05/15/2020

COVID-19 has proven to be a dangerous adversary, requiring vigilant and careful planning and action. Since our last COVID-19 update on May 8th, 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. The status of the results and our response is as follows:

  1. One additional resident who had previously tested negative for COVID-19 has now tested positive for COVID-19 while residing in Household 4. This resident has been relocated to our COVID-19 unit in Household 2, receiving care in isolation with three other residents from Household 4 who previously tested positive for COVID-19.
  2. A new employee who worked a total of two days in Household 1 has tested positive for COVID-19. She was in Household 1 on May 7th and May 8th and has not returned to work.
  3. Prompted by the positive tests described above, an additional round of testing for all residents in Households 1 and 4 was requested by our Medical Director, Dr. Ashley Ford, revealing no additional positive tests.
  4. Epworth tested all the residents and staff of Assisted Living and received no positive results for COVID-19.
  5. Epworth offered testing for all independent living residents this week. Testing completed on Monday, May 11th, and Tuesday, May 12th, including staff tested on those dates, revealed no positive results for COVID-19. We should receive results for testing on Wednesday, May 13th, and Thursday, May 14th, in the coming days.
  6. As reported originally on May 2nd, a staff person in Household 4 tested positive for COVID-19, and she remains at home, without symptoms.
  7. As reported originally on May 2nd, Household 3 residents and staff were quarantined for precautionary reasons due to a potential exposure to COVID-19 that occurred on April 15th. That quarantine has been lifted and the staff members are now back to serving our residents.
  8. As reported originally on May 8th, two staff members who had worked in Household 1 and Household 4 tested positive for COVID-19. They have not worked at Epworth since the positive test result for COVID-19.

To summarize our COVID-19 status as described above, Epworth has had a total of five residents in Health Services test positive for COVID-19, including one who has died and four currently receiving care in the COVID-19 unit at Epworth. In addition, a total of four employees in Health Services have tested positive and have not returned to work. Despite our desire to see no COVID-19 at Epworth, we are pleased that we have been able to limit and contain the virus.

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 Saturday, May 16th, starting at 9:00 a.m. They will focus their efforts on the four households in Health Services. This augments the outstanding efforts of Epworth’s Housekeeping and Environmental Services team, who have done spectacular work in our infection control efforts.

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.

Epworth continues to be blessed by God’s protection and the remarkable work of our team in keeping COVID-19 from spreading. Thank you for your prayers and support as we continue this battle together. The courage of those impacted by this dreadful virus stirs us to fight even harder.

Ron Kelly
President & CEO