COVID-19 Update | May 31, 2020

May 31, 2020

Friends and Family of Santa Marta,

On Thursday, May 28, we collected COVID-19 swab tests from several residents and team members identified through contact tracing. You may recall, this group was potentially at risk of exposure based on the four COVID-positive team members at Santa Marta.

We received these swab tests from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) and administered them correctly. We returned the tests to JCDHE, who sent them to the Kansas Health and Environment Laboratory (KHEL) for analysis.

On Friday, May 29, KHEL alerted us the tests they received were improperly packed (no ice packs in the container) and would likely be rejected. We immediately contacted JCDHE, who apologized and confirmed this was an oversight on their part. Unfortunately, we received test results yesterday, all which were rejected due to the specimens not arriving cold.

In consultation with JCDHE, we agreed to re-administer the tests Monday, June 1. We have notified the impacted residents and team members and, despite the error occurring outside of our control, apologized for any inconvenience this will cause.

Additionally, tomorrow we’ll also administer more than 300 tests to all team members community-wide, residents in health services (assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing), as well as those we believe could be at risk due to substantial time spent in these areas.

I know this is frustrating, particularly for those residents, team members and their loved ones who eagerly await news on their status. Despite best intentions, mistakes do happen, and we continue to be grateful for the support we receive from JCDHE and other medical professionals. These men and women are truly the tip of the spear against this virus, and their tireless efforts and selflessness will be the reason why we eventually defeat it.

Please watch for further communication later this week once we have the majority of results confirmed. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to send any questions to where I or our leadership team will strive to respond in a timely manner.


Stay safe, and God bless.

Chet Surmaczewicz

Executive Director