Village Assisted Living Memory Care

Village Assisted Living Updates

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

Jan. 10, 2021

Tomorrow is the big day, the day we have been waiting for!  I will have a recap of how the day went on Tuesday.  Until then, I have some information to share with you know.

In the late evening on Friday, Jan. 10, we learned a direct care associate on Memory Care 2 tested positive for COVID-19.  The associate was asymptomatic.  All families have been notified and we will test residents on Jan. 12, Jan. 15, and Jan. 20.

As a result of the positive associate, we will conduct doorway and one-on-one activities, have meals delivered to apartments, and the team will continue wearing N95 masks with face shield/goggles.  We will remain with our twice per week testing of associates.  Likewise, we will continue to remind the team of how vital it is to keep practicing the basics:  masks, handwashing, maintaining six feet distance from others, and avoiding crowds.

As I have said many times before, we are keeping the pedal to the metal through these last six weeks.  We will finish this strong!


Jan. 8. 2020

What a week! From testing residents and associates, to gearing up for the COVID-19 Primer Dose Vaccination Clinic on Monday, Jan. 11, we have been even busier than usual. Here’s a run-down on what you need to know.

Testing on Thursday, Jan. 7

  • We tested associates for our two times a week facility wide testing, and we learned that one direct care assisted living associate tested positive for COVID-19.  The associate was asymptomatic. All famiiles and residents were notified and residents will be tested on Tuesday, Jan. 12, Friday, Jan.15, and Tuesday, Jan. 29.
  • We tested all residents in Assisted Living, Memory Care 1 and Memory Care 3 due to potential exposures on Jan. 4 and Dec. 27. I am happy to report that all residents’ results were negative!  We will continue testing this group on Tuesday, Jan. 12 and Friday, Jan. 15.

Vaccine Clinic

I have told my team several times over the past two weeks that Monday, Jan. 11 will be the third best day of my life! (If you’re wondering, getting married and having my daugther are my other two best days!)  And with that giddy anticipation, we have been busy as bees putting all of the final pieces together for the COVID-19 Primer Dose Vaccination Clinic on Monday.  (Special kudos to the entire Admin Team for their efforts in putting this together in record time!)  Here’s where we stand right now, and it’s looking really good:

  • We have completed all of the CVS COVID Vaccine Intake Consent Forms, based on the verbal or e-mail authorization you have provided to a member of our team.
  • Today we finalized our immunization route with CVS, and it’s changed a bit from my original communication.  There will be two teams from CVS. One will be stationed in the Ambassador Room, and one will be mobile, traveling to our three memory care neighborhoods.
      • The mobile team will begin in Memory Care 3, move to Memory Care 2, and finish up on Memory Care 1.
      • The Assisted Living direct care and therapy teams will work with the CVS immunization team to get residents to the Ambassador Room in an organized, and physically distanced manner.  (I initally communicated that CVS would go room-to-room, but that is not the case now.)
  • CVS will arrive Monday at 9am, will need an hour for the vaccine to thaw, and we expect that they will begin immunizations around 10 a.m.
  • Residents will be monitored by a cliniican for at leat 15 minutes in the doorway of their apartments, and there will be EpiPens on hand, as well as an EMT and a nurse.

While this week has been crazy busy, it is a busy we are more than happy to have, because we know good things are on the horizon.  If you have questions about any of this, please let me know.


Jan. 5, 2021

It sure feels like it has been more than five days since 2021 began. Perhaps it’s because part of me wants to zoom right to February 22 when we have completed the immunization process. We’ll be there soon enough. Time to concentrate on today.

Here’s an update on what is going on right now.

I am very sorry to share that on Saturday, Jan. 2 we lost one of our residents due to complications from COVID-19.   We send our deepest condolences to grieving family and friends, and we hold this resident in our thoughts and prayers.

Testing

  • Monday, Jan. 4 we tested all residents in Assisted Living and Memory Care 1 using PCR tests.  I am very pleased to say these results came back negative.
  • Monday, Jan. 4 we also tested 100+ employees scheduled to work 1/4/21 – 1/10/21 using PCR tests.  (Those results take 24-48 hours to get from our laboratory.)  We had five associates test positive for the virus, and those associates have been taken off of the schedule.
    • 1 Assisted Living direct care associate
    • 2 Memory Care 1 associates
    • 1 Memory Care 3 associate
    • 1 Fireside associate
  • We will test the exposed residents in Assisted Living, Memory Care 1, and Memory Care 3 on Jan. 7, Jan 12, and Jan. 15.

Please be assured that we never allow anyone to work with any reported COVID-19 symptom; our process is to obtain a rapid test swab and a PCR swab and take the associate off of the schedule until both results are in and symptoms have resolved.  All of the associates who were swabbed yesterday were asymptomatic, except one who was not working and reported symptoms at the time of screening.

As a result of the five positive associates, we will conduct doorway and one-on-one activities, have meals delivered to apartments, and the team will continue wearing N95 masks with face shield/goggles.  We will remain with our twice per week testing of associates.  Likewise, we will continue to remind the team of how vital it is to keep practicing the basics:  masks, handwashing, maintaining six feet distance from others, and avoiding crowds.

Vaccine Information – Associates

Some of you have asked about whether the vaccine is mandatory for associates.  After consulting with various professional groups, John Knox Village leaders have determined that, as with the flu and Hepatitis B vaccination, the COVID-19 vaccination is optional for Village associates and residents. The Village believes that every associate and resident has the right to make an informed decision based on medical need, religious belief and/or personal preference.

With that said, as with the other two previously mentioned vaccinations, if an associate elects to not receive the COVID-19 vaccination they will be required to wear the proper PPE for every shift they work.  We are not alone in this stance, I am aware of several hospital groups in the area that, like JKV, are not mandating the vaccine for its employees.

Vaccine Clinic – Residents

The January 11 COVID-19 primer vaccine clinic is just six days away.  We are busily putting the final pieces together for all of our residents.  Yep, you read that right – all residents in Assisted Living and in the Memory Care neighborhoods have elected to receive the vaccine. And for that, we are extremely excited!

As I have said many times before, we are keeping the pedal to the metal through these last seven weeks until we are fully inoculated and benefiting from the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.  We will finish this strong!


Dec. 31, 2020

Today I want to update you about where we stand with the testing performed since Sunday.

  • Monday, Dec. 28: We re-tested residents and associates of Memory Care 3 after a potential exposure on Dec. 13.  I am pleased to announce that all the results came back negative.  This was the final round of tests for this exposure and no more testing will be performed in this area.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 29: We tested Memory Care 1 residents and associates because of a potential exposure on Dec. 28.  These results all came back negative.  We will conduct additional testing for the residents on Dec. 31 and Jan. 4.  I will keep you apprised of the results.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 30: We tested Village Assisted Living residents and associates due to positive cases on Dec. 23 and Dec. 27.  We learned last night that one resident tested positive for the virus.  We will test all Assisted Living residents again on Jan. 4 and Jan. 7.

Additionally, we will continue to test associates two-times per week.  In 2021, the testing days will be Mondays and Thursdays, with the exception of the week that the COVID-19 vaccination clinic is being held.  That week we will move the dates to Tuesday and Thursday.

Village Care Center

Unfortunately, the Village Care Center lost two more residents to complications caused by the virus. Although the number of new cases continues to decrease, the pain and devastation this virus causes has not.  They continue to fight using all the tools and tactics possible. In addition, only one resident on the 200 side of the long-term care neighborhood tested positive for the virus this week. All other resident tests came back negative. Regarding its associates, three new associates tested positive for the virus; two are non-direct care and one is in direct-care.

Finally, the VCC has finally received the date of its COVID-19 vaccine clinic. CVS will be onsite Jan. 6-7 to administer vaccines to VCC residents and associates who have elected to participate in the first round of inoculations.

 In other areas of the Village

Elsewhere in the Village, there have been four residents and nine associates who have tested positive since our last report. The vaccination clinic for independent living residents is set for the week of Jan. 25.

May each of you have a safe and comforting end to 2020.  Take reassurance in knowing that we continue to be steadfast in our fight against COVID-19 and that the primer vaccine is only 11 days away.


Dec. 30, 2020

We are excitedly gearing up for the COVID-19 primer vaccine clinic, which is set for Jan. 11, 2021!

To prepare for the clinic, we’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Last week, we found out which residents wish to receive the vaccine. (This has been noted in the medical records as a verbal consent.)  This week, we are busy completing demographic information on the Consent Forms and requesting orders for the vaccine from your loved one’s primary care physician.

On the day of the clinic, four immunizers from CVS Pharmacy will administer the vaccine to our residents and staff.  Our plan is to pair each CVS immunizer with a clinical supervisor and a member of our therapy team.  The clinic teams will begin administering the vaccine in our Memory Care neighborhoods – moving room to room – before heading over to our Assisted Living residents, again, moving room by room.

We will have a 21-day, immunity-building reprieve before CVS will again be on site for the COVID-19 booster clinic on Feb. 8, 2021.  (Individuals who weren’t able to get the primer dose on Jan. 11 may get it at this clinic.)  The primer and booster dose of the vaccine becomes effective approximately two weeks after the booster is received.

