyone who enters the building to wear a face cover or a mask on April 4, 2020.
  • Gatherings of 10 or less. We modified our activities so that residents are gathering in small groups of 10 or less. We also are taking great care to sanitize each area as well as supplies between activities.
  • Common areas. We rearranged our furniture so that each seat is at least six feet away from the next seat.
  • Deliveries. We are quarantining items for three days in a secure, locked room to ensure that if there is any contamination from COVID-19, it does not enter the facility. The items are then delivered to your loved ones’ room after three days.  We ask that you do not bring homecooked meals or loose fruit/vegetables;  manufactured-bagged fruit/vegetables and carry-out from a favorite restaurant are acceptable.

Our activities continue to go strong, and Trisha is so creative in coming up with ways to keep your loved one engaged. If you are not already getting Trisha’s activity calendar, just let me know so I can get you on the sign-up list. Our team and your loved ones miss seeing you, so please let us know about FaceTime, Zoom, or Skyping with you!