Moving Forward in Faith during COVID-19

June 1, 2020

THANK YOU
As we begin a new month, we have some wonderful updates to share below! June marks almost three months since the COVID-19 directives began…it is hard to believe! We thank you for your wonderful support of our residents and staff under these difficult circumstances which limits how close you can be to your loved ones! We are a Neighborhood of Care and our sisters and staff continue to surround our elders with love, prayer and professionalism! We also are deeply grateful to our benefactors and friends who have continued to support us in our mission! Our volunteers help us ‘from afar’ by the ‘Spread Virtue, not the Virus’ campaign, and have supported residents with cards, letters and artwork. Know of our daily prayers for you all!

UPDATE
Manor Skilled Nursing Facility
On May 20th and 21st, 2020 we did a 2nd re-test of our Manor residents and staff members who previously tested negative. We received wonderful news: All the results came back negative!!  We are very proud of the hard work that everyone has done! The nursing leadership of the Manor who has worked so hard to ensure that strict mitigation/infection control policies are in place. On Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 the LA County Department of Public Health Medical Director has closed the outbreak case for our facility. We are awaiting directives from Public Health for ongoing re-testing of a sampling of our facility and will keep you posted on our next steps.  Reporting requirements and continued vigilance will be a priority, with adherence to all Public Health directives. Currently there are no changes to our visitation practices or activities until the Department of Public Health lifts these regulations state-wide.

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The LA County website continues to post the cumulative numbers of positive tests for facilities.  Here are the cumulative numbers listed on that website for our Manor:

Staff Residents Deaths
222 Santa Teresita Manor Duarte, CA 12 16 4

As of May 15, 2020, we have not had any residents or staff with symptoms or a positive test result.

Assisted Living Cottages
We continue to have no cases of COVID-19 in either of the Cottages. We conducted testing of our residents and staff in Cristo Rey Cottage on Friday, May 29, 2020.  We will inform you of the results once received and any directives given by Public Health.  We will then proceed to schedule testing in Good Shepherd Cottage in the following weeks. For Memorial Day, you could hear the trumpet blaring out patriotic hymns around each building as part of a prayer service and celebration which was followed by a BBQ in your own room! The staff continue to be creative in keeping our residents strong, safe and loved!

We continue to keep all operations for the Manor and Cottages separated and, as stated above, all visitors on site continue to be suspended; we will not be opening St. Joseph Chapel for the foreseeable future.    This includes the current practice of no celebration of the Mass for our residents.  Although directives have been given by Governor Newsom for places of worship to reopen and Archbishop Gomez has issued guidelines for parishes to reopen, our current health orders have not changed, and we continue to restrict all visitors on site and residents are remaining in their respective buildings.  Santa Teresita is not a parish and, due to our needs on campus , we will continue to  adhere to guidelines from LA County Public Health for Congregate Facilities in order to ensure the continued safety and health of our vulnerable residents in the Manor and Cottages.  We will assess the circumstances and develop a plan to gradually re-introduce the Sacraments for our residents on campus which we know are of vital importance.

Los Angeles County Public Health Orders
As LA County begins the re-opening and the implementation of the Roadmap to Recovery, we wanted to share that there are no changes in the visitation practices for Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities. We await directives on any changes for Congregate Living Facilities from the California Department of Public Health. The daily symptom screening continues for all residents and staff on campus.

FACILITY PRACTICES

  • Manor Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Cottages
    • Family visitation, elective medical visits, outings and group activities/dinning continue to be suspended
    • We are keeping residents engaged with one on one activities and pastoral care visits in their room.
    • Team members continue to be monitored at the beginning and end of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms. Anyone with symptoms will be sent home and we follow CDC guidelines for return to work.
    • We are monitoring residents for any change in condition on each shift. Any changes in condition are reported to the physician and responsible party as is the usual practice.
    • All team members in the facility continue to wear personal protection equipment (PPE), and practice infection control prevention throughout their shift.
    • Employees who develop symptoms should notify their supervisor immediately and will be sent home per CDPH and CDC guidelines.
  • Manor Skilled Nursing
    • Asymptomatic/Negative Residents are to wear cloth face masks if outside their personal rooms.
    • Symptomatic Residents are to wear surgical face masks if outside their isolation rooms.
    • Symptomatic Residents, Asymptomatic Residents and Negative test Residents are relocated to separate units as per Public Health protocol.
    • We tested all residents and staff in the Manor on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 per the latest LA County Public Health Order. On Wednesday, May 20, 2020 we re-tested of all staff and residents who previously tested negative.  All the tests came back negative for COVID-19.
  • Assisted Living Cottages
    • Asymptomatic Residents are to wear cloth face masks if outside their personal rooms.
    • Cristo Rey Cottage test of all residents and staff was Friday, May 29, 2020. We are awaiting results.  Test date for Good Shepherd Cottage will be scheduled after testing and results are completed for Cristo Rey.