We continue to keep the pedal to the metal in this fight against the virus. However, we will not lose sight of our current situation. What’s more, I would be deceiving you if I didn’t confess that I am counting down the days until we are fully inoculated with all of the wonderful benefits of the vaccine.  If you are wondering, there are 54 days until Feb. 22!

Please let me know if you have questions or concerns about any of this.


Dec. 28, 2020

This evening I want to give you an update about what has been happening in Village Assisted Living since my last message.

I am very sorry to share that last week we had to say goodbye to two more residents who passed away because of COVID-19 complications.  We extend our sympathy to their grieving families and friends, and we hold those we lost, whom we consider members of our own extended family, in our hearts and prayers.

Testing

On Sunday, Dec. 27, we tested residents in Assisted Living who were potentially exposed on Dec. 23. Two residents tested positive for the virus. While we do not believe the other residents in the area were directly exposed to the individuals who tested positive, we will re-test all Assisted Living residents on Dec. 30, Jan. 4, and Jan. 7 out of an abundance of caution.

Today, Monday, Dec. 28, we tested over 100 associates, and discovered two associates tested positive. One is a non-direct care associate on the Memory Care 1 neighborhood, and the other is a non-direct care worker in Fireside Dining.  All of the Memory Care 1 families have been notified, and residents there will be tested on Dec. 29, Dec. 31, and Jan. 4.

Additionally, Assisted Living, Fireside Dining, and Memory Care 1 teams will wear N95 masks with face shield or goggles until testing is complete.  We will continue to monitor residents’ vitals four times per day, and we will deliver meals to their apartments. Staff will conduct doorway activities or organize one-on-one visits for video calls.  We will continue these practices through at Jan. 5.

Good News

Today, I received a long-awaited telephone call from CVS to schedule our first COVID-19 Moderna Vaccine clinic!  The date is confirmed for Jan. 11, and both residents and associates (who wish to receive) will receive the primer dose of the vaccine.  I will have more details to share tomorrow, but for now – what great news!

Optimism

As the month of December draws to a close, my optimism for 2021 grows stronger by the day. It is fueled by the hope that traditionally comes with the ringing in a New Year and the promise that the Moderna vaccine brings with it. However, I also know that we must not lose sight of where we are right now in this pandemic.  And I can assure you we will remain steadfast and vigilant in our fight against COVID-19.


Dec. 24, 2020

Today I want to give you an update with what has been going on in Village Assisted Living since my last update.

On Monday we tested the residents and associates on Memory Care 3 due to a potential exposure on Dec. 13.  I am pleased to share that all of those results came back negative.  We continue to limit staff who may work in the neighborhood, and will continue to have staff wear surgical masks with a face shield or goggles.  There will be one last round of testing on Dec. 28.

Also on Monday, we tested over one hundred associates using rapid tests.  All of those results came back negative.  We do believe that conducting twice-weekly rapid testing is providing us the platform to continue to have good conversations with the team regarding COVID-19 safe practices and sharing information about symptoms they should watch for and report.  As a side note, we have learned that the majority of our positive cases have started with an out-of-the ordinary headache.

We also learned this week of one Assisted Living direct care-giver who tested positive. Since their last day worked was Dec. 6, no additional testing should be needed.  Through our twice a week associate testing yesterday, Dec. 23., we learned one Assisted Living direct care associate tested positive.  The residents and families have been contacted, and we will perform testing on Dec. 27, Dec. 30, and Jan. 4.

At this time, I do not have any new updates on when we will receive the Moderna vaccine.  I am still waiting for a call from CVS regarding when they will be on-site to administer the vaccine to our residents and team.  However, when I do, I will be sure to update you as soon as possible.

Village Care Center
The Village Care Center has had only one resident from the 200 side of the long term care neighborhood test positive this past week! All other residents in the building tested negative. They are being cautiously optimistic about this sudden improvement in test results.  While it feels like they are nearing the end of their outbreak, they recognize that they can never take this for granted, and will remain highly vigilant.

Other Parts of the Village
Elsewhere in the Village, there have been four additional associates who tested positive, and five recoveries. To protect the privacy of associates outside of our licensed facilities, all future positive cases will be reported as a single overall group, rather than by department. John Knox Village conducts its own thorough contact tracing. Associates and residents will be contacted by the Village if there is a possibility that there was an exposure.

This week – and we are only four days in – has been a heartbreaking week.  It began with learning of the passing of two our residents from COVID-19, has taken us through the longest night of 2020, and will end with a day that many celebrate as a reminder of hope – hope that no matter how uncertain the days ahead may seem, there is light.  Please help me keep these families lifted in prayer during this difficult time.

May each of you have a holiday that is filled with love and virtual or telephonic togetherness.

With warm Christmas blessings,
Heather


Dec. 23, 2020

This is one of the most difficult letters I’ve ever had to write. I am incredibly sorry for taking so long to share this, but honestly, throughout this pandemic, I have had such a singular focus on working with my team to keep everyone safe that I never let myself imagine what I would say in this situation.

Late last week we lost two of our beloved residents to conditions related to COVID-19.  Each and every one of us who works here sees the residents as part of our extended families.  We spend years together, day in and day out.  So this is very personal for us, too.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the residents and families who have lost their loved one to this terrible virus.  There are no words that can help take away the grief their families are feeling right now.  Please join me in lifting them in prayer during this difficult time.

There will be more communication this week.  However, I wish to stop here for today.


Dec. 19, 2020

As promised, my letter today includes a general update about our neighborhoods and all the holiday happenings that are taking place for our residents. But before I get to that, I want to share some new developments on the vaccine front as well as news about the testing performed this week.
Regarding the vaccine, while we do not yet know a date as to when CVS will be on site for our clinic, we do know the following:

  • The state of Missouri has decided to distribute the Moderna vaccine to long term care facilities – skilled, assisted, and residential – due to the challenging nature of the cold-chain management that the Pfizer vaccine requires. Late yesterday, the Moderna vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA, meaning distribution can happen as early as next week.
  • Each resident or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPOA) will be required to sign a consent form. (A sample is attached so that you can see the information that will be needed to proceed.) We will send out the official consent form once we receive it from CVS.
  • Each resident will be required to provide a copy of the front and back of their medical insurance cards (medical, prescription and/or Medicare cards).
  • Next Monday and Tuesday, our administrative team will reach out to our residents or Healthcare DPOAs to ask if their loved one wishes to receive the vaccine. If there are specific questions about the vaccine, a member of the clinical team will reach out to answer the questions.

Testing. On Thursday, Dec. 17, more than 100 associates were tested, which resulted in one positive. This associate has not worked for us since August and was tested before the shift began. We do not believe there was any resident or team exposure. We also tested the residents on Memory Care 3 due to an exposure on Dec. 13, and all of those residents tested negative! We will conduct more testing for both associates and Memory Care 3 residents on Monday, Dec. 21.

Holiday Spirit. The neighborhoods continue to show our hopeful Christmas spirit. Our little elves – Kristin, Treva, Christina, Amanda and Amber – have been busy decorating the halls. I hope you enjoy seeing what they’ve done (see pages 2-4)!

While we won’t be able to all be together this Christmas and holiday season, I hope that you will reach out to the team to schedule a video call with your loved one. tcalegari@jkv.org and klennard@jkv.org can assist you with scheduling a FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype call. I know a video call isn’t the same, but I hope this is the last Christmas we will have to be in this situation.

Next week, our teams are planning to spread even more holiday cheer through festive activities, yummy treats, sing-a-longs to holiday music, and of course – egg nog! I am sure there will be a few little elves running though the neighborhoods as well.

May your Christmas season be blessed and each of us continue to be well. If there is anything you need or have questions about, please let me know.


Dec. 15, 2020

I want to give you an update on where we stand with the presence of COVID-19 in our neighborhoods.

Monday, Dec. 14 we learned that a resident on Memory Care 3 has tested positive for the virus.  All families were contacted, and PCR (laboratory) testing was performed on that day.  Today we received the laboratory results back and all residents on the neighborhood have tested negative.  We are perplexed as to how this resident tested positive since all associates who work on the neighborhood have tested negative during weekly testing.  Almost all associates who worked on the neighborhood were tested yesterday (using a PCR and rapid test), to ensure we have not missed anything.  We are still awaiting one result from the lab, but so far all associates tested yesterday have been negative.   Residents and associates will be re-tested on Thursday, Dec. 17.

Also on Monday, Dec. 14 we performed rapid tests on more than 100 associates. All of those results were negative.

Today we learned of the results for the last round of resident testing for our Memory Care 2 neighborhood and 300-hall wing, and I am very pleased to share all results are negative!  As a result, today we will open the dining room on Memory Care 2, and tomorrow we will open Fireside Dining tomorrow at breakfast.  Activities for both areas will be resume, too!

As of Monday morning, the team on Memory Care 3 are wearing N95 masks with goggles/face shield, are not floating to other neighborhoods.  We are checking vital signs 4 times per day, and are serving meals to the residents in their apartments. Activities are being paused until we complete at least two rounds of testing.  And we are doing our best to get fresh air in the building by opening the courtyard door in the dining room.  Perhaps later in the week as the weather warms, we may be able to crack the windows in the resident rooms to let fresh air in, too.

Later in the week I will update you on what else is happening in our neighborhoods, as well as any movement on the vaccine front. I truly believe we are getting closer to the beginning of the end of this virus in the John Knox Village community.


