COVID-19 Updates | November 17, 2020

COVID-19 Updates | November 17, 2020

November 17, 2020

Dear Residents, Family Members, and Friends of The Village at Incarnate Word:

Residents in independent living and Alphonse House assisted living are now out of quarantine.  Residents living in Alphonse House have COVID-19 testing scheduled for this Thursday.

Last Thursday, November 12, we tested all the employees and residents in Alphonse House and Angelique House assisted livings. All employees and residents tested negative.  In DeMatel extended care, all residents and staff were tested on Tuesday, November 10, and all tested negative. DeMatel staff are were tested again, today. All tests were negative. Nursing facilities are required to test weekly when the local area positivity rate is above 5%. If the positivity rate goes above 10%, testing occurs twice per week. The Bexar County positivity rate is currently 9.4%.

Given our recent negative tests, we are applying for visitation in Angelique House and DeMatel Extended Care. We must complete this week’s testing in Alphonse House before we can reapply for visitation assuming we have no positive results. When approved for visitation we will notify families via the Remind app.

As we all know, the positivity rate continues to climb as do the number of COVID-19 cases locally, statewide, and nationally. It is worth mentioning, that retirement communities, assisted livings, and nursing homes have been the hardest hit by COVID-19 because all are congregate settings where those most vulnerable to the virus live.

This creates an ethical dilemma for retirement community operators as they attempt to balance resident rights while enforcing stringent guidelines to keep communities as safe as possible. Given that, there is great concern about the increases in cases, holiday gatherings, and the potential for spread in retirement centers.

We recognize the rights of residents to be home with their families during the holidays. We will keep our quarantine procedures in place for residents that leave the community including any time away during the holidays with one caveat.

If a resident leaves the community and is gone overnight, they must quarantine for 14 days upon return. This is consistent with our current practice and CDC guidelines. If a resident leaves for the day, to attend a family gathering, they must quarantine for 72 hours and submit to a COVID-19 test at their expense. Assuming a negative result, the resident will no longer need to quarantine. If a resident declines to be tested, they will have to quarantine for 14 days.  The Village will be offering a COVID-19 saliva test to residents who choose the three-day quarantine and test.  The cost of the test is $100.

In addition, residents choosing to leave for family gatherings will be provided with information regarding safety protocols that must be followed while out of the community. This is an HHS requirement. There are specific questions we are required to ask of our residents living in licensed areas upon their return such as: Were you in any situation where you were unable to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from someone who was not wearing a facemask?

The Village continues to maintain open lines of communication with both Metro Health and HHS as we also take precautions to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus such as body temperature checks of all employees, restricting visitation, enhanced sanitation and cleaning, health screenings for outside medical personnel, and routine COVID-19 testing of employees and residents.

Please feel free to call the community with any questions. My extension is 140. You may also ask to speak with Jeanette Eisenmenger, The Village COO (extension 157), or Lynda Jennings, The Village VP of Clinical Services and Compliance (extension 213). 

Thank you for your continued well wishes and prayers during this challenging time.

Kindest regards to all,

Paul Harrison

President and CEO