New Visitation Protocol
New COVID-19 Facility Guidelines
The facility will follow CMS and OSDH guidelines and best practices for indoor visitation to allow residents/patients to meet mental and psychosocial needs with family and friends.
When leaders at the Oklahoma-based Diakonos Group first heard about something called the novel coronavirus near the beginning of the year, they sprang into action. Click Here To Read Article.
We wanted to address any concerns or questions about our COVID-19 positive status at Warr Acres. We understand the anxiety and worry that families and friends may be feeling with this upsetting change. Like you, we are devastated that COVID-19 was able to get into our community despite all these months of battling to keep it out. We believe transparency is the best way to communicate and we wanted to reach out and provide a timeline for our families, staff and residents. We hope this will answer your questions and give you some comfort.
On July 6th a resident at Warr Acres Nursing & Rehabilitation was diagnosed with pneumonia. We isolated that resident and tested for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure. We received a positive result that Wednesday, July 8 and immediately acted. We ordered 100% COVID-19 testing for all residents and staff. That testing occurred on Thursday and Friday. The resident began to show further symptoms and we transferred the resident to the hospital.
We had two other residents, on Thursday, July 9 and Friday, July 10, trigger symptoms on our daily COVID screening that we do with every resident every day. We sent those two residents to the hospital for further evaluation. The hospital tested for COVID-19 and those tests yielded positive results. We had not received any testing results from our contracted testing at that time.
Late Sunday evening, July 12, we began to receive notifications of our test results. Those results are coming in slowly due to a national shortage of reagent testing solution. We know how frustrating it is to have to wait on these results but it is a real issue in America currently. We were notified of 4 other residents and one staff member that tested positive but remained asymptomatic. We immediately isolated those residents in isolation rooms away from others.
On Monday we relocated residents on hall 400 to other rooms in the facility to allow us to create a full isolation wing for any of our stable COVID-19 positive residents going forward. Other measures we are taking to help in our fight against COVID-19 are: having a negative air pressure system installed on the COVID-19 unit, utilizing a viricide multiple times a day throughout the entire facility, using paper and plastic products during snacks and meals and using an ultraviolet ray robot for sanitization throughout the facility. We also want to confirm that we have personal protective equipment (PPE) available for all staff and residents just as we have always provided them.
To summarize: We have a total of 7 residents and 1 staff member that has tested positive at this time. The staff member is isolating at home. 3 residents have been transferred to the hospital and 4 residents are in our newly constructed, negative air pressure, COVID unit. We are still waiting on all other test results. They are coming in a little at a time. We will keep you updated on those results.
We deeply appreciate the wonderful support we have received from our families and the community. We deeply care about each and every one of our residents and families and we ask that you join us in praying for their healing, their protection and for their comfort. We also ask that you join in prayer for our staff. Please reach out at any time with any questions or concerns.
The Diakonos Group, LLC ,our skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and our independent and assisted living communities are halting all non-medically necessary visitation effective immediately. We will be sending out very specific guidelines to all families, staff, residents and patients later today. We deeply regret having to take such assertive measures but safety of those we care for must come first. We pray this spread of COVID-19 is taken seriously by the public and that the virus spread will stop. Please keep our residents, patients, families, our staff, all of the vulnerable and those that care for them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Clarification: We will be posting specifics later today. Please remember we always have phone calls, FaceTime and Skype visits available and we are working on other options to keep families connected with their loved ones. Those connections are imperative to the health and happiness for both sides. Please stay tuned for more specifics.
The Diakonos Group, as a company, has decided to take an assertive, proactive approach to virus control in all of our communities. We have become deeply concerned at the impact of the flu and other viruses on our elders this year. Last week we had a serious flu outbreak and a GI virus outbreak in three communities. These viruses impact our residents/patients/clients more severely than the healthy public. We understand that the general public may not be affected seriously by these viruses, but those we care for have compromised systems and they are at the highest risk. We must take more stringent precautions to prevent this from occurring again and to be ready for COVID-19 to hit Oklahoma.
We all have been watching the progression the COVID-19 virus around the world. The virus has now hit a skilled nursing facility in Washington State and has caused multiple deaths. This is not the time for panic or chaos. It is time for calm, strategic change in our daily operations. We are implementing our Emergency Preparedness plans throughout the company. We have implemented multiple changes for visitors and for sanitizing prior to entering our communities.