Dec. 11, 2020

Today I want to share the results of our associate testing and give you an update on what’s happening around the rest of the campus.

Yesterday, we tested over one hundred associates, and I am pleased to share that all of the results were negative.  We will continue with our twice weekly testing of all associates scheduled to work each Monday – Sunday, for the foreseeable future.  Also yesterday, we tested residents in Memory Care 2 (Dec. 1 positive case) and Assisted Living (Dec. 2 positive case) and all results were negative.  We will re-test these residents one more time on Monday, Dec. 14.

Because we had so much testing to keep you updated on, it has been a few days since I updated you on what is happening related to COVID-19 in the rest of the Village. The information below was reported on Dec. 8:

In Independent Living, three residents have tested positive since I last reported; all three have symptoms. Contact tracing resulted in further testing connected to one of the residents.

Elsewhere in the Village, additional associate positives have been reported in Housekeeping (1), Village Home Health (1), and Village Hospice (1).

Village Care Center. I am so sorry to say that we have lost five additional residents to complications connected with COVID-19. I offer my most sincere condolences to these families, as well as to the associates who cared for these residents. These are incredibly difficult times for all. Other developments include:

  • 200 side of the Long Term Care (LTC) neighborhood.  Five new COVID+ residents have been moved to the isolation unit, where they are being treated.
  • VCC associates. One associate tested positive for COVID-19 since our last report. The individual is a direct-care associate who primarily works on the 200 side of the LTC neighborhood who took part in routine testing.

Actions. The team there is continuing to use all of the safety measures in their arsenal. Additionally, they have expanded the isolation unit to meet the growing need across all parts of John Knox Village. The Village decided early on that the VCC would be the hub for all COVID+ residents who need a higher level of care. Because we are now seeing an increase in John Knox Village cases, as a whole, the isolation unit expanded from 19 beds to 30, with the possibility of expanding to 45, should the need arise. The unit is completely sealed off from the rest of the building. All associates enter and exit through an exterior door, and all deliveries go through that same entrance, all in order to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination.

It seems that most of my communication lately has focused on COVID-related topics that pertained to Assisted Living and Memory Care 2.  However, next week I will give a glimpse of our Christmas Spirit that fills the neighborhoods, what’s on the Activity schedule, and a general update on each neighborhood.

Please continue your best safe practices throughout the holidays.


Dec. 9, 2020

Today I would like to give you a quick update on COVID-19 testing in our buildings, and then share what I know thus far about a SARS CoV-2 vaccine for residents in Assisted Living and Memory Care.

Testing

On Tuesday, Dec 8 we were notified that a direct care associate on Memory Care 3 tested positive for the virus.  This direct care worker last worked on Nov. 25. There was not any possible transmission of COVID-19 to the Memory Care 3 residents or team, due to the date last worked, so we will not be performing testing.

Tomorrow, Dec. 10, we will perform the second round of twice weekly associate testing.  I will keep you apprised of the results.

Vaccines

There has been a great deal of information shared this week about how the of SARS CoV-2 vaccine may be deployed, once at least one pharmaceutical company receives Emergency Use Authorization from the Federal Food and Drug Administration.  In short, here is what we know thus far:

  • John Knox Village has partnered with CVS for vaccine distribution and administration.
  • We do not know a date as to when we will receive the vaccine. We will have only 10 days advance notice prior to CVS arriving on site to administer the first dose of vaccine both to residents and associates who wish to receive the vaccine. (Both possible vaccines require two doses, a few weeks apart.)
  • During those 10 days, the Village Assisted Living team will work diligently to ensure all Vaccine Intake Consent Forms (see attached) are ready to go, and that all insurance cards are photocopied and ready to provide to CVS on the day of the clinic.
    • The attached form is not the final form, but we are providing it for informational purposes only.
    • If you have not given us a copy of your loved one’s 2021 medical insurance cards, please do so as soon as possible by e-mailing photos or scans of the front and back of each card to mheydon@jkv.org or asytowski@jkv.org.
  • If you are interested in learning more, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has created a very informative and user-friendly website about the vaccine, what it does (and does not do) and how it will be administered. Please visit https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/ for more information.

I hope you will take time now to learn as much as you can about the vaccine, talk with your loved one about the vaccine, and learn their thoughts about receiving it.  Given the very short turn-around time (see bullet 2) for Village Assisted Living to know when we will have CVS on site to administer the vaccine, it will be critical that to determine whether or not your loved one wishes to receive the vaccine before our ten day window begins.

Thank you for entrusting your loved one’s care with us during this truly unprecedented time.  It is my hope and prayer that the vaccine – once both the primer and booster have been administered – will allow us all to breathe a little bit, to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, and to, carefully, open our doors, again.


Dec. 7, 2020

I want to provide you with an update about the results of the resident testing performed on Friday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 6, as well as share the testing schedule for the remainder of the week. I understand all of these dates are confusing. I will do my best to explain this in a way that makes sense.

Memory Care 2

Friday, Dec. 4: We re-tested Memory Care 2 residents due to the positive cases identified on the neighborhood on Dec. 1.

  • Those results came back late yesterday afternoon, and I am relieved to share those results were negative.
  • Today (Dec. 7) We re-tested these residents again.
  • Thursday, Dec. 10, we will re-test again.

Assisted Living

Sunday, Dec. 6 we tested Village Assisted Living residents due to a potential exposure on Dec. 2.

  • Late yesterday evening we received the results back, and we learned that two assisted living residents have tested positive.
  • Families and residents who have been potentially exposed have been notified.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 9, We will re-test the residents again.

Actions

  • Due to the Dec. 2 positive case in Assisted Living, on Dec. 3 we canceled all group activities, as well as in-person dining at Fireside Dining.
  • Due to the two positive cases today, we quarantined off the 300-hall area of Village Assisted Living, ensuring there is a designated team member available to care for only these residents.
  • The all teams continue to wear surgical masks with face shield or goggles and monitor residents’ vital signs four times per day.
  • Assisted Living residents are encouraged to stay in their apartments as much as possible – meals will be delivered to apartments.

Associate Testing

Today we conducted our twice-weekly associate testing. One direct care associate on Memory Care 2 tested positive. This associate last worked Nov. 29. We will not be doing additional testing on Memory Care 2 residents due to the positive case that occurred after Nov. 29.

As each day goes by, we are getting closer to having Emergency Use Authorization for a SARS CoV-2 vaccine. We are diligently working through logistics with CVS to deploy the vaccine. Today we attended a webinar with CVS to learn more about what needs to be done right now so that we will be ready to roll when CVS is ready to administer to our residents and team members who wish to receive the vaccine.

Until that times comes, though, please know we continue to work diligently each day to keep COVID-19 out of our building.  Thank you for being with us through this time.

It was important to me to get this information in your hands as soon as possible today. My next communication will provide updates about what’s happening elsewhere in the Village regarding COVID-19, as well as an updated chart.

I want to provide you with an update about the results of the resident testing that was performed yesterday as well as the results of the associate testing conducted today, Dec. 3.

Today, we received all the re-testing results (PCR laboratory) for the Assisted Living and Memory Care 2 residents who were potentially exposed to the virus on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, respectively.  In Assisted Living, one resident tested positive for the virus. No Memory Care 2 residents tested positive.

Because of the Assisted Living resident who tested positive, we will test potentially exposed residents on Sunday, Dec. 6 and re-test them on Wednesday, Dec. 9.  In addition, today we canceled all group activities and in-person dining at Fireside Dining until further notice.  The Assisted Living team will continue to wear surgical masks with face shield or goggles and monitor residents’ vital signs four times per day.  Assisted Living residents are encouraged to stay in their apartments as much as possible – meals will be delivered to apartments. What’s more, we will accommodate the need to go outside for fresh air and stretch one’s legs.

While we did not have any positive resident cases on Memory Care 2, we will continue to test the residents because of a Memory Care 2 direct care associate who tested positive for the virus today.  This associate was tested using PCR on Dec. 1 due to an onset of symptoms.  We will test residents on Friday, Dec. 4 and re-test on Monday, Dec. 7.  We continue to limit the number of staff who may work on the neighborhood. Staff also will wear N95 masks with goggles or face shield and encourage the residents to wear masks and remain in their apartment as much as possible.

Finally, today we tested more than 100 associates using rapid tests.  No associates tested positive with this round of tests.  We will test the associates who were not able to make it in today before their next scheduled shift.

These are very uncertain times, but I can assure you we are working very hard to keep each other and our residents safe from the virus.  Each of us is doing our part to encourage the team to stay safe while not at work and report symptoms – even if it is just a headache – ASAP.  I also think it’s encouraging to see the news that the FDA will be reviewing vaccines from two major pharmaceutical companies next week. Village Assisted Living has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to get ready to provide a vaccine to our residents when it becomes available, hopefully very soon.


Dec. 3, 2020

On Sunday (Nov. 29), I shared an update with you about the resident testing that was performed last week. Today, I want to inform you about some new developments that have occurred since then, and how our team is working through them.

Yesterday (Dec. 1), three residents on Memory Care 2 tested positive for the virus. We tested these individuals after they started experiencing COVID symptoms. Then, today (Dec. 2), we learned of another resident on Memory Care 2 who has tested positive, again, after an onset of symptoms.

