Update on COVID-19

June 1, 2020

To Our Health Center Residents and Family Members:

We currently have three or more residents or staff members who have developed new-onset respiratory symptoms within 72 hours of each other. Notifying you of this occurrence is required by CMS. These symptoms appear relatively minor at this time; however, out of an abundance of caution, we have taken specific mitigating actions to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of illness, including the following:

  • Staff members who develop these symptoms are not allowed to work and will be tested for COVID-19
  • Staff members who develop respiratory symptoms may not return to work until they have had two negative test results for COVID-19 at least 24 hours apart or have been off work for 10 or more days since symptoms first appear and have had least 3 days (72 hours) passed since recoverydefined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
  • All staff are screened for respiratory symptoms before being allowed to work each shift
  • All staff have their temperature taken at the start and end of each shift
  • All residents are monitored at least twice a day for any symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 so that we can identify any concerns as early as possible
  • Per Executive Order 2020-108, we continue to restrict facility visits from all family members, friends, non-essential providers, and volunteers through at least June 26, 2020
  • All staff wear medical masks within the facility
  • All residents wear face coverings, to the extent possible, when staff are caring for them or when they are out of their room
  • Any residents who develop possible symptoms are assessed more frequently and treated with full precautions until COVID-19 is ruled out by testing
  • High-touch areas within the facility are being frequently cleaned and disinfected

Resident and staff safety is our top priority. We are doing everything we can to be proactive in caring for our residents, including staying in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps. Be assured that if your loved one is displaying symptoms, we will communicate this to you and take all appropriate medical action.

We ask that you continue to support our community by following the recommendations set forth by the CDC, including the following directives:

  • Social distancing/staying home if possible
  • Using hand sanitizer or washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
  • Wearing a mask when you’re out in public

We know this is a difficult time for everyone. We will continue to provide you with updates as they become available. Please know that we are strictly adhering to all directions from the local, state and national health department.

Please don’t hesitate to call our facility at (616) 453-2475 and ask to speak with Todd Nyeholt, Administrator, or the RN Supervisor for your loved one.

Sincerely,

Edison Christian Health Center

 

May 29, 2020

To Our Residents and Family Members:

We want to inform you that we have received confirmation that a staff member at Edison Christian Health Center has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Resident and staff safety is our top priority. We are doing everything we can to ensure we prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our facility, including staying in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps. Per protocol, this positive test result is being reported to our medical director, as well as all required state, local and federal agencies.

Per the Kent County Health department directives, we will be testing all residents and staff members who might potentially have been exposed. It is possible that the health department may recommend additional testing of residents and staff in order to be proactive in this scenario. We will keep you informed about our next steps.

We will contact you directly if we have reason to believe your loved one was potentially exposed, or if they are suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19. Thus, if you are not contacted, your loved one has not been directly impacted. Due to confidentiality and HIPAA, we cannot provide specifics regarding the individual who tested positive. However, as always, be assured that if your loved one is displaying symptoms, we will communicate this promptly to you and take all appropriate medical action.

Residents who may possibly have been exposed are being monitored more frequently for any symptoms, and staff continue to be hypervigilant about practicing effective infection prevention and control techniques. This includes wearing masks at all times, utilizing hand santizer and proper handwashing, maintaining a six-foot distance whenever possible between themselves and those around them, and assisting residents in wearing masks or cloth face coverings when staff are in their room.

Our cumulative update for all three facilities is as follows:

Edison Christian Independent Living (ECIL)

  • 0 total positive cases for residents
  • 0 total positive cases for staff members

Edison Christian Assisted Living (ECAL)

  • 0 total positive cases for residents
  • 0 total positive case for staff members

Edison Christian Health Center (ECHC)

  • 0 total positive cases for residents
  • 1 total positive case for staff members

As mentioned in our update last week, CMS issued some guidance about how facilities can eventually reopen in the future to visitors. This guidance includes multiple steps and directives, including frequent testing of staff and residents. We are so eager for the reuniting of residents with their loved ones, but we will have to be very cautious in this process. We’ll continue to update you through this process.

Currently, Governor Whitmer’s executive order continues to prohibit visiting in independent living facilities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Given this restriction, our staff are committed to facilitating video calls, phone calls and window visits as much as we possibly can. You can also send your loved an email to activities@edisonchristian.org and our activity staff will deliver and read it (if requested or needed) to the resident.

If you have any specific questions about your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

  • ECIL: (616) 453-0993
  • ECAL: (616) 453-0581
  • ECHC: (616) 453-2475

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and expressions of support!

