COVID-19 UPDATE | JUNE 26, 2020

June 26, 2020

Friends and Family of Santa Marta,

As part of our ongoing effort to identify potential carriers of this virus, we initiated the first round of bi-weekly testing earlier this month for all healthcare staff. We’re delighted to report that all 185 tests to date have returned negative, with our next round set to begin on Wednesday, July 1.

At this time, we continue to have no resident cases of COVID-19. Unfortunately, today we learned that a server in independent living has tested positive for the virus. We’re currently in the process of contact tracing and will immediately test any members of the community they had close contact with.

With this new case, we have six COVID-positive team members, all whom are self-quarantined at their respective homes. We’re hopeful five of those team members are on the path to recovery. This week, they were each administered two tests within a 72-hour period. If those show consecutive negative results, they will be able to rejoin us on campus.

We also received encouraging news on our infection control efforts. We recently had an infection control survey completed by the Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services, which resulted in no concerns. This is certainly a reflection of the professionalism of our team members and the standards we’ve always held ourselves to at Santa Marta.

After receiving guidance from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, our team has worked diligently to draft a reopening plan that we hope to submit for approval next week. Like many communities and jurisdictions around the country, we will take a conservative approach that continues to prioritize safety over convenience. As soon as it’s approved, the details will be shared and communicated promptly with the wider community.

As we begin to turn our attention to the reopening of some services, parts of the country continue to see a staggering rise in cases. It would be irresponsible to believe this virus is no longer prevalent nor a threat to those who live and work here. Vigilance is key, and we must all remember the steps and precautions that got us to this point – proper hand hygiene, responsible social distancing, and prudent use of masks and other PPE.

Further updates will be shared once we have results of contact tracing testing, and any developments on our reopening pan. Until then, please direct any questions or inquiries to

Stay safe, and God bless.

Chet Surmaczewicz
Executive Director