Eskaton Village Grass Valley responds to COVID-19 positive staff member |

Eskaton Village Grass Valley responds to COVID-19 positive staff member

Eskaton Village Grass Valley is implementing protocol to protect staff and residents from COVID-19 after learning last week that a member of its dining services team tested positive.

Sheri Peifer, chief strategy officer at Eskaton, said the Grass Valley senior living facility responded quickly to news of the positive case, beginning with having the individual stay home from work for at least 14 days.

“If any resident or staff member tests positive, we immediately take that person out of working, do contact tracing, and notify staff, residents, and responsible parties,” said Peifer.

Notification regarding the positive case, with the individual’s identity kept private, was provided in writing and via phone call.

In an email, Eskaton Chief Operating Officer Betsy Donovan said other staff members exposed to the person who tested positive have also been removed from the community.

“Everyone has been tested and we’re just awaiting results. All systems are in place to make sure there is no exposure outside of that one person,” said Peifer.

According to Donovan, Eskaton is working closely with Nevada County to ensure it is taking the correct steps at this time. The facility will continue to follow disease prevention guidelines set by the CDC, as well as statewide public health and senior services agencies.

These include requirements that staff wear face masks, receive training on infection prevention, have their temperature taken at the beginning of each shift, and frequently wash their hands.

Residents will continue to have their temperature taken daily and observe social distancing, limiting group dining and activities.

Peifer described these measures as effective, adding that the organization has not experienced an outbreak at any of its 24 locations.

“We are prepared to manage this situation, and have adequate PPE for our staff,” said Donovan. “The increase in the number of cases within the greater public poses a great risk to our seniors in congregate housing.”

Victoria Penate is a freelance writer for The Union.

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