May 5, 2020 —Dear Stephens Care Center Family and Friends,
I reach out to you today in hopes that you and those you love are doing well. We know what a difficult and emotionally trying time this has been for you and for your loved one in the Stephens Care Center (SCC) as we have journeyed through this pandemic. Please know that we are here not only to serve your loved one here at Kendal but you as well.
As a reminder, this website is updated daily with the latest news specific to COVID-19 at Kendal at Oberlin. Please continue to go to this website every day for the latest news and information from Kendal.
COVID-19 has been like nothing we have faced in our generation as a world community and certainly in long-term care. Our focus at Kendal at Oberlin has continued to be Calm Proactive Preparedness.
Our health care team is laser-focused every day on following enhanced COVID-19 infection control practices and procedures as guided by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Additionally we are health-screening daily each employee and contractor entering the Heiser Community Center and Stephens Care Center while keeping the community fully informed through daily updates (again, these are available on this website.
Today I can report to you that there are no cases (confirmed or probable) of COVID-19 at Kendal at Oberlin. We see this as a result of diligently focused efforts and good fortune. As you have seen in the media, there is a focus and attention on the occurrences and outbreaks of COVID-19 in long-term care settings nationwide. This is something that has every one of us associated with long-term care alarmed–residents, family members, and staff members alike. The stories are heart-wrenching and tragic. Most of these stories are more a reflection of an insidious virus that can hide itself asymptomatically for days than deficient infection control practices in the settings where they have occurred. These stories are constant reminders for us to remain alert and to not let up on our multiple mitigation strategies. Kendal communities are not immune from this sinister virus. Of the Kendal System’s 14 communities, 5 of them have had COVID-19 on their campuses.
We are pledged to remain super-vigilant in maintaining the health and safety of our campus and in particular the residents of the Stephens Care Center. We are doing this through the continued education and competency testing of our staff; continued acquisition and appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, gowns, face masks, and shoe covers; and employing a host of proactive strategies to minimize the exposure of the entire Kendal at Oberlin campus.
We continue to benefit greatly from our consistent collaboration with Lorain County Public Health, the Ohio Department of Health, The Kendal Corporation, our local health systems, and numerous healthcare vendor and financial partners, each providing wisdom and informed insight to assist us in weathering this crisis. We are also very pleased with the leadership we have at the state level with Governor Mike DeWine and Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of the Ohio Department of Health. Their 2pm weekday press conferences provide assurance and encouragement to all of us as we move forward together.
Should we discover a COVID-19 case within the Kendal at Oberlin community, please know we have procedures and protocols that will be initiated immediately for the containment and investigation of the potential spread of the virus.
- If a staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will retrace that staff member’s actions over the days preceding the diagnosis to identify any potential contagion.
- If a Stephens Care Center resident is diagnosed, we would immediately transfer them to our designated COVID-19 wing (5 specific beds segregated and contained) in the Stephens Care Center. COVID-19-specific isolation protocols will be strictly followed with specific staff assigned to this wing, including a separate entrance to ensure no cross-contamination. Any Stephens Care Center resident requiring higher levels of care will be transferred to an acute care setting.
- If an Independent Living resident is diagnosed, we will maintain that resident in their home, transfer them to an acute care setting, or–in only the most dire of circumstances–admit them to our designated COVID-19 wing in the Stephens Care Center.
All of the above scenarios will be completed with the full collaboration and direction of Lorain County Public Health. Ohio has done well as one state community in flattening the curve of contagion. Our hospitals remain well below capacity, and we have averted over-stressing our health care system by our statewide proactive strategies.
If we discover a COVID-19 case among any of our residents or staff members, we will be reaching out to inform you.
Please remain in touch with your loved one in the Stephens Care Center via phone call, FaceTime, or other media platform. If you need assistance with that, please reach out to Michele Tarsitano-Amato, Director of Creative Arts Therapy.
Given the severity of COVID-19 as a severe respiratory illness, this is a good time to review Advanced Directives with your loved one to ensure their wishes are communicated and followed should they become afflicted with COVID-19. If this has not been done recently, please reach out to Kim Preston or Kim Peters in Social Services to schedule a review.
If there is anything we can do for your loved one in the Stephens Care Center, or if you have a question or concern, please reach out to me.
Stacy Terrell, Chief Health Services Officer | 440-775-9811