Coronavirus COVID-19 - St. Augustine Health Ministries

Coronavirus COVID-19

by | Mar 10, 2020

May 29, 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Staff,

Just to clarify the Governor’s message regarding visitation and opening outside visitation for family members on June 8th. This pertains only to ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES and NOT NURSING HOMES. It was unclear yesterday because ICF’s were included in the verbiage, but we have not been included in this lessening of restrictions for visiting at this point. We will let you know as soon as we hear anything.

Thank you for your understanding!

Anita Gerrasch, LNHA

May 20, 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Staff,

As we continue to provide care to each of your loved ones I would like to thank all of you who have reached out to offer not only support for your family member, but support for the staff who have been walking this path of “new normal” with those you love. 

I am writing to share that we were informed today that we have one staff member who tested positive for COVID-19 and is quarantined at home. We are currently following the “Criteria for Return to Work” issued by the CDC.

While the State has begun to re-open, we have remained steadfast in our efforts to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. We continue to follow the guidance of health officials and have not relaxed our focus or precautions. The following protocols continue to be followed:

  • Public health officials have been notified as required, and all procedures recommended by the CDC and Department of Health continue to be followed.
  • Staff members providing care to residents utilize appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the virus is not spread to other residents or staff.
  • We hold daily meetings to review our procedures and make adjustments where necessary and directed by ODH, CDC and CMS.
  • Prior to each shift, staff are required to wash their hands, take their temperature, and answer a series of questions to ensure they are not exhibiting any known COVID-19 symptoms. Employees also take their temperatures at the conclusion of their shift.

Please know that we have followed and will continue to do so, all guidance set forth for privacy, patient care, employee safety, and efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 as provided by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

If you have any question please feel free to contact me at 216-634-7437 or Colleen Wilson at 216-939-7634.

Thank you,

Anita Gerrasch, LNHA

May 7, 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Staff,

We at St. Augustine Health Ministries would like to extend our warm wishes to each of you as we enter into Mother’s Day weekend and to acknowledge how different this holiday will be for all of us this year. With the restrictions on visiting and social distancing it will be unlike any Mother’s Day we have ever experienced. Please know that we share your desire for your family member to know how important they are to you and your feelings associated with Mother’s Day. I have received a number of calls from family members asking about sending gifts to their moms this weekend and what would be acceptable during this pandemic, and so I wanted to reiterate items that we would be able to bring up to the floors and present to your family member. These items would include flowers, clothing and food items that wrapped by the company that supplied them. Presently restricted items would include food items that are made in the home and food items that are not in their original containers. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation with these guidelines and hopefully in the near future we will be moving towards lessening these gift restrictions. If you have any questions pertaining to items that can be brought in at this time, please do not hesitate to call.

I am happy to say that we continue to have 0 number of residents and 0 number of staff members who have presently tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. We continue to practice stringent infection control practices and all recommendations from CDC (Centers for Disease Control). For some of our family members who have visited the Ohio Department of Health’s nursing home COVID list please note that there is an error in the column labeled Cumulative Staff Cases which lists St. Augustine Manor as having one staff member who has tested positive. This is an error and the correct number should be (0) zero. We are attempting to contact ODH to implement the corrected information for this category.

In closing we at St. Augustine would like to thank each of you for the outpouring of support that we have received from so many of you as we navigate this unprecedented time in our history. We will continue to keep you informed of developments and changes as they unfold. We hope to be able to loosen restrictions that are presently in place as guidance and safety allows.

Thank you for privilege of caring for your loved one,

Anita Gerrasch LNHA 
Administrator

 
April 27, 2020
 
Dear Residents, Families and Staff,
 
We continue to progress through the pandemic just as you and the rest of the nation continue to press forward. Daily life may have changed, but our commitment to our residents, patients and clients has not. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to re-emphasized the importance of adhering to the guidance they’ve already provided. We remain vigilant in our efforts to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff members. In doing so, we continue to follow our health and safety protocols-including restricting visitation; screening of staff and residents daily for signs and symptoms including temperature checks; wearing of masks by all staff at all times; social distancing and vigilantly managing our PPE. At this time we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID19.
 
As the Nation and Governor begin to discuss a phased “re-opening” within the coming days or weeks, we know you are wondering what that means for St. Augustine. Long Term Care facilities are likely to be one of the last businesses to re-open to the public as part of the final phase of the process. The residents we serve are the most vulnerable to this virus and their safety is our top priority. St. Augustine Health Campus will continue to follow the requirements and mandates of the CDC, CMS and Health Department and will plan to re-open on a schedule that follows the directives of these agencies. We all pray that will be sooner rather than later!!
 
We understand the hardship this may place on the families and residents of the facility; however, the vigilance that is required to protect this vulnerable population necessitates these measures. Thank you in advance for your understanding as we continue to move forward.
 
Anita Gerrasch, LNHA
Administrator

April 16, 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Staff,

Many senior living communities in our area are now reporting positive cases of COVID-19 among both residents and staff. We remain resolute in our commitment to take aggressive measures to protect the safety and well-being of residents and staff.

I am writing to share that a resident who tested positive for COVID-19 was admitted to St. Augustine Manor.  The resident was directly admitted to a quarantined unit that was set up as part of our emergency preparedness plan. Our staff is trained in infection control practices and they are experienced in managing and containing the spread of infection and illness. They are following established protocols based on that training. The health of the resident continues to improve and is not currently showing active symptoms related to COVID-19. No other cases have been identified.

We notified public health officials as required and are following procedures recommended by the CDC and CMS to contain the spread. We want to make residents, families and our dedicated staff aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we are on top of it.

In early March, prior to CDC mandates, we implemented an aggressive infection control and emergency preparedness protocol and continuously adapt the plan in compliance with any new CDC and CMS guidelines.  In addition, we have been actively screening all employees and residents daily for symptoms of fever and upper respiratory illnesses.

