Letter to Residents & Families 12.31.2020

December 31, 2020

Dear Sunrise residents, family and friends,

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

Sunrise continues to test staff two times per week for COVID surveillance.  In testing today, 1 staff member tested positive for COVID 19.  This staff member most recently worked in the assisted living.  The current number of active, COVID positive staff members is 6. Staff members who test positive are isolating at home.  Since April 20, a total of 76 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.  Today 1 resident tested positive in surveillance testing.  There are currently 4 residents in the COVID isolation neighborhood, after one person was considered recovered today.  Staff continue monitoring residents for any signs or symptoms of illness on each shift (3 times per day). 

Our vaccine date will be January 14.  The good news is that assisted living will be provided with vaccine on this date as well as nursing residents and all staff.  Independent living has not been allocated vaccine at this time but we will inform those residents when it is determined they are eligible.  Information is posted on our website regarding frequently asked questions and facts.  Nursing facility residents have already received their vaccination authorization forms and many people have returned them.  We will get forms out in the mail for assisted living on Monday.  Forms are also available on the website. 

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 14.  Since Assisted Living has not had an infection for more than 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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