Despite our efforts, we continue to see the virus spread on Memory Care 2.  We continue to follow protocols we have in place: monitoring our residents’ vital signs four times per day; wearing N95 masks with goggles or face shield; and limiting the number of associates who work on the neighborhood, while also encouraging the residents to wear masks and remain in their apartments as much as possible. What’s more, we’ve taken the additional steps of opening the doors to the courtyard and near room 36 to increase fresh air flow into the neighborhood.  We also have cracked open the windows in resident rooms to allow in fresh air – please know that we have turned up the heat in the rooms to ensure the residents’ preferred temperature is maintained.

Finally, as I mentioned in previous emails, today (Dec. 2) our team is re-testing (PCR laboratory) Assisted Living and Memory Care 2 residents who were potentially exposed to the virus on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, respectively.  I will keep you apprised of those results once they have all been received.

If there is a silver lining in any of this, during our twice-weekly associate testing on Monday, we tested over 100 associates, and we did not have an associate test positive.  We will conduct another associate testing on Thursday, Dec. 3.

I also want to provide you with a brief update as to how other areas of the Village are handling the virus.

  • Village Care Center: It is with great sadness that I share with you that five additional residents have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. In addition, two more residents who live in the back of the memory care neighborhood tested positive for the virus. Both were transferred to the isolation unit and currently are being treated. Finally, four associates also have tested positive. Two work in nursing; the remaining associates work in non-direct care positions in different departments.
  • Independent Living Residents. Three additional residents of independent living tested positive for the virus late last week. Two were asymptomatic and will be retested. Both have been asked to remain in their homes. The third resident is symptomatic and has remained in their home since symptoms started on Nov. 23.
  • Associates Outside of VAL/VCC. Three associates who work outside of Village Assisted Living and the Village Care Center tested positive over the weekend. One associate works in Village Hospice, and two associates work in Village Home Health. Contact tracing is being conducted and further testing is being performed.


Nov. 29, 2020

On Friday I shared an update on individuals who had tested positive for COVID-19.  Today I want to give you an update on the resident PCR (laboratory) testing performed on Friday.

On Friday we tested Assisted Living and Memory Care 2 residents who were potentially exposed to the virus on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, respectively. All of the results came in over the weekend, with the last result this morning.

  • The residents who were tested in Assisted Living all had negative results.
  • I am saddened to share that of the Memory Care 2 residents who were tested, one resident has tested positive for the virus.

We will retest both groups of residents on Wednesday, December 2.

Our team is truly distressed to learn of the positive resident cases on Memory Care 2, because we know it will be a more difficult situation to manage. We will continue to do what we know to do:  monitor our residents’ vital signs four times per day, wear N95 masks with goggles or face shield, and limit the number of associates who may work on the neighborhood, while also encouraging the residents to wear masks and remain in their apartments as much as possible. As always, we will continue to remind our team to report any – even the slightest – symptom related to COVID-19, and continue to educate the team during our twice-weekly testing.

Thank you for entrusting your loved one’s care with us during this unprecedented time. If there is anything you may need or have questions about, please do not hesitate to let me know.


Nov. 27, 2020

I want to give you an update on individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Two Memory Care 2 direct care associates who had negative results during routine rapid testing on Tuesday, Nov. 24, have now tested positive. Both of these associates were sent for additional testing due to self-reported COVID-19 symptoms after testing on the 24th. It is not uncommon for someone who receives a negative result to test positive a few days later. It is in the nature of this virus that people typically do not begin to “shed” enough of the virus to show up during a test until we’re 3 days, or more, into the infection.

These recent associate positive cases in Memory Care 2 indicate a spread of the virus in that area. Please know that we are working very hard to keep the virus from continuing to spread on Memory Care 2. We are ensuring the residents’ vital signs are monitored four times per day, the team is wearing N95 masks with goggles or a face shield, and we are encouraging residents to wear masks and remain in their apartments as much as possible.  Needless to say, this is a significant challenge with memory care residents, but we are doing our best. We are also limiting the associates who may work on Memory Care 2, and we will move to twice-weekly testing, beginning next week.

Today we tested residents in Assisted Living and Memory Care 2 who have been potentially exposed. I expect to have all results in by Monday.

If you have questions about any of this, please do not hesitate to let me know.


Nov. 25, 2020

I want to give you an update on the remaining resident results as well as the results of the associate testing yesterday.

  • Assisted Living.  On Monday we re-tested some Assisted Living residents, due to a potential exposure on Nov. 11. All results are negative.
  • Memory Care 2.  Yesterday we tested Memory Care 2 residents due to a potential exposure on Nov. 18. Today we learned that three residents have tested positive for the virus. All families have been contacted.
  • Associates.  Also on Tuesday we tested roughly 120 associates.  Three associates who tested positive:
    • 1 direct care Memory Care 1 associate.  Last worked Nov. 6.  There is no potential resident exposure with this associate due to the length of time since last worked.
    • 1 direct care Assisted Living associate.  Last worked Nov 22.  Associate is asymptomatic.
    • 1 direct care Memory Care 2 associate.  Last worked Nov. 23.  Associate is asymptomatic.

All residents and families who have been potentially exposed to one of these associates have been contacted.  We will test potentially exposed Assisted Living and Memory Care 2 residents on Friday, November 27.

I am very saddened to share this message with you. I had hoped to be able to share a continued message of no cases of COVID-19 in our neighborhoods. Due to the results this week, we will be moving to twice weekly testing of associates, beginning next week. My hope is that testing twice a week will have a better outcome for everyone.

Here is a summary of the presence of COVID-19 elsewhere at John Knox Village:

  • Village Care Center.  Sadly, five more VCC residents have died over the past week. These numbers do appear to be slowing, and I know that team there continues to be heartbroken. Nine new COVID+ resident results came from the back of their Memory Care unit, and these people have been transferred to the Memory Care isolation area. While there have been 11 new positive associate results, more and more associates also are recovering and returning to work. [The VCC’s current numbers for residents and for associates can be found in the table below.*]

Additionally, there has been quite a bit of news media attention directed toward the Village Care Center, both because of the number of positive cases they have had over the last couple of months, and because of the number of residents there who have died with COVID-19 as a contributing factor. Overall, the coverage has been fair and thorough. They have mostly reported this story to demonstrate to the public that this is the end result of the virus numbers in our community spiking. I’ve included links at the bottom of this letter to two articles, as well as a heartfelt editorial column submitted to the Lee’s Summit Tribune by VCC Administrator Anthony Columbatto.

  • Independent Living Residents. I am extraordinarily sorry to report that a second Independent Living resident has died due to complications from the COVID-19 virus.
  • Associates Outside of VAL/VCC. Additionally, five associates outside of Village Assisted Living and the Village Care Center have now tested positive. These include one each in administration, human resources, dining services, renovations, and emergency medical services. Contact tracing was conducted, and further testing was performed in connection with two cases, but no further positive cases were discovered.

I hope each of us is able to honor Thanksgiving tomorrow by reflecting on the blessings in our lives, no matter how small. We can also make time to acknowledge those who might otherwise be seated at our tables – whether we are separated by choice or circumstance. And remember: It’s OK to say, “No thanks, I think I’ll stay home.” It’s OK to wear a mask when others aren’t. It’s OK to distance yourselves from others – for everyone’s protection.  Please be safe.

*Sample news media reports about the Village Care Center:


Nov. 23, 2020

My last update was last Wednesday, and it shared the results of our testing performed during the week.  Today I would like to share a brief update on what has developed since last Wednesday as well as what is scheduled for the rest of the week.

  • Memory Care 2.  This morning we learned that a direct care associate who last worked on Memory Care 2 has tested positive for COVID-19 today.  The associate last worked on Wednesday, Nov. 18 and tested negative on that date.  Out of an abundance of caution, we will test the residents on Memory Care 2 on Tuesday, Nov. 24 and re-test Tuesday, December 1.  All resident families were notified today.
  • Associates.  On Nov. 24 we were already scheduled to perform weekly testing on associates, so this will also serve as associate testing in connection with this newly-reported COVID+ result.
  • Assisted Living.  Also this morning, we re-tested some Assisted Living residents, due to a potential exposure on Nov. 11.
  • Memory Care 3.  Tomorrow, Nov. 24, we will re-test these residents, due to a potential exposure on Nov. 12.

I will keep you apprised of the test results as well as what is going on elsewhere at John Knox Village later in the week.

Until then, take care and be safe.


Nov. 18, 2020

Today I want to share with you the results of the testing performed this week – all of which is good news.

  • Memory Care 3.  On Monday we tested our Memory Care 3 residents, due to a potential exposure on Nov. 12. We received those results back, and I am happy to say all of our residents’ results were negative for the virus.
  • Assisted Living.  On Tuesday we tested some of our Assisted Living residents, due to a potential exposure on Nov. 11.  We received those results back, and I am happy to say all of those residents’ results were negative, too.
  • Associates.  Today we tested more than 120 associates and all of those associates were negative, too.  We still have eight associates who need to be tested, and they will be tested prior to their next scheduled shift.

The results this week allow us to breathe a sigh of relief.  They also afford us the opportunity to bring limited amount of small group activities back to the activity calendars.  When there isn’t a group activity going on, the activities will be either at the doorway, one-on-one, or self-led.

I also need to update you on the status of the rest of the Village.

Independent Living. Two residents have recovered, and one additional Independent Living resident has reported that they have tested positive. No exposures to others were reported.

