COVID-19 UPDATE | JULY 10, 2020

July 10, 2020

Friends and Family of Santa Marta,

As we see an unprecedented rise in new cases throughout the country, we continue to diligently balance the desire for normalcy with the paramount responsibility to the safety and health of residents and team members in our community.

We continue to have no confirmed resident cases of COVID-19, however, one skilled nursing resident is showing symptoms and has been isolated as we await test results. This resident has not left the community, nor had close contact with known COVID-positive team members, but we are approaching this with the utmost caution.

Currently, we have two active team member cases, both who remain self-isolated at their homes. We’re hopeful by next week they will return two consecutive negative tests in a 72-hour period and join their seven colleagues who have already recovered from this illness.

Our third round of bi-weekly tests for healthcare staff are scheduled for next week. As you may recall, one of our active cases was identified last week through this process. Thankfully, contact tracing we completed based on this recent case all returned negative for the virus.

As we’ve done the last four months, we continue to lean heavily on the guidance and expertise of our local health officials at the county and state level. Last week, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) postponed all reopening plans/requests due to the recent surge in cases – this has not changed.

That said, we have been provided a detailed guidebook on how to safely and responsibly facilitate outdoor visits for those in our health center. We understand just how important this interaction is for residents and loved ones, and we hope to be in a position to accommodate these requests in the coming weeks. There will be strict visitation criteria and guidelines that must be followed, all of which will be shared with the Santa Marta family well in advance.

Finally, we continue to explore activities and opportunities that residents can safely enjoy while we prioritize health and well-being. Beginning Monday, we will reopen our pool for independent living residents only, as guided by JCDHE. Again, strict policies will be in place, which include a resident limit, social distancing requirements, and mandatory masks to and from the pool (not required while swimming).

It can never be said enough just how much I and the leadership team appreciate the ongoing vigilance from residents, team members and families. Your understanding, grace and prayers continue to buoy all of us during this difficult period.

As always, please direct any questions or inquiries to

Stay safe, and God bless.

Chet Surmaczewicz

Executive Director