COVID-19 UPDATE | JULY 31, 2020

July 31, 2020

Friends and Family of Santa Marta,

As we come to the close of yet another month, we remain cautiously optimistic that the sacrifice and cooperation from residents, team members and families continue to limit the impact of this virus in our community.

Since our last update, we celebrated the recovery of one team member, and remain encouraged that our efforts so far have resulted in no confirmed resident cases. Our two active team member cases have both received their first negative test result, with the second test result pending.

These pending results join more than 200 others as part of our regular bi-weekly testing strategy for all healthcare staff. We anticipate results should be available in the coming days and will be shared with the larger Santa Marta family.

With cases regionally and nationally still on an upward trajectory – there are approximately 4,800 active cases in Johnson County, about 1,000 more since our last update – all communitywide reopening proposals continue to be on hold by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

That said, county health officials have approved outdoor visitation for residents in our health center and their families. Visits will begin Monday, with relevant instructions and protocols shared earlier this week (please email to access those).

We know this is something many families and residents in assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care have eagerly anticipated, and we greatly appreciate their patience. We’ve seen tremendous interest in outdoor visitation from independent living residents in recent weeks, and we strongly encourage all residents to take advantage of this important opportunity.

Along with structured visitation, we continue to explore ways for residents to safely and responsibly socialize, engage and reconnect with each other. On Monday, pairs of independent living residents can begin to make dinner reservations in a socially-distanced dining area. This space will host two separate seatings with strict capacity restrictions, and door-to-door delivery will remain our primary meal service for many residents.

Of course, our return to normalcy will be a gradual one – the drip of a faucet compared to the flip of a light switch. If we encounter increased resident or team member cases, many of these services will likely be scaled back. We certainly hope that won’t be the case, and it will take diligence from each of us to ensure our colleagues, neighbors and community remain safe and healthy.

Stay safe, and God bless.

Chet Surmaczewicz

Executive Director