Reopen Update and Advocacy Request (LHRC)
As I checked the date on the calendar to begin this letter, I was amazed to see that we were already in September. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to you, as it has been nearly six months since you’ve been able to see your loved ones in person. While our fight against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, we have some very encouraging updates for you in relation to our future reopening at the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center.
Our administrator and relevant staff have been working on the nursing home’s new visitation plan over the last few weeks and I’m happy to tell you that it has been finalized. Details will be sent to you in the coming weeks. As mentioned in past letters, we have to be COVID-19 free in our building for twenty-eight (28) straight days in order to reopen. Our most recent COVID-19 infected employee has tested negative and will be returning to work soon, so the 28 day countdown began with that negative test.
Our direct care providers as well as our administrative staff in the business offices are all working double time to make this happen for our residents and for you. As you can imagine, tensions and anxiety have been high given all that is happening around us in the world and in our own community, but our crew ventures forward. Many of you have reached out to ask how you can help. There are two main areas where you can help us reach our goals sooner.
First, consider writing or calling the governor’s office to ask if and when regulations can be loosened in adult care facilities with low community spread of COVID-19. With smaller cities and a more rural setting, our county has been fortunate to have lower than average rates of infection, hospitalization, and spread. However, our county is currently experiencing a spike. The second thing you can do on our behalf is advocate for better hygiene, mask use, sanitization, and social distancing among your family and friends.
Over the last week, Chautauqua County’s cases soared past 160 infections, experienced another COVID-19 related death, and had multiple COVID-19 related ICU admissions. Schools are set to resume next week posting another challenge. If infection continues to spread in our small community, our staff are more likely to be exposed in their personal lives. If our staff test positive for COVID-19, the 28-day clock resets which will delay our reopening. We don’t like it; you don’t like it; but we NEED our community’s help to slow the spread.
I cannot thank you all enough for believing in us, continuing to entrust us with your loved ones care, and for advocating on our behalf in the community. We’re blessed to have the support system we do.
Symptomatic Residents Tested for COVID-19 – 24
HP & LHRC Residents Tested for COVID-19 by DOH – 153
Residents Currently Testing Positive for COVID-19 – 0
Employees Tested Weekly for COVID-19 (Mandated) – ALL
Employees Currently Testing Positive for COVID-19 – 0
Former COVID-19 Positive Employees Recovered – 4
President and CEO