Dear residents, staff, families and supporters,

The County is still in substantial transmission along with 93 other counties in Iowa. As of today there are no residents on campus with Covid. There were two staff members who tested positive, but only one who works in the long-term-care area. Here are a couple of things to be aware of:

The Green Entrance will be closed starting at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning through at least Tuesday as we continue with updates to the Chapel and front entrance. After 7:30 a.m., everyone will be routed through the Blue Entrance. The screen-in kiosks and Kathy, our front desk staff person, will be moved to the Blue Entrance to assist the process. Parking will be somewhat challenging….staff during the day shift, please consider parking in the orange and green parking lots and walking around so visitors have parking spaces.

Staff testing will be done Monday and Thursday in the Fireside Room from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Starting Monday, we will go back to testing ONLY STAFF who have an exemption or who are not up to date with their boosters. We will continue to test anyone with symptoms or exposures. Please notify a supervisor and be tested prior to working.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out updated community guidance making changes which recognize the new knowledge, vaccines and research available to support moving to a point where Covid-19 will no longer run our lives. HOWEVER, the guidance does not apply to long-term-care nursing facilities yet! We are hopeful this is a step in the right direction and guidance will change for us too soon!

Sunday, Aug. 8, the Baltimore Sun published an opinion piece on the need to loosen Covid-19 restrictions in nursing homes authored by two professors, Dr. K.C. Coffey and Dr. Mary-Clair Roghmann, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. At Bartels, we support that residents have a choice and a voice!

This month there were tours with Jenn Wolff and Pat Grassley to provide information and feedback. We will continue to lobby regarding funding, regulations and workforce on behalf of the residents and staff who are so important to us!

There have been 11 nursing homes in Iowa who have announced closures within the last month. I want everyone to know that because of community support, a strong board of directors and great team members, Bartels is thriving and will continue to move forward into the future!

Paula Geise, RN, MSN, CEO

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