05/08/2020

Since our last COVID-19 update on May 2nd, Epworth Villa has taken several steps in our battle against COVID-19. We would like to update you on our findings and our continuing efforts to battle this virus.

Epworth has engaged a private lab to proactively test all our residents and staff in Health Services, which is comprised of four Households. The status of the results is as follows:

  1. As was reported on May 2nd, one of our residents in Household 4 died due to COVID-19. The three additional residents who tested positive for COVID-19 in Household 4 continue to be cared for in our COVID-19 unit, without symptoms.
  2. Also reported on May 2nd, a staff person in Household 4 tested positive for COVID-19, and she remains at home, without symptoms.
  3. Additional testing since May 2nd has resulted in a positive COVID-19 test for a short-term rehab patient in Household 1. This patient was asymptomatic and was included in our testing with the private lab. This short-term rehab patient has discharged and is at home.
  4. All other residents in Health Services have tested negative for COVID-19.
  5. Additional testing since May 2nd has resulted in negative COVID-19 tests for 77 of 79 staff tested. One of the staff who tested positive for COVID-19 worked in Household 4 and is experiencing minor symptoms. The second staff person who tested positive worked both in Household 4 and Household 1 and is asymptomatic.

On May 6th, the Oklahoma State Department of Health made a visit to Epworth as a part of a routine check on our COVID-19 preparedness and response. The result was a very positive outcome and an affirmation of the work that our leaders and team have done.

The State of Oklahoma has arranged for the National Guard to provide cleaning services for nursing facilities across the state. Epworth has been informed that we should expect the National Guard to provide this service on May 16th. This augments the outstanding efforts of Epworth’s Housekeeping and Environmental Services team, who have done spectacular work in our infection control efforts.

Testing for COVID-19 continues at Epworth. We have almost completed testing for all our residents and staff in Assisted Living, and we will begin testing our Independent Living residents on a voluntary basis. All staff who have direct contact with residents will be required to be tested to continue work.

The State of Oklahoma had originally indicated they would be providing testing at Epworth, but it has not happened. Thankfully, we have not waited for the State and our proactive testing has assisted our efforts in containing the virus.

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

Our deep sadness over the death of our resident is very real, but this loss has only emboldened the determination of our Health Services team in our fight against this virus. I applaud their efforts. Even though we have all worked for and prayed for zero COVID-19 at Epworth, the Health Services team’s ability to keep the virus relatively contained has been phenomenal. We are thankful to God for His protection and provision.

Thank you for joining us in continued prayer for those who have been impacted by this tragic virus. We appreciate the sacrificial efforts of the entire Epworth family as, with God’s help, we strive to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Ron Kelly
President & CEO