COVID-19 Critical Update
July 31, 2020
In our on-going efforts to maintain the health and safety of our residents, we have implemented all state and federal mandated protocols to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus in our facility. Furthermore, we have followed all guidelines as published by the CDC, Department of Health, and Washington Association of Long Term Care Providers (WHCA). Nevertheless, even following all of the strictest of protocols, it is still possible to have an outbreak in our facility through the spread of the virus by front line health care workers that are striving to provide excellent care to all of our elderly population in the state of Washington.
As our front line staff has been affected by the work conditions instituted by the state of Washington as it relates to caring for children, families and loved ones, we at the Oaks of Lakewood have been forced to seek outside agency staff to continue our level of superior care to our resident family. Unfortunately, we were just notified yesterday that one of these outside workers referred to us through agency use has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. With this unfortunate result, we have implemented isolation measures for all residents that may have come into contact with this healthcare worker, for all co-workers and continue to monitor excessively in our facility to ensure that the contagion is limited in its spread. As this situation continues to unfold, we will keep you apprised of any updated information that may be forthcoming. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our facility leader, Scott Carlston at 760-566-4823 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 3, 2020
Over the past several days it has been our intent to update our community, residents and staff about key information as it relates to our facility at the Oaks at Lakewood. Many of our community members, family members, residents and beloved staff have expressed gratitude for our intentions in maintaining constant and clear communication through this web portal. We know that many of you are dependent upon us as a caregiver to respond appropriately and in concert with state mandates as we collectively navigate this COVID-19 pandemic.
After consultation with the Washington Health Care Association (WHCA):
Washington State Department of Health:
and the Governor’s office:
they have determined that the information that individual facilities can provide is so fast-moving and at times inconclusive, that they have asked that we NOT provide regular updates to our website but rather refer all inquiries to them (see above for their website information). Their information (though not facility specific) will help assist you with data related to statistics, resources, and community outreach help.
Although as an independent facility we strive to be a constructive resource to our community that may have an interest in this information and data, we have been counseled by our health organizations that we must also maintain employee and resident privacy. Thus, in ensuring that privacy is maintained, we have unfortunately been directed to not provide any further update information to you via our website. As we are required to report our facility data directly to the Department of Human Services, we likewise encourage you to request this and other data related to COVID-19 from them going forward or from the resources noted above.
Update March 27, 2020
As it has been over a week since we last updated this page, we felt it important to our family members, residents, staff and community to provide you with a brief summary of the status of The Oaks at Lakewood. We are pleased to report that our strict infectious control procedures, self-imposed isolation measures, faithful adherence to reduced admissions from hospitals together with an incredible staff that follows every guideline regarding this pandemic has led to a COVID-19 free facility. However, as acute hospitals are now overflowing with patient loads (not just COVID-19 issues, but all medically related cases), we are being asked to admit those patients that are now symptom free, are asymptomatic, or are in recovery. Thus far, we have been working diligently with the hospitals, Department of Health (“DHS”), Centers of Disease Control (“CDC”) and other State and Federal agencies (collectively “CMS”) (including Washington Health Care Association “WHCA”)) to determine the viability and containment of the virus should such patients be admitted to our Facility. Naturally, the care and concern of our current residents is our paramount objective.
We have been following all of the guidelines as published by the CDC and have been in daily contact with DHS and CMS for health updates, protocols, prevention measures, information and facility readiness. Furthermore, we have been coordinating with other area facilities to determine health care needs for our entire Pierce County population including hospitals, assisted living and independent living communities. It has been reported to us that all area hospitals have now experienced presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 within their facilities, whether they be patient population or staff members and many of our nursing home communities in our area are in a stop-placement status (not taking new admissions) due to the fact that they are treating COVID-19 residents. As we are still COVID-19 free, we are still admitting patients, but under the strictest of guidelines as mandated by our Medical Director in concert with our Director of Nursing. Nevertheless, to ease the burden on our acute hospitals, Pierce County, DHS and WHCA are working with us to help the hospitals in placing these patients as described above.
Though you can find statistics on various websites related to Washington state, the nation and even Tacoma-Pierce County:
We report to you that in Pierce County there are now 155 positive cases with 2 deaths out of 3,051 tested in the county by the University of Washington virology lab and State Public Health Labs since the outbreak started. It is not our intent to provide statistics to you or educate the public on facts and figures (as these can be found on other websites) but to state that our facility cares for the better part of these vulnerable citizens in our community and therefore we have the obligation to follow the strictest of guidelines to ensure their safety and well-being.