QUESTIONS
For weekly updates visit our website at https://www.santa-teresita.org/covid19/

RESOURCES
LA County Public Health – http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/locations.htm
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/SNFsCOVID_19.aspx

California Department of Social Services – https://www.cdss.ca.gov/

Center for Disease Control – www.cdc.gov

As we enter summer, let us continue to all do our part to stay safe and well!

Sincerely,
Sister Marie Suzanne, OCD, CEO, RN

May 27, 2020 Letter

THANK YOU

We greet you at the start of another week and want to remember all our Veterans as we observe Memorial Day. St. Ambrose says that “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” We give thanks and we remember those who have given their lives in service to our country, for all those who have served and those who are on active duty today in the armed forces. We especially thank and honor your family members and loved ones and keep them in our prayers. We ask that the Lord may continue to bless and protect all of us at Santa Teresita and you, our dear families. Holidays this summer will be celebrated in creative ways while staying compliant with all the directives to prevent transmission of the Coronavirus. We thank you for your support and encouragement!

UPDATE

Manor Skilled Nursing Facility
In dialogue with our Los Angeles County Public Health Nurse, on May 20th and 21st, 2020 we re-tested our Manor residents and staff members who previously tested negative on the first round of testing. Once these test results are received, we will follow the LA County Public Health protocol of how to handle any positive results, as we have over the course of these past weeks.

Currently, all our staff, pending one, who tested positive have recovered and returned to work. We also have had a full recovery of our fourteen residents and continue to remember our four residents who did succumb to the virus due to their already fragile health. These beloved residents continue to be in our prayers. We had a Mass offered on May 21, 2020 for the peaceful repose of their souls and the consolation of their families.  We are committed to working diligently and in collaboration daily with the LA County Department of Public Health to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The LA County website continues to post the cumulative numbers of positive tests for facilities. These numbers do not reflect the current ‘real-time’ status of the residents and staff who have recovered from COVID-19. Below, in the “Resources’ section of this update, there is a link to LA County Public Health that cites the locations of institutional facilities and the impact of COVID-19. Here are the cumulative numbers listed on that website for our Manor:

Staff Residents Deaths
222 Santa Teresita Manor Duarte, CA 12 16 4

In our weekly updates to you, our goal is to share the current numbers of what is happening inside our building in real-time. As of May 15, 2020, our COVID-19 isolation unit was emptied for the second time! This indicates that there are no current cases of COVID-19 in the building.

Assited Living Cottages

We continue to have no cases of COVID-19 in either of the Cottages! Our hope is that we will conduct testing in Cristo Rey Cottage on May 29, 2020. Once that is complete and results are received, we will proceed to schedule testing in Good Shepherd Cottage in the following weeks. We will keep you updated on our progress. Please see our website for updates and videos to keep you connected to the life of our residents. It certainly is a place to ‘love where you live!’ We are grateful for our staff who work so hard to keep our residents well during the strict rules of isolation and infection prevention!

Los Angeles County Public Health Orders 
As LA County begins the slow re-opening and the implementation of the Roadmap to Recovery, we wanted to share that there still are no changes in the visitation practices for Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities. In Los Angeles County the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise daily. Currently, we are unable to receive any admissions in our Manor per Public Health directives. The daily symptom screening continues for all residents and staff on campus.

Safer at Home Order Continues
As Los Angeles County moves through the stages of the COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery, Public Health will continue to monitor the rate of COVID-19 disease spread, the severity of the resulting illnesses and deaths, State and federal recommendations, and the Health Officer will extend, expand, or modify the Order, as needed, to protect the public’s health.

STAFFING PROTOCOL per CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT of PUBLIC HEALTH for Manor Skilled Nursing Facility

  • We will maintain an Isolation Unit for residents with Corona virus Positive test and/or symptoms.
  • Staff with Negative test results will care for residents with Negative test results
  • Residents who have recovered from a Positive test will be cared for by staff with Negative results.
  • Personal Protective Equipment and Universal Precautions will be followed in all units.
  • Employees who develop symptoms should notify their supervisor immediately and will be sent home per CDPH and CDC guidelines.

