Experts have repeatedly noted that COVID-19 cases in surrounding communities is a large contributor of outbreaks in nursing homes. Dr. David Grabowski, professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, recently stated, “The strongest predictor of whether or not we’ll see cases in long term care facilities is community spread.”
“As we feared, the sheer volume of rising cases in communities across the U.S., combined with the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus, has unfortunately led to an increase in new COVID cases in nursing homes.” stated Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “It is incredibly frustrating as we had made tremendous progress to reduce COVID rates in nursing homes after the spike this summer in Sun Belt states. If everybody would wear a mask and social distance to reduce the level of COVID in the community, we know we would dramatically reduce these rates in long term care facilities.”
During the week of October 18, 43 percent of new COVID cases in nursing homes were from Midwest states with major spikes in community spread in the upper parts of the region.
Unfortunately, despite all of our efforts, Glenhaven, Inc. was not able to escape the noted increase in COVID-19 cases at long-term care facilities. On October 28th, we were informed of test results from our routine testing of asymptomatic residents and employees. There were six positive cases of COVID-19, the illness resulting from the novel coronavirus. One employee, two residents from Glenhaven, and four residents from Grand Oaks were all confirmed positive for COVID-19. The employee is in quarantine at home and the residents have all been moved to the COVID-19 unit. The residents have since completed their isolation and have returned to their previous households and apartments. We are sad to report that one resident with underlying conditions was transferred to the hospital and later passed away at Glenhaven. Previously, in October, we had four employees who tested positive for COVID-19 and were all quarantined at home. There were no resident cases at that time.
“As soon as we became aware of the positive cases, we responded quickly. Many safeguards were already in place at the time of the outbreak. We had spent months developing and implementing policies, as well as securing personal protective equipment for this pandemic. Many health officials said it was coming and that it would not be if we get COVID-19 in our facility, but when. We have notified public health officials as we are required, and are following procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention,” said Sherry Goodman, administrator. “We are taking every step as recommended by authorities to contain the spread. We want to make residents, their families, our dedicated staff, and our community aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we are on top of the situation.”
Since the resident outbreak, we have tested all staff and residents two additional times. Two employees tested positive and quarantined at home, two employees developed symptoms and tested positive in the community. There were no new cases of COVID-19 among our resident population.
At this time, our focus is on ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents and employees. We are following proper infection control and emergency preparedness to ensure their safety and well-being. We are communicating all updates to our residents, their family representatives and employees through email and phone calls. We continue to offer every assurance to our residents, their families and employees that Glenhaven, Inc. will be following all recommendations and will act in the best interests of our entire community.
While we strive for transparency in everything we do, please know that we are bound by federal guidelines under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protect the privacy of our residents, who may not want their condition known. Our residents are our first priority.