*July 15, 2020
We are grateful to share some good news! Here is our most recent update:
-All of our patients who were fighting COVID-19 have officially recovered from the virus! Our patients are COVID-19 free and we are so thankful!
-Per our last update, we had 3 positive employees quarantined to their homes. One of these employees is now considered recovered.
-Per our last update, however, we also had 6 employees isolating at home due to confirmed exposure in their close circles of friends/family. Of these employees, 2 have since tested positive. We now have a total of 4 positive employees that are quarantined at home.
-Additionally, we still have 4 employees who remain in isolation at home after confirmed exposure within their close circles of friends/family.
-We completed our federal and state inspection process related to our COVID-19 outbreak. Texas Health & Human Services reviewed all cases to date and the details and information surrounding these cases. They determined that the outbreak was unavoidable and not the result of any deficient practice by the Avante staff, residents, and/or visitors. It was determined that Avante has and continues to implement the best policies and practices possible, given the available information about the virus and its behavior.
-Should we have another employee (or patient) test positive, we will continue to report that information and that will create a new investigation. Our zip code/area is still categorically high for COVID-19 positive cases. Considering the level of known community transmission and our aggressive testing strategy, we anticipate that we will continue to identify positive employees. We are testing as often as we reasonably can in an effort to reduce exposure by asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers to any patients. We are also still closely monitoring patients that interacted with one of our specialist physicians who initially tested positive.
Thank you for your support and prayers! Thank you for doing your part to reduce community spread. You play a vital role in keeping our healthcare heroes free of COVID-19, and simultaneously, our patients free of COVID-19. We’d also like to thank the Texas Department of Health & Human Services, Dallas County Department of Health, and our state and federal governments for all their efforts to support skilled nursing and long-term care facilities. Thank you to all of those who are committed to fighting during this trying time.
*July 9, 2020
We continue to receive your heartfelt support and it means so much to us! We are so thankful for your prayers that have gotten us to this point! Here is our most recent update:
-We have administered over 750 tests.
-We currently have 2 patients that are in our care and technically considered COVID-19 positive. However, both of these patients tested negative in the last 48 hours. We are hopeful that their next test will also be negative so that they can be deemed “recovered.”
-Our 2 employees that have been isolating at home are now officially recovered! We are thrilled- we have missed them!
-Community spread is a valid and legitimate variable that is affecting us, as well as many healthcare providers in our area. Due to our frequent testing strategy, we have been able to identify 3 asymptomatic employees who recently contracted the virus. After contact tracing, we are unable to connect them to any positive patient or staff member. One of these employees has had minimal contact with non-covid patients. The other 2 employees have had no contact with any patients. These three employees remain asymptomatic and are now quarantined at home. One has already received a negative test.
-Additionally, we have 6 more employees that have been asked to quarantine at home and held off of work because they were exposed to someone positive in their household or close circle of friends/family. These employees were negative and interacted with someone who developed symptoms and tested positive. Because of their exposure, we are not allowing them to return to work until we can test toward the end of their assumed incubation period and feel comfortable that they do not have the virus.
-We have contacted regulatory agencies regarding reporting. Should these quarantined employees become positive with confirmed exposure from a friend/family member, we are still required to report them and identify them as positive employees amongst our facility. We believe this information is important to share because our “positive employee” number will go up as cases rise in the community and we strongly believe that it will be a result of community spread.
-We also received notice yesterday from one of our specialized physicians that they tested positive for COVID-19. This physician services patients at multiple long term care facilities, including Avante. This physician has not provided face-to-face visits with any known positive patients and reports that they have been following all infection control protocols, both at work and home. Today, we received word that this physician tested again and their result was negative. Nonetheless, we will be closely monitoring patients that were seen by this physician and continue to test them regularly. Testing is a vital tool for us. Without adequate (and accurate) testing, as well as the accessibility to receive results quickly, it would be even more challenging to keep the virus out of any group setting.
We are pushing forward and praying as we continue to navigate through this and seek a new normal. Thank you so much for your continued prayers!
