COVID-19 Daily Updates

A statement from Allison Q. Salopeck,
President and CEO of Jennings
July 8, 2020 at 6:00p.m.

Dear residents, family members and staff,

Thank you for your continued support and feedback. Please continue to be diligent as we continue our education and precautions with the goal of keeping staff and residents well. We remind all residents to continue wearing face masks when leaving their residence, wash hands frequently and keep at least 6 feet of physical distance from other individuals.

Families of Nursing Home Residents
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is allowing outdoor visits with nursing home residents beginning July 20. We are excited about this opportunity for residents and families, and we are completing the plans to make these visits safe and convenient. We will be providing information soon through this update.

Resident and staff wellness

There are no changes since our June 25 update.

Residents*

Currently positive in isolationCurrently presumed positive in isolationCurrently positive receiving care away from JenningsCumulative residents who recoveredCumulative deaths
(including residents
presumed positive)
Cumulative residents tested positive and presumed positive
(includes current)
0005813
*All at Jennings’ Garfield Heights campus.

Staff

Current positive staff cases, isolating at homeCurrent presumed positive staff, isolating at home Total staff recovered and cleared
for return to work
Cumulative staff tested positive and presumed positive (includes current)
0033

Jennings Hospice Staff

Current positive staff cases, isolating at homeCurrent presumed positive staff, isolating at home Total staff recovered and cleared
for return to work
Cumulative staff tested positive and presumed positive (includes current)
00 11

Independent Living: Apartments, Villas and Cottage Homes

Current positive cases,
isolating at home
 Residents
recovered
Cumulative who
tested positive
1* 23
*One resident at Jennings Manor

There are no positive cases of residents or staff at Jennings at Brecksville or Jennings at Notre Dame Village.

Please pray for all who are ill.


Jennings’ COVID-19 Call Line: 216.365.3414

Video Chat information: jenningsohio.org/video-chats


Face Coverings Mandatory in Cuyahoga County
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will issue an order, effective 6:00 pm July 8, that will mandate wearing of face coverings in public in all counties that are designated Red Level 3 Public Health Emergency Alert. This order will impact residents, staff and families of Jennings at Brecksville, Jennings’ Garfield Heights campus and Jennings at Library Court, all of which are located in Cuyahoga County. 

Mandatory Staff Testing
You may have heard in the news that the Ohio Department of Health is requiring the Ohio National Guard to enter nursing homes and provide COVID-19 tests on all staff. Because Jennings already proactively completed a comprehensive testing of our staff ahead of the mandate, Jennings is exempt from the Ohio National Guard testing. Our testing methods and results were reviewed and found to meet the requirements in both method and scope. We shared the results with families in May, in which Jennings staff tests were all negative for the virus.

Outdoor Visits for Assisted Living Residents
Jennings will continue its Carhop Visits for residents in assisted living at our Garfield Heights campus and Jennings at Brecksville, as well as courtyard visits at Jennings at Notre Dame Village. Family members may sign up for the time with our SignUp Genius tool, which will confirm the location of the visiting spot. The links for visits at all locations is located at www.jenningsohio.org/carhop and will be updated as necessary. Please take special note of the risk screening assessment tool on that page. (Please note that the lifted restrictions do not yet apply to residents in nursing homes.) 

Contact Tracing
As we have communicated with you in other updates, Jennings shares information with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) about all residents and staff who test positive for COVID-19 or who are presumed positive due to symptoms or exposure. CCBH, as an agency with The Ohio Department of Health, has partnered with Partners in Health for contact tracing.  When the staff receives information of a positive test, these professionals will interview the resident, Jennings’ staff and/or families to find out all who were in contact. The goal is to identify how a person became infected with a virus, as well as identify anyone who was possibly exposed to the virus from the infected person. This is another helpful tool to help prevent additional illness. Visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to read more. 

Ohio’s Reopening and Medical Appointments
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has recently lifted a number of orders for the general public, still encouraging important precautions such as physical distance and wearing face masks. However, restrictions remain in place for individuals living in nursing home and assisted living residences. Our visiting restrictions remain in place for these residents.

