April 4, 2020
Re: COVID-19 Virus/UPDATE
Dear Residents, Family and Friends:
We write to update you all on the situation at Veranda Rehabilitation and Healthcare with respect to the COVID-19 situation. While we have attempted to keep you all updated on an individual basis via phone, we wanted to more formally share the status of our efforts to manage the spread of the virus and keep our residents and staff safe.
As you are aware, we learned of our first positive COVID-19 results on March 28, 2020; prior to that time, we had been carefully following and implementing the guidance and direction we received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), and local, State and County Health Departments. We are, were, and continue to be confident in our proactive approach to the prevention and management of infection before the initial positive, and in our prompt and comprehensive response to each and every development we have experienced since that time. We know that our systems were in place, that our interventions were appropriate and consistent with the existing and evolving Guidance, and that we have been fully focused on taking care of our residents without exception or interruption. To the extent you have read or heard information to the contrary in the media or elsewhere, we earnestly disagree.
Managing this challenging and unprecedented situation has required an “all hands on deck” approach. The staff, residents and families at Veranda have come together as one like never before with the common goal of managing the spread of the virus once it appeared. As to this point, I wish to express my most sincere and heartfelt gratitude to each and every team member of Veranda who has presented to work during this time period with the commitment to serve the needs of those who have been entrusted to us. I have been witness to the kind of strength I didn’t know existed until now and it has been an inspiration. Likewise, I am so grateful to our residents and families who have been supportive and encouraging to our team, showing their appreciation with notes, phone calls, food deliveries and other demonstrations of kindness. From the bottom of our heart, we thank you.
Also as you know, we have lost members of our Veranda family during this battle. There are no words to adequately express our sorrow at their passing. We feel their absence every day, and continue to keep those left behind in our thoughts and prayers as they attempt to navigate the course without them. To the family of our employee who passed, we thank you for his service to the Veranda community and we are better because of his impact on our lives.
On the matter of infection control and prevention moving forward, we are following and will continue the interventions currently in place and adapt, revise, or augment them as additional guidance and direction is received from the agencies listed above. For your information, we have listed below a sampling of some of the ways in which we are responding to the COVID-19 situation:
- All staff are wearing masks from the time of entry into through the time of exit out of the Facility
- We have implemented a robust and comprehensive infection surveillance protocol, allowing us to carefully monitor our resident population as a whole and timely respond if there is any potential for a change in condition
- Staff and medical professionals will continue to be assessed and screened prior to entering the Facility and starting their shift; if they present with any sign or symptom of illness, they will be sent home
- We are carefully monitoring temperatures and symptoms of all staff and residents
- We are not admitting new residents to the Facility, and have not done so since March 20, 2020
- We have staff dedicated to the care of our COVID-19 positive residents, who are working in full PPE and focused on the needs specific to their existing clinical situation
- Infection prevention/control is our highest priority, and we are laser focused on it – please know that we are all fully engaged in taking action to minimize the exposure associated with this virus.
We thank you for your support and your kindness as we work without interruption to keep our residents and staff safe – we have learned in these challenging times that a little kindness goes a very long way. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns regarding the above or any other issue.
~The Team at Veranda Rehabilitation and Healthcare