April 27, 2020
Yesterday, The Commons learned a resident and an employee have tested positive for COVID-19 while undergoing care for unrelated issues. Neither individual showed any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. The resident remains in the hospital and the staff member is in quarantine at home, under the care of a physician. “We have notified public health officials as required and are following procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” said Steven Walkingstick, Executive Director. “We are taking every step as recommended by authorities to continue our work preventing the spread of this virus. We want to make residents, their families, our dedicated staff and our community aware of this latest news and reassure everyone that we are on top of the situation.”
Any media inquiries regarding this situation should be directed to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Friday April 24, 2020
As we watch more and more news coverage of how the COVID-19 is impacting the lives of all Americans, there are reports that give us reason to be optimistic and some that remind us that we are still in the thick of this battle. I want to address a few recent news events and how they will affect our community.
On Wednesday, Governor Stitt published the Open Up and Recover Safely (OURS) plan that consists of three phases. While much of the state will begin to re-open as we meet certain criteria, communities like The Commons will understandably be the last sector of the state to return to normal operations. At this point, the guidance in phase three of the plan still requires senior care facilities to prohibit visitors. While we will finally be able to enjoy communal dining at a restaurant or getting a haircut, those activities will remain prohibited on campus.
Another recent development in the fight against COVID-19 has been the impact that the virus is having on meat-packing plants across the country. This has the potential to impact our meat supply in the very near future. We are mandated to meet specific nutritional requirements and the dining staff are working on a contingency plan, should the supply of meat diminish. The plan would include utilizing less homemade items and more pre-packaged, frozen items. We can also begin offering more casserole type dishes that are able to be fortified with a protein supplement.
One of the big concerns since the beginning of the pandemic has been the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). We are finally starting to see that supply chain get replenished as we have been able to drastically increase our inventory of masks, gowns and gloves this week. We are also requiring all staff to wear a cloth mask and we reached out to a number of different civic organizations and church groups requesting cloth masks. The Enid community answered our call in a mind-blowing way. We have had hundreds of sewn masks donated to us and it allowed us to check one concern off of the list.
In the event that we have a positive test result from a resident or staff member, we will notify all residents of The Commons or their power-of-attorney and this would trigger more stringent care policies for the clinical staff.
Lastly, I want to address our employees. I have fielded a few questions regarding potential layoffs and/or furloughs from residents who are rightly concerned about the employees they interact with daily after seeing so many reports about historic unemployment claims. I am pleased to say that not only are we not laying off or furloughing employees, we are actively hiring. Additionally, we implemented a Hero Pay initiative this month in which all employees received a one-time appreciation compensation.
Once again, THANK YOU to all of our residents, resident families, staff, partners and the Enid community for your prayers, support, patience and understanding during this season.
Steven Walkingstick, Executive Director
During the seven decades The Commons has been serving senior adults and their families, our world, nation, state, county, city and our facility have experienced many different trials and challenges. The year 2020 has presented all of us a great challenge with the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The mission of The Commons is to enhance the quality of life of those we serve in the spirit of Christ by providing an environment where physical, emotional and spiritual needs are nurtured.
While the pandemic has presented new challenges, our mission continues to be the driving force behind all we do. Although there have currently been no cases of COVID-19 in Garfield County, with guidance from the CDC, The Commons has initiated the following precautions:
~No visitors are allowed in our healthcare and assisted living facility The only exception is for those in end of life situations.
~All staff and medical personnel are being screened every time they enter the facility
~All residents are remaining in their rooms
~All community activities and community dining has been suspended
As these new procedures have been put in place, our staff continues to focus on enhancing the quality of life of those we serve by nurturing the needs in these areas:
Physically: Our dining staff are preparing easy to consume meals according to each resident’s dietary needs; serving with disposable dinnerware; serving each resident personally room by room; providing multiple drink and snack options room by room.- in both our healthcare center and assisted living.
Our therapy department is meeting with and continues to assess each resident’s needs individually and develop plans to meet those needs.
Our nursing staff continues to meet each resident’s medical needs as well as monitor any signs of new illness.
Emotionally: Our activities staff is focused on innovative ways to engage residents individually with additional one on one conversations, visits and activities. We are strongly encouraging family phone calls, virtual visits, messages, letters and cards. We will be asking for the communities’ help including school age children in the days to come.
Spiritually: Our chaplain and many staff members are trained and focused on recognizing and addressing spiritual needs such as grief, purpose and loneliness. Prayer and spiritual services are available to all residents as well as staff.
We have established a direct line at (580) 237-7273 that anyone may call 24 hours a day for the latest updates. We ask for your continued prayers as we have the honor of serving senior adults during these unprecedented days.
We also ask that you check on your senior adult neighbors and loved ones. Please join us in doing all we can in protecting the most vulnerable people in our community.