Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) Update

Friday, October 15, 2020

  • Staff positive cases as of this posting:
    • New staff members testing positive:0
      • Resident positive cases as of this posting:New residents testing positive: 0Miscellaneous volunteer testing:1

Total Positive Cases/Deaths Since Covid-19 Reporting Began:  March 2020

  • Total staff positive cases: 22
  • Total resident positive cases: 14
    • Total deaths: 1

Covid Cases

We are reporting 1 positive case over the past 14 days followed by the aggregate total of positive cases since we began reporting in March.   These are the figures of most interest as it reflects where we have been and where we are.  Also, what is required by the CDC relative to reporting.

There is 1 confirmed new positive COVID case today.  This case was an outdoor family visitation volunteer.  We routinely test our valued visitation volunteers, although we are not required by the ISDH or CDC.  This is for their safety and the safety of our residents and families.  This person was asymptomatic which reminds us how unpredictable COVID-19 is and can be.  There were no signs or symptoms with this individual.

SO WHERE ARE WE? AGAIN!

With the immeasurable volumes of discourse occurring in our country surrounding COVID-19, it seems incredibly challenging to monitor and decipher where we should be and where we are.  Make no mistake, we continue to be under the guidance and directives of the Indiana State Department of Health and the CDC.  As such, we have not changed our visitation policies or protocols for our residents and families at Hubbard Hill.

Recently, the World Health Organization issued a position on lockdowns and the associated risks.  However, the data and their position continue to support this action for at-risk populations, such as seniors and persons with comorbidities.  Additionally, while Governor Holcomb has instituted Stage 5 of his program, LTC facilities remain under continued guidance from the state as we continue to comply.

Suffice to say, healthcare experts continue to project COVID-19 increases in the coming months as 42 states are already experiencing spikes in reported cases as the weather cools and people move indoors.  Please note, the spikes are being traced largely to family gatherings of 10+ persons, so please exercise caution and preventative measures at your family gatherings.

VISITATION

Hopefully, you are all aware we have moved visitation indoors with the cooler weather.  After our initial visits, we view them as successful but will be making tweaks to the program to ensure a pleasant experience for all.  See our visitation schedule by resident unit at hubbardhill.org. 

LOVE

If you are like me, tis the season and I can barely turn on the television.  These are trying times and I take comfort and peace by the simple request from God to simply love one another.  We believe we are called to lead by example and that is exactly what we strive for each day—no matter what.  We love our residents, families, staff, and community with our whole hearts and hope that love is felt and passed on as we navigate such uncharted and sometimes choppy waters.   We also live in the knowledge that our Lord God has this-and this too shall pass.   I wish patience were one of my virtues. 😉  Progress-not perfection. 

May God’s unending peace, grace, and love be yours today.

HUBBARD HILL PODCASTS ARE ACTIVE!

We are proud and excited to announce we have successfully launched what is an ongoing series of podcast episodes that are intended to inform, inspire, entertain, motivate, educate, and provide hope!  This is the next step in our community outreach, not to replace these posts, but to provide another easily accessible platform to be in relationship with our community, families, and residents.

Check out our latest podcast episode, “Engage Me” at hubbardhill.org/podcast!

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones
Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Past 14 days data:  09/10/20-9/24/20

  • Staff positive cases as of this posting:
    • New staff members testing positive:1
  • Resident positive cases as of this posting:
    • New residents testing positive: 0

Total Positive Cases/Deaths Since Covid-19 Reporting Began:  March 2020

  • Total staff positive cases: 22
  • Total resident positive cases: 14
  • Total deaths: 1

Covid Cases

We are reporting 1 positive case over the past 14 days followed by the aggregate total of positive cases since we began reporting in March.   These are the figures of most interest as it reflects where we have been and where we are.  Also, what is required by the CDC relative to reporting.

There is 1 confirmed new positive COVID case today.  This case was a student nurse completing her clinical rotation at HH.  All Healthcare staff and residents were tested and all were negative.

