Riverview Healthcare lauded for avoiding COVID-19 outbreak

Press Staff Writer

        “While we knew we were a rarity, we did not realize how much of a rarity we were,” Kendra German, administrator of Ottawa County Riverview Healthcare said after finding out that the facility was one of only 64 nursing homes in the country not to suffer a COVID-19 outbreak.
        The news came in an article titled, “Most SNF’s hit by COVID 3x,” by Kimberly Marselas, of McKnight's Long Term Care News in June 2021. (SNF stands for skilled nursing facilities – the terminology used by the Centers of Medicare/Medicaid Services for Nursing Homes).
        Owned by Ottawa County for the last 150 years, Riverview had no corporate administration handing down directives on how to handle the coronavirus pandemic, which permitted precautions and changes to be implemented quickly, as needed, German said. “There were a number of us who would split up, watching the Governor, the President and webinars by our Nursing Home Associations (Ohio Health Care Association and Leading Age Ohio) to make sure we were keeping up to date on the ever-changing precautions and information about the virus,” German said, “If it meant making an immediate announcement that everyone needed to change what they were using for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we did that.”
        German credits the dedication of its staff, the #ViewCrew, who worked diligently using appropriate hand hygiene, sanitation practices and proper use of PPE to get through the COVID-19 pandemic without a resident case. “We kept our staff educated and reminded them, what they did outside of our facility, they also brought into the facility,” she said.
        With 76% of the facility’s staff and 97% of the residents vaccinated, the Riverview staff feels they can breathe a little easier, but also know the fight is not over.
        “There is still a small chance that even those vaccinated could test positive or that those unvaccinated could contract the virus,” German said. “But knowing the successfulness of the vaccine so far, has given the facility some hope and has begun to relax some restrictions.”
        “We continue to do our best to keep our residents and staff safe,” German said, adding that unvaccinated Riverview staff are required to test twice a week, masks are still required on the campus per state and federal guidelines, and visitation restrictions are almost gone, but those with roommates still cannot have visitors in their rooms.
        “We appreciate the hard work of our staff and the continued adherence of precautions by our residents. We also credit great partnerships with the Ottawa County Health Department, Ottawa County Emergency Management Agency and Magruder Hospital,” she said.  “We’ve always felt blessed to have our #ViewCrew, we now know that we are blessed even more at a national level.”
        Ottawa County Riverview Healthcare Campus offers traditional long-term care, memory care, short-term rehab, assisted living, inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy and is contracted with the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs to serve veterans. The facility is a 5 Star Medicare Facility.
        For more information, or to join the #ViewCrew, call 419-898-2851.


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