COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

To view the current COVID activity by location, please click here.

Holiday Visiting Guidance - November 19, 2020

In their continued effort to promote the health and safety of residents living in senior living settings, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed guidance for visiting during the holidays. Our locations have been following the guidance and requirements of CMS throughout this pandemic and are supportive of their continued direction during these unprecedented times.  CMS has previously provided guidance on visiting at a nursing facility which takes into consideration the status of COVID cases within the facility and within the greater community. For the holidays, CMS recommends against taking loved ones out of the nursing facility because doing so increases a resident’s risk for exposure to COVID-19. If residents and families do decide to go out of the facility for the holidays, CMS has provided additional recommendations which can be found in this alert. Medicalodges nursing facilities and Gran Villas also strongly recommend against residents leaving the facility for holiday gatherings and will be adhering to these recommendations. The ability to accommodate holiday outings with family or friends will take into consideration the capacity of the location to isolate returning residents in private rooms upon their return. Residents and families/friends should plan for 14 days of isolation upon return to the facility and potentially an extended period of time residing with family or friends outside the facility until isolation rooms become available. Because of these limitations, please arrange holiday outings with your specific location. We express our sincere gratitude for your support in helping to protect our residents as we navigate these challenging times. This year’s holiday celebrations will undoubtedly be different than we have ever seen before, but together we can find safe ways for our residents to enjoy the holidays with their family and friends.

November 13, 2020 Letter

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

The fast approaching holiday season will present new challenges as we continue to navigate through this pandemic. We were hoping to have more options for visiting in our locations however our surrounding communities and the entire Midwest have experienced a surge in cases of COVID. Our locations continue to provide creative options in keeping residents engaged while maintaining precautions for preventing the spread of the illness. One location recently created an outdoor “Pumpkin Patch” where local children were able to pick treats from the patch while residents observed and enjoyed safely from inside. Our residents were also able to exercise their voting rights in the recent election. There are many more fun and creative activities planned through the holiday season. Pictures from activities in our locations are posted daily on our facebook pages at

https://www.facebook.com/medicalodges/

https://www.facebook.com/GranVillasAssistedLiving

https://www.facebook.com/newhopepittsburg

The holiday season unfortunately does not change the current visiting limitations we are required to follow and as such, we will not be hosting holiday parties for residents and their family and friends in any of our locations this year. Our COVID alert page at www.medicalodges.com is updated each week with COVID activity and identifies locations which have restricted visiting due to elevated county COVID positivity rates or outbreak testing at the location. For those locations that are able to allow limited visiting, arrangements must be made in advance.

We know many residents will be considering going home with family or friends for get-togethers or holiday dinners. The ability to accommodate holiday outings with family or friends will be determined by each location and will take into consideration the capacity of the location to isolate returning residents in private rooms upon their return. Residents and families/friends should plan for 14 days of isolation upon return to the facility and potentially an extended period of time residing with family or friends outside the facility until isolation rooms become available. Because of these limitations, please arrange holiday outings with your specific location. 

On a brighter note, availability of a coronavirus vaccine is very near and is reported to be 90% effective in preventing COVID. Residents and healthcare workers in congregate senior living settings have been prioritized to receive the vaccine before it is available to the general public. Our locations stand at the ready to administer the vaccine as soon as it becomes available. In the coming weeks, be looking for a vaccine consent form, sign and return promptly so as not to delay administration of the vaccine. We strongly encourage all residents to take the vaccine and will be encouraging our employees to do the same.

Our locations have managed through this pandemic despite numerous challenges and no doubt there will be more, but we have been able to adapt. Our testing results are showing significantly lower numbers than the positivity rates in the surrounding community for both our residents and employees. We have been able to secure sufficient supplies of protective equipment (PPE) and have developed good relationships with our local health departments, largely due to the diligence of our dedicated employees who have gone above and beyond and willingly made personal sacrifices. We are truly thankful for our employees, and for the ongoing support from our residents, families and friends.

Sincerely,

Shannon Lager RN, BSN
Vice President & Chief Operations Officer

Medicalodges, Inc.

September 23, 2020 Letter

To Our Residents and Family Members:

Since our last update the residents and employees of Medicalodges Gardner were tested for COVID on September 17th. No additional positive cases were identified in residents or employees. Medicalodges Gardner total positive cases remains at one former employee and 1 contract individual. The next scheduled testing date for residents and employees is September 24th.

We will continue testing all our residents and employees, including contract employees weekly until two series of testing returns all negative results for both residents and employees and there has been a period of at least 14 days since the last identified positive case in either a resident or employee. The last positive result was identified on September 7th so we anticipate the testing this week to be the last round of resident testing as long as no additional residents or employees test positive in the interim. Employees will continue to be tested based on the positivity rates in Johnson county in order to remain in compliance with CMS requirements. Employees are currently being tested weekly.

We will contact you if you or your loved one is suspected to have, is diagnosed with or tests positive for COVID-19. All previously reported mitigation efforts remain in place and will remain in place for the foreseeable future, including restricted visitation at the facility

We will provide a new update when results from the most recent testing become available. We know you may have questions and we encourage you to contact us at 913-856-6520. 