What does Governor Holcomb’s decision to move to Level 5 mean to HH?

While the state has improved it’s position, Elkhart County is also improving.  However, there were 52 new cases reported, one new death, positivity of 5.4% among all tests, and 11.1% positivity among unique tests as of 9/24.  Our protocol is unchanged as his order does not include Long Term Care facilities.  So once again, we are constrained by state and federal mandates.  But things look a little better overall!

HUBBARD HILL PODCASTS ARE HERE!

We are proud and excited to announce we have launched what will be an ongoing series of podcasts this week which are intended to inform, inspire, entertain, motivate, educate, and provide hope!  This is the next step in our community outreach, not to replace these posts, but to provide another easily accessible platform to be in relationship with our community, families, and resident

Check out our podcast episodes at hubbardhill.org/podcast!

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

Monday, September 15, 2020

Past 14 days data: 09/01/20-9/15/20

  • Staff positive cases as of this posting:
    • New staff members testing positive:2
  • Resident positive cases as of this posting:
    • New residents testing positive: 0

Total Positive Cases/Deaths Since Covid-19 Reporting Began: March 2020

  • Total staff positive cases: 21
  • Total resident positive cases: 14
  • Total deaths: 1

Covid Cases

We are reporting 2 positive cases over the past 14 days followed by the aggregate total of positive cases since we began reporting in March.  These are the figures of most interest as it reflects where we have been and where we are. Also, what is required by the CDC relative to reporting.

There are 0 confirmed new positive COVID cases today.

And the testing continues

As the Elkhart County positivity rate continues to fluctuate and most recently increased, so goes our staff testing. We are pleased to report at the conclusion of staff testing last week, we have 0 positive cases among our staff tested. We continue to maintain our vigilance as we know how quickly that can turn on a dime!

You may have heard from news outlets the Elkhart County positivity rate which had been reported was incorrect. It is our understanding the Indiana Department of Health is having some difficulty with data processing. We are hoping it will be worked out shortly.

We want to thank our wonderful residents, staff, and families for making outdoor visitation a success by complying with state guidelines and thankfully, great weather we have had! The hill is gorgeous as we enter autumn and a great time to enjoy the cooling weather, sunshine, and tree scape we so enjoy! We will be providing information soon of the next phase of visitation as temperatures begin to fall.

HUBBARD HILL PODCASTS ARE HERE!

We are proud and excited to announce we have launched what will be an ongoing series of podcasts this week which are intended to inform, inspire, entertain, motivate, educate, and provide hope! This is the next step in our community outreach, not to replace these posts, but to provide another easily accessible platform to be in relationship with our community, families, and resident

Check out our podcast episodes at hubbardhill.org/podcast!

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones
Proverbs 17:22

Friday, September 4, 2020

Past 14 days data:  8/21/20-9/04/20

  • Staff positive cases as of this posting:
    • New staff members testing positive:2
  • Resident positive cases as of this posting:
    • New residents testing positive: 0

Total Positive Cases/Deaths Since Covid-19 Reporting Began:  March 2020

  • Total staff positive cases: 21
  • Total resident positive cases: 14
  • Total deaths: 1

Covid Cases

We are reporting 2 positive cases over the past 14 days followed by the aggregate total of positive cases since we began reporting in March.   These are the figures of most interest as it reflects where we have been and where we are.  Also, what is required by the CDC relative to reporting.

There are 2 confirmed new staff positive COVID staff cases today. 

COVID FATIGUE…not perceived-real.

Early in our COVID-19 journey together, we repeated the fact we are on this journey together.  We believe we are.  But it would be naïve to suggest everyone on this journey is not currently or has experienced fatigue.  Our residents, our families, and our staff.

