June 24, 2020
Dear Residents, Families and Friends,
Thank God, the situation here at Jeanne Jugan Residence has continued to improve since our last letter on June 8. All of our Residents, staff and Little Sisters have been through a second round of COVID testing with generally good results.
Among the Residents here at the Home there have been no new cases of the virus. One Resident who had been hospitalized for unrelated causes returned to the Home positive for COVID-19, but has now tested negative. All of the Sisters tested negative, as did all of our staff members, except for one whose results are still pending. Several more employees who had been out have now returned to work, including those with childcare issues.
Today we received a visit from DC Health surveyors for an infection control survey. Although we do not yet have the final results everything seemed to go well.
We are trying to be compliant with CDC/DC Health guidelines to test Residents and staff weekly with the goal of achieving two consecutive weeks with negative results so that we will be able to move forward into the re-opening phase. However, the recommendations seem to be evolving constantly, and so at this time we are still awaiting further clarifications about how to proceed.
We are sorry to have to tell you that as we await the necessary clarifications we are required to maintain the current restrictions for visitors and family members, who are still not allowed in the Home. The Residents on the two nursing units may not yet circulate out of their rooms, except for pre-arranged window visits with family members.
Knowing how eager the Residents are to be able to circulate freely in the Home, we are doing our best to provide them with meaningful activities and make them happy in their rooms. In recent weeks we have had several musicians provide entertainment in the area outside the front door, where many of the Residents can listen from their rooms. A number of the Residents from the second floor and apartments have been able to enjoy these concerts outdoors, all while maintaining the required social distancing!
On the feast of the Sacred Heart, the Sisters served ice cream treats to the Residents & staff throughout the Home. We were accompanied by a traditional ice cream truck jingle and one of our chefs, who donned a decorative apron and cap, adding much joy to the afternoon.
The Residents are still not permitted to attend Mass in the chapel, but we have begun to bring Holy Communion to their rooms more frequently. Last week we were happy to welcome our full-time chaplain, Rev. Philip Simo, O.S.B., back to the Home. He had been rendering extra services at his monastery during the critical time of the pandemic. We thank Msgr. Joseph Ranieri for his ever-ready availability to enhance our sacramental life over these past months.
We recently received a new Sister in our community. Sr. Christina will now be the supervisor of Good Shepherd Unit. In exchange for this joyful addition, we sadly bid farewell to Sr. Albina, who has begun her new assignment at our Home in Indianapolis.
Once again, we cannot thank you enough for your generous support over these past months. We still would like to curtail donations of food items and snacks, laundry soap, and paper goods at this time, since we now have an abundant supply. We also are not able to use liquid bleach for cleaning due to its potency and allergies. Only certain products are approved by the EPA for Health Care Facilities at this time. These include Clorox Disinfecting wipes, Lysol Disinfecting wipes and Lysol Neutra Air 2-in-1.
We are happy to report that some monetary donations have been used for procuring reusable gowns as part of the PPE for Resident care.
Next week we hope to be able to share good news with you about entering our next phase of reopening. We know that you are as anxious to see your loved one in the Home as the Residents are to see you! Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please know of our gratitude and be assured of our prayers for all you are doing for us.
Sr. Mary Michael and all the Little Sisters
Together let’s pray to Saint Jeanne Jugan to stop the spread of the virus. Click here for her novena prayer.
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