September 17, 2020 Letter

To Our Residents and Family Members:

Since our last update the residents and employees of Medicalodges Gardner were tested for COVID on September 10th. No additional positive cases were identified in residents or employees. Medicalodges Gardner total positive cases is one former employee and 1 contract individual. The next scheduled testing date for residents and employees is September 17th.

We will continue testing all our residents and employees, including contract employees weekly until two series of testing returns all negative results for both residents and employees and there has been a period of at least 14 days since the last identified positive case in either a resident or employee. The last positive result was identified on September 7th so we anticipate the last round of resident testing to occur the week of September 21st as long as no additional residents or employees test positive in the interim. Employees will continue to be tested based on the positivity rates in Johnson county in order to remain in compliance with CMS requirements. 

We will contact you if you or your loved one is suspected to have, is diagnosed with or tests positive for COVID-19. All previously reported mitigation efforts remain in place and will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

We will provide a new update at least weekly as results from the most recent testing become available. We know you may have questions and we encourage you to contact us at 913-856-6520.

September 9, 2020 Letter

To Our Residents and Family Members:

Since our last update Medicalodges Gardner tested residents and employees in response to the former employee testing positive for COVID. As a result of this testing, one additional contract employee was identified as having tested positive for COVID. This individual has been restricted from working at the facility. No residents have tested positive at this time. Medicalodges Gardner total positive cases is 1 former employee and 1 contract individual.

We will continue testing all our residents and employees, including contract employees one to two times weekly until two series of testing returns all negative results for both residents and employees and there has been a period of at least 14 days since the last identified positive case in either a resident or employee. We will contact you if you or your loved one is suspected to have, is diagnosed with or tests positive for COVID-19.

We will continue with our measures to prevent the spread of the virus as much as possible. These measures include increased frequency of monitoring residents and employees for COVID-19 symptoms, isolating residents with symptoms and restricting from work employees and contract individuals who have symptoms. Group dining and group activities will continue to be restricted. Residents are restricted to their rooms, including for meals, and are expected to wear a mask if they must leave their room. Our employees will continue to utilize all appropriate protective equipment until further notice and visitors will continue to be restricted. Unfortunately, having positive cases within the facility will further delay our plans for reopening.

We will provide a new update at least weekly as results from the most recent testing become available. We know you may have questions and we encourage you to contact us at 913-856-6520, but please be patient as our focus currently is caring for our residents and preventing the further spread of the virus.

September 4, 2020 Letter

To Our Residents and Family Members:

We want to notify you that a former employee of Medicalodges Gardner has tested positive with COVID-19. The former employee last worked on Monday August 31st and reported no symptoms at that time. Please know we are strictly adhering to guidance from the CDC and directions from the state and local health departments to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps. We will be testing all our residents and employees in the coming days and will continue to test one to two times weekly for the foreseeable future. We will contact you if you or your loved one is suspected to have, is diagnosed with or tests positive for COVID-19.

Resident safety is our top priority and we are doing what we can to prevent as much as possible the spread of COVID-19. All our employees will be utilizing all appropriate protective equipment until further notice. We do have adequate supplies of protective equipment. We have increased the frequency of monitoring residents and employees for COVID-19 symptoms, isolating residents with symptoms and restricting from work employees who have symptoms. Group dining and group activities are restricted. Residents are restricted to their rooms, including for meals, and are expected to wear a mask if they must leave their room. Visitors continue to be restricted.

We know you may have questions and we encourage you to contact us at 913-856-6520, but please be patient as our focus currently is caring for our residents and preventing the further spread of the virus.

We also understand connecting with family members is important to our residents. Family and friends are encouraged to connect with their loved ones through video chat, calling, texting, or other social media formats and our employees are here to help facilitate those connections.

Medicalodges Gardner remains true to our mission to serve and enhance the lives of others. We are very appreciative of all the support and understanding we have received from resident families, friends, employees and the community. Additional updates will be on our Medicalodges Gardner website at www.medicalodgesgardner.com on our COVID-19 alert page. Please plan on at minimum weekly updates. Thank you all for the cooperation and support.

Sincerely,
Tracy Bartley
Administrator
Medicalodges Gardner

June 1, 2020 Letter

Dear Residents, Families, Friends and Visitors,

As our surrounding communities and businesses begin to return to normal and open up we want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their ongoing support. This has certainly not been easy for anyone. We also want to provide information on how our Medicalodges, Gran Villas and New Hope locations will be impacted.