Residents are fatigued by the ongoing restrictions, even though several programs and experiences have been restored.  Still, their ability to leave the facility to enjoy the errands, appointments, family visits and more is still restricted.  We empathize and feel their pain.  We creatively think each day how we can better advocate for our residents within the guidelines.  That is our responsibility and commitment.

Families are fatigued by that plus their inability to see, touch, hug, kiss and simply return to normal human interaction with their loved ones.  I cannot imagine what it must be like to see our staff close to your loved ones, caring for them during pandemic-yet you cannot get any closer than 6 feet.  It must be incredibly painful after 7 months. 

And our staff.  To say our staff is fatigued after 7 months is an understatement.  We were severely stretched for staff resources even pre-Covid.  Our team is working incredibly long hours, leaving their families even though their families ask them not to take the risk.  They do.  Because they are hugely committed to their calling.  The fact that they cannot advocate on behalf of our residents as they have done normally is heartbreaking for them.  Tears are shed and frustration is felt throughout our staff at the restrictions they too must abide by. 

It is totally counterintuitive to our team as our mission and values are quite the opposite.  As one nurse stated, “I am spent”.  It is incredibly difficult to fight the fight 24/7 against a virus that sneaks in under disguise.  Sometimes prevention can be more exhaustive than caring for the sick.  But it IS our calling and we do it with a faithful and joyful heart…still.

So, everyone is fatigued.  I can’t minimize how people feel-it’s very real.  But we carry on with God’s grace, strength, love, and fortitude only He can provide.  And we WILL endure.  He has worked through us in years past when we were facing seemingly untenable situations-and He is again…

Thank you ALL AGAIN for leaning in and your commitment to winning the small battles and ultimately this war together.  We simply have THE BEST residents, families, caregivers, and our INCREDIBLE staff.

Take a breath this holiday weekend and breathe.  Everyone.  We all need a break and we will return renewed and refreshed next week.   No excuses for Labor Day, our team must take a break. It’s that simple. 

HUBBARD HILL PODCASTS ARE HERE!

We are proud and excited to announce we have launched what will be an ongoing series of podcasts this week which are intended to inform, inspire, entertain, motivate, educate, and provide hope!  This is the next step in our community outreach, not to replace these posts, but to provide another easily accessible platform to be in relationship with our community, families, and residents.

We have begun with 4 episodes under the name Memories Matter hosted by Debbie Carriveau, Executive Director of the Living Wisdom Center as she shares information on COVID-19 and the impact on those living with dementia.  You are sure to find her narrative informative and helpful as you navigate these waters.  Debbie will continue to provide insights and relevant information as we move forward with this series.

Today, I participated, and Episode 5 is being posted as we speak.  I share a heartfelt dialog regarding a similar topic, fatigue.  I hope you enjoy it and get just a little boost and walk away better informed, hopeful, and armed with the tools you need.

Check out our podcast episodes at hubbardhill.org/podcast!!

Have a Happy, Peaceful, and Restorative Labor Day Holiday!

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.
– Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, August 18, 2020

Past 14 days data:  8/3/20-8/17/20

  • Staff positive cases as of this posting:
    • New staff members testing positive:3
  • Resident positive cases as of this posting:
    • New residents testing positive: 0

Total Positive Cases/Deaths Since Covid-19 Reporting Began:  March 2020

  • Total staff positive cases: 19
  • Total resident positive cases: 14
  • Total deaths: 1

Covid Cases

We are reporting new positive cases over the past 14 days followed by the aggregate total of positive cases since we began reporting in March.   These are the figures of most interest as it reflects where we have been and where we are.  Also, what is required by the CDC relative to reporting.

There are 0 confirmed new positive COVID staff or resident cases today. 

We are COVID free.  Now what?

We are so blessed each day we come to you with no new positive COVID-19 cases.  If we controlled every variable, we should be accountable and grateful.   But we don’t-and will never control all the variables and moving parts of this virus.  That’s proof positive that once again -we do NOT control everything and yet are COVID free.  Blessed.

