COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

To view the current COVID activity by location, please click here.

September 25, 2020 Letter

To Our Residents and Family Members:

On September 2, 2020 CMS began requiring all nursing facilities to conduct routine testing of their employees for COVID-19 at a frequency based on county positivity rates. Bates county CMS reported positivity rate at that time was 11.2% which required twice weekly testing of employees. Medicalodges Butler initiated twice weekly testing of employees on September 9th. As a result of this testing we have identified one employee who tested positive for COVID-19 during the September 22nd round of testing conducted in the facility. A confirmatory test was conducted and we were notified those results were positive on September 25th. This individual has been restricted from working until the CDC return to work criteria for quarantine are met.

Medicalodges Butler has reported previous cases of COVID in two employees and was able to quickly implement infection control measures to mitigate the further spread of the virus.  Medicalodges Butler total positive cases of COVID, including previously reported cases totals 3 employees.  

Please know we are strictly adhering to guidance from the CDC and directions from the state and local health departments to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps. Because we have had an employee test positive, we are required to begin testing residents. Residents of Medicalodges Butler will be tested on Monday September 28th and will continue to be tested on a weekly basis.The COVID positivity rate in Bates county has since decreased from the initial CMS reported rate which required twice weekly testing. The current positivity rate for Bates county is 2.6% requiring employees to be tested on a weekly basis.

We will continue to test residents and employees weekly until two series of testing returns all negative results for both residents and employees and there has been a period of at least 14 days since the last identified positive case in either a resident or employee. We will contact you if you or your loved one is suspected to have, is diagnosed with or tests positive for COVID-19.

Resident safety is our top priority and we are doing what we can to prevent as much as possible the spread of COVID-19. All our employees will be utilizing all appropriate protective equipment until further notice. We do have adequate supplies of protective equipment. We have increased the frequency of monitoring residents and employees for COVID-19 symptoms, isolating residents with symptoms and restricting from work employees who have symptoms. Group dining and group activities are restricted. Residents are restricted to their rooms, including for meals, and are expected to wear a mask if they must leave their room. Visitors will continue to be restricted and unfortunately, having positive cases within the facility will further delay our plans for reopening to visiting.

We know you may have questions and we encourage you to contact us at 660-679-3179 but please be patient as our focus currently is caring for our residents and preventing the further spread of the virus.

We also understand connecting with family members is important to our residents. Family and friends are encouraged to connect with their loved ones through video chat, calling, texting, or other social media formats and our employees are here to help facilitate those connections.

Medicalodges Butler remains true to our mission to serve and enhance the lives of others. We are very appreciative of all the support and understanding we have received from resident families, friends, employees and the community. Additional updates will be on our Medicalodges Butler website at www.medicalodgesbutler.com on our COVID-19 alert page. Thank you all for the cooperation and support.

September 4, 2020 Letter

Dear Residents, Families, Friends and Visitors,

In March of this year we were asked to spend two weeks flattening the curve of this pandemic. Each Medicalodges, Inc. community accepted that challenge and the obligation to protect our residents and clients as best we could while knowing very little about this virus. We could not have anticipated that as we headed into the fall and Labor Day weekend, we would still be in a state of restriction and mitigation in a world that looks nothing like it did before March.

Like most all organizations across the country, Medicalodges, Inc. communities have not been left untouched by COVID-19. We have had several communities experience residents and/or employees who have tested positive for the virus and the cascade of mitigation efforts that ensue in order to prevent as much as possible further spread. We have experienced challenges and have had to be creative in sourcing and maintaining our protective equipment, supplies and sometimes even certain food items. We have had great support from our contractors and vendors in making sure we have all we need to continue to care for our residents and clients with little to no noticeable impact on them.