 Village Care Center. I am distressed to report that we have lost 10 more residents at the VCC. I send my deepest condolences to the families, and to associates here in Village Assisted Living and around the Village who may have provided care for these residents at some point.

Everyone at the VCC is continuing the fight. Unfortunately, the rest of the residents in the front part of memory care and two residents in the back part of the memory care neighborhood now have tested positive. Due to their dementia diagnoses, maintaining mask wearing and physical distancing is a constant challenge. These residents have been moved to isolation, per CMS guidelines.

Outside of memory care, the VCC has experienced the lowest number of new cases since the spread there started several weeks ago. I’m happy to report that, as of Tuesday, there were no new positive tests for long term care residents. Additionally, all of the residents and associates on the Village Rehab Unit tested negative last week. These are encouraging signs.

Elsewhere in the Village. There have been a handful of cases in other areas, but no sign of spread at this time. These include one associate in Public Safety, three in Village Hospice, and two in Village Home Health. In each instance, Public Safety worked with them to conduct contact tracing, and additional testing where needed.

While we did receive good news today with the testing we performed thus far this week, we know now is the time our team must be more vigilant than ever before to stop the virus from entering our buildings.  I know I say this often, but I sincerely mean it when I say, thank you for entrusting your loved ones’ care with us.


Nov. 16, 2020

Late yesterday afternoon we learned of a night shift direct care worker on Memory Care 3 who tested positive for the virus.  This associate last worked Thursday, Nov. 12.  All resident families on Memory Care 3 were notified last evening.  We will test residents on Nov. 17 and re-test residents on Nov. 24.

I will keep you apprised of the test results as we know more.

Rest assured I am still working on the finishing details for inside visitation.  Currently, we have three Plexiglas setups made for inside visitation.  One for apartment 194 in Village Assisted Living, one for the Ambassador room for Memory Care 1, and one for the Family Room on Memory Care 3.  Now we are just waiting for the Plexiglas setup for the family room on Memory Care 2 to be complete by Nov. 20.  Also next week, look for our complete plan on indoor visitation by Wednesday, Nov. 18. Please see below for a picture of the Plexiglas setup.

There has been quite a lot of COVID-19 activity around the campus since I last reported on this, but things do appear to be slowing.

I am very sad to tell you that we have lost our first Independent Living resident due to complications from COVID-19, and that over the last 10 days we lost another eight residents at the Village Care Center due to complications from COVID-19. We continue to grieve with and for their families during this time of ongoing loss. Making these announcements never gets easier. My heart goes out to these families. Yet again, we will have to grieve together while at a distance, because coming together as a community would only endanger more people.

Village Care Center
Things do finally appear to be slowing down here.

  • Case Numbers. The VCC has experienced the lowest number of new cases in since the spread there started six weeks ago.
  • Long Term Care. As part of continued routine testing on the 200 side of LTC, recent results showed only 3 COVID+ residents; all were asymptomatic at the time.
  • Memory Care. All residents in the front part of the VCC memory care tested positive for the virus; they are being isolated in the memory care neighborhood. One resident in the back part tested positive earlier this week.
  • Village Rehab Unit. Only 1 patient tested COVID+. After contact tracing, it appears the exposure was outside of the VCC. In testing all other Village Rehab patients, these results all came back negative.
  • Visits. VCC administration is working hard on a plan that they hope will allow for indoor, in-person visitation during the holidays and moving forward. Needless to say, this will be a flexible plan that will adapt, as needed, to keep everyone safe.

On Monday, Nov. 9, surveyors from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services performed the VCC’s eighth standard infection control survey since the building was closed to visitors. They spent 10 hours examining their COVID-19 policies and procedures, and once again, they did not find any deficiencies nor share any concerns about what the VCC is doing.

Elsewhere in the Village

In other parts of the Village, there also are several new cases of the coronavirus to announce on our campus.

  • Independent Living. Another resident has shared that they tested positive, bringing the IL total to four. Contact tracing has been conducted by Public Safety, and appropriate parties have been contacted.
  • Village Home Health, Dining Services and Emergency Medical Services each had one associate test positive.

All of this needs to be a wake-up call to all of us. COVID-19 spread is VERY high in our area. Intensive Care Units are at 80% of capacity throughout the metro area. Since Oct. 30, the prevalence rate for Jackson County, as well as Missouri and Kansas, have seen their sharpest 7-day increases since April and numbers are continuing to rise. For the sake of your friends and family, PLEASE use ALL layers of COVID protection:

  • DO NOT congregate with people outside of your immediate household.
  • AND keep six feet between you and the next person.
  • AND wear your mask.
  • AND wash your hands for 20 seconds – OFTEN.

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


Nov. 12, 2020

I am pleased to share that we have thoroughly evaluated the results of the re-testing recently conducted both this week and late last week, and we are ready to resume our normal day-to-day on the memory care neighborhoods.

Meals are served in the dining room. Chair exercises and stretches, sing-a-longs, arts and crafts projects, manicures, and of course – playing bingo are all back on the activity calendar!  We will also continue to enjoy the FaceTime, Zoom, and outside walks (weather permitting) as we have been doing all along.

Thank you for your gracious support and encouragement as we worked through this time.  We will continue to work hard every day to keep COVID-19 out of our neighborhoods.

If you have questions about any of this, please do not hesitate to let me know.


Nov. 11, 2020

On Saturday I sent a brief update sharing the status of the previous day’s re-testing of residents in Memory Care 3 and some Assisted Living residents.  (All of those tests came back negative.)

Yesterday we conducted the remaining re-testing needed in Assisted Living, Memory Care 1 and Memory Care 2. These two sets of testing were due to exposures on separate dates. Today we received the results, and we have learned that one Assisted Living resident has tested positive for the virus.

Also today, we conducted our routine associate testing. None of the associates we tested had positive results, but we are still waiting to test about 10 associates. They will remain off the work schedule until tested.

Due to the positive case identified today, residents in the affected wing were notified they would be tested on Nov. 16 and re-tested on Nov. 23.

I will send an email no later than Friday afternoon outlining how we plan to move forward with things given the results from today.

If you have questions about any of this, please do not hesitate to let me know.


Nov. 7, 2020

I want to give you a brief update from the re-testing performed yesterday.

This morning we received all results from the resident PCR re-testing performed on Friday, Nov. 6.  I am pleased to say all results are negative!

We will continue the strategies we have put in place since early October, and until we can analyze the results of the Nov. 10 resident re-testing.


Nov. 5, 2020

My last update to you was on Monday, Nov. 2, so I want to update you on what has happened since then – all of which is an improvement from weeks previous.

Results and Re-Testing 

  • Nov. 2: Memory Care 1. Residents who were exposed Oct. 28 to the positive associate were re-tested. All results were negative.
    • We will complete the final re-test for this exposure on Nov. 10.
  • Nov. 2: Memory Care 2. Residents who may have been exposed to the resident who tested positive Oct. 28, were re-tested. All results were negative.
    • We will complete the final re-tests for this exposure on Nov. 10.
  • Nov. 5: All VAL areas.  One non-direct care associate tested positive for the virus. This associate did not have contact with residents.
    • We will continue weekly associate testing for the foreseeable future.
  • Nov. 6: Assisted Living. Residents who were exposed Oct. 20 to the positive associate will be re-tested.
  • Nov. 10: Assisted Living. residents who were exposed Oct. 28 to that positive associate will be re-tested.

We have taken a big sigh of relief, and also continue to be cautiously optimistic about this week’s negative results. We will continue the strategies we have put in place since early October, and until we can analyze the results of the Nov. 10 resident re-testing.

I wholly understand everyone is eager to see their loved ones.  I am currently working with a variety of networks to ensure we facilitate indoor visits in the safest manner imaginable. However, it is essential we get through the Nov. 10 re-testing to make sure there has been no further spread of COVID-19 to our residents. We also need to finish consulting with various groups about best practices, before we begin scheduling indoor visits. I promise this is a priority for me, and I will do my best to make sure we have a solid plan in place before the holidays are upon us.

One tool we are hearing quite a lot about right now, to prevent COVID-19 from spreading indoors, is good old-fashioned fresh air. Numerous health authorities, including the CDC and the Jackson County Health Department, are emphasizing the importance ample fresh air and good air circulation. Especially as colder weather sets in, and our natural tendency is to seal out the cold, they recommend opening windows and doors as often as possible. The weather this week is going to be absolutely beautiful, so why not start now? We encourage you to take advantage of it by opening up your windows for at least three hours to get some good air circulation in your home.  We’ll be doing the same thing here.

Village Care Center. I am so sorry to report that things are still moving rapidly there.

  • Three more residents passed away from complications due to COVID-19. We are brokenhearted for all of their loved ones and the hurt we know they are experiencing.
  • Unfortunately, the virus has now moved into their memory care neighborhood, and as of Monday they had 35 residents test positive.
  • They are continuing to add to their efforts to contain spread by installing air scrubbers and UV lights in portions of the building, and improving ventilation.
  • I am cheered to hear that the instances of new positives in the 100 and 200 long term care neighborhoods are beginning to slow, and as of Monday, 12 more residents were discharged to their homes from the isolation unit.
  • Six associates have new COVID+ results.

Elsewhere in the Village. Three associates (in administration, maintenance, and communications) have tested positive. One was asymptomatic and has already returned to work, and the other two exhibited symptoms.