Many areas continue to see positive cases of COVID-19 and community transmission. As businesses begin to reopen, travel restrictions and gathering restrictions eased and eliminated, we can expect to see continued new cases in our communities. The individuals we care for remain at extremely high risk for illness, hospitalization and even death due to COVID-19.  It is estimated that 40% of the deaths caused by COVID-19 have been in those who reside in long term care facilities and other congregate living communities.  For these reasons, our Medicalodges, Gran Villas and New Hope communities will continue with our current processes to prevent as much as possible the introduction of the virus into our locations. These efforts include, among other things:

  • Restricted access to our locations to essential personnel only
  • Restricted visiting with the exception of compassionate and end of life situations only
  • Strict adherence to hand hygiene, cough etiquette and use of face masks for all who enter our locations
  • Social distancing for residents as much as possible including no communal dining or large group activities
  • Monitoring of employees and residents for symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature
  • Restricted entry of any individual with a temperature or other symptoms of COVID-19, travel restrictions or potential exposure, including employees

We are currently developing reopening plans as an organization, keeping in line with the guidance provided by the CDC, CMS, state and local health departments and our state survey agencies. These plans will very likely include limited numbers of visitors allowed per resident, limited numbers of individuals allowed in our location at a given time, restricting visiting to specific areas of the facility and arranging for visits by appointment. As these plans are finalized, they will be shared with you. The health and safety of our residents and employees is of the utmost importance to us during this transition period.

You are encouraged to continue connecting with your loved ones through a variety of means, including letters, cards and notes, window visits, phone calls and video chat via google hangouts, Zoom and Facetime and Facebook chat. Our employees are available and happy to assist with arranging the use of technology devices for phone calls and video chats.

And a sincere thank you for your encouraging words sent through a variety of means to our employees. We know they are the heroes in all of this, and it is so meaningful when they hear it from you too. We will get through this and we all look forward to hugs, kisses on the cheek and handshakes.

Sincerely,

Shannon Lager, RN, BSN
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

May 1, 2020 Letter

A letter to our Residents & Families

In this time of unprecedented pandemic, we have taken steps to protect our staff and residents.  As our surrounding communities begin to open up, we will remain vigilant in our efforts to reduce the risk of the virus entering our facilities, including restricting visiting and non-essential personnel. Below you will find what we will continue to have in place to prevent and manage the COVID-19 risk.

First, rest assured we are following the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and our State and Local Health Departments. While we are doing everything possible, you or your loved one may come in contact with someone who is unknowingly contagious.  The CDC has stated that individuals without symptoms may spread the virus.  As a precaution ALL of our staff and anyone entering the facility to conduct essential services for our residents are required to complete a screening regarding their travels and, potential encounters with anyone who has been diagnosed with the virus, and they have their temperature taken.  ALL individuals who enter the facility are required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth, perform hand hygiene and are required to notify us if they later develop symptoms consistent with the virus.

We are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of the virus entering our facility; however, nothing is guaranteed.  Some people who have the virus do not have any symptoms and can still spread the virus.  We are doing our best with the tools we have, and we will make it through this pandemic apart but together.

Here is a brief description of what we will continue to do to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus in our facility even as the surrounding community begins to open up:

  • Entry to the facility is restricted to staff and essential personnel only.
  • Every resident has their temperature taken and reviewed by a licensed nurse every day.
  • Medical providers (Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants) are encouraged to conduct visits using telehealth technology so residents do not have to leave our facility and risk exposure to the virus.
  • Residents who leave our facility and risk exposure in the community are restricted to their room for a period of time afterwards to monitor for the development of symptoms.
  • Isolation precautions are initiated for any resident who develops symptoms. They are restricted to their rooms and staff wear protective equipment when providing their care.
  • Communal dining and activities have been suspended. Activities are provided in-room. Dining occurs in-room, or in small groups where social distancing can be maintained.
  • Deliveries are made without entry of vendors into to the facility. Staff bring our deliveries into the building.
  • Every staff member has their temperature taken every day and are screened for symptoms, travel and contacts which may place them at risk for exposure to the virus. Staff members who are sick or meet any of the exposure criteria are restricted from working in the building.
  • All staff and essential personnel wear masks while in the building.

What can families and friends do to help?

  • Write letters or send cards to your loved one, and ask your friends and relatives to do the same.
  • Have grandchildren make pictures and mail them to your loved one.
  • Make copies of photos and mail them in a letter to your loved one.
  • Send blank cards and envelope sets so your loved one can write to family and friends.
  • Bring pets to the resident’s window; seeing a pet is a great way to lift spirits.
  • Hang a bird feeder outside your loved one’s window, and refill it every time you visit. Ask your loved one about the birds that come to eat.
  • Bring chairs to sit outside the window and visit at the window on pleasant days.
  • Send gifts such as hand lotion, cologne, candy, books, puzzles, etc. A surprise gift is always welcome.
  • Print a copy of the hometown newspaper and mail it to your loved one. News from the childhood home of your loved one is welcomed and keeps them connected.
  • We have technology which allows residents to visit loved ones via video chat technology such as Facetime, Google Hangouts or Zoom. Pease make an appointment, as our staff can help residents utilize the technology.
  • Send a note to our staff too; let them know you appreciate their hard work.

Remember, these restrictions will not last forever, but until they are no longer recommended, we will continue to do what we can every day to reduce the risk of the spread of this virus to our residents and your loved ones. We love you like our own family and we will get through this together but apart.