Letter to Residents & Families 12.16.2020

December 16, 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 testing today, 1 staff member who tested positive and worked in the COVID neighborhood.  The current number of active, COVID positive staff members is 7. Staff members who test positive are isolating at home.  Since April 20, a total of 69 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.  In resident testing today, 3 residents tested positive for COVID.  There are currently 7 residents in the COVID isolation neighborhood, with one of them completing their isolation period as of tomorrow morning.  Staff continue monitoring residents for any signs or symptoms of illness on each shift (3 times per day). 

Yesterday Sunrise mailed information about COVID vaccines to all long term care residents/their representatives.  As of today’s information, we are expecting only long term care residents and staff to be in the first priority tier for vaccines. We will be posting information on our website regarding frequently asked questions and facts – in an effort to educate everyone about the vaccine.  Please watch our website for this information or check your email from a blast from Sunrise.  Vaccination is our light at the end of this dark tunnel!

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 December 30.  Since Assisted Living has not had an infection for more that 14 days we will allow limited visitation by appointment in the vestibule.  Contact Erin Anderson at 712-276-3821 x 3130 to schedule visits or to set up video chats!

We do need our visitors to follow the visiting guidelines as established by CMS, including checking in/out for appointments, wear masks appropriately and throughout their visit & keep social distance during the visit.  Visitors who refuse to comply with these requirements will not be scheduled.  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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