But we cannot ever take our eye off the ball.  It is still very present in our community. The fact is all around us family members are positive, co-workers, friends, and many other persons in our community which fuels the continued increase in COVID-19 incidence…and an ever-present risk to our residents.

So far, we have it under control at the moment here at Hubbard.  So, what are we doing?  What’s new?

Every day, there is something new that impacts our thinking and direction.  We assess, measure, and respond accordingly.  But there is a threat out there which we know little about.  And that is the post-COVID-19 side effects and longer-term impacts for those who have been COVID positive.

We hear frequently of young people who choose to ignore or trivialize COVID-19 and its impact.  “Just a bad flu-I’ll take my chances”.   Perhaps they are 18, or 25, or 37, or 42.  Irrespective of age, what we are learning each day is the post-COVID-19 clinical impact on persons who have contracted the virus can be significant.  As a team, we are shifting gears (or adding another gear) to ensure we monitor all residents who have contracted COVID and are now free of the virus.  We are watching for ANY indication of post COVID impact.  And vigilantly waiting and watching. We are just beginning to learn more information regarding what the effects are starting to look like…

Let me be clear-as I mentioned last Tuesday, COVID is a virus-not a bacteria which can be treated with an antibiotic.   COVID is a virus that remains in your system, dormant, until your immune system is compromised and then it appears, attacks, and potentially creates havoc with your body.  It’s in there just like chickenpox and other dormant viruses.

Care to take the chance?  Not the chance you are inconvenienced and quarantined with the virus today.  But the chance that your long-term risk awaits you down the road when you least expect it, in a way you never imagined.  And honestly, today we can neither identify nor discuss the specifics…but the risk is real.  For me, I’m not rolling the dice.

NEW FAMILY OUTDOOR VISITATION HOURS

To better meet the needs of employees, residents, and families, the following new outdoor visitation hours have been released effective Monday, August 17th.  Again, we remind families of the terms and conditions of a visitation:

  • You MUST wear a mask during your entire visit-not removed when you are speaking, or below your mouth.  You must wear it for its intended use.
  • Maximum TWO family members per visit. 
  • No children below the age of 18?
  • Please be on time for your visit and end your visit promptly.  There will be no extensions due to late arrivals.

We want to thank family members for your compliance.  We want to kindly and strongly remind visitors these directives are not subject to discussion.  Our staff members who manage this visitation are not authorized to negotiate exceptions to the rules-but to keep everyone safe and make your visit as enjoyable as possible. 

Assisted Living

  • Monday:  1:00pm-4:30pm
  • Tuesday:  5:30-7:00 pm
  • Friday:  9:00am-11:30am

Healthcare

  • Tuesday:  1:00-4:00pm; 5:30-7:00pm
  • Thursday:  1:00-4:30pm

Living Wisdom Center

  • Tuesday:  10:00-11:30 am
  • Thursday:  5:30-7:00 pm

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ. -Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, August 11, 2020

Past 14 days data:  7/28/20-8/11/20

  • Staff positive cases as of this posting:
    • New staff members testing positive:3
  • Resident positive cases as of this posting:
    • New residents testing positive: 0

Total Positive Cases/Deaths Since Covid-19 Reporting Began:  March 2020

  • Total staff positive cases: 19
  • Total resident positive cases: 14
    • Total deaths: 1

Covid Cases

We are reporting new positive cases over the past 14 days followed by the aggregate total of positive cases since we began reporting in March.   These are the figures of most interest as it reflects where we have been and where we are.  Also, what is required by the CDC relative to reporting.

There are 3 confirmed positive COVID staff cases today.  All staff members have been quarantined for the prescribed 14-day window in their homes.  They may return following 2 negative COVID tests.

Art and Science

Football?  No football?  School?  No school?  Masks?  No masks?  Crisis?  No crisis?

These are the issues of our day.  How can so many people view the presumably same picture in such dramatically different ways?  It has been said medicine is a practice, “my practice is in South Bend”.  “I practice medicine”.  It has also been said medicine is a combination of art and science.