Sincerely,

Edison Christian Life Services

 

May 22, 2020

Greetings to our friends and family members,

As Memorial Day approaches, we’re thankful to honor those who have served and given their life to protect our country and our freedoms. A special picnic lunch will be provided on Monday to all three facilities, which includes fresh watermelon, barbecued beef brisket, baked beans, green beans and Dutch apple pie. Root beer floats will also make their way around to all residents on this day!

We’re thankful to report that we have no current cases of COVID-19 in any of the three buildings. Details for each building are as follows:

Edison Christian Independent Living (ECIL)

  • 0 total positive cases for residents
  • 0 total positive cases for staff members

Edison Christian Assisted Living (ECAL)

  • 0 total positive cases for residents
  • 0 total positive case for staff members (We had one staff member without resident contact who had tested positive earlier in May but had not worked for several days prior to testing. The staff member has fully recovered. No residents developed any symptoms.)

Edison Christian Health Center (ECHC)

  • 0 total positive cases for residents
  • 0 total positive cases for staff members
  • Last week, we had 3 staff members who developed minor new-onset respiratory symptoms within 72 hours of each other. As of May 22, 2020, these 3 staff members have all had negative COVID test results. We do not currently have a cohort of 3 or more staff or residents with new-onset respiratory symptoms that developed within 72 hours of each other. If this situation develops, we’ll post this information in our update section on our website, per the requirements for skilled nursing facilities.

We’re so grateful for the health of our residents and staff thus far, and we pray for continued protection! We have been vigilantly monitoring our staff and residents for any symptoms of COVID-19, and testing all staff or residents who develop any symptoms. The CDC has greatly expanded the list of possible symptoms of COVID-19, and these symptoms are included in the screening process for residents and staff members to ensure the highest possibility of detecting any concern.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) issued some guidance this week on how facilities can eventually reopen in the future to visitors. This guidance includes multiple steps and directives. We are so eager for the reuniting of residents with their loved ones, but we will have to be very cautious in this process since our residents remain at high risk if exposed to COVID-19. Currently, CMS and Governor Whitmer continue to direct facilities to not allow any non-essential visits. We’ll provide more information along the way as we make plans for the future.

If you have any specific questions about your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

  • ECIL: (616) 453-0993
  • ECAL: (616) 453-0581
  • ECHC: (616) 453-2475

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and expressions of support!

Sincerely,

Edison Christian Life Services

 

May 15, 2020

Greetings to our friends and family members,

Transparency is important in building and maintaining trust. Therefore, we wanted to provide you with a comprehensive update on each of our facilities that are part of Edison Christian Life Services.

Edison Christian Independent Living (ECIL)

  • 0 total positive cases for residents
  • 0 total positive cases for staff members

Edison Christian Assisted Living (ECAL)

  • 0 total positive cases for residents
  • 1 total positive case for staff members (Reported on May 8- staff member had not worked since April 25 and did not have direct resident contact)

Edison Christian Health Center (ECHC)

  • 0 total positive cases for residents
  • 0 total positive cases for staff members
  • May 13, 2020: 3 staff members with new-onset respiratory symptoms that developed within 72 hours of each other. (See letter dated May 13, 2020, for mitigating actions taken.)

We’re so grateful for the health of our residents and staff thus far. Given the community spread of COVID-19 in Kent County, we anticipate that, at some point, we may potentially be confronted with additional cases of COVID-19 in our residents and staff. Be assured that we will continue to provide you with updates in a timely manner and promptly communicate any concerns that may develop about a specific resident to their responsible party.

If you have any specific questions about your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

  • ECIL: (616) 453-0993
  • ECAL: (616) 453-0581
  • ECHC: (616) 453-2475

We’ve been so blessed by the many expressions of support and prayers for our residents and staff members. Thank you so much! We’re grateful that our trust is in the Lord at all times, and especially during these challenging events.