FACILITY PRACTICES

  • Manor Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Cottages
    • Manor Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Cottages
    • Family visitation, elective medical visits, outings and group activities/dinning continue to be suspended
    • We are keeping residents engaged with one-on-one activities and pastoral care visits in their room.
    • Team members continue to be monitored at the beginning and end of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms. Anyone with symptoms will be sent home and we follow CDC guidelines for return to work.
    • We are monitoring residents for any change in condition on each shift. Any changes in condition are reported to the physician and responsible party as is the usual practice.
    • All team members in the facility continue to wear personal protection equipment (PPE), and practice infection control prevention throughout their shift.
    • Employees who develop symptoms should notify their supervisor immediately and will be sent home per CDPH and CDC guideliness.
  • Manor Skilled Nursing
    • Asymptomatic/Negative Residents are to wear cloth face masks if outside their personal rooms.
    • Symptomatic Residents are to wear surgical face masks if outside their isolation rooms.
    • Symptomatic Residents, Asymptomatic Residents and Negative test Residents are relocated to separate units as per Public Health protocol.
    • We tested all residents and staff in the Manor on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 per the latest LA County Public Health Order.  On Wednesday, May 20, 2020 we re-tested of all staff and residents who previously tested negative.
  • Assisted Living Cottages
    • Asymptomatic Residents are to wear cloth face masks if outside their personal rooms.
    • Logistics and Planning for testing in our assisted living cottages is currently underway. Cristo Rey Cottage test date is May 29, 2020 and Good Shepherd Cottage is pending.

QUESTIONS
For weekly updates visit our website at https://www.santa-teresita.org/covid19/

RESOURCES
LA County Public Health – http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/locations.htm

California Department of Social Services – https://www.cdss.ca.gov/

Center for Disease Control – www.cdc.gov

Happy Memorial Day to all. Stay safe and be assured that we are doing all we can to keep our residents and staff healthy and safe too! Blessings on your week.

Sincerely,
Sister Marie Suzanne, OCD, CEO, RN

May 18, 2020 Letter

THANK YOU

We are deeply grateful for your love and support as we navigated a unique Mother’s Day under the COVID-19 restrictions! We also have had a joyous week of Nursing Week celebrations for our nurses and caregivers! We know that the ‘Safer at Home’ orders have now been in place for two months and this is calling for amazing perseverance!  We thank you for your positive encouragement as we strive to serve the needs of all our residents during this worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to ‘walk by faith’ and trust that we are all in the loving Providential care of Our Heavenly Father. Thank you for your prayers, you are all in ours!

UPDATE

Manor Skilled Nursing Facility
In dialogue with our LA County Public Health Nurse, we will be re-testing in our Manor all residents and staff members who previously tested negative. Testing will take place on Wednesday May 20, 2020. We will follow the LA County approved protocol of how to handle any positive results as we have over the course of these past weeks.

We had seven residents who were asymptomatic test positive two weeks ago. Four residents have recuperated and returned to their rooms.  We did have three of our residents pass away. We are deeply saddened by the loss of these dear residents and are keeping all their families in our prayers.  We will be offering a Mass on May 21, 2020 for the peaceful repose of their souls and the consolation of their families.   Your loved ones have been a part of our family and it has been a sacred privilege to care for them. Let us continue to pray for an end to this pandemic which endangers our beloved elderly loved ones worldwide.

Assisted Living Cottages
We continue to have no cases of COVID19 in either of the Cottages!  We are currently working on a plan to conduct testing in both of our Assisted Living cottages and we will keep you updated on the logistics and dates for testing possibly later in May 2020.

LA County Public Health Orders
On May 12, 2020, Los Angeles County issued a statement regarding the extension of Health Officer Orders which, in effect, will not cause a change to our current facility practices of no visitors, symptom screening, etc. Below is the statement from LA County Public Health:

Will the Safer at Home Order be in effect after May 15?
Yes.  As Los Angeles County moves through the stages of the COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery, Public Health will continue to monitor the rate of COVID-19 disease spread, the severity of the resulting illnesses and deaths, State and federal recommendations, and the Health Officer will extend, expand, or modify the Order, as needed, to protect the public’s health.

“L.A. County is continuing its progress on the road to recovery, with planned reopening of beaches for active recreation and an expansion of permitted retail activities coming tomorrow. While the Safer at Home orders will remain in place over the next few months, restrictions will be gradually relaxed under our 5-stage Roadmap to Recovery, while making sure we are keeping our communities as safe as possible during this pandemic,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We are being guided by science and data that will safely move us forward along the road to recovery in a measured way—one that allows us to ensure that effective distancing and infection control measures are in place. We’re counting on the public’s continued compliance with the orders to enable us to relax restrictions, and we are committed to making sure that L.A. County is in the best position to provide its 10 million residents with the highest level of wellness possible as we progressively get back to normal.”

STAFFING PROTOCOL per CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT of PUBLIC HEALTH for Manor Skilled Nursing Facility

  • We will maintain an Isolation Unit for residents with Corona virus Positive test and/or symptoms.
  • Staff with Negative test results will care for residents with Negative test results
  • Residents who have recovered from a Positive test will be cared for by staff with Negative results.
  • Personal Protective Equipment and Universal Precautions will be followed in all units.
  • Employees who develop symptoms should notify their supervisor immediately and will be sent home per CDPH and CDC guidelines.