Art: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

It is art insofar as it is a collection of multiple pieces and approaches, and the end results are in the eyes of the beholder.  It is the ultimate expression or application of creative skill and imagination.  And it takes year of practice to master art.

Science:  the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

Make no mistake, medicine is grounded in science.  It is a function of years and years of best practices, discoveries, experiments, collaboration, expertise, data collection, commitment, vision, critical thinking, and caring for thousands upon thousands of human beings.  And it also takes years to master the science.

Perhaps therein lies the great divide between people’s perception and beliefs about this thing we call COVID-19 and what it means to everyone?  Maybe some see it through the lens of art, which is subject to interpretation in what you see?  Others see it as science, driven primarily by facts, figures, proven methods, and cures?

Or maybe it is a mix of art and science?  With COVID-19 there is still so much we do not know and are learning every day.  We still don’t know what the future will look like for those who have contracted COVID-19.  Again, the myth exists that viruses may be treated as we might bacteria and kill them with antibiotics.  Like many viruses we have known through history, they are not killed.  They lie dormant until your body’s immune system is compromised and then surface, unannounced.  Like chicken pox which can present later in life as shingles.  The virus is gone, but not forgotten. 

And that is the scientific fear and unknown.  We are already starting to witness significant post COVID side effects across all age groups.  The art?  For healthcare professionals to exercise their creative and imaginative muscles tackling thousands of unknown variables enabling them to act preemptively on the cause and effects of COVID-19.  The science?  Keep observing and experimenting.  Find the solution.

Art and science.  We need both artists and scientists to conquer this villain.  A powerful combination aided with the guidance, love and care of our Lord and God.  The ultimate artist and scientist.  After all, He created them.  I’m betting on Him.  No matter your lens.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,

as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Past 14 days data:  7/22/20-8/05/20

  • Staff positive cases as of this posting:
    • New staff members testing positive: 0
  • Resident positive cases as of this posting:
    • New residents testing positive: 0

Total Positive Cases/Deaths Since Covid-19 Reporting Began:  March 2020

  • Total staff positive cases: 16
  • Total resident positive cases: 14
  • Total deaths: 1

Covid Cases

We are reporting new positive cases over the past 14 days followed by the aggregate total of positive cases since we began reporting in March.   These are the figures of most interest as it reflects where we have been and where we are.  Also, what is required by the CDC relative to reporting.

We have no new Covid-19 cases to report today.

Outdoor Visitation Success and Expanded Visitation Options

The cooler weather and increased awareness have made our outdoor family visitation program enjoyable for so many!  We have many families scheduling their time and helped the COVID crisis not be as much a crisis of the heart for residents!

Increased demand and requests for more times for working families has resulted in the following schedule enhancements:

ASSISTED LIVING

  • Monday 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday 5:30-7:00 p.m.
  • Friday 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

HEALTHCARE

  • Tuesday 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday 5:30-7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday 1:00-4:00 p.m.

LIVING WISDOM CENTER

  • Tuesday 10:00-11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday 5:30-7:00 p.m.

**** Call the front desk to reserve your time to visit outdoors with your loved one!!***

We have also had inquiries regarding the use of face shields in lieu of face masks. The regulatory directive is no—this is not possible. From Kathy Gonsalves, Director of Nursing: 

Face shields are to be worn over the mask for eye protection. They aren’t meant to wear alone. They do not stop respiratory droplets from spreading as they are open on all sides except the forehead.”

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32

Monday, August 2, 2020

Past 14 days data:  7/20/20-8/03/20

  • Staff positive cases as of this posting:
    • New staff members testing positive: 0
  • Resident positive cases as of this posting:
    • New residents testing positive: 0

Total Positive Cases/Deaths Since Covid-19 Reporting Began:  March 2020

  • Total staff positive cases: 16
  • Total resident positive cases: 14
  • Total deaths: 1

Covid Cases

We are reporting new positive cases over the past 14 days followed by the aggregate total of positive cases since we began reporting in March.   These are the figures of most interest as it reflects where we have been and where we are.  Also, what is required by the CDC relative to reporting.