We continue to run a heightened protocol among our staff, with most of them wearing masks (supplies are limited but we seek daily to find personal protective equipment for our frontline staff) every shift/all shift, and we continue to sanitize all hard surface-high touch areas 3X’s per day (switches, rails, counter tops, and door handles). Our hygiene protocol has been approved and documented by DHS through intermittent infection control surveys throughout the month of March and we faithfully follow our guidelines of handwashing, limited patient touch, social distancing as much as possible and thorough sanitizing in accordance with DHS checklists. Furthermore, and much to the chagrin of our residents, we have closed all group activities, dining room meals, and are limiting/restricting patient and staff flow to individual halls as much as possible. The facility has for some time been closed to all visitors and volunteers except for end-of-life situations on a case by case basis.
We also want to reiterate that each staff member, clinician and most importantly our residents are screened daily (and in many cases hourly) for symptoms of COVID-19. Potentially symptomatic staff are immediately sent home and residents are sent to the Emergency Room for testing (tests have not been made available to nursing homes unless a wide-spread outbreak has been declared). In addition, roommates of returning to hospital residents are put into isolation pending test results from previously discharged residents.
We understand given the gravity and prevalence of this outbreak, and with many of our community facilities caring for symptomatic patients, that it will be only a matter of time before The Oaks at Lakewood is also caring for presumptive-positive or recuperating patients. We will do so in accordance with our commitment to the community and under the strictest of guidelines as proffered by DHS, CMS and the CDC but as of yet, we are pleased to report that our facility is COVID-19 free.
Update as of March 20, 2020
At the Oaks at Lakewood, we have a profound commitment to the health, safety, and well-being of our family of residents. As trained healthcare professionals, the staff at the Oaks at Lakewood is committed to providing the highest level of care to protect our residents and to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus within the state of Washington. On this webpage, we will continue to post updates as they pertain to our facility, or to guide family members and residents on enhanced facility procedures.
To date, none of our residents or staff has shown symptoms of COVID-19. However, given that 22 Nursing Homes in the state of Washington are treating and caring for presumptive-positive cases for COVID-19 residents, and with 1,302 confirmed active cases in the State of Washington, we are working closely with the Public Health – Tacoma Pierce County and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Beginning on March 7th, we started working directly with Public Health and the CDC to implement additional and enhanced procedures of infection control to regulate and restrict the spread of infectious disease. These government agencies continuously evaluate and endorse the infection control protocols we have in place to prevent the spread of an outbreak in our facility.
Moreover, our residents, and their primary decision-makers, have been notified of our procedures and will shortly be notified of this website update system. Our managing nurses and outreach staff, where and when necessary, will make briefings to them via telephone on a regular basis.
Beginning today we will provide updates on this website as needed. We respect the dignity of the residents in our care. Of course, we are in continuous direct contact with our residents and their loved ones, providing detailed information about health status, care needs, and all ways to connect with us at the facility.
Letter to all Residents, Staff, Family Members and Visitors of our Care Centers from our CEO
Over the past week, the impact of the novel coronavirus across the country and our state have us all at a heightened state of awareness for the safety of all our Residents and loved ones. Each of our care centers have planned contingencies for this type of situation and we are responding by following internal Infection Control Protocols combined with recommendations from health authorities.
We are pleased to announce that none of our facilities are reporting signs or symptoms of the virus. This could change at any moment and we will use our website and hotlines to keep interested parties up to date with important developments. Our facilities are committed to protecting our residents and have taken many measures including, but not limited to the following:
- We are screening all residents in the facility daily for fever, proper oxygen saturation levels and respiratory issues
- We have suspended communal dining and group activities
- We have educated the residents on proper handwashing techniques
- We will be communicating important developments with the residents regularly
- We are restricting all non-essential visitors to the facility at this time
- We are following Governor Inslee’s proclamation and the Department of Health’s recommendations issued on March 10th regarding visitors to Skilled Nursing Facilities that include the following:
- Discourage visitation to the facility and use alternative methods of visitation
- Limit resident visits to 1 adult visitor per day
- Actively screen visitors for symptoms including fever and respiratory issues
- All visits will be conducted in the resident rooms and not in common areas
- We are screening all employees daily before the start of their shift by taking temperatures and checking for other symptoms before they begin work.
- Employees with questionable status will be sent home.
- We have educated our staff on proper use of Personal Protective Equipment, Hand Washing and Cough Etiquette.
- We are taking inventory of our Personal Protective Equipment weekly to maintain sufficient supplies and have coordinated back up supplies if necessary.
Thank you for your support.
CEO, Five Oaks Healthcare