FACILITY PRACTICES
In addition to the previous measures implemented, we continue to stay vigilant:

  • Manor Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Cottages
    • Family visitation, elective medical visits, outings and group activities/dinning continue to be suspended
    • We are keeping residents engaged with one on one activities and pastoral care visits in their room.
    • Team members continue to be monitored at the beginning and end of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms. Anyone with symptoms will be sent home and we follow CDC guidelines for return to work.
    • We are monitoring residents for any change in condition on each shift. Any changes in condition are reported to the physician and responsible party as is the usual practice.
    • All team members in the facility continue to wear personal protection equipment (PPE), and practice infection control prevention throughout their shift.
    • Employees who develop symptoms should notify their supervisor immediately and will be sent home per CDPH and CDC guidelines.
  • Manor Skilled Nursing
    • Asymptomatic/Negative Residents are to wear cloth face masks if outside their personal rooms.
    • Symptomatic Residents are to wear surgical face masks if outside their isolation rooms.
    • Symptomatic Residents, Asymptomatic Residents and Negative test Residents are relocated to separate units as per Public Health protocol.
    • We tested all residents and staff in the Manor on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 per the latest LA County Public Health Order. There will be a re-test on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 of all staff and residents who previously tested negative.
  • Assisted Living Cottages
    • Asymptomatic Residents are to wear cloth face masks if outside their personal rooms.
    • Logistics and Planning for facility wide testing for both assisted living cottages is currently underway.

QUESTIONS
For weekly updates visit our website at https://www.santa-teresita.org/covid19/

RESOURCES
LA County Public Health – http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/locations.htm

California Department of Social Services – https://www.cdss.ca.gov/

Center for Disease Control – www.cdc.gov

We are blessed to be working with such a committed team of caregivers during this time to serve you and your family members!

Sincerely,
Sister Marie Suzanne, OCD, CEO, RN

May 7, 2020 Letter

May 7, 2020

THANK YOU
With joy we greet each of you, especially to all Mothers as we prepare to celebrate Mother’s day on May 10th. We know that many of you will be longing to be with your loved ones, especially your dear mothers and grandmothers, aunts and friends, who we are blessed to care for! We shall shower them all with your love! We know that true love knows no distance! We cling to the truth that “God is love”!

UPDATE
As Mother’s Day is almost upon us, we would like to share the best way you can help to celebrate. Residents may receive mail and packages. Currently, for infection control practices, flowers, food and stuffed animals are restricted. These things are hard to disinfect, and we want to ensure that the celebrations and gifts bring joy and not germs! Sending things that can be easily disinfected (new or pre-packaged items) such as packages of snacks, cards, toiletries, or communication devices are acceptable.

No two days are ever the same during this time and we are staying ever vigilant on proper implementation of the recommendations and directives from the LA County Public Health Department. This week our Manor Skilled Nursing had an on-site visit with a team (one in-person and the rest via Skype) from the California Department of Public Health representing both the Acute Communicable Disease and the Licensing Divisions for a review of our Skilled Nursing facility. The visit went well and our current practices for infection control and isolation were given approval.  We continue to be in daily communication with Public Health on our overall status of residents and staff.

Since the Manor had its facility-wide testing last week, we do not have any new symptomatic residents or staff members. We are grateful for all the hard work to comply with all the measures to keep everyone safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We are happy to report that our Assisted Living Cottages continue to remain free of any cases of COVID-19 and they continue to follow all the health directives given by the LA County Department of Public Health.

This week, May 6-12, we are celebrating Nurse’s week!  We are grateful for all our nurses and all of our staff who give of themselves to serve in all areas of our campus. We will celebrate the week with various themed days and festivities for staff.   Our foundress, Mother Luisita, began a hospital in Mexico, and helped to found Santa Teresita here in Duarte, 90 years ago! She knew how important the care of the sick was and how important it was to be with those who need our care.  She taught us to see “each room as a chapel, each bed as an altar, and each patient as Christ.” The mission we live out is one that we carry out with a sacred awe. Nurses have a privileged place to care for both body and soul! Thank you for the support you have given to us, especially to our nurses!

STAFFING PROTOCOL per CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT of PUBLIC HEALTH

  • We will maintain an Isolation Unit for residents with Corona virus Positive test and/or symptoms.
  • Staff with Negative test results will care for residents with Negative test results
  • Residents who have recovered from a Positive test will be cared for by staff with Negative results.
  • Personal Protective Equipment and Universal Precautions will be followed in all units.
  • Employees who develop symptoms should notify their supervisor immediately and will be sent home per CDPH and CDC guidelines.