We have no new Covid-19 cases to report today.

I’m safe…he thought.  A story worth telling.

Today I was discharged from the hospital after spending a week battling Covid-19.  This was after progressively getting sicker and sicker the prior week at home.  I had high fevers (about 103), a cough, congestion, diarrhea, shortness of breath, consistently low oxygen levels (sometimes dropping into the low 80s) and generally felt very sick.  My eyes hurt, I lost my sense of smell and I just generally felt terrible.  When I was admitted they took an x-ray of my chest and I had the classic Covid “ground glass” appearance in my lungs, similar to pneumonia. I had trouble sleeping due to the cough, the constant fevers (and subsequent breaking of my fever where I would wake up in a pool of sweat). It came on super quickly– the day before my symptoms appeared two weeks ago, I had set a new personal record on the Peloton (stationary bike).  Now I sometimes have trouble getting a breath just walking up the stairs and I’ve lost about seven pounds in the past week.

There was a point in time after my first night at the hospital where it was indicated I may have to go to the ICU, which was very worrisome.  Fortunately, it never came to that.  I required supplemental oxygen nightly and occasionally during the day.  I was put a new drug, which is taken over a five-day course intravenously and had I gotten any worse they had planned to put me on a steroid which has proven effective in studies as well.  Thankfully, they believe in science at Northwestern.  I am feeling considerably better over the past few days as my fever has largely subsided and my oxygen levels have improved.  I’m starting to get a little stronger but still have fatigue and a cough and they expect these to linger for a few weeks.  I am looking to be one of the lucky ones.  

My wife and our children all have Covid-19 as well. Fortunately, they have all had few if any symptoms besides loss of smell and a runny nose and a little fatigue.   Things would have gotten very complicated if my wife’s condition had deteriorated so thankfully it did not.  We do not think we infected anyone outside of our immediate family despite coming into contact with some family members and a couple of friends in the week prior to symptoms appearing.  Fortunately, we were fairly careful about being outside and keeping distanced from those we were in contact with.  

We have no idea where we caught the virus and generally were pretty careful with the wearing of masks and limiting public interactions.  We of course do not know if there will be any long-term consequences from having Covid but at least it doesn’t appear to have caused any deaths or serious illness in the short run to anyone we know outside of my hospitalization, and for that we are very thankful.  We would have a very hard time forgiving ourselves if we had gotten anyone else sick.  

 I believe I had about 15 different nurses and three doctors and a P.A. who cared for me and who selflessly put themselves at risk every day and whose research into the best treatments has helped bring the death rate down considerably.  

Lastly, I just want to emphasize for any doubters out there- this virus is very real, it doesn’t discriminate, and we are all vulnerable to it.  Please wear a mask at all times in settings where others are present, don’t needlessly gather with others, particularly in close settings and don’t think you won’t get it because you certainly can.  Please listen to the legitimate experts such as Dr. Fauci and do not listen to things you read on the internet from unverified sources. We don’t know anyone who has had this and hardly anyone in the town we live in has had it and we still got it.  I feel like we let our guard down just a tiny bit and we ended up with the disease and who knows what the long-term consequences will be because of it.

A firsthand experience written by a friend of Hubbard.

**** Call the front desk to reserve your time to visit outdoors with your loved one!!***

Lord, You made us for good works. You gave us the desire to always learn and grow in our ability to love You and our neighbors. Help us to make progress each day and not to worry about the conclusion that you may bring out of that obedience. Remind us regularly that your conclusions of every matter will always bring fruit even though the conclusion may be different than we were thinking. Your ways are above our ways.

 In Jesus’ Name, Amen.