*June 18, 2020
Thank you for your support and prayers. There are no words to fully express our appreciation. Your prayers are working! We continue to push forward. We are thankful for all the negative tests we are seeing and we are ecstatic every time we can officially say that someone is “recovered.” Here is our most recent update:
– We have administered over 550 tests since the beginning of this journey.
– We currently have 7 patients in our care that are still fighting the virus. Five of these patients are stable with mild or no symptoms. Two of our patients are guarded. They’ve experienced moderate symptoms and also have multiple underlying conditions.
– Fourteen of our patients have officially “recovered” and most have transitioned to our step-down area. We are so proud of our team! They continue to battle along with our patients and push them to fight, even when it’s difficult. They are nurturing, encouraging, and motivating! We feel strongly that the outcome for some of our recovered patients would have been different if it weren’t for your prayers and this team!
– We currently have 2 employees still fighting at home but they are doing well and we anticipate that they will soon be recovered.
We have won some recent battles but this war is far from over. Our zip code continues to be at the top of the tier, displaying the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Dallas County. We have prevented at least one potential new employee from being another avenue for the virus to reenter. This applicant tested positive in our screening process and was completely asymptomatic, seemingly healthy, and shocked to learn of their positive test result. These factors reiterate that the virus continues to be very present throughout DFW. They also emphasize the importance of testing. We must continue to test. We must continue to fight. We must not let our guard down. Please stay with us in prayer.
*May 17, 2020
To date, we have performed over 300 tests. Seventeen of our patients have battled or are battling COVID-19. Of that total, 15 remain positive in our facility. With a heavy heart, we are sharing that 2 members of our Avante family ended their battle with COVID-19 last week. Both of these gentlemen were strong, honorable, and faithful men that were loved by all who knew them. As much as we are saddened by this loss, we are relieved to know that today they are in a place where viruses do not exist.
To date, we have confirmed a total of 12 positive employees. They have all been quarantined to their homes and remain isolated with mild to no symptoms. Of this total, one of these employees has had 2 consecutive, negative tests after their quarantine period and that employee is now considered “recovered.” We are praying that we will have many others (both patients and employees) in the “recovered” category this week. We have planned and attempted to test patients and employees every 7 days. We felt this to be our best strategy for identifying positive cases and reducing spread. Some have tested positive up to 21 days after a last known exposure and most have remained asymptomatic (both patients and employees). These variables make it difficult to identify where positive cases are and where potential spread may occur.
When COVID-19 was identified in our building, the Department of Health allocated us 20 test kits per day. We believed this to be a significant tool in this health war, as we were able to test on-site and receive those results fairly quickly. However, that changed last week. The Department of Health is no longer supplying us test kits. A DOH representative has stated that they cannot fully support our strategy— most facilities will perform one mass test and then only test symptomatic persons thereafter. The reason for this is primarily test availability and efficiency for testing in the public lab. If we were applying this method, our numbers would look a lot different. In truth, our numbers would be a lot lower; however, they would not accurately reflect how the virus has penetrated our Avante family. We hope to continue to test via other routes. We are thankful to one of our patient’s family, The Johnston Family, for locating and donating 200 rapid test kits to us. We will also be utilizing private labs that we can gain access to and explore other methods that will aide us in this battle. We will continue to do the very best we can with all the resources we have available.
We are doing our very best to communicate information. We are in constant motion. A significant portion of our administrative team is included amongst our staff that have been quarantined and most of our reception team is on a leave of absence. In addition, we are complying with regulatory agencies and must report to several of them daily. If anyone is needing further information or has questions, you can reach out to our administrator, Philip, who remains on-site. You are welcome to drive by the Incident Command Center or call (972) 841-8562. If you cannot reach him right away, please leave a message and he will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. Your encouragement is truly heartfelt.
