Updated June 12, 2020
Contact: Nathan Hokama
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kalakaua Gardens completes testing employees and residents; no COVID-19 positive cases to date
HONOLULU — Kalakaua Gardens, a senior living community that offers independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care under one roof, has completed testing its staff and residents for COVID-19. Kalakaua Gardens staff began working with the Hawaii Department of Health and collecting swab samples last Friday, June 5, immediately after the two non-direct care employees were confirmed positive for COVID-19.
Beginning with employees who worked closely with the two positive employees, all of Kalakaua Gardens’ 175 active employees have been tested and all of them have been negative. An additional 11 employees are on-call or have been on leave. They will be tested before they return to work on their scheduled workday. The Department of Health’s Hawaii State Laboratories Division and a private laboratory conducted the tests.
The two employees are being isolated in their homes for at least 14 days until the Hawaii Department of Health determines they are clear of the virus and can safely return to work. Based on the COVID-19 test results of other employees and residents available to date, it appears the two employees contracted the disease from outside Kalākaua Gardens. The Department of Health is conducting contact tracing with the two employees.
Kalakaua Gardens also offered testing for all of its 177 residents. The residents in assisted living and independent living as well as skilled nursing care who have been tested have been negative, including four tests that were confirmed today.
There are about 33 residents who have declined to be tested. As recommended by the Department of Health, these residents will remain in self-quarantine in their unit for 14 days.
“We would like to thank the Hawaii Department of Health for their guidance throughout this past week and for their support with testing our staff and residents. The guidance from the health department enabled the Kalakaua Gardens team to update our residents, their families, vendors and healthcare professionals who serve our residents and to respond to their questions,” said Bobbi Lyman, Interim General Manager of Kalakaua Gardens, which is rated a five-star facility by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “While the test results are a sigh of relief, we know we must continue to remain vigilant in enforcing our infection control practices to protect our staff and residents.”
Kalakaua Gardens has implemented the following precautionary and mitigation strategies for both residents and staff, some of which have been in place since the early stages of the pandemic:
- Only essential employees are reporting for work; non-essential employees have been asked to temporarily quarantine at home.
- The temperature of all employees and essential healthcare professionals and vendors is taken before entering the facility. Before the beginning of each shift, all employees are required to respond to a brief questionnaire to help identify and screen symptomatic employees and other healthcare professionals and vendors.
- Kalakaua Gardens is also reminding its employees to maintain social distancing and to comply with other safeguards while they are out in the community, as recommended by the Department of Health.
- Residents are monitored for signs of any symptoms of any illness or changes in their health condition. Monitoring is conducted three times a day in the skilled nursing unit and twice a day in the independent living and assisted living units.
- Skilled nursing care residents are able to maintain communication with family members through mobile devices and other digital tools. Kalakaua Gardens was one of 23 skilled nursing facilities that recently received a Department of Health grant to enable virtual visits between residents and their family members.
- Visitations from family members to Kalakaua Gardens continue to be prohibited as a way to maintain physical distancing, while efforts to ensure senior residents maintain social connection with their family outside the facility.
Updated April 21, 2020
The safety of your loved ones is of critical concern to all of us at Kalakaua Gardens. This update is to provide you with a few of the procedural changes Kalakaua Gardens is making to focus on our clearest priority – keeping our residents and team members safe.
As of this update, we have no diagnosed cases of the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”). We will remain vigilant in our efforts to protect our residents and team members during the Coronavirus pandemic.
We continue to implement procedural changes in step with guidance received by the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and Hawaii State Department of Health. As such, the following changes have been implemented:
Effective immediately until further notice for all Kalakaua Gardens Residents:
- Visitors are not allowed in the building and will be asked to delay their visits until further notice.
- Kalakaua Gardens has implemented quarantine procedures (meaning the only visitors allowed will be essential personnel).
- All events involving external visitors, performers or facilitators have been cancelled.
- All recreational excursions and shuttle runs are suspended. Shuttle runs for essential medical purposes will still occur.
- Screening of staff and essential contractors continues with extensive screening questionnaire.
- Additionally, we are tracking all staff illnesses and following guidelines recommended by the various health agencies and departments as necessary.
- Mail service will not be interrupted.
- Residents will not be allowed to leave the community unless it is for an essential purpose. (For residents who do not comply, upon return they will only be allowed back to KG under mandatory 14 day in-room quarantine)
- For Independent Living, Assisted Living, Assisted Living Plus and Memory Care Residents: all resident temperature checks will be conducted twice a day (morning and evening). We are also closely monitoring any abnormal signs and symptoms.
- For Skilled Nursing Residents: all resident temperature checks are being conducted upon staff shift change. We continue to screen and monitor for any abnormal signs or symptoms.
- We are routinely monitoring the best infection prevention practices.
- We are increasing cleaning of common areas.
- Reviewing inventory checklist.
Kalakaua Gardens is continuously communicating with residents and staff any changes or new precautionary recommendations from the above agencies.
Friends and family are encouraged to communicate with loved ones remotely through phone calls, Facebook or video conferencing.
You can help our residents feel loved by using our contact us feature from our website page. Just complete the online form and we’ll print it out and deliver it to your loved one.
There is no doubt that these are unusual times. Unusual times call for unique steps that need to be taken to protect our residents, staff, family members, and visitors. We do know that COVID-19 is very contagious and can be spread easily person to person. Our utmost priority is the safety of our residents, your loved one and our care associates.
Effective Immediately for all essential visitors to Kalakaua Gardens!
As part of our continued efforts to decrease the risk and spread of COVID-19, please review this communication.
Essential Visitors will be Limited/Restricted, except under extenuating circumstances, such as:
- End-of-life situations
- Health Care professionals as required by the plan of care
- Kalakaua Gardens will follow federal and state guidelines as they evolve
All employees and essential visitors must wash or sanitize their hands prior to entering and frequently throughout their time in the facility.
All essential visitors and employees will be screened for:
- Respiratory infection symptoms
- A confirmed or suspected contact with any individual diagnosed with the novel Coronavirus now officially named COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days.
- Had confirmed or a suspected contact with anyone who has traveled to/from any international country with a CDC Level 3 travel advisory in the preceding 14 days. (see CDC website for list).
- Had an unexplained fever (subjective or ≥100.4°F or 38°C)
Increased Measures in place:
- Taking daily temperature readings for all employees who are working, residents, patients, and essential visitors.
- Monitoring for respiratory symptoms which include dry cough and shortness of breath.
- Group outings and activities where social distancing is not possible are postponed until further notice.
- Large group and social activities in high risk areas are suspended.
Our care teams live the Kalakaua Gardens foundational belief: we embrace a heart for Service and a Passion for Living. We realize this is a frustrating and worrisome time. We will do everything possible to ensure your loved ones’ safety and make every effort to assist you in communicating with them. We are here for you, your family, each other, and our communities during this difficult time.
Please contact us with any additional questions or concerns you may have.