We now have set visiting hours of 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 5:00-7:30 p.m. If we have an extenuating circumstance we can make an exception to those hours on an individual basis. We will also be offering various options for visitors such as video calls. We are changing codes on our key pads at entrances so that visitors and staff will enter through one or two primary entrances and use a staff maintained sanitization station. We have heavy restrictions on vendors as we know they go in and out of many places each day and we do not want to put our community at risk. We have posted signs at each door, sent letters to families, residents/patients/clients and to our staff. We are making calls to each responsible party and families at this time.
We know this will be more work temporarily and it is not ideal for anyone, but this is what we do. You trust us to care for your loved ones and to keep them safe. Right now keeping them safe requires us to implement our Emergency Preparedness Plan for each community. We appreciate your support and cooperation during this time. Communication is key. I am so proud of our proactive approach to this uncertain time for our most fragile in our society.
Please join us in our thoughts and prayers for those around the world and in the USA that are affected by COVID-19, and this devastating flu.
Scott Pilgrim, CEO
Kimberly Green, COO
Diakonos Group, LLC – Stay Prepared News Updates
- Nursing homes allow more visiting with caution as COVID cases slow – News 8
- WATCH: Nursing home staff helps 79-year-old man make first-ever snow angel – Fox 8 News
- Nursing Home COVID Deaths Fell 66% in Wake of Vaccine Clinics — Even as Overall U.S. Fatalities Rose 61% – Skilled Nursing News
- VIDEO: What it will take to be able to visit family in nursing homes again – Fox 23 News
- Some Nursing Homes Allowing Visitors, Tulsa Co. Facilities Still Restricted – News on 6
- In Their Words: Being the Guiding Light in the Industry: The Diakonos Group
- Oklahoma Nursing Homes Struggle To Fill Staff Amid COVID-19 Surge – News on 6
- ‘We’re not making money on this’ | Nursing homes pushing for funding amid COVID-19 losses – Fox 23 News
- Fever, symptom screening misses many virus carriers; US hits another record high in daily cases – Tulsa World
- President & CEO Mark Parkinson on CNN Discussing Record Nursing Home Cases Due to Community Spread
- Long Term Care Facility Staff, Residents To Be Among First To Get COVID-19 Vaccine – News on 6
- F.D.A. Advisory Panel Gives Green Light to Pfizer Vaccine – The New York Times
- Nursing homes prepare for COVID-19 vaccine distribution – KJRH
- Long-Term Care Facilities, Nursing Homes Prepare To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine – News on 6
- COVID-19 vaccinations begin at Oklahoma nursing homes, long-term care facilities – The Oklahoman
- COVID-19 vaccines arriving at Oklahoma nursing homes – Fox 23 News
- COVID-19 vaccinations begin at Oklahoma nursing homes, other long-term care facilities – Tulsa World
- COVID-19 Vaccinations Underway In Oklahoma Nursing Homes – KTOK
- Stephens Co. facilities cautiously optimistic as vaccinations begin for nursing homes – KSWO
- Health leader expects 175,000 vaccinations by year’s end – The Journal Record
- Oklahoma nursing homes receive first vaccine – KTEN
- Stitt gives update on state’s vaccination program – KRMG
- COVID-19 vaccines arrive in nursing homes – KRMG
- CVS Begins Administering COVID Vaccine in Oklahoma Nursing Homes – Public Radio Tulsa
- Diakonos Group Prepares To Open New Extended Living Facility Amid The Pandemic – News on 6
- Nursing Homes Issue Desperate Call For Help As They Say Staff On Brink Of Burnout – News on 6
- Nursing, Rehabilitation Expert Talks Aging, Eldercare & Visitation Under COVID Restrictions – News on 6
- Will you be my pen pal – Fox 23 News
- Local long-term care facility details changes inside nursing homes since pandemic hit – Oklamhoma News 4
- Some nursing homes hesitant to reopen facilities – Fox 23 News
- Assisted Living Facilities In Oklahoma Looking For More Help – News on 6
- Care facilities try to keep COVID-19 virus out while knowing visits are vital – Tulsa World
- Oklahoma nursing homes implementing sanitization stations to keep residents from contracting Covid-19
- Broken Arrow senior care group preparing for coronavirus
- Broken Arrow Long-Term Care Center Celebrates When Residents Beat COVID-19