Letter to Residents & Families 1.15.2021

January 15, 2021

Dear Sunrise residents, family and friends,

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

Sunrise continues to test staff at least two times per week for COVID surveillance.  In testing today, 1 staff member tested positive for COVID-19.  The current number of active, COVID positive staff members is 8. Staff members who test positive are isolating at home.  Since April 20, a total of 87 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

We also continue to test residents every 3-7 days for surveillance or if there are any suspicions of illness.  As of today, 3 Assisted Living tenants are in isolation and 4 nursing residents.  Staff continue monitoring residents for any signs or symptoms of illness on each shift (3 times per day). 

Our first vaccine clinic was held yesterday, January 14, for assisted living tenants, nursing residents and staff.  We had 95 staff members (out of approximately 200) receive the vaccine, as well as 80% of both our nursing and assisted living.  Any staff or residents that weren’t able to receive the vaccine yesterday will be able to start the series on February 4, the next clinic date.  I have received word that our independent congregate housing will have clinic times at the end of the month, but we have not been allowed to include the Sunrise Hills area.  I am working on trying to have them included and will share more information when I have it.  Information is posted on our website regarding frequently asked questions and facts. 

Sunrise’s nursing facility is currently considered in “outbreak” status by the CMS definition (1 staff or resident reporting positive) and the IDPH definition (3 residents reporting positive within 14 days).  If you have the opportunity to speak to any of your family members by phone, please encourage them to wear their face masks if they are out of their rooms and when caregivers are in their rooms.  If they cannot tolerate a facemask, we also recommend holding a tissue over their mouth and nose. 

By regulation we are required to limit visiting in the nursing facility due to the “outbreak” status.  We will continue limiting visitation to closed window visits and limited compassionate care visits until we have gone 14 days without reporting a resident infection.  At this time, 14 days from the most recent resident infection will be January 25 for both nursing and assisted living.  Contact Erin Anderson at 712-276-3821 x 3130 to schedule visits or to set up video chats!

Other mitigation efforts in both nursing & assisted living include staff screening at the beginning and end of shift for exposure, symptoms and temperature; wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE); increased cleaning & disinfecting of surfaces throughout the building; and regular COVID surveillance testing of staff members and residents.

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 & understanding during this trying time.


Hallie Salmen, CEO

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