July 19, 2020
Dear Residents, Families and Friends,
We have experienced a lot of blessings during this difficult time of pandemic but for the last two weeks we have received the best gift of all: a glimpse of hope throughout this ordeal. At this present moment we can state that all Residents have recovered from the Coronavirus and we are COVID-free throughout our Home! This is a real tribute to the collaboration of our entire team. It takes everyone’s cooperation to keep the virus contained — direct caregivers and those not in direct contact with the Residents, as well as the Residents themselves, and you, their families. Despite the truly tragic nature of the pandemic, it has united us in the true family spirit of St. Jeanne Jugan.
As previously mentioned, surveyors from DC Health visited our Home on June 24 and conducted a COVID-19 Focused Infection Control and Emergency Preparedness Survey. We are happy to report that we received a letter of compliance on July 2nd stating “no deficiencies were identified.” The surveyors were actually very pleased with what we have in place, right down to the menu each Resident fills out for their meals.
We have begun utilizing the reusable/washable isolation gowns that we received through the generosity of a family member who spearheaded the project of collecting monetary donations and purchased a good number to use for Residents’ care.
We wish we could tell you that we are able to begin giving the Residents more freedoms and allowing visitors in the Home. We are not quite ready, but we do think the long-awaited day is approaching. Following the directives of the DC Health Epidemiology team, the Residents have been tested for two consecutive weeks, with everyone testing negative both times.
As far as the staff is concerned, in response to Mayor Bowser’s COVID-19 Reopen DC Guidance (phase 1 and phase 2) for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Residences, and in collaboration with DC Health and CDC, all staff must be tested weekly. DC Health is coordinating the Nurse Strike Team who will be responsible for this testing every Tuesday. This will be an on-going weekly procedure until further notice.
When all the results of staff and Resident testing are negative for two consecutive weeks, some of the restrictions may begin to be lifted and we can enter the next Phase. We know everyone is anxious to visit, and rightly so, but we count on your prayers more than ever during this crucial time and appreciate your understanding and patience. We all have it at heart to protect our vulnerable elderly and to move slowly towards the next phase in an attempt to avoid any setbacks. Please continue to contact our Activity department to schedule a window visit or zoom chat with your loved one.
In closing, I wish to share with you an encounter that occurred recently. One of the Sisters was on the unit and observed 2 nurses and 2 CNAs reviewing the procedure of donning and doffing the isolation gowns. When completed, Sister remarked at how proficient they’ve become in this task, and from that comment each of them began recounting the experience of the very scary beginning weeks when the coronavirus descended on our Home. Through many fears and tears, each of them recalled the moment they knew they had to make a choice to confront this invisible threat. They formed an even stronger bond as a team, almost resilient in planning and providing care, leaning on the One who gives grace upon grace. For one, Psalm 91 gave her strength; for another, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet to and from work; another went home each day to their guest room and did not watch the news, but instead tuned in to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament being live-streamed and prayed. She recalled the words a priest offered one day: “Jesus, accompany me. Jesus, protect me.” And from then on, she repeated these words at work, each time she entered a Resident’s room. These are our collaborators, our co-workers; these are our true heroes. Many stories like this are being shared and we can see how God’s hand and protection watched over us these past months and continue to do so today.
We thank God for all our blessings and for the many people who touch our lives each and every day.
God bless you all!
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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