This has certainly been a difficult time. We are grateful for the ongoing patience of our residents, clients and family members as we navigate the ever changing guidance, recommendations, requirements and reopening processes of all our governing agencies and health authorities. The most recent change in guidance will require us to conduct routine testing on all employees of our skilled nursing facilities, sometimes as frequently as twice weekly depending on the rates of COVID positive cases in the surrounding county. This new level of testing will certainly have an impact on our reopening processes and we are currently making arrangements to comply with the testing requirement. We are also seeing local health authorities extending or implementing new restrictions on visiting in long term care and assisted living facilities, preventing us from moving forward with reopening as we would like. In the communities where we can, we are moving forward with reopening, but also acknowledge that circumstances can and do change rapidly within the facility and greater community forcing us to adapt even the best laid plans.

We know the limitations on visiting have been the single most challenging aspect of this pandemic for our residents, clients, families and even our employees. We ask that you please adhere to our visiting protocols and restrictions as these are in place for the purpose of protecting all residents and clients entrusted to our care. Even a single breach in our protocols can have a devastating effect in our community. All locations can accommodate compassionate care visits. Compassionate care visits are for the purpose of visiting under special circumstances, and may be arranged by calling the community directly. Compassionate care visits will not be arranged for the purposes of routine visiting, are entirely at the discretion of the community leadership team and will be based on the specific needs of the resident or client. We have also secured additional technology in the form of tablet devices through funds made available from our state agencies. We are working now to distribute a limited number of these devices to our locations to further facilitate virtual visiting until such time as we are able to allow unrestricted visiting.

We are also so very grateful for our employees who continue to dedicate their service to our residents and clients despite such challenging circumstances encountered on a daily basis. We were recently able to provide a significant Hero Bonus to our employees to show our deepest appreciation for their continued dedication and we are hopeful we can provide another Hero Bonus in the near future. Our employees remain our single greatest asset and no amount of appreciation expressed will ever be enough to fully acknowledge their efforts.

Additional updates will be posted to our Medicalodges Inc. website at www.medicalodges.com. You can also find updates regarding specific Medicalodges communities at their individual websites. We will all get through this together and will be stronger as a result. Please keep our residents, clients and employees in your thoughts and prayers as we do the same. Until next time.

Sincerely,

Shannon Lager, RN, BSN
Vice President & Chief Operations Officer
Medicalodges, Inc.

August 18, 2020 Letter

To Our Residents and Family Members:

On August 13th and 14th a second round of testing was completed on residents and employees and no new positive cases of COVID were identified. At this time Medicalodges Butler total positive cases remains at two employees.

All residents and employees who have previously tested negative will be tested again on August 20th and we expect to have results by the first of the following week. We will contact you if you or your loved one is suspected to have, is diagnosed with or tests positive for COVID-19. Please expect weekly testing until two consecutive weeks of testing return all negative results.

We are continuing with our measures to prevent further spread of the virus as much as possible. Our employees will continue to utilize all appropriate protective equipment until further notice. We are also continuing with the increased frequency of monitoring residents and employees for COVID-19 symptoms, isolating residents with symptoms and restricting from work employees who have symptoms. Group dining and group activities continue to be restricted. Residents are restricted to their rooms, including for meals, and are expected to wear a mask if they must leave their room. Visitors continue to be restricted. We continue to follow CMS, CDC and state health department guidance regarding COVID-19.

We will provide a new update once results are received from the testing conducted later this week. We encourage you to contact us at 660-679-3179 with any questions. Thank you for your ongoing patience and support.

August 12, 2020 Letter

To Our Residents and Family Members:

On August 6th and 7th the residents and employees of Medicalodges Butler were tested for COVID-19. All resident results are negative. We received notification on August 11th that an additional employee result was positive. Both employees are currently restricted from working and will be allowed to return once the CDC criteria for return to work are met. At this time Medicalodges Butler has two employees that have tested positive for COVID-19.

