Letter to Residents & Families 11.19.2020

November 19, 2020

Dear Sunrise residents, family and friends,

This letter is a weekly update on COVID status at Sunrise. 

Sunrise continues to test staff two times per week for COVID surveillance.  So far in testing this week, Sunrise has had no staff members test positive.  The current number of active, COVID positive staff members is 1 as of the end of today. Staff members who test positive are isolating at home.  Since April 20, a total of 54 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

There are no residents from either nursing or assisted living in quarantine at this time.

With the coming holidays on everyone’s minds, it is Sunrise’s recommendation that residents refrain from leaving our campus for family gatherings.  The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (the regulatory body that oversees nursing facilities) put out a letter yesterday that reiterates this position.  While it isn’t what any of us wants at this time, it seems that keeping our social contacts limited this year will be our safest option.

For nursing residents, when positive test results are obtained, the individual is quarantined to our COVID specific hot zone with dedicated staffing.  For assisted living residents, we will allow them to quarantine to their apartment unless they have a change in condition that requires them to need more care. 

Because the positivity rate in Woodbury County is over 10%, we will continue to test residents every 3-7 days 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). 

Sunrise’s nursing facility is currently considered in “outbreak” status and will remain in this status until we have no positive COVID cases in residents for 28 days (for IDPH definition) or 14 days with no resident or staff infections (CMS definition) .  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 our visiting guidelines and pre-scheduling 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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