(319) 472-6200
We have come to the end of another week, grateful to be COVID-19 free. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memo this week giving states guidance for phased in opening of nursing homes. While we have not seen specific guidance from the Governor’s Office, Iowa Health Care Association reported that they consider Iowa to be in Phase I of the state reopening. Nursing homes will continue all current precautions and would not begin to open until the state successfully completes Phase III to keep our most vulnerable population safe. States were urged to consider factors such as COVID activity within communities, individual facilities, adequate staffing, adequate PPE for staff and visitors, and adequate access to testing. Interventions such as testing may be mandated for all staff weekly. If a positive COVID case occurred in the facility, residents would also be tested on a weekly basis until all tested negative. There are significant challenges to putting together this reopening plan, and we will continue to work with local and state public health officials on the health and safety of the residents through this process as we wait for additional guidance from CMS and our Governor’s Office.

For your information, I have also included a memo from the National Center on Law and Elder Rights with information and resources regarding resident stimulus checks and frequently asked questions.

We still have video chat available via FaceTime and Skype, as well as telephone calls, letters, and window visits.  Please our Activities Department us if you have those options available to you and would like them to facilitate a visit. During window visits, we want to prevent blocking our entrance or having a congested area. We ask that you use the resident window or the designated area, where the resident is inside the building and the visitor is outside the building. This is the safest way to accommodate visits as we must ensure there is a barrier between the resident and visitor, and social distancing is maintained for others. We appreciate your patience as we navigate keeping everyone safe!

This week we want to highlight our graduating high school seniors and wish them well as they prepare for their future!  Have a relaxing and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Jessica Henkle, BS, RN-BC, NHA

Director of Long Term Care Services

Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab

Phone (319) 472-6347

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We at Nursing and Rehab would like to recognize those that have given the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. May we always remember their courage and dedication

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Reminder from the VGH Safety Committee: We welcome your “outside visits” to your loved ones; please remember as you’re visiting the outside of our facility to watch your step, as some of the grassy areas are uneven. We want to keep our visitors safe as well!

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An update from our activities department:

I cannot believe that it is Memorial Weekend already. I do not know about you but for being cooped up and not being able to go anywhere it is the consensus that the time is still flying by so quickly. I take it as; we must be having some fun. We are all hanging in there, trying to keep busy, we have special treats, crafts and we laugh often.

Most of our residents admit they do not like being in their rooms and not being able to have visitors, but they thoroughly understand it and would rather have this than taking a chance and getting sick.

We have a big basket of balloons floating on the wall in the dining room. We took comments, thoughts, memories, advice from residents last week and put them on balloons to make a big balloon bouquet. We learned quite a bit about each other and ourselves.

paper balloon shapes displayed on a walll with yarn strings attached to a basket.

Monday was our monthly birthday party and we had cake and ice cream. Wick Chustz was the only one with a May birthday and it actually was on Monday.  He had cake and ice cream and we sang Happy Birthday to him. An experience that really made him happy he only has a birthday once a year.

Yesterday  we made pineapple shakes. It was frozen pineapple, pineapple juice and ice cream. If you like pineapple, it was awesome!!!

Corn is coming up… Many of our residents were happy to see that. We’ve had good rain, now we need some heat; that is what we learned today.

A field with rows of corn plants just starting to sprout.

We have also been having more people every week utilizing Skype and FaceTime. Please remember if you have the capabilities for either of them give us a call to set up a time for a chat.

We are still receiving cards and mail for the residents from family and friends. Thank you to those that are writing. It is so wonderful to get mail, well, if it is not a bill.

If you want to do a chat at the window, please call us and set up a time for that. We have had some confusion as to family just coming to the entrance door and wanting to visit through that door. We cannot do that, although we are more than happy to set you up at another door. Call Jen or Lori at the desk 472-6280 or our office 472-6377.

Hope everyone has a fun, happy, safe memorial weekend.  Try to keep distancing, wear a mask and I will not tell you to wash your hands. Most Important though, keep laughing. We are. It’s the best medicine I hear.

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Supply update: We are monitoring our supply levels daily, and continue to place new orders and receive supplies.  Prior to Covid-19, it was routine for us to receive a box of masks or gowns without much thought; now each shipment we receive is celebrated!  Rest assured that staff and resident safety is our highest priority, and we have plenty of masks, gowns, face shields and gloves to keep everyone protected!

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We are grateful for Dean Luze, Viking Sewing Staff, and ALL the seamstresses who have put in countless hours to make over 1000 masks, 80 gowns, 70 surgical head coverings, many ear savers, and more! By providing the items to help keep us safe….YOU are all heroes!

We cannot express our appreciation for the abundance of materials you’ve supplied, the way you’ve organized seamstresses, and provided expertise with patterns and skills to get the task done efficiently. We are forever thankful!

Nursing staff wearing gowns, face shields and masks, stand in the hallway with a blackboard sign in front of them.

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Residents have enjoyed getting flowers, painting and playing games.

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“I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.”- John Thune

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*For more information on Virginia Gay Hospital’s response to COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Need to Know web page.