IMPORTANT NOTICE to Residents & Families 10.02.2020

October 2, 2020

Dear Sunrise residents, family and friends,

This letter is to report on COVID positive staff and residents. 

Sunrise continues to test staff two times per week for COVID surveillance.  In recent testing, Sunrise is reporting one new staff members has tested positive for COVID-19 during our surveillance testing who worked in the isolation neighborhood.  The current number of active, COVID positive staff members is 5 after other staff members have completed the isolation period. Staff members who tested positive are isolating at home.   Since April 20, a total of 39 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

As of today, 3 residents are quarantined for positive COVID test results.  Once positive test results are obtained, the individual is quarantined to our COVID specific hot zone with dedicated staffing.  We will continue to test residents every 3-7 days as testing supplies are available or if there are any suspicions of illness.  Staff continue monitoring residents for any signs or symptoms of illness on each shift (3 times per day).  Please be aware that this information is being reported in the media.  Nursing facilities that have more than 3 reported cases of COVID are considered in an “outbreak status” by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and have case information reported on their website.  The information that Sunrise sends to you will be the most updated information and will count only currently active cases, while IDPH has different parameters for when they update numbers.

This past week, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Department of Inspections and Appeals updated their guidance for visiting and nursing facility operations during the pandemic.  They are no longer using the phased operations approach.  Sunrise is currently considered in “outbreak” status, and will remain in this status until we have not had ANY positive COVID cases in residents or staff for 14 days.  As such, we are limited on providing visits, but will continue allowing closed window visits for nursing facility residents and outdoor visits for assisted living.  We do need our visitors to follow the visiting guidelines as established by CMS, including checking in/out for appointments, wearing masks & using social distancing during the visit.  Please be sure to schedule these visits with the Activities department prior to coming to the facility.

Our staff screen for exposure, symptoms and temperature at the beginning and end of each shift and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout their shift.  This has been our policy for months now and will continue to be the policy indefinitely.  Our staff members are also testing regularly as part of our surveillance program.

We are working closely with our local public health department, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and our medical director and following their recommendations.  We are notifying our constituents and all regulatory bodies necessary to keep them informed about this current situation as required.

Thank you for your continued support.


Hallie Salmen, CEO

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