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4.09.20 COVID-19 UPDATE

Today in Isaiah we read, “The Lord God is my help”!   We call on our God to help each of us as we travel life’s journey.

As a community, we are all sacrificing by the “stay at home” and “social distancing” orders issued by the State in an effort to slow the number of people infected by COVID-19 that require hospital care.  As predicted, the next two weeks will be the hardest yet, and our three skilled nursing facilities are seeing an increase in the number of residents showing signs of infection, despite our best efforts to stop the spread.

For those residents impacted, the responsible party and physician have been notified and only residents with symptoms requiring hospitalization are being sent out.  For many, we are able to manage symptoms in the facility and care is being coordinated under the supervision of our medical directors.

The lack of testing for COVID-19 for both residents and staff make it impossible to identify infection timely.  Even if testing gets faster, it’s too late to change what has already put in motion.  In addition, positive results have taken more than a week to confirm, and in many cases results have not been shared with the nursing home.  So we have moved beyond prevention to caring for residents with COVID-19 with limited personal protective equipment.

As a result, we have been working to create additional isolation space within our facilities with staff dedicated to serving positive residents. As of Sunday, April 5, 2020, we implemented our emergency plan which provides nursing personnel 1.5 times their rate of pay to retain staff and provides 2.0 times regular pay for nursing staff working in our COVID-19 units.  Additionally, we are contracting with several travel nurse staffing agencies to secure contracted nurses and certified nursing assistants to prevent our loyal staff from burnout due to the shortage of personnel in our community.

Our focus continues to be meeting the needs of our residents despite the obstacles faced on a daily basis and working with our hospital partners to accept our residents returning from the hospital with a positive diagnosis.

We are walking in faith that there will be government assistance to provide the financial resources needed to remain financially viable through this pandemic.  To date, none of the government stimulus packages provide for timely financial assistance that is needed to carry the additional cost being incurred to care for our residents.

Please pray with Psalm 69 – Lord, in your great love, answer me” knowing that God answers our prayers.

May God’s grace surround us as we approach Easter!

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