On August 13th we will begin another round of testing for residents and employees who have previously tested negative. We will contact you if you or your loved one is suspected to have, is diagnosed with or tests positive for COVID-19. Please expect weekly testing until two weeks of testing return all negative results. We are very appreciative of the assistance Bates County Memorial Hospital and our Medical Director Dr. James Miller have provided us in testing, specimen processing and the quick receipt of results.

We are continuing with our measures to prevent further spread of the virus as much as possible. Our employees will continue to utilize all appropriate protective equipment until further notice. We are also continuing with the increased frequency of monitoring residents and employees for COVID-19 symptoms, isolating residents with symptoms and restricting from work employees who have symptoms. Group dining and group activities continue to be restricted. Residents are restricted to their rooms, including for meals, and are expected to wear a mask if they must leave their room. Visitors continue to be restricted. We continue to follow CMS, CDC and state health department guidance regarding COVID-19.

We will provide a new update once results are received from the testing conducted this week. We encourage you to contact us at 660-679-3179 with any questions. Thank you for your ongoing patience and support. 

August 10, 2020 Letter

To Our Residents and Family Members:

On August 6th and 7th the residents and employees of Medicalodges Butler were tested for COVID-19. All resident results are negative and all employee results received thus far are negative, although there are a few employee results yet pending. When we have received the results from the few remaining individuals we will provide a new update. At this time Medicalodges Butler has had a single employee test positive for COVID-19 as reported in our initial notification.

We will conduct another round of testing for residents and employees this week and will contact you if you or your loved one is suspected to have, is diagnosed with or tests positive for COVID-19. We are continuing with our measures to prevent further spread of the virus as much as possible. Our employees will continue to utilize all appropriate protective equipment until further notice. We are also continuing with the increased frequency of monitoring residents and employees for COVID-19 symptoms, isolating residents with symptoms and restricting from work employees who have symptoms. Group dining and group activities continue to be restricted. Residents are restricted to their rooms, including for meals, and are expected to wear a mask if they must leave their room. Visitors continue to be restricted.

We know you may have questions and we encourage you to contact us at 660-679-3179. Thank you for your ongoing patience and support. 

June 1, 2020 Letter

Dear Residents, Families, Friends and Visitors,

As our surrounding communities and businesses begin to return to normal and open up we want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their ongoing support. This has certainly not been easy for anyone. We also want to provide information on how our Medicalodges, Gran Villas and New Hope locations will be impacted.

Many areas continue to see positive cases of COVID-19 and community transmission. As businesses begin to reopen, travel restrictions and gathering restrictions eased and eliminated, we can expect to see continued new cases in our communities. The individuals we care for remain at extremely high risk for illness, hospitalization and even death due to COVID-19.  It is estimated that 40% of the deaths caused by COVID-19 have been in those who reside in long term care facilities and other congregate living communities.  For these reasons, our Medicalodges, Gran Villas and New Hope communities will continue with our current processes to prevent as much as possible the introduction of the virus into our locations. These efforts include, among other things:

  • Restricted access to our locations to essential personnel only
  • Restricted visiting with the exception of compassionate and end of life situations only
  • Strict adherence to hand hygiene, cough etiquette and use of face masks for all who enter our locations
  • Social distancing for residents as much as possible including no communal dining or large group activities
  • Monitoring of employees and residents for symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature
  • Restricted entry of any individual with a temperature or other symptoms of COVID-19, travel restrictions or potential exposure, including employees

We are currently developing reopening plans as an organization, keeping in line with the guidance provided by the CDC, CMS, state and local health departments and our state survey agencies. These plans will very likely include limited numbers of visitors allowed per resident, limited numbers of individuals allowed in our location at a given time, restricting visiting to specific areas of the facility and arranging for visits by appointment. As these plans are finalized, they will be shared with you. The health and safety of our residents and employees is of the utmost importance to us during this transition period.

You are encouraged to continue connecting with your loved ones through a variety of means, including letters, cards and notes, window visits, phone calls and video chat via google hangouts, Zoom and Facetime and Facebook chat. Our employees are available and happy to assist with arranging the use of technology devices for phone calls and video chats.