Nov. 2, 2020

Yesterday afternoon (Nov. 1), we learned of an Assisted Living resident who tested positive for the virus.  The resident was exhibiting a COVID-19 symptom and was tested on Saturday, Oct. 31 via PCR (laboratory).  We plan to test all associates who came in contact with this resident on Thursday, Nov. 5.

On Sunday the results of the PCR testing performed on Memory Care 3 residents on Saturday, Oct. 31 came back, and all of the results were negative!  We will re-test the Memory Care 3 residents on Friday, Nov. 6 to ensure there is no spread of the virus.


Oct. 30, 2020

Today we received the last two PCR (laboratory) test results from the residents who were potentially exposed to any of the four associates who tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 20.  I am pleased to share those two results were negative.

Yesterday evening we learned of a direct care associate on Memory Care 3 who tested positive for the virus.  This associate last worked Monday, Oct. 26.  All resident families on Memory Care 3 were notified last evening, and all of the residents in this area were tested this morning, using a PCR test.

This morning we also administered rapid tests on associates who had worked with this individual; those results were negative.  We are waiting on two associates to receive rapid testing; they are off of the work schedule until we learn their results.

Finally, the results for residents tested this morning are expected to be back early next week.  I will send an e-mail once we receive these results, and I will include an updated chart at that time.


Oct. 30, 2020

Today we received all but two of the PCR (laboratory) test results from those residents who were potentially exposed to any of the four associates who tested positive for COVID-19 on October 20.  We have learned that two residents have tested positive for the virus.

  • 1 Assisted Living resident
  • 1 Memory Care 2 resident

So far then, the Oct. 28 testing has resulted in 4 positive cases: the two associates we shared about on Wednesday, and the two residents mentioned above. The associates who tested positive have been taken off of the work schedule while they recover, and our two residents who tested positive have been transferred to the isolation unit at the Village Care Center.

Here is how we plan to move forward with each neighborhood:

  • Weekly testing for associates continues next week on Thursday, Nov. 5.
  • Re-testing on Nov. 2 for those Memory Care 1 residents who were exposed to the Memory Care 1 associate who tested positive on Oct. 28.  We will also re-test Memory Care 2 residents on Nov. 2.  On Nov. 6 we will re-test Assisted Living residents who were potentially exposed to the associate who tested positive on Oct. 28.
  • Assisted Living.  With residents wearing face coverings and maintaining proper social distancing, we will begin a slow reopening, starting with the reopening Fireside Dining on Tuesday, Nov. 3.  Activities will be offered in doorways again, beginning on Monday, Nov. 2.
  • Memory Care 1.  We have had no recent cases of COVID-19 on this neighborhood. However, due to the recent exposure, we will continue to remain cautious and encourage residents to spend as much time in their apartment as able and continue to offer meals at the bedside.
  • Memory Care 2.  This neighborhood has had four residents and one team member test positive for the virus this month. In order to mitigate the spread of the virus, we will continue to encourage residents to stay in their apartment and offer meals at the bedside in lieu of the dining room.
  • Memory Care 3.  They have had no cases of COVID-19 this month, so today we will resume normal activities, including meals in the dining room.

I remain cautiously optimistic about the results we had this week.  We will continue with our weekly testing of employees for the foreseeable future.

I also promised to update you on the presence of COVID-19 elsewhere on the Village campus:

  • Village Care Center. I am also incredibly sorry to report that three more Village Care Center residents passed away from complications due to COVID-19. Their passing and their loved ones’ grief weighs very heavy on all our hearts.

Unfortunately, the VCC continues to find new cases. On Wednesday, Oct. 28, they reported that they had 7 residents who tested positive during routine testing of all 200-side long-term care neighborhood (LTC) residents; and 9 associate cases which are from all over the building and do not seem to have a relationship to each other. Their memory care neighborhood is now also involved. Earlier this week, 1 direct care associate there tested positive, so they administered rapid tests for all residents in the front part of the MC neighborhood, initially yielding 7 positive results. These are the first in this area of the VCC.

The VCC is taking following actions, based on the recommendations of an industrial hygienist. Air scrubbers equipped with HEPA filters were installed in the isolation unit last week, as well as additional air scrubbers for each hall of the 200 side of long term care. They also are adding special UV lighting, and using a third party to deep clean and sanitize the long-term care areas daily.

  • Independent Living. Finally, I need to share that 2 residents in Independent Living at the Village have tested positive. One spouse is being treated at a hospital, the other is asymptomatic. Public safety is assessing the situation to determine any further actions.

Oct. 28, 2020

Today we completed our third round of rapid testing on all associates in Assisted Living, Memory Care 1, Memory Care 2, and Memory Care 3.  Plus, we used a PCR (laboratory) test to collect specimens from those residents who were potentially exposed to any of the four associates who tested positive on Oct. 20.

As a result of this round of rapid testing, 2 associates tested positive.

  • 1 direct care Assisted Living associate. Last worked Oct. 24.  Had a negative rapid test on Oct. 20.
  • 1 direct care Memory Care 1 associate. Last worked on Oct. 27.  Had a negative rapid test on Oct. 20.

Our team has contacted both the residents and the families of residents who were potentially exposed to these two associates, and all of these residents were swabbed today as well. I hope to receive all the resident test results back from the laboratory by Friday.  I will keep everyone apprised of those results just as soon as I have them.

Due to the results still pending, we will continue to encourage residents to remain in their apartments as much as possible. Meals will continue to be delivered to apartments and outside visits will remain canceled.  Staff will continue wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

If there are questions, please let me know.  I will have another email this week with more information about the presence of COVID-19 on the John Knox Village campus, and I will include an updated chart summarizing where we stand.

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


Oct. 28, 2020

Today we completed our third round of rapid testing on all associates in Assisted Living, Memory Care 1, Memory Care 2, and Memory Care 3.  Plus, we used a PCR (laboratory) test to collect specimens from those residents who were potentially exposed to any of the four associates who tested positive on Oct. 20.

As a result of this round of rapid testing, 2 associates tested positive.

  • 1 direct care Assisted Living associate. Last worked Oct. 24.  Had a negative rapid test on Oct. 20.
  • 1 direct care Memory Care 1 associate. Last worked on Oct. 27.  Had a negative rapid test on Oct. 20.

Our team has contacted both the residents and the families of residents who were potentially exposed to these two associates, and all of these residents were swabbed today as well. I hope to receive all the resident test results back from the laboratory by Friday.  I will keep everyone apprised of those results just as soon as I have them.

Due to the results still pending, we will continue to encourage residents to remain in their apartments as much as possible. Meals will continue to be delivered to apartments and outside visits will remain canceled.  Staff will continue wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

If there are questions, please let me know.  I will have another email this week with more information about the presence of COVID-19 on the John Knox Village campus, and I will include an updated chart summarizing where we stand.

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


Oct. 26, 2020

Yesterday we were notified that a non-direct care associate tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, Oct. 25. The individual tested negative for the virus on Oct. 22 and last worked Oct. 21. I am not concerned about the spread of the virus from this individual to our residents or associates.

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, we will test all associates, plus any residents who were potentially exposed to any of the four associates who tested positive last Tuesday (Oct. 20). Residents will have a nasopharyngeal tests (PCR) test. These are the only residents being tested, and they and their families were notified on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

Village Updates

Village Care Center. I am so sorry to say that we have lost another resident of the Village Care Center to the coronavirus. We, and they, are deeply saddened by this loss. To aid in their efforts to control additional spread, the VCC has continued its routine testing, and as of last Friday found NO new positives in their 300 or 400 neighborhoods. There were 10 associates who tested positive, mostly in long term care. About half were asymptomatic. All other associate and resident tests there came back negative.

Elsewhere in the Village. Five associates who work outside of our licensed facilities tested positive last week, including three in dining services who had no, or limited contact with residents. Coworkers were tested and thus far results have been negative.

If you have questions about any of this, please do not hesitate to let me know.

 

Oct. 17, 2020
I want to begin by saying thank you for bearing with us as we worked through the expansive testing on Tuesday.  The testing team worked throughout the day, carefully procuring specimens, as gently as possible, and the same team will be ready to do follow-up testing on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

We will begin testing the associates at 7 a.m., then will start testing the residents after breakfast; we hope to be wrapped up by the end of the day.  I will make sure you have an email with results of the testing before I leave.  If we have a positive result, we will make sure to call the family right away.  My prayer is that we do not have to make a call to one family member.

Until the second round of testing is complete and we understand the results, we are continuing to encourage residents to remain in their apartments as much as possible; meals are being delivered to apartments; outside visits are canceled; and until we know the outcome, activities are suspended.

This is a good time for me to update you about what is happening elsewhere on campus regarding the coronavirus and how we are responding to it. My last few letters to you have been filled with so many details about Village Assisted Living I felt it would add confusion to also try to include this information.

The Village Care Center has had a number of new positive resident and associate cases in their 100 and 200 sides of long term care. They have been responding to this as proactively as possible by increasing the level of infection control measures, moving residents quickly to isolation unit rooms, stepping up monitoring of vital signs, and regular testing of all associates, as well as the residents in the affected areas of the building. A new isolation unit has been created in the VCC to accommodate these outbreaks. Nearly all their COVID+ residents have only mild to moderate symptoms, and some are asymptomatic.

