COVID-19 UPDATE | JULY 30, 2021

Friends and Family of Santa Marta,

We will start by sending wishes of a continued safe summer of activities for all.  As the weather cools a bit next week, we hope outdoor gatherings can once again safely be enjoyed.  We know that the Covid news and increasing positivity rates in our area are disturbing and not where we hoped we would be at this time, but we want to offer some information regarding Santa Marta’s efforts and successes to help mitigate exposure risk and spread of Covid-19.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) recently mandated reporting of vaccination rates for all skilled nursing communities.  We are very pleased to report that Santa Marta is in the tier of highest vaccination rates in our area and the country.  At 83% fully vaccinated and 81% having at least their initial dose, we are far above the national skilled nursing staff vaccination rate.  Unfortunately, what we have learned, even those vaccinated can both test positive and spread the virus, so our efforts to use source mitigation—consistent use of masks by all visitors and social distancing–will become increasingly important.

Below, is our most recent update for healthcare (previously reported to families and residents) and for our independent living residents.

For Healthcare (AL, MS, rehab/LTC) Earlier this week we reported to residents and families a positive staff result (connected to AL) in our routine weekly testing of unvaccinated staff.  While no residents were identified as a close contacts, due to the positive result, indoor visitation, as required by KDADS, was paused in all areas of healthcare until a complete round of testing is completed on all healthcare related staff and residents.  We will complete that testing today and hope to have all results by Monday, when the required second round will begin.  IF all tests from the first round are negative, visitation can resume in SKILLED NURSING AND MS, but must remain halted in AL for a full 14 days until there are no positive tests.  During this time, resident dining and activities are required to be distanced.  As usual, upon receipt of all results, we will update healthcare families and residents.

For Independent Living (IL)  While there have been no changes to our procedures, we ask for the consistent and proper use of mask-wearing by all visitors and vendors at all times while in the community.  Indoor visitations are permitted, as well as resident apartment visits, as long as the resident is fully vaccinated. Full communal dining has resumed, including the ability to have guests. All of our IL activities, including bus trips to the store, have resumed. IL residents no longer need to use the kiosk when returning to the campus from an outing. Please use it when returning from out of state. Vaccinated residents no longer need to wear a mask when out of their apartments (except if visiting in healthcare). Visitors and vendors, as well as staff will continue to wear them.

Unfortunately, with the significant increase in Covid cases in Johnson and surrounding counties, we must increase our vigilance and be prepared for the need to make procedure changes quickly.  The care and well-being of everyone at Santa Marta will remain a top priority. We will continue to follow the guidance and counsel of local and state health authorities, and also maintain protocols/precautions of wearing masks, social distancing, and checking temperatures.

NOTE: We will report COVID-19 updates on this website and Facebook page if / when there are confirmed positive cases of a resident or team member, or if there are significant changes to visitation guidelines and activities schedules.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our leadership team at with any questions.

Thank you and God bless!

Chet Surmaczewicz