We request that residents and families examine every medical appointment. Given the continued potential risk, please discuss with both the physician and a Jennings nurse whether the appointment is deemed necessary. For any nursing home or assisted living resident in Garfield Heights who must keep an essential medical appointment, the resident will need to quarantine in his/her own suite for 14 days.

Residents Living Independently
Jennings asks residents living independently to continue following precautions like physical distancing, wearing face masks when outside his/her home, limit visitors to vital supportive visits only and going out for essential trips only. We care about their health also and ask them to be considerate of neighbors, especially as some residents live with medical conditions that increase their risk of adverse outcomes from illness.

Window visits
It can be very reassuring to visit a loved one at his/her window. However, this cannot replace the important physical distance of 6 feet or more when a window is open. Remember, public health experts tell us people can carry the virus without having any symptoms, and together we are working hard to prevent further illness.

Ohio Department of Health
You may know that the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) began reporting the number of positive COVID-19 resident and staff member cases for each senior living community in the state of Ohio. While we are updating them promptly, this public information is updated weekly. Therefore you may find discrepancies since we are updating you each day. For example, it appears that the Ohio Department of Health has reported all Jennings’ positive tests and presumed positive tests, as having occurred at Jennings in the nursing home.

Comfort Care and Hospitalizations
Jennings respects individual choices not only about the way residents choose to live each day, but also the way they choose care when they are ill or in different stages of their journey. Jennings Hospice, one choice, enhances a person’s quality of life with holistic, compassionate care and pain management when an individual elects not to pursue additional treatment or is entering the final stage of life. Many residents and families know how important these advanced directives are, even though the conversation is difficult, so Jennings can honor each individual’s choice. Some residents elect to go to the hospital for illness or treatment. Other residents choose comfort care, receiving additional care here in their familiar surroundings. Jennings continues to honor that choice for residents, including those who have tested positive for COVID-19. While each individual’s choice is unique, we feel it is important to communicate this to you to interpret our reporting of those who have tested positive, some going to the hospital and those who remain at Jennings.

Personal protective equipment
We refer to the experts’ guidelines for the right precautions and personal protective equipment to reduce the opportunity for illness. Staff members providing standard care to residents (in the nursing home and and assisted living residences) in Garfield Heights are now wearing N95 masks as well as face shields or goggles. This is out of an abundance of caution for staff and residents. Those staff members caring for residents in the isolation area who have tested positive are also wearing gowns. Staff members at our other locations continue to wear surgical masks, as they have been since the beginning of April. We continue to practice safe physical distancing and remind residents about safety practices, such as wearing a mask when they are not alone in their residences.

This truly has been an unimaginable time, and our commitment to our ministry of service has never been more meaningful for the entire Jennings family. We understand how difficult this is for residents and family members, especially those living on our Garfield Heights campus who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 virus. We are grateful for your support and compassion, as well as your feedback and questions.

Please know that we are committed to open, transparent communication and we will continue working to balance the information you deserve with the privacy and respect for individuals that they deserve.

Please click here to visit our coronavirus web pages for additional information about COVID-19.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: How do you decide to test residents?
A: Our Medical Director guides the Jennings team, in conjunction with guidelines by local and state experts and guidelines. We are make decisions based on factors such as symptoms and risk. It is likely that we will continue testing symptomatic and asymptomatic residents and staff throughout this pandemic. We know it is an uncomfortable test; as soon as a reliable, less invasive test is available we will look to secure it.

Question: Do staff from one building work at the other locations?
A: Since the beginning of April 2020, each Jennings staff member has only one designated Jennings campus where he/she works. The staff member may not work in the buildings of another Jennings campus.

Question: How will I know if my loved one should be tested?
A: If a resident should be tested, the decision is made in conjunction with our medical director. If symptoms or risk show that a resident should be tested, Jennings staff will make a personal phone call to the person listed as the resident’s responsible party. 

Question: I am not receiving email updates. How can I sign up?
A: Visit jenningsohio.org/families to subscribe for email updates, or contact Lisa Brazytis at (216) 581-2900, ext. 2297.