COVID-19 UPDATE | JULY 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

Friends and Family of Santa Marta,

We are pleased to share that our community continues to have no resident cases of COVID-19. As part of our ongoing effort to identify potential carriers of this virus, we initiated a second round of bi-weekly testing this week for all healthcare staff. Unfortunately, one of the 175 tests administered returned positive.

The impacted team member – a dining server in healthcare – last worked at the community on June 24 and was wearing all necessary PPE. We have completed contact tracing to identify anyone who may have been exposed to this individual and no positive cases have been identified so far.  We do not believe there was any close contact with residents, but we are diligently monitoring for symptoms out of caution. Including this new case, our community has had eight positive diagnoses among staff since the onset of the pandemic. Five team members have fully recovered, meaning they tested negative twice in a 72-hour period.

At this time, the reopening plan we intended to submit to the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is on hold based on the July 1 guidance from the County’s COVID-19 Response Team. Specifically:

“Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Johnson County, we are postponing all long-term care facility re-opening requests until further notice. We experienced a record number of new cases (106) in the past 24 hours which leads to the conclusion that our community does not have the spread under control. We understand that families are putting tremendous pressure on each facility to re-open. However, this is the best course of action to protect this highly vulnerable population. We will continue to monitor the situation within our county and adjust our plan of action accordingly. Thank you for your continued patience and please continue to remain diligent with your infection prevention protocols.”

We will continue to adhere to health authorities; prioritizing safety over convenience. We remain vigilant and are persisting with necessary steps and precautions to ensure the health and safety of everyone who lives and works at our community. This includes proper hand hygiene, responsible social distancing, and prudent use of masks and other PPE.

Consequently, on-site visits will be strictly prohibited this Independence Day weekend. We recommend taking advantage of virtual visits via skype/facetime and phone calls to connect with your loved ones. We are more than happy to help facilitate these calls as needed.

Further COVID-19 related updates will be shared as appropriate as we receive any new developments. Until then, please direct any questions or inquiries to

Happy 4th of July and God bless.

Chet Surmaczewicz
Executive Director