*May 7, 2020
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. This is where we are to date:
We have tested all patients and active employees. We have retested all patients who were negative and we are retesting employees as well. Now that we have COVID-19 in our building, that has allowed us to receive more kits and we are maximizing that tool. After retesting, we have additional positive cases. We confirmed 13 positive residents and 8 positive employees (this includes previously reported cases). Of these 13 patients, 12 remain in our facility with mild to no symptoms. One of our residents was sent to the hospital with moderate symptoms. The employees who tested positive remain quarantined at home with mild to no symptoms. We have received over 150 negative tests/retests. We will continue to retest as kits are allocated to us.
Many of you have asked about items that could be donated. With increased cases and other businesses reopening, it seems that we now find ourselves competing for PPE and supplies in what was already a scarce market. We are accepting any PPE donations as well as Isopropyl Alcohol (70% or greater). These items can be dropped off in our quarantine bins at the front of the building. We thank you so much for all the ways you are supporting us. Every effort makes a difference! A special thanks again Chasing Wishes Boutique for your donation of KN95 masks and Heather Molchadski for coordinating this effort as well as the drinks/snacks you provided to our team. We appreciate it more than you know.
Our Administrator is also making personal phone calls to our patient families to brief and answer any additional questions.
*May 3, 2020
As of May 1st, we have confirmed additional positive cases. We currently have a total of 13 positive cases. Of those cases, 8 are patients and 5 are employees. We have also received 82 negative tests (patients and employees). All 8 positive patients are currently in the facility with either no symptoms or mild symptoms. The 5 positive employees are quarantined at home with no symptoms to mild symptoms. The majority of our positive cases remain asymptomatic (without symptoms). We thank God for this. We are notifying families of test results as we receive them. We are also calling all employees. All patients, families, and employees with positive test results have been notified. All patients/families with negative test results have been notified. We are continuing to call employees to report negative results. Please note that we are not receiving results in the order they are submitted. We are still missing some test results for tests performed early last week. We contacted Department of Health to inquire about these tests throughout the week. They are trying to assist us in locating them. We are also continuing to test and retest.
We are thankful for all who have offered support. We are doing the very best we can with the situation, time, and resources we have. We are proud of our efforts and team. Thank you for your continued prayers.
April 30th, 2020
Thank you all for your outpouring of support! Here is our most recent update:
On Monday 4/27, as previously mentioned, our COVID-19 positive patient had been placed on isolation pending test results. We were notified of the positive result around 4:30am and our Administrative Disaster Response Team arrived at the facility shortly thereafter. They immediately implemented our Emergency Protocol and Disaster Plan. They were able to quickly conduct a risk assessment of our residents and team that were currently in the building and prevent our oncoming team from entering the building until they could be further screened. Based on CDC guidelines, our initial screening consisted of contact tracing, Risk Stratification guidance, and COVID-19 tests that were made available to us. Based on the above, many employees were sent home until we could further assess them. They were asked to wait in their vehicles while we made these determinations.
Here, we would like to interject a sincere THANK YOU to our AMAZING and DEDICATED team that has volunteered to rise to this occasion. They are fighting this war for the better of our patients and our community. We hope to share more about them, as we’re able to do so.
We tested 20 patients and employees from kits provided by our local Department of Health as well as private labs. Of those tests that were performed, 15 were negative and 4 were confirmed as additional positives, bringing that total to 5 confirmed cases. Of those cases, 2 are employees and 3 are patients. Again, initial tests were prioritized based on CDC guidance. Regarding those that tested positive, 2 have presented with mild symptoms and 3 are asymptomatic to date.
On Tuesday 4/28, we were able to receive more test kits from DOH. Those were exhausted and submitted.
On Wednesday 4/29, we were still awaiting test results. Meanwhile, we were allocated additional tests, which were used and submitted.
As of this moment today (4/30), we have not received results from testing that was completed on Tuesday or Wednesday. We have implemented further protocols as we await those tests. We have held off much of our healthcare force and have quarantined one of our units completely as well as monitoring and separating our other units.
Our team has really pulled together to get all patient needs met and satisfied. We will be contacting families of those that were tested with the results as soon as we receive them. We will also be testing more patients and employees as well as follow up testing (further into the incubation period) as we receive test kits. Given the fact that so many of our positive cases have no symptoms, we have decided to test everyone as we are allocated test kits.
