4-24-2020 COVID-19 Update

Greetings from the front line,

I’d like to begin this update by acknowledging the tremendous patience and unwavering support of the family and friends of residents throughout our campus. When Deutsches Altenheim restricted visitations in mid-March, families accepted the news with grace, acknowledging that it was in the best interest of our residents. Since that time, they have displayed amazing ingenuity in “visiting” with their loved ones via FaceTime, phone, and distance viewing, while also paying homage to our caregivers.

The outpouring of support truly underscores the notion that we are one big family. We’ve received many gifts of food to sustain our staff through long shifts and flowers to show appreciation. Personally, I have received calls and voicemail messages of encouragement, gratitude and blessing, which provide me with inspiration. We’ve also received so many beautiful notes that I’d like to share a couple of sentiments:

From Ellen: These times with the coronavirus outbreak have meant so much extra work and anxiety for all of you. Please know you are appreciated!

From Maura: To everyone working so hard at the German Centre. Thanks so much for your dedication to your profession, to our families and for taking such wonderful care of the residents. You are an exceptional group and you have our everlasting gratitude.

These kind notes, gifts and calls mean more to me and the staff than words can convey. It is our privilege to tend to those entrusted to our care. These difficult times have strengthened the bond between caregiver and resident as they fight a common enemy in COVID-19.

For the most part, our updates have focused on activity at German Centre, our skilled nursing building, where a number of residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Residents of Edelweiss Village, our assisted living community, have been asymptomatic throughout this health crisis, and currently there are no known cases of COVID-19.

Early on, we implemented changes to Edelweiss Village residents’ daily schedules, including visitor restrictions and cessation of group activities and communal dining. Though we recommended that residents shelter in place, some continued to venture off campus, and we fear they may have been exposed to the virus. As a result of this, and because test kits have become more widely-available, we have asked Edelweiss Village residents to submit to a coronavirus test. Without exception, all have agreed, and testing will occur next week.

Over at German Centre, despite the sad and difficult reality of deaths associated with the virus, we also have had several cases of “recovery” among our residents. Following CDC guidelines, a test-positive patient is considered to be recovered when they have had two consecutive negative test results. Though it isn’t scientifically proven that those who “recover” from COVID-19 are immune from reinfection, we rejoice in the results nevertheless. For those individuals who have met these criteria, we continue with precautions (using masks, gloves and gowns) for their protection.

While many of our test-positive residents have been largely asymptomatic, lethargy and lack of appetite are the most notable symptoms. Our staff has been diligent and creative in keeping them nourished and hydrated. Some “recovered” residents have emerged from isolation with signs of general weakness. Our physical therapy staff is assessing and working with them to help them regain their strength to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Whether they are test-positive or -negative, we are working tirelessly to provide exemplary care for all residents throughout the campus. Continue to monitor our website for COVID-19 Impact as we navigate the uncharted waters of COVID-19.

Be well and stay healthy,

Michael B. Lincoln
Chief Executive Officer

Download the update: April 24 Update

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