Sincerely,

Todd Nyeholt, Administrator

Edison Christian Life Services

 

May 13, 2020

To Our Health Center Residents and Family Members:

Per CMS, we are now required to inform you each time we have three residents or staff members who develop new-onset respiratory symptoms within 72 hours of each other. Currently, we have three staff members who fall into this category. These symptoms appear minor at this time and include one case of shortness of breath and two cases of a sore throat. We still do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any of our Health Center staff members or residents. However, out of an abundance of caution, we have taken specific mitigating actions to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission, including the following:

  • Staff members who develop these symptoms are not allowed to work and will be tested for COVID-19
  • Staff members who develop respiratory symptoms may not return to work until they have had two negative test results for COVID-19 at least 24 hours apart or have been off work for 10 or more days since symptoms first appear and have had least 3 days (72 hours) passed since recoverydefined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
  • All staff are screened for respiratory symptoms before being allowed to work each shift
  • All staff have their temperature taken at the start and end of each shift
  • All residents are monitored at least twice a day for any symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 so that we can identify any concerns as early as possible
  • We continue to restrict facility visits from all family members, friends, non-essential providers, and volunteers
  • All staff wear medical masks within the facility
  • All residents wear face coverings, to the extent possible, when staff are caring for them or when they are out of their room
  • Any residents who develop possible symptoms are treated with full precautions until COVID-19 is ruled out
  • High-touch areas within the facility are being frequently cleaned and disinfected

Resident and staff safety is our top priority. We are doing everything we can to be proactive in caring for our residents, including staying in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps. Be assured that if your loved one is displaying symptoms, we will communicate this promptly to you and take all appropriate medical action.

We ask that you continue to support our community by following the recommendations set forth by the CDC, including the following directives:

  • Social distancing/staying home if possible
  • Using hand sanitizer or washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
  • Wearing a mask when you’re out in public

We know this is a difficult time for everyone. We will continue to provide you with updates as they become available. Please know that we are strictly adhering to all directions from the local, state and national health department.

Please don’t hesitate to call our facility at (616) 453-2475 and ask to speak with Todd Nyeholt, Administrator, or the RN Supervisor for your loved one.

Sincerely,

Edison Christian Health Center

 

May 8, 2020

Dear Edison Christian Health Center residents and family members,

We hope this note finds you well! We continue to follow the daily changes in guidance that we are receiving from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), MDHHS, local health department and Governor’s office.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have been committed to transparency and to reporting to residents, families and staff if any resident or staff tests positive for COVID-19. We remain so thankful that thus far, we have NOT had any confirmed cases within our Health Center residents or staff! We anticipate that this may change at some point given the community spread of COVID-19 in Kent County, and if it does, we will inform you via an email (or a letter, if you have not provided an email address to us). We’ll also post this information on our website (edisonchristian.org) so that you can continue to remain aware of our COVID-19 status. As a reminder, the designated responsible party will also receive a phone call if your resident has been directly impacted by COVID-19.

One recent change from CMS is a new requirement to report to residents and families when we have three or more residents or staff with new onset of respiratory symptoms that occur within 72 hours of each other. This is not the current situation, but with the large number of staff members we have, this scenario does happen regularly, especially since “respiratory symptoms” can encompass many different symptoms, including those related to a common cold or allergies. In order to comply with this new directive, we will be posting this information on our website, along with any positive (confirmed) COVID-19 cases we might develop. We’ll be updating this information on a weekly basis, at minimum.

With Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, please remember that all residents must refrain from gathering together in person with their loved ones, given the “Stay Home” order which prohibits gatherings outside a single household, the social distancing requirements and the continued ban on visits to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and independent living facilities. However, you’re welcome to drop off a care package for us to deliver to your resident after we have held it for 24 hours. We acknowledge that this Mother’s Day will be different than any other we’ve celebrated thus far, but be assured that we’re still planning on celebrating it, albeit in a different way. The activities staff is planning to visit each female resident on Sunday to personally deliver a beautiful floral corsage to them. They will also be making the rounds on Sunday to all residents, delivering smiles and refreshing pink lemonade. We’re thankful to God for the gift of our mothers, as well as the other women who have “mothered” us over the years.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact Todd Nyeholt, Administrator, or the RN Unit Manager for your resident, with any questions at (616) 453-2475.

Edison Christian Health Center

 

April 24, 2020

Residents and family members,

We miss you, families! We can only imagine how hard this is for you to not be able to enter the facility and visit while holding your loved one’s hand. Please know that we believe it’s a privilege and a calling to stand in the gap for you in caring for and loving your family members to the very best of our ability. We eagerly await the lifting of these visiting restrictions, but in the meantime, we believe they are necessary for the health and safety of our residents.