Our focus remains on the health and well-being of our community. We must also recognize our team for the concern and commitment they have shown to our residents during these challenging times. Our mission has never been more meaningful.

Thank you all for your support. If you have any questions, please contact me at 216.634.7400

Regards,

Anita Gerrasch, LNHA

Administrator

April 10, 2020:

As we continue to provide care for your loved ones and  promote the best possible outcomes for our residents, we are temporarily prohibiting perishable food items from home being brought into the Manor. Although the risk associated with food items and containers is low, the possibility is still present and we want to mitigate such risks for our resident’s well being and health. This time period would include April 13th until April 27th and we will evaluate after that time to determine if we can resume allowing homemade food items to be brought in.

We know that so many changes have been implemented to combat this pandemic and we appreciate the support and encouragement that so many of you have shown to the staff during this period. The restrictions that have been enacted to keep both residents and staff safe are certainly challenging and at times seem almost insurmountable. But these restrictions and guidelines are helping to keep our precious and most vulnerable loved ones safe along with the dedicated staff members who care for them. Please know that much thought and discussion go into any change that has been enacted. We will continue to do everything possible to aid in our efforts to safeguard our community during the weeks ahead and sincerely thank each of you for being such an important part of this effort.

We at St. Augustine Health Ministries wish each of you a healthy and happy Easter and we will look forward to the day when we can extend our hands and open up our doors to welcome each of you.

March 22, 2020:  We understand the vital importance of keeping our residents connected with their loved ones. We received 5 IPads this week to enable us to connect residents to their families via video chat using FaceTime, Skype, Duo and Facebook Messenger.  To sign up, please call our temporary request line at 216.634.7477 and leave your name, cell phone number, resident name and app you will be using. We will get back to you within one day.  

To use Facebook Messenger please follow these steps (even if you follow our StAugMinistries.org facebook page):

  • Search MANOR AUGUSTINE under people. You should see the following:
  • Click add friend on the Manor Augustine that corresponds to the floor the resident lives on (2,3 or 4)
  • Send a private message to this person (Manor Augustine) to tell us the name of the resident you want to contact or call the temporary request line above.
  • We will accept the friend request and arrange to video chat.

 

 

 

 

We understand that this is not an easy time for anyone. As we facilitate increased virtual communication between all of our families and their loved one, we thank you for your understanding and patience as we learn this new form of communication.

March 21, 2020: St. Augustine Health Campus continues to take aggressive measures to protect our residents and staff from the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As the number of cases in the United States continues to increase, we have implemented additional measures to ensure social distancing and to limit the potential for transmission. Ensuring the staff and residents are in a health environment are our primary concern. The following were put into place this past week:

  • All residents are asked to stay in their room or apartment.
  • All group activities including Mass, congregate dining and beauty/barber shop visits have been discontinued until further notice.
  • Daily Mass can be viewed through the residents TV.
  • Therapies are being conducted in the residents room.
  • The gift shop is delivering items to resident rooms upon request
  • Staff work with residents individually to provide activities in their room.
  • All building have one approved entry point. All employees are asked to complete a health assessment questionnaire and have their temperature taken prior to entering the building.
  • Staff are required to wear masks at all times.
  • Residents are being monitored for signs and symptoms on all shifts.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate this process together.

March 13, 2020:  We know there is growing concern as the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves.  St. Augustine Health Ministries continues to adapt our practices and respond to new information as it becomes available.

In alignment with guidance from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and announced by President Trump at Friday’s national press conference, we are restricting non-employee, non-essential visits to our skilled nursing and assisted living residences, until further notice.

We acknowledge that this is a difficult situation for families and residents. 

On Friday we implemented a number of protective measures including screening of all employees prior to each shift with questions related to symptoms and exposure, as well as having their temperature taken. Large group activities and trips have been postponed and small group activities are being adjusted to provide for proper social distancing. Events and meetings held on our campus by outside organizations have been postponed or cancelled. Modifications to our dining service have been made, which include changes to our cafeteria to ensure enhanced risk reduction.

We will continue to respond to this situation as it develops, and we will keep you informed as our practices change.

Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate this together.

Coronavirus informationMarch 10, 2020:  Families, Residents, Staff, Volunteers and Friends,

We know that this is a time of high anxiety about the Coronavirus, (COVID-19), the news about the potential spread of this new disease, and the risks it poses for those who become infected. Please know that maintaining the health, wellness and safety of our residents & Patients is our number one priority.

Because of the nature of our work, St. Augustine Health Ministries is always prepared for a pandemic flu with emergency preparedness and infection control plans in place. This being flu season, our staff already have heightened awareness of the risks posed to our residents/patients by respiratory illnesses, are trained in the vital importance of effective infection control practices and follow established protocols based on that training.  With COVID-19, we have reviewed our preparedness plans and are incorporating new information on Coronavirus into those procedures as it becomes available.

We are actively educating staff, volunteers, residents and families on symptom awareness for Coronavirus and have clear protocols for staff to stay home and not come to work if they are ill or symptomatic.

We are closely monitoring the latest information from the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and we are working with state and local public health and emergency preparedness officials to strengthen our preparation for a possible outbreak of Coronavirus. We may need to postpone activities, screen visitors or limit visitor access. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, but we will keep you informed every step of the way should these or other steps become necessary.

You are a key partner in keeping yourself and others healthy – wash your hands often; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and if you are feeling ill or have been around others who have flu like symptoms, we ask that you not volunteer at this time.

Communication is key, and we will continue to update you on important news or emerging issues. Please visit www.staugministries.org for regular updates. Please do not hesitate to contact us 216-634-7400 with any questions or concerns you may have.

 

 

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