 FACILITY PRACTICES
In addition to the previous measures implemented, we continue to stay vigilant:

  • Family visitation, elective medical visits, outings and group activities/dinning continue to be suspended
  • We are keeping residents engaged with one on one activities and pastoral care visits in their room.
  • Team members continue to be monitored at the beginning and end of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms. Anyone with symptoms will be sent home and we follow CDC guidelines for return to work.
  • We are monitoring residents for any change in condition on each shift. Any changes in condition are reported to the physician and responsible party as is the usual practice.
  • Asymptomatic/Negative Residents are to wear cloth face masks if outside their personal rooms.
  • Symptomatic Residents are to wear surgical face masks if outside their isolation rooms.
  • Symptomatic Residents, Asymptomatic Residents and Negative test Residents are relocated to separate units as per Public Health protocol.
  • All team members in the facility continue to wear personal protection equipment (PPE), and practice infection control prevention throughout their shift.
  • We tested all residents and staff in the Manor on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 per the latest LA County Public Health Order.

QUESTIONS

For weekly updates visit our website at https://www.santa-teresita.org/covid19/

RESOURCES

LA County Public Health – http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/

http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/locations.htm

Center for Disease Control – www.cdc.gov

Thank you for your message and various ways you continue to support our staff and residents during this time.  We wish all mothers a blessed and Happy Mother’s Day and to all our nursing staff Happy Nurses Week!

Sincerely,
Sister Marie Suzanne, OCD, CEO, RN

 

April 29, 2020 Letter

April 29, 2020

THANK YOU
We are deeply thankful to all our employees, residents and families for your cooperation in completing a house wide Corona virus test day on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.  We give thanks hourly for your gracious patience, compassion and love shown to one and another.

UPDATE
We successfully tested 62 residents and 93 staff yesterday.  Testing results are as follows:

  • 55 residents in the Manor tested Negative for Corona virus.
  • 5 residents tested Positive Asymptomatic and 2 resident tests were inconclusive and will be re-tested. These seven residents have been moved into the Covid-19 Isolation Unit.
  • 88 staff tested Negative and 4 staff tested Positive Asymptomatic; 1 staff test will require a re-test. Staff with positive tests have been sent home to follow CDPH and CDC guidelines.
  • All previously Positive residents have recovered and been discharged from the Isolation Unit.

STAFFING PROTOCOL per CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT of PUBLIC HEALTH

  • We will maintain an Isolation Unit for residents with Corona virus Positive test and/or symptoms.
  • Staff with Negative test results will care for residents with Negative test
  • Residents who have recovered from a positive test will be cared for by staff with Negative results.
  • Personal Protective Equipment and Universal Precautions will be followed in all units.
  • Employees who develop symptoms should notify their supervisor immediately and will be sent home per CDPH and CDC guidelines.

FACILITY PRACTICES
In addition to the previous measures implemented, we continue to stay vigilant:

  • Family visitation, elective medical visits, outings and group activities/dinning continue to be suspended
  • We are keeping residents engaged with one on one activities and pastoral care visits in their room.
  • Team members continue to be monitored at the beginning and end of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms. Anyone with symptoms will be sent home and we follow CDC guidelines for return to work.
  • We are monitoring residents for any change in condition on each shift. Any changes in condition are reported to the physician and responsible party as is the usual practice.
  • Asymptomatic/Negative Residents are to wear cloth face masks if outside their personal rooms.
  • Symptomatic Residents are to wear surgical face masks if outside their isolation rooms.
  • Symptomatic Residents , Asymptomatic Residents and Negative test Residents are relocated to separate units as per Public Health Protocol .
  • All team members in the facility continue to wear personal protection equipment (PPE), and practice infection control prevention throughout their shift.
  • We tested all residents and staff on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 per the latest LA County Public Health

QUESTIONS
For weekly updates visit our website at https://www.santa-teresita.org/covid19/
Contact number for Assisted Living Cottages: (626) 408-7819
Contact number for Manor Skilled Nursing: (626) 922-4218

RESOURCES
LA County Public Health – http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/locations.htm
CDC – www.cdc.gov

Thank you for all the support we have received as we continue to adapt to the new guidelines in caring for our residents and staff.

Sincerely,
Sister Marie Suzanne, O.C.D

April 22, 2020 Letter
April 22, 2020

In our Assisted Living Cottages, to date, we are grateful to report that there are no cases of COVID-19. Four of our sisters have taken up residence in the cottages: two in Good Shepherd Cottage and two in Cristo Rey, as part of our on-going implementation of safety measures. Last week the sisters and staff did a procession to each resident room with music and a picture of Jesus, the Divine Mercy, asking for His blessing and protection upon us all. The Cottages are under the direction of the CA Department of Social Services and we regularly update our procedures as directed. We continue to ensure that staff, sisters and services for the skilled nursing facility and assisted living cottages remain completely isolated from one another.