Again, thank you for your support and prayers! We are committed to fighting this war. We have had to hold off much of our team and we are using our PPE to the fullest potential for both our employees and our patients. We are doing our best to prepare in the event that we have to hold off other essential employees in the future. We are planning day by day, based on events from the previous day. That being said, we would like to reach out to anyone that is able to assist us. We need to recruit a dedicated and compassionate group. We need nurses, medication aides, and nurse aides to join our team or be on standby but we could use help across other disciplines as well. We also need additional medically designed isolation gowns and N95 masks. If you are able to assist with any of the above, please email email@example.com or text/call (972) 786-3772.
Please continue to keep our building in your prayers– those that have tested positive, those that we are serving, and those that are fighting.
In addition, as tomorrow approaches and many businesses re-open, please think of us and do your best to stay safe and healthy.
*April 27th, 2020
Friends and Family,
As we have stated before, there are many avenues to which a virus can enter a facility. We have fought endlessly and made every sacrifice and effort we could think of to prevent COVID-19 from reaching our residents and patients. With heavy hearts, anger, disappointment, and much sadness, we are announcing that it has entered our building.
We learned at approximately 4:30am on 4/27/20 that one of our residents tested positive for COVID-19. This patient had previously chosen a palliative plan of care and has requested to stay in our facility and not be hospitalized. We are doing our best to honor the wishes of our resident while protecting our other residents and team members. We have placed this patient in isolation and are working to dedicate staff to provide 1:1 care. We are following guidance from our local and state health departments to ensure that the latest protocols are being met. We are not able to accept any new patients into our building during this time. While we are doing everything we can to prevent spread, we realize time is not on our side. The incubation period is long and we are working backwards to identify anyone that may have been exposed over the previous weeks as well as testing them and other patients in our building. If you are worried about your loved one being in our building during this time, we sympathize and understand. We strongly encourage anyone who is able to take their loved one home to do so. We will hold their room for as long as needed and assist with that transition in every way possible, so long as it complies with Dallas County orders.
Again, we just want to express our sadness that it has come to this point in our country, our state, our city, and now our building. We have followed this novel virus before it was much of a topic. We have asked of and watched our staff cancel vacations, quarantine, and make sacrifices long before we were instructed to do so and in the face of some criticism for being over reactive. We have made preparations and modified those preparations time and time again as information evolved and changed and as we watched the virus attack many nursing homes throughout our country. We have attempted to learn from other facilities that it affected, so long as we were able to get that information. We believe in transparency and believe it is a vital weapon in this healthcare war. Please feel free to contact us with questions. We are working diligently to notify everyone, including other healthcare partners.
We also want to acknowledge everyone among our team. Our team has fought hard together and continues to fight. We are not giving up. When a pandemic arrives, our purpose does not disappear. We are here to provide care and compassion and assist our residents and patients as long as we are present. While some have chosen to leave the fight, others are dedicated and actively in this war. They are truly heroes…..they are soldiers. They are walking through fear and unprecedented times as they continue to provide care. It is humbling. We thank God for this amazing group.
We want to thank our patients and families for your support. It is heartfelt, needed, and much appreciated.
We ask for your prayers as we continue this fight.
Philip & Ericka and our entire Avante Family
*MARCH 19TH, 2020
We would like to thank all of you that have reached out to us and asked about ways you could help. As many of you know…..we take infection control very seriously. We are sensitive during flu season and we are continuing to be extremely sensitive to the novel coronavirus. We have been concerned long before mandates were issued and have had “some” small relief now that our community is acknowledging this as a serious matter. Many of you have heard about the heartache that a nursing home experienced in Washington. The media has not talked about it as much since the virus has unveiled itself across the nation. It is no longer just one nursing home in Washington. The outbreak quickly spread to multiple facilities in that area. We received correspondence that it has penetrated nearly 150 other facilities across the nation (per CMS 3/23). Then earlier today, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins held a press conference and stated there are now several nursing homes in Dallas with outbreaks. At this point, we have not been notified that we share any facility staff with facilities that have a known outbreak. Please understand that this virus can spread so quickly and it weighs heavy on us. We have taken many steps to be proactive but we continuously worry that it may still not be enough. How can you help?
