April 2, 2020
Dear Residents and Staff:
We remain united in our efforts to keep all here at The Village at Incarnate Word safe and healthy. As many of you are aware, here in San Antonio Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation is currently dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19. We unite in prayer for the residents and staff there for a speedy resolution to their unfortunate situation.
It is important to know that there are no cases of COVID-19 at The Village. Our mission is to keep this virus out of our community, and we must all work together in order to do that.
Employees must wash their hands before and after every resident interaction, stay home if they are sick, and disinfect equipment and surfaces (e.g. phones, computer keyboards, lift equipment, etc.).
Hand hygiene continues to be the primary means of preventing the transmission of COVID-19.
Thank you to our residents that are complying with the changes we have implemented in order to keep everyone safe.
There are still some residents leaving the community daily. Per the Mayor’s order, you should not be leaving the community unless it is essential. For instance, visiting a pharmacy to pick up medication, medical appointments, or shopping for needed groceries. Local officials are recommending shopping for 1-2 weeks’ worth of groceries per trip to reduce your risk of exposure to others who may be unaware that they are sick. We understand that some of you may be feeling isolated at this time, but this does not justify trips out of the community for nonessential activities. We have a beautiful campus, so you are encouraged to go outside when the weather allows and while social distancing, for some fresh air.
Recently, a study demonstrated a significant risk of COVID-19 transmission among asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic patients. Due to this, suggested guidance is healthcare workers that provide direct patient care wear a surgical mask, or N 95 respirator, with all patients. It should also be considered that healthcare workers may have asymptomatic COVID-19 and could transmit the virus to other workers and patients.
Based on that guidance, The Village will be providing the direct care staff in DeMatel House (extended care) with masks. Again, this decision is being based on best practices. At this time, there is a need to balance this decision with our current supply of face masks. This means that not all employees will be receiving a mask. Only those providing direct care and/or indirect contact with residents. For example, a nurse and/or nurse aide transferring a resident from a wheelchair to bed is considered direct contact.
Unfortunately, the US does not have enough personal protective equipment for all healthcare providers, so we must be prudent in our use and prioritize the use of facemasks for selected activities.
We are also allowing those employees who have facemasks at home to wear them at work if they feel the need to do so.
For our residents, this means you will see employees wearing masks. I want to reiterate that we do not have any cases of COVID-19 in our community; this is an extra step we are taking as a precaution.
Lastly, what will make us successful in our defense again COVID-19 is our behavior and following our protocols and policies. I cannot overemphasize the importance of washing your hands, covering your cough/sneeze, and social distancing. These are simple steps that play an enormous role in keeping us all well.
We continue to assess this rapidly changing situation in order to make the best decisions in order to keep our community safe. Thank you to our residents, families, Sisters, and employees for your support through these efforts to keep everyone safe and promote our mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to all those we serve.