A Message from Executive Director Kara Hanzie to Residents, Families and Employees of Ohio Living Rockynol
As you may have seen today, local media have been publishing alarming articles about COVID-19 on our campus. While we’ve been communicating with residents, families and employees since the beginning, this is new information for the public. I’m disappointed that the media is sensationalizing our painful situation and using it to make people even more so afraid. Our employees are doing amazing work, giving their best each day to protect our residents and each other. Below is a comprehensive statement about the events at Ohio Living Rockynol.
We hope the details provided will correct the record and prevent further undue panic and anxiety.
In late March, Ohio Living Rockynol experienced an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. We’re saddened to share that over these last three-and-a-half weeks, seven residents have passed away from the virus.
On March 21 an Ohio Living Rockynol resident, who was occupying a private room while at the campus for a short-term stay, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was transferred to a local hospital for treatment. We immediately began working with the local department of health and notifying residents, employees and families and family members of the potential presence of the virus and have provided ongoing updates ever since.
We had already implemented best-practice infection control protocols well in advance of governmental directives. We continued to follow all guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the State of Ohio.
During a conference call on March 22, the Ohio Department of Health assured us that we have done, and are doing, everything possible. Those assurances, however, do little to ease our heartbreak over the seven residents we have lost.
Ohio Living Rockynol, within its skilled nursing center, cares for the sickest of the sick and the most vulnerable in our population as defined by the medical experts. Yet, in the beginning of this crisis organizations like ours were at the bottom of the prioritization list for obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE).
Today, our remaining positive cases are confined to the assisted living memory care unit, which is a locked unit, and our dedicated area within the skilled nursing center detailed below. Our team remains relentless in its combat of the virus. We continue to take greater measures than those mandated including the following:
- We have installed ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) equipment in the ductwork of our health care center and assisted living, which is a UV-C disinfection method generally used by hospitals. We have also purchased a mobile UV-C system and a sterile wand for disinfecting rooms and surfaces including over-the-bed tables, handrails, nurse stations, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Ohio Living has a signed agreement with Battelle and has a process in place for their sterilization of our N95 masks.
- We have a dedicated area within our skilled nursing center to closely monitor residents who exhibit symptoms or are known to have been exposed. This area is equipped with a dedicated team of clinicians who provide personalized care. Items like thermometers are reserved for each resident and our staff wear personal protective equipment when caring for these individuals.
- Ohio Living has worked diligently to increase our stock of PPE to protect both residents and staff.
- On March 23 and 24, Service Master disinfected every room in our health care center and east tower.
- Residents are enjoying virtual visits with their family members, and our activity professionals are increasing options for in-room activities.
Because of our vigilance and proactive measures, today Ohio Living Rockynol is trusted by hospitals to care for patients with COVID-19 as they are discharged from the hospital and continue to need care. These admissions are decided on a case-by-case basis, as our primary responsibility is to ensure that we can adequately protect and care for our current residents.
It’s well-known that any person, even if they feel healthy, can transmit the COVID-19 virus. Because of this risk, Ohio Living continues to operate with the highest degree of vigilance.
Ohio Living is a faith-based, charitable organization that has been serving vulnerable older adults in Ohio since 1922. We’re dedicated to providing continued transparency and our utmost effort to protect our residents, patients and employees during this dangerous period and beyond.