To: All Families and Friends of The Davis Community
From: Angie Barr, Administrator
ate: August 7, 2020
Re: COVID-19 Update Confirmed Positive
COVID-19 tests have continued to be performed per our pool test-based strategy for both residents and employees this week. We have seen improvement in test availability and the turnaround time of results this week as labs across the country are adding new equipment and labor to respond to the increasing demand. This is very beneficial for us. We are partnered with multiple labs as a strategy to have testing kits available from multiple sources given the shortage. As you can imagine, this is a critical component for surveillance and monitoring. We are cautiously optimistic that this issue is improving.
The Campus COVID unit in the Haven House at Porters Neck continues to operate with a dedicated team of staff. The number of residents in the COVID unit has declined this week as some residents have recovered, completed their 14-day isolation period in the unit and returned to their original homes. These moves have been difficult for those families that have loved ones who have made one or more moves due to isolation needs. Thank you for your patience. I know this is difficult given you cannot be present for the process.
We will stay the course of methodically implementing our test-based strategy utilizing a pool testing approach. As potential exposure is identified, we will test additional residents and staff with the potential to be impacted by an exposure. If, as we hope, testing availability continues we will be performing another round of baseline universal testing for all residents and employees.
Cumulative data since the onset of the COVID pandemic in March 2020 includes:
- 29 employees of approximately 450 employees-tested positive for COVID-19
- 18 residents of approximately 350-tested positive for COVID-19
- 3 resident deaths associated with COVID-19
This Week’s Statistics:
- 1 environmental services employee at the Health Care Center in the Artisan house with community exposure. The individual identified their potential community exposure, did not report for work as a precaution and has not worked since 7/27/2020
- 1 resident at the Health Care Center in the Timberline House confirmed on 8/6/2020 and relocated to the COVID unit
- 1 resident death associated with COVID-19
A note about the Science we are seeing related to COVID-19:
We continue to see residents and staff test positive that are asymptomatic (meaning no evidence of clinical signs and symptoms of infection). These individuals remain symptom free throughout their infectious process. Science indicates that once infected, our bodies have antibodies protecting us for approximately 90 days. During that time the body will continue to test positive. The positive test is not due to the active pathogen but instead the RNA remnant that is offering us temporary protection from infection. We continue to educate ourselves using every possible local, state and federal resource to ensure our surveillance and monitoring is working for us and those we care for each day.
Governors Order and Visitation
Governor Roy Cooper has extended Phase 2 for NC by 5 weeks. This extends the mandate for us related to visitation. Until NC moves to Phase 3, we are not permitted to move to the next phase of guidance for congregate living nor make any changes to visitation. This includes outdoor visits. No outdoor visits are permitted at this time per the mandates.
We know that you are eager to visit your loved ones, but our first priority is the safety of your loved ones. Our staff will continue to provide virtual and window visits with residents until in-person, outdoor visits are permitted. Thank you for your continued support during this time.
If your loved one is at end-of life then visitation may be permitted at the discretion of the facility with the following screening/criteria. If the screen reveals any concern, visitation cannot be permitted even in end-of-life situations. These guidelines also apply to the COVID unit:
- You will be asked to complete and sign the visitor screening form acknowledging the accuracy of the information you provided. The staff member opening the door will take and record the temperature of the visitor being considered for entry.
- If all questions on the screening form are answered “no” and the temperature is within normal limits, the visitor will be directed to wash their hands in the closest bathroom, dress in proper PPE and visitation may be permitted. Instructions for proper handwashing are posted in each bathroom.
- If the visitor answers yes to any question or has a temperature greater than 100°F the visitor will not be permitted to gain entry even in end-of life situations.
- Those visitors that are permitted, must wear full personal protective equipment as dictated by the area being visited and restrict their visit to only the room of the resident they have been permitted to visit. No visits to any common area or corridor beyond the direct path from the door to the room is permitted.
- Family visitation for end of life is still permitted. Only 2 immediate family members may visit at a time. The 2 immediate family members should be screened, dress in the required PPE and be escorted directly to the resident room and directly back out the front door by a staff member. If the resident is in a shared room, only 1 family member at a time is permitted.
If you have questions about the implementation of our planned strategies going forward, please ask. We are here to serve you and your loved one. Our Infection Control Team Line at (910) 726-9882 continues to be available for questions, concerns or information regarding surveillance and I am always available as well. Please call us without hesitation. This phone line is monitored throughout the day, 7 days a week and we are thrilled to see an increase in the numbers of calls with great questions.
Daily phone calls are being made to cancel or reschedule non-critical community appointments. Telehealth is being used for most appointments and by attending physicians on our Campus.
All employees continue to be screened at the beginning of their shift before permitted to work. All communal dining and all group activities have been cancelled. Dining is being accommodated in a variety of ways with staggered dining times to reduce numbers of people in dining rooms, in room dining if appropriate and 6 foot or greater spacing for those dining in the dining room and requiring feeding assistance or prompting for proper nutritional intake. Small group activities and intimate 1-on-1 opportunities for socialization have replaced our typical large group activities.
Thank you for your kind words sent via phone, our website and our Facebook page. Thank you for the sweet treats being dropped at entrances for staff working and thank you for your patience during this difficult time. Our team of caregivers is known to rise to the occasion and this event is no different. They are our heroes.
Hang in there folks! I know the days are getting long (as are my memos 😊) but this is a marathon not a sprint for us in this fight against the virus for our residents. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to make this time away from your loved one more tolerable or if I can provide any more or better information, please do not hesitate to let me know at my email address below.
Feel free to email me directly if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe!