Since the last update, the Mennonite Memorial Home has experienced continued evidence of COVID-19 spread, including confirmed and presumed positive cases and additional resident deaths as a result. No staff or residents have tested positive at any other Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio campus at the time of this posting. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day around the corner, our sympathy goes out to those residents, employees, and families whose lives have been forever changed. MHCO is dedicated to sharing information in a transparent, but compassionate manner that honors our elders’ and employees’ privacy and protected health information. Some ways we have been communicating to residents, families, staff and the general public include phone calls, conference calls, one-call now messaging, e-mails, website posts, Facebook posts and press releases. Both the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now developed reporting tools that we are using, so that data from long-term care communities across the country can be collected and reported to the public consistently and accurately.
Up until now, one of the primary challenges presented during this outbreak has been a shortage of testing supplies. Due to a recent increase in testing availability and a higher prioritization of long-term care communities by state and federal governments, we now have an opportunity to test all MHCO residents and staff prior to individuals displaying symptoms (surveillance testing). We are requesting to be part of this surveillance testing made available in our NW Ohio region. Likely this will take several weeks, at least, until completion. While testing is not perfect, it serves as a tool to help us prepare for and organize care for residents. All residents of the Mennonite Memorial Home have already been tested for COVID-19.
It is important to remember that while the state and local governments start to relax COVID-19 restrictions, the Stay at Home order has not been lifted, and all COVID-related policies remain in effect at MHCO until further notice. We have done the hard work of containing COVID-19 as much as we have been able to, protecting many co-workers, residents and our families through good infection control, limiting social contacts and social distancing. We cannot let up now.
As part of our commitment to our residents and staff, the Mennonite Memorial Home has recently entered into a partnership with ServiceMaster of Lima to supplement our regular Environmental Services with additional staff and equipment needed to perform a “terminal clean” – cleaning and disinfecting all possible surfaces throughout the entire building. This project took place May 4th – 7th. Thank you, ServiceMaster, for helping us complete this project.
Resident, family and public support has been essential in helping our front-line care givers get the courage and resolve to come into work each day and care for those who are most susceptible. The most recent display of community support – the Prayer Circle event organized by the Bluffton Area Ministerial Association – encapsulated the community’s outpouring of love and prayer that helps all of us through these challenging times.
Be well – and may the Peace of God be with us All.