We have been anxiously awaiting the results of our 400+ COVID-19 samples that were collected and sent for testing last week. As of today all of our residents' results have been received! A vast majority of our staff results have also been received with the exception of a few that we anticipate to receive next week!
We are so happy to know that all of our preventive measures have resulted in a favorable test result for all of our residents in assisted living and health care facilities! Which means our residents are COVID-19 free!
Of our more than 250 employees, we did have a positive COVID-19 result for one employee. This employee did not have any symptoms of COVID-19 or known exposure to someone with COVID-19. Due to the processes we have in place for all of our employees when they interact with each other, as well as with our residents, we do not believe any of our other employees or residents are at risk of exposure to COVID-19. Additional testing was done as a precautionary measure for employees that had the most contact with the positive employee. Those test results were also returned as negative for COVID-19. Again, we do have a handful of employees' results from our mass testing last week that we anticipate receiving next week.
Although our testing had a very good outcome, we continue to be guided by the South Dakota Department of Health on the restrictions in place in our assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. At this time the SD Dept. of Health continues to require we maintain our no visitation restriction. We are continuing the no visitation restriction in our independent living living as well, as visitors continue to be at high risk of unknowingly bringing COVID-19 into the facility, and our residents remain as vulnerable as ever.
At this time, the SD Dept. of Health is exploring the option of continuing mass testing of our facilities. This requirement is still not in place and we will remain as attentive as ever to the ever-changing requirements to ensure compliance with their directives.
As always, thank you to our residents, staff, family members, and loved ones that continue to support us during this time!
Date: Monday, May 18, 2020
Since the Covid-19 outbreak that began in our region, Clarkson Health Care Facility has been very proactive in its steps to protect both residents and our employees.
Early on, we had closed all of our locations to visitors, initiated daily screening of employees and incorporated, as we continue to do, numerous other measures recommended by the South Dakota Department of Health, the CDC and our own medical community.
Today, Monday, May 18, an employee has tested positive for Covid-19. As part of our protocols in place, we are informing all employees, residents and responsible party/family member and of course, we are working closely with the South Dakota Department of Health and our Medical Director on the follow up. We are not aware of any other employee member or any resident that has the COVID-19 virus.
As we were updated last week, and as scheduled, all employees and all residents will be tested this week for COVID-19 and will have more information as it becomes available.
We continue to take all necessary precautions to stop the spread of this virus and our top priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy.
The employee was in the facility for a short period of time and we have retraced any contact and all appropriate follow up steps are being taken.
We have prepared our staff and our operations for this day, if it were to come, as we move forward.
The South Dakota Department of Health is requiring that ALL residents of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, as well as staff who work in those facilities be tested for Covid-19.
We plan to begin testing as early as next week, May 18-22; again, ALL residents in our licensed facilities will be tested. Our Medical Director, Dr. Ken Diamond, will order the test for each resident and tests will be performed on-site. The specimen is collected via a nasal swab, and is then submitted to the lab for processing. The testing that we will be completing is for the active virus.
This is a significant positive step in protecting our residents and staff members from Covid-19 and we applaud the Department of Health’s support and efforts in accomplishing this.
Once the test is sent to the lab, it takes approximately up to 3 days to obtain the results and of course, if we had ANY positive cases, the immediate and appropriate follow up would occur.
As we proceed with this mass testing process, please also be aware that all residents in skilled and assisted living are screened on a daily basis for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms. If a resident develops any symptoms at any time, we follow the public health guidance to isolate them and notify their provider, and complete any further assessment or testing that is indicated at that time. We will continue this process, and would communicate any changes in condition to the resident representative.
At this time, there is nothing that we would need from you and plan to proceed as soon as possible beginning next week. Thank you, once again, for your continued patience, cooperation, understanding and support while we navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic.
First, again, thank everyone for your understanding, cooperation and patience as we continue to work together in providing a safe and secure place for you to reside and staff members to work. Also, from all of us, we’d like to wish all the mothers a Happy Mother’s Day and know it will be unique for all of us – whether you’re at Westhills Village or somewhere else. We ALL miss the socializing and human contact that normally occurs during Mother’s Day, yet maybe the biggest gift we can give our mothers is safety this year.
Below are some updates on a variety of topics related to Covid-19.
Guidelines for both YOU and the Beautician will be posted and services will begin Monday, May 11th. You will be able to call 721.3601 OR ext. 3601 to schedule an appointment.
The cooperation has been tremendous – not only from each of you, your families/friends, our staff and their families as well. Life is different for EVERY one of us currently and we all have more in common than differences in how it is affecting us. We are ALL on our own honor system – a social contract, if you will – of doing the best job possible and respecting one another’s safety and security. It is certainly recognized and greatly appreciated.
Again, we all need to take a deep breath, hang in there and the SCIENCE shows that potentially in the next two to three weeks, we will know a lot more than we do today about what next steps we might or might not be able to take regarding our protocols and processes.
I have been asked so many times – what is it like – as many of us are managing the facilities. It reminds me of when I grew up watching the Ed Sullivan Show and a performer would come out and start spinning plates to see how many plates he could have spinning at once. Our day to day seems a little bit like that right now; behind the scenes, everything else is continuing – we are still building the Cottages, we are still mowing the grounds, we are still taking care of people, we are still serving meals, cleaning, doing laundry, on and on…none of that has changed and we too are experiencing a lot of disruption to our routine, new steps and processes and bumps in the road. Amazingly enough, we still have a positive work environment thanks to great employees and great people like yourself who bring many well-wishes to everyone, so…THANK YOU!!
Daryl Reinicke, CEO
There's been a lot going on in the past week or so. Click the buttons below to read a letter from our CEO and Medical Director!
Although we are still on restrictions on our facility to try to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into our facility, that doesn’t stop us from having some fun and keeping busy!
Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter. Times like this also teach us what we can appreciate, which many times are the simple things in life – friendships and safety. All of us as part of the Westhills Team of residents, staff members and families will continue to work together and get through this challenging and interesting time.
With COVID-19 now identified in our area of South Dakota, Westhills Village and Clarkson Health Care continue our safeguards to try to keep COVID-19 out of our facilities. These safeguards include:
First and foremost, thank you to everyone for your cooperation and the support we have received in so many ways as we address recent developments regarding COVID-19 virus. As you can imagine, our utmost concern is for the health and safety of our residents, patients and coworkers.
Below is some information about what we are doing at Westhills Village and we will continue to update you as new information becomes available.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us and we thank you for your continued cooperation, patience and support.