Letters to the Editor 2019

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To the Editor:

There has been a lot of frightening information in the news regarding COVID-19 and long-term care facilities/ nursing homes. I would like to acknowledge the positive work of a group of incredibly dedicated people at Genesis Court House Center in Court House.

The staff has been working tirelessly, picking up extra shifts to care for the patients and residents, and have extended themselves to assist in all ways possible. The building has been closed to everyone except for the staff, who enter and exit through the front door only. Every employee is screened for symptoms and fever before his or her shift, and if working for an extended period, is rescreened before the start of the next shift. All deliveries and mail are left at the front door and are not distributed until appropriate time has passed so that virus contamination is curtailed. The staff has the appropriate needed PPE and have been trained in its proper use. The building is cleaned and sanitized through the wonderful work of Housekeeping and Maintenance, and all of the patients’ and residents' laundry is being taken care of with utmost attention to safety.

Each patient and resident is assessed by nursing each shift (3 times daily) for any symptoms and are continually monitored for any changes and needs. As they are currently required to stay in their rooms and are not eating in the dining rooms, residents and patients are being brought and served their meals by kitchen, dietary and nursing personnel. They are given or assisted with bathing and personal washing in their rooms in lieu of using common area showers to eliminate a possible source of contamination. Those in need of therapies receive individualized treatment in their rooms with great care and attention. Because there are currently no group activities being held, the Activities staff visit the residents and patients daily and provide activities to keep them occupied and engaged safely. Wednesdays are snack cart days. Phone calls and FaceTime visits are coordinated to keep residents and patients connected with their loved ones.

The facility receptionists field all incoming calls and work together with the unit managers to compile a list of non-urgent calls to be returned by the nursing staff when they are not so busy on the floors. This allows the nurses and nurse aides to remain focused on patient care, infection control and safety.

Families are informed about COVID-19 information pertaining to the facility with daily e-mail communication and phone contact when any there are changes in a resident's or patient's status. There are group Zoom meetings held 7 days a week by David Kinder, the Regional Center Executive Director and Lauren O'Shea, the Center Nurse Director, to give face-to-face information and reassurance to concerned family members.

Throughout all of this, the facility has had 4 COVID-19 positive patients/residents, who were tested in a timely manner, and are all now officially in recovering status.

In a time when things seem so grim and depressing, hopefully this will help lift people’s spirits and give some hope.

Sending heartfelt thanks to all the many men and women who are working so hard and giving their all to those entrusted in their care.