On April 28th, we provided a COVID-19 update, which included information about a positive COVID-19 test for a resident who had resided in long-term care at Epworth and was being treated for COVID-19 outside of Epworth. We are deeply saddened to report that this resident has passed away. Our prayers and deepest condolences go out to this resident’s family and loved ones. We hurt with you.

While we grieve the loss of this resident, we must also continue our efforts to battle this virus.

As previously reported, we have been informed that the State of Oklahoma is providing testing for all the long-term care facilities in Oklahoma. We are expecting testing at Epworth something during the week of May 4th. To augment that testing and expedite results in priority areas, we have contracted with a private lab. As a result, we have increased our testing this past week, and we have some results to share.

Fifteen of the 18 residents for whom results were received today came back negative. However, three residents and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19. All positive results for residents are those who have resided in the same Household that had a resident test positive on April 28th. The staff member who tested positive had worked in this Household and last worked at Epworth on April 22nd, staying at home since then.

We have setup a special COVID-19 unit in Household 2 of Health Services to care for residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization. The three residents who have tested positive are in the process of being moved to this area. They are under the care and monitoring of Epworth Medical Director, Dr. Ashley Ford.

We expect to have all the residents in Health Services tested by the end of today. The staff working in Health Services are also being tested today and tomorrow through our private lab arrangement. The turnaround time on these tests is 24 to 36 hours.

We continue to follow CMS and Oklahoma State Department of Health directives, including the isolation of all residents in the affected Household and in our special unit, using full PPE for direct care. Any staff that have symptoms of COVID-19 as confirmed by our medical director are not allowed to report to work.

The news shared in this memo is a blow to all of us. Despite the heaviness of our hearts, we will continue to uplift the staff and residents on the front line of this battle, along with their families and loved ones. We are fighting hard to protect you. We admire your courage. God bless all of you.

Ron Kelly
President & CEO