COVID-19 Update – April 17, 2020

Harley HempelResident Updates

Dear Family & Friends of Sherwood Care Residents,

I hope you were able to enjoy Easter celebrations, in spite of the circumstances we find ourselves in. I find myself responding to a lot of questions with the words, “After COVID…”.

As difficult as this has been, it won’t stay this way forever.

Thank you for your words of encouragement and tokens of appreciation that you have forwarded. We have displayed all your emails and notes in the main hallway for the staff and residents to see.  You continue to amaze us with your creative ways of maintaining connection with your loved ones during this pandemic; from FaceTime and Skype, to outside window and fence decorating with signs of love, to visits through the window.  It warms our hearts and brings great joy to your loved ones when you are able to arrange these connections.

Here are some updates from this week:

  • We have no COVID “positive” cases in the building
  • Resident Screening: We are performing documented, daily screening, with the enhanced list of symptoms provided by Public Health. If any symptom is noted, we immediately put isolation protocols in place. Research supports that this practice is essential to prevent spread of any illness and we are simply heightening this process.
  • Staff Health: In addition to staff being screened prior to beginning work, they are required to do a self screen twice daily for any symptoms
  • Single Site Worker: We are putting the final pieces in place, to ensure compliance with the single site worker order. We do have some staff impacts, but they are not extensive and we are arranging appropriate coverage.
  • New Admissions to Sherwood Care: We continue to admit when a bed is available, based on Public Health evaluation and recommendations. All new admissions and/or returning residents from Hospital, are isolated for 14 days, as per new guidelines.
  • Continuous Masking: Based on Dr Hinshaw’s direction, we began continuous masking last Friday evening. It’s certainly not our norm, and we have to be very creative with our eyes as that’s about all the residents can see. Research indicates that there are cases of asymptomatic individuals who can be carriers of the virus, so this intervention protects both the residents and our co-workers.
  • Notification of Outbreaks: Public Health has provided guidelines for us regarding informing families and loved ones of any cases in our facility. They are as follows:
    • Presumptive Case:  this is 2 residents with symptoms that are connected (e.g.: roommates, table mates, etc.)
    • Confirmed Case: is 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 (either resident or staff member)

Our normal practice will continue, where we will speak with you personally in the event that your family member or loved one is ill with anything.

In the middle of all these changes and adjustments, we have witnessed some beautiful and touching moments this week:

  • As we sang “Happy Birthday” to one of our new residents at lunch today, she was smiling and shed a few tears. She said “My son told me this place would feel like home, but I didn’t believe him until now”
  • I sat with our newest resident, admitted today and on isolation in her room for 14 days. As she was eating her lunch, she declared,  “This is the best beef I’ve ever tasted”. (The menu was beef riblets, potatoes with parsley and carrots)
  • One of our residents became teary when we told her that her husband had called. The next day he arrived and they visited through the window.
  • A retired employee and longtime volunteer, sent a card of encouragement to the staff and $100 to buy “treats for the staff”

These brief moments, remind me that there is joy in the simple things of life and the amazing power of connection and belonging. We are so grateful for the trust you have placed in us as we are working diligently to care for and love your family member.

We continue to uplift Sherwood Care and each individual connected to this organization, to our Heavenly Father, as we lean on His great mercy and find strength in these amazing promises.

“Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9

Warmest Regards,

Kathy Fortunat