COVID-19 UPDATE | JULY 17, 2020

July 17, 2020

Friends and Family of Santa Marta,

In the time of COVID, no news is often good news in itself, and that’s where we find ourselves this week. We’re extremely pleased to announce that our skilled nursing resident who recently showed symptoms has tested negative for the virus. This means we continue to have no confirmed resident cases at our community.

Our two active team member cases remain quarantined at their respective homes, and we eagerly await their recovery. To date, we’ve had seven team members recover from COVID-19 and return to work after two consecutive negative tests in a 72-hour window.

On Wednesday, we completed nearly 200 tests for healthcare staff as part of our third round of bi-weekly tests. We anticipate results will be available throughout the weekend.

While we recently implemented structured visitations for independent living residents and their families, as mentioned last week, we’re working with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) on a responsible outdoor visitation protocol for residents in our health center (assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing).

We’ve submitted an initial proposal to JCDHE and continue to liaise with appropriate health officials to provide clarification on any questions they have. We hope that sometime next week we can begin to distribute visitation guidelines and invitations. Until then, visits to our health center, including outdoor visits, remain strictly prohibited.

JCDHE also continues to postpone all larger reopening plans/requests due to the recent surge in cases. As we continue to see a significant increase in numbers, it’s safe to assume any such plans will be delayed until those numbers flatten.

That said, where safe and responsible to do so, we continue to explore opportunities to gradually reopen certain services for independent living residents. As you may have seen on our Facebook page, residents cooled off in our pool for the first time in several weeks. Next week, haircut appointments will be available to assisted living residents, with scheduling information and protocols to be shared internally shortly.

At this point, all of us in the Santa Marta family understand the battle against this virus is a marathon, not a sprint. We continue to celebrate small victories and any return to normalcy, and I remain humbled by the unwavering spirit of friends, neighbors and colleagues at our community.

As always, please direct any questions or inquiries to

Stay safe, and God bless.


Chet Surmaczewicz

Executive Director