IMPORTANT NOTICE to Residents & Families 9.18.2020

September 18, 2020

Dear Sunrise residents, family and friends,

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

To start, I need to correct the information that was sent yesterday.  The actual number to report yesterday should only have been 3 staff members.  The letter that was posted yesterday to the website has already been updated to reflect that correction.

Today Sunrise is reporting 2 additional staff members/contracted service providers have tested positive for COVID-19.  One of the individuals works in the nursing department but has not worked recently.  The other individual works in all areas of campus and wears appropriate PPE at all times.  Both of these reported individuals pose low risk exposure to those around them.  This brings the active COVID positive staff members to 14.  All are isolating at home.   Since April 20, a total of 32 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

There are currently two residents who have tested positive for COVID-19.  Tests were collected again from residents in the past 36 hours, but results are not available yet through the State Hygienic Lab. Positive residents are 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). 

Yesterday we were informed that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services has issued new guidelines for visitation.  We are happy for this change for our residents as it allows for more flexibility in visiting, however, since we have active cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff, we are not able to implement them just yet.  We will work on plans for implementing just as soon as we are able and inform you in future communications about the details, as this is recent development. 

We are in Phase I for operations in the Nursing Facility and will not have activities or communal dining in this area until we can be sure that the virus has not spread (this is monitored through testing). We are also NOT allowing any visits at this time – even window visits for the short term.  This week we did receive updated guidance from our regulatory agency expanding some of the visiting limitations that they issued earlier in the year.  Unfortunately, since we have active COVID cases and Woodbury County has a positivity rate of over 10.1%, we will not be able to implement them just yet.  We will share more information about the new rules as we have a chance to understand them better.

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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