To date, we have had eight confirmed resident cases of COVID-19 in our skilled nursing facility. Five of them remain here on our campus and three have been hospitalized. A separate nursing station has been established for these residents to ensure the proper infection control practices are maintained for the safety of all our residents and staff. We have sisters and staff that are assigned to care only for these residents, ensuring no cross-over on our other nursing stations. Of the five residents, three have recovered and will move back to their original rooms. Of the three in the hospital, one has passed away and two remain in stable condition. As we know, COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions and we are deeply saddened by this loss. Our prayers and condolences go out to the family at this time of loss.

FACILITY PRACTICES
In addition to the previous measures implemented, we continue to stay vigilant
• Family visitation, elective medical visits, outings and group activities continue to be suspended.
• We are keeping residents engaged with one on one activities and pastoral care visits in their room.
• Team members continue to be monitored at the start and end of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms. Anyone with symptoms will be sent home and we follow CDC guidelines for return to work.
• Any residents that may manifest COVID-19 related symptoms are placed on isolation precautions while test results are pending.
• We are monitoring residents for any changes in condition on each shift. Any changes in condition are reported to the physician and responsible party as is the usual practice.
• All team members in the facility continue to wear personal protection equipment (PPE), and practice infection control prevention throughout their shift.

QUESTIONS
For weekly updates visit our website at https://www.santa-teresita.org/covid19/
Contact number for Assisted Living Cottages: (626) 408-7819

RESOURCES
LA County Public Health – http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/locations.htm
CDC – www.cdc.gov
Department of Social Services – https://www.cdss.ca.gov/

Thank you for your support and continued understanding as we do all we can to protect our residents and team members during this time.

Sincerely,
Sister Marie Suzanne, O.C.D

April 16, 2020 Letter
April 16, 2020

The Corona virus knows no boundaries and can have serious repercussions for the elderly. The challenges that we are experiencing are the very same challenges that all other healthcare campuses across the nation are struggling with: staffing shortages, limited supplies, weariness. As we have heard in the media, elder care facilities are greatly impacted by this virus. We are no exception.

We are a Catholic organization currently caring for 182 residents at these locations: Marycrest Manor Skilled Nursing in Culver City, Avila Gardens Senior Independent Living in Duarte and Santa Teresita Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing in Duarte. Ever true to our mission, we are committed to placing our most beloved resources, our sisters, to provide loving, personal care to our residents, just as so many other first responders are doing today. Many of our sisters have come together to concretely serve in leadership, nursing (RN, LVN, C.N.A.), pastoral care and activities.

Our elders not only need loving holistic care, they need accompaniment through one of the most vulnerable times of their life’s journey. During this pandemic, when family members are unable to visit them, the love with which our sisters deliver care has become even more evident. Our response flows out from our mission to be at the service of our residents, their families and our 220 co-workers. Fifty years from now, we know that our sisters will look back at these times and marvel at the loving service and self-sacrifice of so many.

In our skilled nursing facility at Santa Teresita, ten of our sisters are serving alongside committed lay co-workers who are overseeing the care of our residents who require 24-hour care. As we care for our residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, the difference IS the Carmelite presence. When we see our residents, we see Christ in them. One of our residents commented to a sister who was caring for her, that she has “never felt so loved”. As we struggle together through this challenging time, this journey will be a life-giving one as we move forward as one family. We love our residents and are grateful for our co-workers.

We are blessed and privileged to be at the service of YOUR family.

March 30, 2020 Letter

March 30, 2020

To the families and responsible parties of our residents:

Santa Teresita wants to assure you that we are doing everything possible to ensure our beloved residents stay safe. Leadership is meeting daily to discuss the updated recommendations from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

As of March 14, 2020, our eldercare facilities, Santa Teresita Skilled Nursing Manor, Good Shepherd and Cristo Rey Assisted Living Cottages will not be permitting visitors in order to be in compliance with government mandates from the CMS and to ensure our residents’ welfare. This is in effect until further notice. Exceptions may be made for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end of life situation. These decisions will be made on a case by case basis and will include careful screening.

We know that the lack of visitation will be hard for both our residents and families. Please use the contacts below to communicate with your loved ones. Please be patient as staff are meeting the needs of our residents. Be assured that the charge nurse will call you if there is any change of condition, question or concern. We are committed to keeping you updated as much as possible.

