Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

05/02/2020

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


04/28/2020

A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed today for a resident in long-term care at Epworth. We would like to update you on the steps we are taking and the impact of this on our community.

Upon learning of this positive test today, the Health Services team initiated our response, which included communication with the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and the OKC-Oklahoma County Health Department.

We began the contact tracing for this resident, identifying and communicating to those who may have been exposed to the Coronavirus through contact with this individual. Appropriate precautions provided by CMS and the CDC and approved by our medical director, Dr. Ashley Ford, have been implemented for these individuals.

In addition, the staff members serving in the household have received additional training to refresh the COVID-19 care protocols for their protection and the protection of our residents.

The State of Oklahoma has recently instituted a protocol testing 100% of the residents and staff in nursing facilities. As of today, we have not received this testing, but we have been told to expect it in a week. Epworth has activated a plan to contract with a private lab to augment the state’s COVID-19 testing, starting in our Health Services.

The resident who tested positive is currently being treated outside of Epworth. Our thoughts and prayers are with this resident and all who are impacted.

We will continue this battle every day to fight the Coronavirus. The courage of our residents, staff, and families is inspirational. God bless you all.

Ron Kelly
President & CEO


04/27/2020

In an announcement on April 22nd, Epworth Villa reported that a C.N.A. who worked only on April 15th at Epworth Villa had tested positive for the Coronavirus.

On Wednesday, April 29th, the 14-day quarantine will conclude for those who had direct contact with this C.N.A. Thankfully, none of those who were potentially exposed to the Coronavirus by this C.N.A. have shown any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

On Friday evening, we received communication from an x-ray service provider that a technician who provided services to a small number of residents at Epworth had tested positive for the Coronavirus. The technician provided services on April 14th and April 17th. One resident in independent living will remain in quarantine until, Tuesday, April 28th. Two residents in our short-term rehab, skilled nursing facility will remain in quarantine at least until May 1st. None of the individuals involved, including the x-ray technician, are showing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

In addition, we are pleased by Governor Stitt’s announcement last week of the plan to test all staff and residents of Oklahoma nursing homes for the Coronavirus by May 28th. We believe this is a helpful step in protecting the most vulnerable in Oklahoma and those who care for them. We await guidance from the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the OKC-Oklahoma County Health Department on when testing will begin in the Health Services Households at Epworth, which is licensed area that will be included in this testing initiative.

We continue to pray for those who are in quarantine, asking for God’s protection. We remain focused on fighting the virus. We applaud our staff and residents who have courageously and sacrificially committed themselves to this collective endeavor.

As new information develops, we will provide updates.

Blessings,
Ron Kelly
President & CEO


04/22/2020

A C.N.A. who worked only on April 15th at Epworth Villa, and has not returned, has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). The test and positive result was communicated to us on April 22nd by the OKC-County Health Department.

This C.N.A. is reporting no signs or symptoms of the coronavirus at this time.

After consulting with the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), Epworth is quarantining the few residents with whom the C.N.A came in contact. In addition, Epworth employees, who interacted with this C.N.A., have been asked to self-quarantine at their homes. OSDH does not recommend testing anyone at this time. No one with whom the C.N.A interacted at Epworth is showing signs or symptoms of coronavirus.

The health, safety and well-being of our residents, employees and families is our top priority at Epworth Villa. We will continue to follow guidelines set forth by the OSDH and the CDC to ensure the safety of residents and teammates in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We have already been following all CDC and CMS guidelines for infection control and prevention, including enhanced sanitization of community spaces, modification of services to promote social distancing, restricted visitation, employee screening, and the provision of personal protective equipment for healthcare personnel.

We are thankful for the courage and dedication shown by our over 230 teammates and over 370 residents during this time. Together, we can ensure that Epworth Villa has the best chance to stay ahead of the coronavirus. If any new information is available, we will provide updates.

Blessings,
Ron Kelly
President & CEO


04/07/2020

The health, safety and well-being of our residents, employees and families is always a priority at Epworth Villa. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the news and in the minds of many, we want to address actions, which are taking place related to this concern.

Some of the actions we are addressing include:

  • Consistent updates and communication to those who live and work at Epworth Villa.
  • Evidence-based precautions that align with guidelines provided by the CDC.
  • Coordinating emergency preparedness and response measures in the event that a virus impacts our community.
  • Restrictions in our visitation guidelines for all employees, partners and guests
  • Additional services, including meals, delivered to resident homes to support social distancing.

We are closely monitoring local, state and federal health agencies to ensure we can respond quickly and effectively to protect our community and mitigate risks of an outbreak.

We are grateful that we have no reports of Coronavirus in Epworth, and we will continue to remain vigilant in our efforts to preserve the health and safety of our community.

If you have questions, concerns or need more information, please call (405) 752-1200 or fill out the form below.

Helpful Resources
Centers for Disease Control
World Health Organization
Oklahoma Department of Health