June 24, 2020
We have received all current pending test results today for residents and staff. One staff member in Memory Support was reported with positive results. We still have no other associates or residents presenting with symptoms aligning with COVID-19. However; as we continue to trace contact through that associate, we have decided to test a few additional staff. We will continue to act with an abundance of caution for the safety of our residents, which includes continuation of quarantining to apartments and donning proper personal protective equipment. We have also closed our salon for the time being. Pending any new results, at this current time we will continue quarantine for both Memory Support and Assisted Living through July 7th. We have had several questions related to testing of residents and associates. We have listed recommendations for both parties below:
Orchard Pointe at Surprise recommends testing of any resident with symptoms. Residents have the right to request and/or refuse COVID-19 testing. We are working with a third-party test provider who can help us obtain tests, if testing is difficult to accomplish in the local market. With a physician’s order, we can do testing on site, through this provider, for the residents of Heritage Communities and Orchard Pointe. Insurance covers the cost of testing as part of the CARES Act passed by Congress. If residents or family members would like more information on testing within the community through our third-party provider, they should see the Executive Director to discuss options and next steps.
Associates who have had a direct exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19 are recommended to seek testing, which can be done through their regular physician, county, state, federal or private company testing sites which we can help locate. We will re-evaluate the staff member’s situation before allowing them to return to work, by determining such things as onset of new symptoms, date, time and subsequent COVID-19 testing.
THINGS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT TESTING:
*Most often, tests are done with a nasal swab, and the procedure is uncomfortable.
*Tests are not perfect. Some tests have as high as 30% failure rate, which could give a false negative.
*If you test too early (before symptom onset, for example) you may test negative as the viral load may not be built up in your system (false negative).
*The test is only a “snapshot in time”. To truly know you are negative, you would need to test every 24 to 48 hours, and even then, there is the chance of additional false negatives.
IS TESTING RIGHT FOR ME OR MY LOVED ONE?
Only you can decide if testing is right for your situation. We encourage you to talk with your physician if you have further questions or concerns. There are also various COVID hotlines throughout the country that may be of benefit for you. Our community nurse can help you locate these resources.
We value your understanding during this difficult time, especially as protocols change in order to protect those most vulnerable. If you would like to schedule a time to stay in touch with your loved one through video chat, please call us at 623-505-7800, and we would be happy to set up a time for you to connect. We will continue to update our residents, families and associates as more information is available. Thank you for your support and working together alongside us as we navigate these unchartered waters.
June 22, 2020
All of our memory support residents, associates and individuals identified as moderate risk have been tested at this time. We are awaiting test results and expect to have those back on or before Thursday. We are pleased to share that we currently have no other residents or associates presenting with symptoms aligning with COVID-19.
We know you have trusted us to care for those most important to you, and it is an honor we don’t take lightly. Thank you for your support and patience as we await test results. We will notify our residents, families and associates once we have more information to share.
On Wednesday, June 17th, we identified a memory support resident with a mild fever and performed a COVID test that day, out of abundance of caution. Today we were notified that this resident has tested positive. We are working closely with local public health and our home office Pandemic Planning Committee to mitigate the spread of the virus within our community.
At this time, we are asking all residents (assisted living and memory support) to self-quarantine to their apartments until we have more information from our internal investigation and test results. All residents in memory support are being carefully monitored and associates working in that part of our community will wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) in the form of gowns, masks, face shields/goggles and gloves. We are testing all associates and residents in our memory support community, along with any other individuals identified as risk for exposure. We expect to have those results back next week and will notify you once we have them.
Communication has been sent to all residents, informing them of the confirmed case and asking them to self-quarantine to their apartments as we attempt to reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus. Families on our internal communication list have also received notification. Prior to this confirmed positive result, associates were trained on best practices when using personal protective equipment (PPE), and will begin using immediately within the community. Our essential staffing plan we created in the event of a confirmed case will also go into effect, to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
We realize families may have questions about testing assisted living residents, now with this confirmed case. We are working with a third-party test provider, to provide tests if that is difficult to accomplish with a resident or associate’s physician. With a physician’s order, we can do testing on site, through this provider. Insurance covers the cost of testing as part of the CARES Act passed by Congress. If associates, residents or family members would like more information on testing within the community through our third-party provider, please reach out to the Executive Director, Jill Parsons.
Please understand that out of respect of privacy, we cannot provide specific details on the resident or their treatment plan. We will keep you notified via email and phone calls as further information is available. Together, we will get through this. Together, we are Heritage United.