Here are the responsive measures we have taken thus far:

  • Family visitation continues to be suspended with the only exception being end-of-life situations. We are keeping our residents and their families connected with video chat, phone calls and FaceTime sessions.
  • All elective medical visits have been rescheduled.
  • We have canceled outings and group activities. We are keeping residents engaged with one on one activities in their room.
  • We are assisting residents with social distancing when they are out of their rooms.
  • Team members are being monitored at the start of their shift, and again at the end of their shift, for fever and respiratory symptoms. Anyone with symptoms will be sent home. We are following CDC guidelines regarding return to work.
  • We are monitoring residents’ temperatures on each shift.
  • All team members in the facility are wearing masks, gloves and practicing infection control prevention practices throughout their shift. We are working closely with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and following their guidance.

We will continue to communicate when there is anything new or updated.

For any questions that you may have regarding the recommendations that have been implemented:
email us at contact@santateresitainc.com

The latest recommendations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) can be seen here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/3-13-2020-nursing-home-guidance-covid-19.pdf

You can find more information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Please be assured of our prayers for you and your families during this time!

God bless you,
Sister Marie Suzanne, O.C.D.

March 14, 2020 Letter

March 14, 2020

To the families and responsible parties of our residents:

Santa Teresita wants to assure you that we are doing everything possible to ensure our beloved residents stay safe. Leadership is meeting daily to discuss the updated recommendations from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

As of March 14, 2020, our eldercare facilities, Santa Teresita Skilled Nursing Manor, Good Shepherd and Cristo Rey Assisted Living Cottages will not be permitting visitors in order to be in compliance with government mandates from the CMS and to ensure our residents’ welfare. This is in effect until further notice. Exceptions may be made for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end of life situation. These decisions will be made on a case by case basis and will include careful screening.

We know that the lack of visitation will be hard for both our residents and families. Please use the contacts below to communicate with your loved ones. Please be patient as staff are meeting the needs of our residents. Be assured that the charge nurse will call you if there is any change of condition, question or concern. We are committed to keeping you updated as much as possible.

Electronic social media, such as Skype and Facetime, is a possibility for engaging in resident/family communication if desired. To discuss this further, or to ask other questions, please call Santa Teresita Manor at 626-922-4218 or Good Shepherd and Cristo Rey Cottages: 626-239-0710 or 626-863-5825.

The general strategies that CDC recommends to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same strategies long term care facilities use every day to detect and prevent the spread of other respiratory viruses, like influenza. We continue to enforce strict practices regarding sanitation and infection control and have taken additional steps to protect our residents from risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Some of the practices we have put in place are:

  • Suspending all visitors until further notice
  • Limiting group activities among residents
  • Increased environmental cleaning and disinfection
  • Reinforcement of hand hygiene
  • Ongoing staff Inservice on recommended guidelines as they develop
  • Daily monitoring each resident for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Any sign of infection will be addressed immediately.
  • New admissions are being carefully screened. Any new admission coming from a hospital or other healthcare facility will be placed in “Heightened Precaution” for 14 days.

We will continue to communicate when there is anything new or updated.

For any questions that you may have regarding the recommendations that have been implemented:

email us at contact@santateresitainc.com

The latest recommendations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) can be seen here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/3-13-2020-nursing-home-guidance-covid-19.pdf

You can find more information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Please be assured of our prayers for you and your families during this time!
God bless you,
Santa Teresita Leadership

Words of Encouragement and Support to Our Staff

Blessing to all our friends be they staff or resident. May Our Lady cover you all with her loving mantle protecting you always. God surely gives you His love and graces. Know we are praying for you as well.❤️🙏🏼

– Gina

Sending love and prayers from the Gonzalez family to all the caregivers at Santa Teresita Manor, especially those at Mt. Carmel Station. Your daily sacrifice to care for our Mom, Gladys means more to us than you can know – we’ll never be able to thank you enough. You are our heroes, our angels!

– Teresa

To all the staff at Santa Teresita
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you so very much for your service to the residents there and for your loving and caring for everyone including visitors. May our heavenly Father keep you all safe and well. Thank you most especially for the wonderful care you gave my grandmother Crucita Moreno . God bless you all. Take care and be safe.

– Leonor

Meet Our Sisters & Staff

Celebrating Victories

Thank You to Our Staff!

From Our Families

Mark Aragon, son of Manor resident Emma Casillas
In our personal encounter with Santa Teresita Manor, one of the most invaluable and encouraging experiences that helped us get through the most heart-wrenching time of our lives during mom’s battle with COVID-19, was the medical staff members. The nurses and staff had such a positive effect on mom. They were uplifting, joyous and very encouraging.

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These wonderful angels conducted themselves in the most selfless manner we have ever had the pleasure to witness. Though they worked tirelessly, they never revealed it. They seemed to overcome the disabling power of fear, and simply displayed the face of Jesus through their tenderness, mercy and love for each of their patients.