And a sincere thank you for your encouraging words sent through a variety of means to our employees. We know they are the heroes in all of this, and it is so meaningful when they hear it from you too. We will get through this and we all look forward to hugs, kisses on the cheek and handshakes.

Sincerely,

Shannon Lager, RN, BSN
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

May 1, 2020 Letter

 

A letter to our Residents & Families

In this time of unprecedented pandemic, we have taken steps to protect our staff and residents.  As our surrounding communities begin to open up, we will remain vigilant in our efforts to reduce the risk of the virus entering our facilities, including restricting visiting and non-essential personnel. Below you will find what we will continue to have in place to prevent and manage the COVID-19 risk.

First, rest assured we are following the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and our State and Local Health Departments. While we are doing everything possible, you or your loved one may come in contact with someone who is unknowingly contagious.  The CDC has stated that individuals without symptoms may spread the virus.  As a precaution ALL of our staff and anyone entering the facility to conduct essential services for our residents are required to complete a screening regarding their travels and, potential encounters with anyone who has been diagnosed with the virus, and they have their temperature taken.  ALL individuals who enter the facility are required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth, perform hand hygiene and are required to notify us if they later develop symptoms consistent with the virus.

We are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of the virus entering our facility; however, nothing is guaranteed.  Some people who have the virus do not have any symptoms and can still spread the virus.  We are doing our best with the tools we have, and we will make it through this pandemic apart but together.

Here is a brief description of what we will continue to do to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus in our facility even as the surrounding community begins to open up:

  • Entry to the facility is restricted to staff and essential personnel only.
  • Every resident has their temperature taken and reviewed by a licensed nurse every day.
  • Medical providers (Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants) are encouraged to conduct visits using telehealth technology so residents do not have to leave our facility and risk exposure to the virus.
  • Residents who leave our facility and risk exposure in the community are restricted to their room for a period of time afterwards to monitor for the development of symptoms.
  • Isolation precautions are initiated for any resident who develops symptoms. They are restricted to their rooms and staff wear protective equipment when providing their care.
  • Communal dining and activities have been suspended. Activities are provided in-room. Dining occurs in-room, or in small groups where social distancing can be maintained.
  • Deliveries are made without entry of vendors into to the facility. Staff bring our deliveries into the building.
  • Every staff member has their temperature taken every day and are screened for symptoms, travel and contacts which may place them at risk for exposure to the virus. Staff members who are sick or meet any of the exposure criteria are restricted from working in the building.
  • All staff and essential personnel wear masks while in the building.

What can families and friends do to help?

  • Write letters or send cards to your loved one, and ask your friends and relatives to do the same.
  • Have grandchildren make pictures and mail them to your loved one.
  • Make copies of photos and mail them in a letter to your loved one.
  • Send blank cards and envelope sets so your loved one can write to family and friends.
  • Bring pets to the resident’s window; seeing a pet is a great way to lift spirits.
  • Hang a bird feeder outside your loved one’s window, and refill it every time you visit. Ask your loved one about the birds that come to eat.
  • Bring chairs to sit outside the window and visit at the window on pleasant days.
  • Send gifts such as hand lotion, cologne, candy, books, puzzles, etc. A surprise gift is always welcome.
  • Print a copy of the hometown newspaper and mail it to your loved one. News from the childhood home of your loved one is welcomed and keeps them connected.
  • We have technology which allows residents to visit loved ones via video chat technology such as Facetime, Google Hangouts or Zoom. Pease make an appointment, as our staff can help residents utilize the technology.
  • Send a note to our staff too; let them know you appreciate their hard work.

Remember, these restrictions will not last forever, but until they are no longer recommended, we will continue to do what we can every day to reduce the risk of the spread of this virus to our residents and your loved ones. We love you like our own family and we will get through this together but apart.