June 24, 2020
Hi Family & Friends,
I have been waiting a few days to send out this community update in hopes that I had the COVID test results that were done on June 9, 2020. These were conducted for the Assisted Living residents and Independent Living residents by the National Guard and sent to the Department of Health (DOH). On Monday evening, June 22nd, the DOH’s epidemiologist gave me a verbal report that all tests were negative. I have not received any written confirmation and will continue to follow up daily until they are received.
There are no confirmed cases in our skilled care currently.
We have made arrangements with a private lab for the residents in residential living houses who would like to get tested.
The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), adopted an Emergency Rule on June 15, 2020 requiring nursing home and assisted living staff to be tested for COVID-19 every two weeks with testing provided by the State. On June 23, 2020, AHCA sent a memo with some logistic information on which vendor they have contracted with to distribute all testing kits and to perform the analysis. We should get more direction by the end of the week with more details. Testing will be conducted every two weeks beginning July 7, 2020 unless there are changes.
Below is an article from ABC Action News:
“A mandate to require face masks in the City of Lakeland failed to make it to a vote. The motion to vote died from a lack of a second so it never got to the voting stage of the process. The measure is similar to mandates recently passed by the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Hillsborough County that require masks to be worn indoors.
During Monday’s meeting, city commissioners heard from Danielle Dummond, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Lakeland Regional Health and Dr. Steven Achinger of Watson Clinic.
Dr. Achinger said this is a “critical time point” to act and make a huge impact in the spread of the virus in Lakeland. He also said masks are the most cost-effective way of continuing to open the local economy in a safe manner.
‘The more masks that we have being worn in a public space, the safer that public space is. No question,’ Dr. Achinger said.
During the meeting, Dr. Achinger compared asking the public to wear masks to second-hand smoke. He said banning smoking in public spaces wasn’t a popular decision, but it protected those who were damaged by the choices of others.
Dummond told commissioners that LRH has seen an increase in ventilator use. She said of the 50 ICU beds available at LRH, 48 are currently in use and, of those, 30 are COVID-19 positive patients.
Despite city commissioners hearing from Dummond and Dr. Achinger on why mandating masks to be worn in the city of Lakeland is important, nobody seconded Mayor William Mutz’s motion to approve the executive order.
‘Alright, so there is no motion to accept the executive order, and we will not do a mask mandate,”’ Mayor Mutz said. ‘”And the result of that will be in the numbers.’”
This article can be found at, https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-polk/face-masks-not-required-in-lakeland-after-commissioners-vote-against-mandate.
We at Florida Presbyterian Homes, continue to mandate the use of masks and highly encourage staff and residents to wear masks when they are out of their homes. We have and continue to offer masks to any resident in the community that are in need of one, and recently gave a goodie-bag to all employees with cloth masks, surgical masks, hand sanitizers, etc. to keep in their vehicles or on their person when out and about.
We have communicated to Lakeland Regional Hospital that we will resume admissions for short-term care. These admissions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and analyzed by the clinical team to minimize any spread of this disease.
Our Life Enrichment continues to offer new and adjusted programming to keep residents engaged. If you would like to schedule a video chat with your loved one, please reach out to Alexis Bautz, Associate Executive Director.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Continued blessings to you and your household,
Maria Rivera, RN, Administrator