We can remember specifically during a FaceTime session, when one us was singing the song “You are my sunshine” to our mother. To our surprise, Sister Karolyn Rose began to sing along! Another time, Sister told us about her favorite Lucy show “The Trip to California”. So one day, mom was watching, the “I Love Lucy show”, when Sister Karolyn Rose, once again, stepped in to watch the show with mom, comforting her. We remember yet another time, when we each had a time of prayer, where a staff member prayed along with us. These are only a few examples of their genuine love and care for mom.

There is no quantification that can ever measure the amount of love, dedication and devotion each one of these lovely women possessed while caring for mom. We will be forever grateful, and applaud the staff of Santa Teresita Manor. God bless all of you. You will forever be our family.

Rick López, son of Manor resident Estella Lopez
Dear sisters, doctors, nurses, CNA’s, and all support staff at Santa Teresita Manor Skilled Nursing: I’m writing this letter to all of you with heartfelt gratitude and from the bottom of my heart to express my deepest appreciation for God’s angels at Santa Teresita Manor.

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My mother has been under your care at The Manor for the last six years. At 101 years old, the care and love she has received from everyone, along with God’s help and blessings has allowed her to reach this century milestone plus one year!

We are living in a most difficult time with major health issues and challenges facing us, particularly as it relates to our elderly loved ones. Our family has been continuously comforted by the fact that the care, love and spiritual well-being given to my mom at Santa Teresita Manor is unparalleled. This care has translated to abundant hope for my mother and to all the residents as they navigate their health and spiritual needs.

My family and I know full well that my mother is always with family and love at The Manor.

With heartfelt appreciation and gratitude.

Patricia Lopez-Cunningham, daughter of Manor resident Estella Lopez
I think they [at the Manor] did a really good job…the attention and care and taking us into consideration on the journey was very good. We know our 101-year old mother never would have gotten that in a hospital setting. We knew that. When we first told, we thought “oh dear, this is not what we wanted.”

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So there was the decision to take her to the hospital…and I’ll tell you honestly, we were very nervous about that. We were unsure. Given the fact that she had been already been there [at the Manor] almost six years, we figured, no this is probably the best place for her. And we knew this because of other people we had spoken to, and our niece and nephew are nurses and they said we made the right decision.

We’re glad we did because we knew the next day that this was the best place because when Sister Helena opened the window for us, we saw she is definitely in the best place she could be. They knew my mother and I think that was the really critical part in this journey because they knew her. And we knew they would take care of her, they would be attentive and there was a human aspect of the touch, which we knew she wouldn’t get over there [at the hospital] other than being handed her medication. By the second day, I can tell you, we were so sure this was the best place for her. It was so hard to see her like that, but the smiles on the nuns’ faces, when they would come out and meet us, we just knew we were in the right place. Especially with such an unknown disease….we’re glad she stayed there. You held her hand, actually, and we’re very grateful.

My brothers and sisters and I don’t believe our mom would have made it without the presence of the sisters and other staff – they were phenomenal. When they first let us look through the window, we were so excited! For them, the sisters and staff to make the effort to make that happen….we were so excited and see how she looked. The opportunity to see her through the window, to make that happen for us, we were shocked…and thought how what a very human aspect in how they talked to us, treated us and updated us.

The caring, the technical care, as well as the personal part, the human aspect made the whole journey so much easier.

Yolanda Casillas, daughter of Manor resident Emma Casillas
When our family first decided that our 98-year-old mother needed extensive nursing care, we researched multiple facilities. Santa Teresita Manor Skilled Nursing met all our expectations. Everyone was genuinely kind, caring and understanding of the difficult decision we faced. The staff has been very attentive to our mother’s needs and has her day filled with spiritual, physical and cognitive activities.

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When COVID-19 happened, we were so scared but just knowing and seeing the care our mother received, the loving care, the understanding of the staff toward our mother and to us too reassured us she was being well taken care of. I do believe in all my heart, that God oversees the staff at Santa Teresita and helped to get my mom to this point with comfort and hope and healing she received. My mom always loved praying the rosary and Sister always prayed with her. That was something….I’m sure that she wasn’t even afraid, as much as we were, she had the faith and hope with the sisters and staff there. It made that much of a difference, that’s what helped her heal, and of course God giving her that healing, but He worked His miracle through the sisters and the nursing staff. That was a great, powerful tool.

One of the most important components of the Christian life is the way we communicate with one another. (Ephesians 4:29) Their words have been a powerful tool of encouragement, hope, and healing. We found with Santa Teresita to be a home of comfort and healing. We thank God for guiding us to Santa Teresita Skilled Nursing Manor and we tell everyone we talk to what a great experience this has been, even though it was scary, but it’s been a good experience knowing how good it was for our mom.