We continue to receive and implement new directives every day. Here are a few updates, based on these directives:

  • We’ve updated our policy to require that all staff with direct resident contact are wearing medical masks. Prior to this, only nursing staff were wearing medical masks and non-nursing were wearing cloth masks. This change is in response to our current supply of medical masks and like many things, is subject to change.
  • We continue to screen staff daily at the beginning and end of their shifts. If staff members develop a cough or any other respiratory symptoms, we are keeping them off from work for at least 7 days. The purpose of this practice is to be hypervigilant and do our very best to prevent COVID-19 from entering the building. Often, the staff member may feel fine and it may turn out to just be a cold, but we would rather be aggressive in protecting our residents.
  • We also continue to screen residents for fever, respiratory symptoms and oxygen levels twice a day to ensure that we quickly identify any changes that may occur. If any concerns are identified, we increase our screening to every four hours and more frequently if needed. We will communicate any concerns to you if they develop for your resident.
  • We are thankful that we still don’t have any cases of COVID-19 here in our building, either in residents or in staff. We have had a few individuals tested, again out of precaution, and, thus far, all of those tests have been negative. We anticipate that this may potentially change at some point, given the spread in Kent County, and if it does, we will notify you.
  • As before, we are committed to continuing to connect you with your resident and family member. Please call us if you’d like to schedule a phone call or a video call with your loved one. You can also email your loved ones by sending messages to activities@edisonchristian.org and our staff will deliver it to the resident.
  • Many family members have asked if they are allowed to deliver packages to the door for their resident. Our current policy, which may change pending new directives, is that we will allow you to deliver packages to the door for your loved one and we will hold it for 24 hours prior to delivering it to the resident. This practice is being implemented to allow families to be able to bring treats and other gifts to their loved ones but also to take safeguards to reduce the chance of the virus being inadvertently transmitted into the facility.
  • If there are multiple individuals in your family who are interested in these updates, please feel free to share them so that they can stay updated. If you’ve been receiving these updates via snail mail and you have an email that we can use instead, please let us know what that email is so that we can include it in this email group and you can receive the update more quickly.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Please continue to pray for protection for our residents, families and staff members.

Edison Christian Health Center

 

April 10, 2020

Residents and family members,

We are so grateful for you! Thank you for your patience, understanding, expressions of gratitude for our staff members, donations of homemade masks, and ongoing prayers for protection for both residents and staff members.

The directives we are receiving from Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services are frequently changing. Here are a few updates and summary of recent changes, just to keep you in the loop:

  • All non-nursing staff members wear washable cloth masks with filters and nursing staff are wearing medical masks. This is one strategy to preserve personal protective equipment, as well as protect your loved one.
  • Residents are now covering their mouth and nose with a cloth mask or other barrier when staff are present in the room.
  • We have an extensive emergency staffing plan in place that outlines our strategies to continue to staff well to cover our residents’ needs.
  • We do not have any residents or staff members who have tested positive yet, but this is subject to change, of course. We are making arrangements to designate part of the facility, beginning with the end of Southwest hall, as a COVID-positive section for residents. The last few rooms on this unit have been emptied and have been sectioned off with a plastic barrier in order to prepare for this possibility. We hope that we don’t need to utilize this area, but having the arrangements in place will allow a smoother transition in the event of the presence of COVID-19 in our facility. Certain staff members have volunteered to staff this unit and will receive additional training to be appropriately prepared to care for our residents.
  • We do not anticipate this development, but we are requesting that staff members develop an emergency plan with their family in the event they are required to remain at work during an emergency. Our hope is to continue to have staff flow in and out per their scheduled shifts, but having a plan in case the unexpected develops will be beneficial for employees and residents alike.
  • We are providing a light meal on Fridays for the next few weeks as a token of our appreciation for our staff’s commitment to our residents.
  • Family members, please try to continue to protect yourselves when you leave your home. A scarf, bandana or homemade mask can be used to cover your nose and mouth to reduce your risk if you are required to be out in the community. Any precautions you can take may decrease your risk of getting ill.
  • We are committed to continuing to connect you with your resident and family member. Please call us if you’d like to schedule a phone call or a video call with your loved one. You can also email your loved ones by sending messages to activities@edisonchristian.org and our staff will deliver it to the resident.
  • Many family members have asked if they are allowed to deliver packages to the door for their resident. Our current policy, which may change pending new directives, is that we will allow you to deliver packages to the door for your loved one and we will hold it for 24 hours prior to delivering it to the resident. This practice is being implemented to allow families to be able to bring treats and other gifts to their loved ones but also to take safeguards to reduce the chance of the virus being inadvertently transmitted into the facility.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Please continue to pray for protection for our residents, families and staff members.

Edison Christian Health Center

 

March 25, 2020

To Our Residents and Family Members:

We are so grateful for your patience as we work to make sure your loved ones are cared for in a safe and healthy environment. This continues to be our top priority.