I would like to point out that while the numbers of positive test results are growing, the number of recovered residents and associates also goes up every week. To help you keep up with this flow, we’ve re-designed our reporting chart at the bottom of our communications, and have added a column showing “Active Cases,” to go along with “Recovered,” “Cumulative Totals (from 3/14/20 until now).” I am sad to say that we have added one more column because John Knox Village has had its first resident die in connection with COVID-19. The patient was already receiving hospice care and actively dying, but our medical director believes the virus accelerated this person’s condition. My heart goes out to this person’s loved ones.

Additionally, one associate who offices outside of VAL and VCC and has had limited contact with Village residents tested positive recently. The Village has been in contact with any residents who may need to be tested due to this.

Thank you for your patience as we move through this very challenging time for everyone involved.  I know the uncertainty of the situation has everyone a bit uneasy, but I can assure you we work hard each day to ensure the right things are happening to  keep COVID-19 out of the buildings.

Oct. 13, 2020

Today we completed rapid testing on all residents in Assisted Living, Memory Care 1, Memory Care 2, and Memory Care 3, as well as all of the associates who worked in these areas over the last ten days.  All in all, we completed roughly 265 rapid tests today.

As a result of the testing completed today, one Assisted Living resident tested positive for the virus.  The resident is asymptomatic and is in the process of being transferred to the Village Care Center isolation unit.

The associates we tested today, 130 to be exact, all came back negative.  We have 14 more associates that we still need to swab, and we hope to have those complete this week, but until then, none of the 14 associates are on the schedule to work until they are tested.

The second round of testing will occur on Tuesday, Oct. 20. I am amazed at the results so far – and cautiously optimistic.  Until the second round of testing is complete, we continue to encourage residents to remain in their apartments as much as possible; meals are being delivered to apartments; outside visits are canceled; and until testing is complete Tuesday, activities are suspended.

If there is one thing we have learned over these seven months since the pandemic began, it is that we must conduct the second round of testing to be as knowledgeable as possible about where the virus may be.

I can assure you we are thoughtfully and carefully approaching each of these positive cases with an abundance of caution for our residents and our team.  If you have any questions about any of this, please do not hesitate to let me know.

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

RESIDENTS
ASSOCIATES

Active Cases
Recovered
Cumulative Totals 
Deaths
Active Cases
Recovered
Cumulative Totals 
Village Care Center
(as of 10/13/20)
21
11
32
1
27
36
63
Village Assisted Living
(as of 10/13/20)
3
2
5

 2
9
11
All Village areas outside of
VCC and VAL
(as of 10/13/20)

2
9
11

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

Oct. 12, 2020

I am writing to give you an update on Village Assisted Living’s COVID-19 response.

Today we learned that a direct care associate tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, Oct. 10.  Prior to this result, the associate worked in Assisted Living, Memory Care 1, and Memory Care 3.

Potentially-exposed residents and their families were notified today.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, we will conduct facility-wide testing on all associates who have worked over the past 10 days as well as all of the residents in Village Assisted Living and Village Assisted Living Memory Care.  We will use a rapid test that delivers results in about fifteen minutes.  We will re-test all associates and residents using the rapid test early next week.

Throughout our neighborhoods, we are encouraging residents to remain in their apartments as much as possible; meals are being delivered to apartments; outside visits are canceled; and until testing is complete tomorrow, activities are suspended.

In an abundance of caution, weekly testing of associates may continue if we learn from the testing on Oct. 13 that the virus is more-present in our facility.  There is no better way to combat the spread of COVID-19 than knowing if and where it is in the buildings.  Rest assured, we are still conducting our pre-shift screenings, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, monitoring our residents’ vital signs four times per day, and conducting the screening questions twice a day.

If there is anything that you can recommend to us to help the time pass for your loved one during this time in which we are limiting movement throughout the buildings, please do not hesitate to let me; memory care activity coordinator klennard@jkv.org; assisted living activity coordinator tcalegari@jkv.org; or assisted living activity assistant ccampbell3@jkv.org know.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases*:
Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/12/20:

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 4 residents and 12 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • RECOVERIES: 2 residents and 9 associates have recovered from COVID-19

*We are currently conducting an audit of our records to ensure the accuracy of our numbers. The full chart will return in my next letter. 

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

Oct. 9, 2020

I am writing to give you an update on Village Assisted Living’s COVID-19 response.

On Tuesday, October 6 we learned of a non-direct care associate on Memory Care 2 who tested positive for COVID-19.

On Thursday, October 8 we obtained swabs on all of the fifteen residents in Memory Care 2, as well as all of the staff who came in contact with the positive associate.

Today we received all resident results and are waiting on one associate result from the testing.

At this time, two residents and one direct care associate tested positive for the virus through this round of testing; both residents and the associate are asymptomatic.  We have notified all families on the Memory Care 2 neighborhood of the results, and the two residents who tested positive have been transferred to the Village Care Center Isolation unit.

Due to the three positive cases today in Memory Care 2, on Tuesday, October 13 we will conduct additional testing for all of the residents and all of the staff who worked the day shift in Memory Care 2 from October 6 – 9.  I will keep you apprised of the one result that is still pending, as well as the results from the scheduled testing next week.

Also today, we were notified that a non-direct care staff member who works on all three memory care neighborhoods tested positive for the virus. The associate is asymptomatic and last worked the Memory Care 2 and Memory Care 3 neighborhoods on Thursday, October 8, and on the Memory Care 1 neighborhood on Tuesday, October 6.  This associate tested negative on October 7.

Due to the potential exposure to residents on Memory Care 3, on Tuesday, October 13 we will also conduct testing for all of the residents on Memory Care 3 out of an abundance of caution, as well as any staff who may have been in contact with this associate.

The entire team at Village Assisted Living is working diligently to contain the spread of the virus to protect your loved ones. We continue to have all staff on the Memory Care 2 neighborhood wear N95 masks and appropriate personal protective equipment. On all three Memory Care neighborhoods, we are monitoring vital signs four times per day, and, as of today, all meals are delivered to the residents’ rooms and residents are encouraged to stay in their rooms.  (I know this will be agitating for some, but we will do our best to gently re-direct them or help them find ways to stay occupied.)

We are also canceling our outside visits on the Memory Care neighborhoods until further notice.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:
Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/9/20:

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 4 residents and 11 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • RECOVERIES: 2 residents and 9 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/6/20:

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 32 residents and 45 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • RECOVERIES: 11 residents and 29 associates have recovered from COVID-19
  • DEATHS: 1 resident

All Village areas outside of VCC and VALCumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/9/20 

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 11 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • RECOVERIES: 9 associates have recovered from COVID-19

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

Oct. 2, 2020

I apologize. A lot has happened since I last updated you on the presence of COVID-19 at John Knox Village outside of Village Assisted Living, and I think it’s important that you understand the latest events across campus at the Village Care Center. I know this is a long message, but please read it. We want you to feel fully informed.

Sept. 21: The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services conducted a focused infection control survey, due to positive resident test results the week before. They cited zero deficiencies and said they believe we are doing everything in our control to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Sept. 24: The VCC announced that three new residents had tested positive for COVID-19 through follow-up testing surrounding the cases that were diagnosed the week before. One resident was from the Village Rehab Unit and the other two lived in the 100 side of long term care (LTC). They were transferred to the Isolation Unit.

Sept. 27: All VCC residents who had previously tested positive were doing well and remained asymptomatic. Unfortunately, in that week’s routine testing of all VCC associates, nine additional associates yielded positive test results. All were asymptomatic at the time and did not appear to have any connection to one another. Additional infection control procedures were put in place to provide more protection for residents.

Sept. 30:  The VCC notified families that weekly testing showed that four additional associates tested positive. Also, four additional residents tested COVID+. All live in the 100 side of LTC, were initially asymptomatic, and were moved to the Isolation Unit. During this time, several residents also recovered and were discharged back to their rooms.

In his family communication, Village Care Center Administrator Anthony Columbatto shared his thoughts, saying:

“I will be honest with you. 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.”

TODAY, Anthony shared the following information:

Dear VCC Loved Ones,

This is an e-mail I hoped I would never have to write.  We are experiencing a very real outbreak of COVID-19 within the 100 side of the long-term care (LTC) neighborhood. It is important to me that you know the facts and know what we are doing to address the situation.

Yesterday, we learned of 8 new residents testing COVID+ in that portion of the VCC, in addition to the four I wrote about on Wednesday evening.  At this time, approximately half of them, including the four from Wednesday, are displaying mild symptoms.  The rest remain asymptomatic.  While this is awful news, all other residents’ and associates’ tests have come back negative.  

Additionally, I am devastated to say that we have had our first resident death associated with COVID-19.  While the resident was already on hospice, Dr. Twenter, our medical director, believes that COVID-19 accelerated the resident’s condition. We are all heartbroken that this person’s family has had this added to their grief.

All of our work since March has prepared us for this reality. The state health department has visited several times over the past 6 months to review our infection control processes and procedures, and each time they have said we’re doing all of the right things.

Our goal now is to continue to isolate the virus to 100-side of LTC and will continue to be aggressive in our efforts to treat residents’ symptoms.  All residents who have tested COVID+ have been moved to the isolation unit.  The rest of the 100 neighborhood residents are isolating in their rooms, to limit further spread.  