1- Prayers. Calling on all of our prayer warriors! We will take your prayers and thoughts and well wishes. Although it is in the heart of many to want to send care packages and letters…..we ask that you do not during this time. We are quarantining packages and disinfecting anything that comes into our facility from the outside, including mail. Because of this, we would like to limit this to essential items. We are thankful for your prayers thus far. We are thanking God that we do not have any diagnosed COVID-19 cases to date. We are praying that, together, we can prevent it.
2-We stopped visitation prior to issued mandates and as you know by now, it is a judicial mandate. We ask that all please continue to honor this. Our staff will assist with phone calls and face-time. Know that we are doing all we can think to do to keep our residents safe while also upbeat. However, please understand that statistically, the more people you come into contact with, the higher your risk for contracting the virus. To our family members…if you would like to have your loved one home with you, we empathize, understand, and feel in most cases, this would reduce their risk of contracting the virus. With the stay-in-shelter orders, some of you may be in a temporary position that would allow you to safely have your loved one at home with you during this pandemic. We would assist you with their transition in every way possible. We will continue to work diligently to do all we can in this health war. If you wish to have your loved one with you during this time, we encourage it and we will reserve their bed for as long as needed, at no cost to them/you. We will be making contact with all of our families but wanted to share this information as soon as possible.
3- We have supplies to provide the needed care to our residents; however, if you have or know of someone that is selling masks, gloves, and medical supplies and you think we could use them, please reach out to us. We have enough for now but we don’t know what the supply chain will look like in the future. As always, we are thinking ahead and trying to prepare. We recognize this to be a struggle for many healthcare professionals right now.
4- Please realize that everyone has a responsibility and role in protecting the vulnerable! Understand that this virus can enter a facility in many avenues. The incubation period is long and you can spread before you have symptoms…. which is why we have been screening, taking temperatures, and mandated that everyone in our facility wear masks, even when seemingly healthy. While we are controlling variables that we reasonably can, IT TAKES THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE to protect our most vulnerable! We need everyone to take this seriously and do their part. It is not just a matter of banning visitors, wearing masks, and disinfecting items that come into our building. Some of our patients have to go out of the building….they go to dialysis centers, necessary specialist visits, and potentially the hospital. New patients come to us from the hospital and are transported via ambulance drivers. There are medically necessary providers such as xray companies that enter and provide service to our residents. They along with our work and healthcare force (from janitorial to physicians) are a part of the community you share. They have to stay healthy in order to protect our vulnerable. We urge everyone to PLEASE ACT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF ONE ANOTHER and #stayhome when at all possible.
5-Again, we are thankful for each day that passes when we can say our staff and patients are healthy and safe. This message is not intended to cause panic to anyone but rather to be informative, reiterate why we are taking it seriously, and also be proactive and prepared for a worse case scenario….one that we will continue to pray we don’t see. Part of our disaster plan includes having a list of volunteers to call on, should we reach a situation that leaves us without enough staff to adequately care for our patients. We have a list that we would like to grow as long as possible. Volunteers do not necessarily need to be licensed as a medical professional. There would be enough ways for anyone to help but we are specifically searching for anyone who is over 18, physically able to lift 20 lbs, and has a clean background. We would not do any screens unless you were actually being called to serve. For now, all we need would be a name, phone number, and any special medical license information that one holds or has held, if applicable. Please pass along to anyone that you think might be interested in helping…….our residents may need you.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and #stayhome
Welcome to Avanté Rehabilitation Center!
Avanté Rehabilitation Center is Irving’s premier skilled nursing facility, offering comprehensive skilled nursing and senior rehabilitation programs. Our programs are individualized to meet each patient’s needs. We invite you to EXPERIENCE AVANTÉ!
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