As you know, we are required to restrict all visitors and volunteers from visiting the facility, per directions from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Staff are working hard to brighten the days of our residents by spending extra time with them, offering them in-room activities, facilitating Facetime and Facebook Messenger calls, and arranging visits with family members through closed glass windows. There does continue to be a provision for very limited visits for residents who are in immediate end-of-life situations.

As of today, we still do NOT have any residents or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. Since there is community spread in Kent County, we do anticipate that this may change at some time in the future, and when that occurs, we will let you know. Currently, we’re thankful that overall, both residents and staff are doing well.

Infection prevention and control is something our staff is practicing every day, in many ways. Employees are continuing to be screened before beginning work and at the end of their shifts, additional environmental disinfecting and cleaning are occurring, and residents are being assessed daily by the nurses to ensure we are able to detect any changes that occur in their health and functioning.

Remember, too, that you can email your resident at activities@edisonchristian.org and staff will deliver the email to your loved one.

We will stay up to date on the federal government’s recommendations as they may continue to change. Edison Christian Life Services is in close contact with the local and state health department and are also following their guidance.

Should you have any questions, please contact us at: (616) 453-2475 or tnyeholt@edisonchristian.org.

Sincerely,

Edison Christian Life Services

 

March 14, 2020

Update from CMS

Dear residents and responsible parties,

Last evening (March 13, 2020), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) issued a new set of directives. Among others, they stated very clearly that ALL nursing homes nationwide should restrict ALL visitors and non-essential health care personnel. The ONLY exception is in an end-of-life situation. End-of-life situations require strict screening before entry is allowed, use of masks, and frequent hand hygiene upon entry to facility and resident’s room. Per CMS, entry will not be allowed—even in end-of-life situations—if the visitor has a fever or other respiratory symptoms.

At this time, we do NOT have any cases of COVID-19 in our facilities. We are continuing to follow the recommendations of CMS and the CDC on prevention steps, including following infection prevention and control protocols which include strict handwashing and hand sanitizing practices, providing continued education on COVID-19 to staff as we receive it from expert sources, and screening staff prior to each shift to avoid high risk scenarios. This situation is quickly evolving and we will continue to communicate updates to you as we receive them from the CDC and CMS. In addition, our organization is in close contact with the local and state health departments and are following their guidance.

We understand that connecting with loved ones is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider connecting with them. These may include telephone, email (activities@edisonchristian.org), text, or through Skype, Facetime or Facebook. Please let us know how we can help facilitate communication.

On that note, we want you to know that our social workers are monitoring the mood and emotional health of each resident to prevent and identify any changes that could arise due to this unprecedented situation. If you have any concerns about this, please feel free to contact us so we can work together on how best to support both the resident and the family and friends who may be missing each other. Our goal is to ensure that our residents know they are loved and cared for during these challenging times.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work together for the care and safety of our residents. We are grateful for you.

Edison Christian Life Services

 

March 13, 2020

We know that you may be concerned about the spread of the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may impact us here at Edison Christian Life Services. Ensuring residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our greatest concern.

At this time, we do NOT have any cases of COVID-19 in our facilities. However, as of March 12, 2020, there are multiple confirmed cases in Kent County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we are implementing to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our buildings. However, we need your help in battling COVID-19. Below are some examples of how you can help protect residents, as well as prevent the spread throughout the community.

Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that you do NOT visit Edison Christian Health Center and Edison Christian Assisted Living at this time, unless your visit is due to an end-of-life situation. This is for the health and safety of all of our residents. We understand that connecting with loved ones is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider connecting with them. These may include telephone, email (activities@edisonchristian.org), text, or through Skype or Facebook. Please let us know how we can help facilitate communication.

Edison Christian Life Services is following the recommendations of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the CDC on prevention steps, including following infection prevention and control protocols which include strict hand washing and hand sanitizing practices, providing continued education on COVID-19 to staff as we receive it from expert sources, and screening staff prior to each shift to avoid high risk scenarios. This situation is quickly evolving and we will continue to communicate updates to you as we receive them from the CDC and CMS. In addition, our organization is in close contact with the local and state health
departments and are following their guidance.

We will notify you if any residents or staff are diagnosed with COVID-19. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at: (616) 453-2475.

For additional information, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page at
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Thank you for your continued support and for being a valuable member of our community. We appreciate your understanding that the short-term inconvenience of limiting visits is enacted in order to take all steps possible and act in due diligence to safeguard your loved family members and friends who reside in this facility.

With gratitude,
Edison Christian Life Services