In the rest of the building we are: 

  • Limiting associates to working on only one neighborhood to avoid any chance of cross-contamination
  • Providing all associates with surgical masks
  • Allowing residents to engage in activities on their neighborhood
  • Continued weekly testing of all associates
  • Monitoring blood pressure, temperature, and oxygen levels twice daily
  • Ongoing staff education
  • Performing routine handwashing audits

To be honest, we are all devastated.  While each of us has mentally prepared for this moment to arrive, we were always hopeful, and have worked tirelessly, in the hope we would avoid it.  I know that you, too, are concerned for the health and wellbeing of all who live and work here. We are resolved to continue to work relentlessly to fight this battle and mitigate the spread.  

As we have seen throughout the world, this virus is relentless. We must fight just as relentlessly to prevent its spread throughout this metro area.  It is imperative that each of us remains vigilant in our defenses as we work to fight this battle.

As I have said on numerous occasions, nursing homes are, and will remain, the canary in the coal mine for what is happening in the broader community.  We are now seeing an outbreak in an abundance of nursing homes within Eastern Jackson County. 

 Those of us who work in the VCC live “out there.” Each time the county’s infection rate rises, so does the likelihood that, no matter how careful we are, we might inadvertently bring it back to work with us. Please help us advocate for safe practices every day: 

Stay six feet apart.  Wear a mask.  Wash your hands.  

 Stay safe,
Anthony

Please know that John Knox Village is putting forth an extraordinary effort to mitigate the presence of COVID-19 on our campus. We care deeply about all who live and work here and the loved ones who are having to watch and listen from a distance. We will continue to be transparent about what is happening here and I will be sure to update you weekly in the future.

Please also remember that most of those who have tested positive at the Village have had few or no symptoms and have recovered. Please see the chart below, which we update each time we share information. Thank you for your ongoing support, care and concern.

To summarize the Village’s current status with COVID-19 cases:
Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/2/20:

  • CUMULATIVE TOTALS: 23 residents and 41 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • RECOVERIES: 10 residents and 27 associates have recovered from COVID-19
  • DEATHS: 1 resident

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 10/2/20:

  • 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 10/2/20 

  • 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.

Please help us keep the Village safe. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Stay safe.

Sept. 18, 2020

We learned yesterday evening that a direct care associate on Memory Care 1 who was swabbed on Sept. 16 has tested positive for COVID-19. This person was exposed to someone outside of Village Assisted Living who was positive for the virus and was swabbed as a precaution.  The most recent shift worked by this associate, who works only occasionally, was on September 7.  Per the Jackson County Health Department, because the associate is asymptomatic, and enough time elapsed between their last shift and the date of diagnosis, we will not be conducting additional testing at this time.

Also, on Sept. 15, the Village Assisted Living team retested associates who came in contact with a non-direct care employee on Memory Care 3 who, as we previously announced, has no patient interaction and very little face-to-face interaction with staff who tested positive for the virus. We have received all results back, and I am pleased to report all of these results have come back negative!

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

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/18/20:

  • 2 residents and 9 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 2 residents and 8 associates have recovered from COVID-19

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

All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL

Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 9/18/20

  • 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.

As we keep reinforcing with our associates, please stay safe, keep your distance, wash your hands often, wear your mask, and protect others from COVID-19.

Aug. 26, 2020

We learned yesterday afternoon that a direct care associate who was swabbed on Monday, Aug. 24 has tested positive for COVID-19. This was part of our group testing scheduled after an AL (non-memory care) resident tested positive on Aug. 21. (See my Aug. 21 letter.)  The most recent shift worked by this associate, who is asymptomatic, was on Aug. 18.  All others tested as part of this group received negative results.

The Jackson County Health Department’s current guidance is to test those who had contact with someone having a positive result two days prior to diagnosis. In this case, that date would be Aug. 21. Since this person hasn’t worked since Aug. 18, we will not be conducting additional testing at this time.

To be extra safe, though, and per the direction of the John Village Medical director, we will increase vital sign checks from two times a day to four in Assisted Living and in Memory Care 1, 2 and 3.  At this time, all our residents and associates are asymptomatic.

We are working hard to prevent COVID-19 from entering the building and we continue to remain diligent in following our infection control procedures day in and day out. Thank you, again, for your continued support.

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

Village Assisted Living: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/26/20:

  • 2 residents and 6 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 1 resident and 5 associates have recovered from COVID-19

Village Care Center: Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/26/20:

  • 5 residents and 17 associates have had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 4 residents and 15 associates have recovered from COVID-19

 All Village areas outside of VCC and VAL:

Cumulative Totals from 3/14/20 to 8/26/20:

  • 6 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.

Aug. 18, 2020

Last week was a busy week, including two notifications of associates with positive test results for COVID-19.  Watch for a separate e-mail with details on the results of all the testing that was completed, but for now I will quickly share that all of the testing we have completed came back negative!

Today I’d like to update you on what else is going on.

Flu Shots: On Wednesday, Sept. 23, Symbria® RX Services will be on site to administer flu shots to our residents.  Flu shots are going to be especially important this year, as the continued presence of the coronavirus in our nation could make flu season even more dangerous. Residents in assisted living will receive their flu shot in the Ambassador Meeting Room from 9 am – 12 pm, and our memory care neighborhoods will follow suit.  Our nursing staff will ensure that residents have the proper paperwork completed prior to the vaccination.  If you have questions, please contact your loved one’s nurses’ station to get more information:

  • Memory Care I – 347-2353
  • Memory Care II – 347-2360
  • Memory Care III – 347-2770

Outside Visits: I hear so many great things about our outside visits!  Thank you for your continued support.  These in-person visits mean so much to the residents, and your compliance with the visitation guidelines helps ensure that we can continue offering them.  Please continue to sign up using the Sign Up Genius website using your loved one’s room number in lieu of his/her name.

I can’t thank you enough for your continued trust with Village Assisted Living as we navigate these unprecedented times together.  If there is anything you need, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Aug. 14, 2020

I have some important updates to share with you regarding COVID-19 testing here at Village Assisted Living and our Memory Care 2 neighborhood.

First, we have received all but two of the results back for the associates who were potentially exposed to a co-worker who tested positive on Aug. 10. I am happy to report that all the results from the Aug. 13 collection are negative. This is great news, especially when coupled with the news that all the residents who participated in follow-up testing on Aug. 12 also were negative.

Second, late this afternoon I learned that a caregiver on the Memory Care 2 neighborhood has tested positive for the virus. The associate last worked on Aug. 2 and has not been in the building since then. On Aug. 10, this individual developed symptoms associated with COVID-19 and was tested on Aug. 12.

Because of the positive result, the residents of Memory Care 2, as well as the associates who came into contact with the individual will be tested starting tomorrow morning, per recommendations from state guidelines. All associates, residents and responsible family members have already been notified that the testing will take place.

I will keep you apprised of the results and hope to be able to share good news with you in coming days. Please know, the safety and wellbeing of our residents and associates is my top priority, and we are doing all we can to limit any possible presence of COVID-19 in our buildings.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, and I will do my best to answer them.

July 20, 2020

Today I have all sorts of good news to share!

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 be answer the COVID-19 screening questions, have temperature taken, and will follow all infection control requirements, including wearing masks.

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 and on July 16 we began small group activities (with less than 10 people).  We will continue to cautiously bring more services online, so stay tuned for more information.

July 1, 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 14, 2020

Dear Village Assisted Living Residents and Families,

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
  • Enhanced infection control precautions
  • 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 Memory Care or Village Assisted Living residents or employees.

On late Friday afternoon, the administrator of our Village Care Center, the director of nursing for 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 salons may begin to reopen, as well as the possibility of creating a visiting space in our memory care courtyards where residents and families could visit. Some immediate good news is that a work group has been set up by DHSS to evaluate our Village Care Center’s proposal for its residents and families to visit in its courtyards, using a Plexiglass setup. If approved for the Village Care Center, our memory care neighborhoods would quickly follow suit in implementing the approved visitation plan. 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.

I will continue to keep you updated on our phased reopening plans as quickly as I can. 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.

April 27, 2020

I wanted to touch base and let you know how things are going in our memory care neighborhoods.

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 several new and exciting technologies that we are implementing.  I believe both will help us with the limitations we are experiencing in this stage of the pandemic.

First, 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 neighborhoods as possible. We are also assisting with telehealth visits for Saint Luke’s Health System, HCA, and other healthcare providers when requested.

Second, on Monday we began using a computer app called Linked Senior, which adds another layer to our activity program. The response to this application, which is rooted in dementia and geriatric research, has been great! Our goal with Linked Senior is to actively engage all residents with fun and interactive activities.  The modules provide stimulation and meaningful interaction, linking residents’ personal experiences with activities such as games, brain fitness, music therapy, reminiscing and other therapeutic interventions, no matter the person’s current cognitive ability. Our residents love that it is person-centered, and it brings back great memories – including their favorite musical groups or places they have traveled!

Third, we are happy to help you stay in contact with your loved one by adding more time slots for FaceTime visits.  Please reach out to our memory care activity coordinator, Kristin klennard@jkv.org or our clinical supervisor, Samantha sgladney@jkv.org to schedule your time to FaceTime.  Please work with either Kristin or Samantha to streamline the process.

Finally, 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.