July 1, 2020

Dear family members and friends:

The William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home has been following the guidance and directives of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the County and State Health Departments regarding COVID-19 and infection control and prevention. Despite our best efforts to prevent COVID-19 from being introduced into our facility, we can confirm that we have had a total of 51 residents test positive for the virus since the beginning of the outbreak on May 18. We have not had any residents test positive for COVID-19 since early June. Of those residents, 16 are receiving care at the facility on a dedicated COVID unit, and 22 residents have recovered. The COVID unit is physically separated from the rest of the building and has dedicated staff who only care for those residents on the COVID unit. Decisions regarding transfer of residents to the hospital are made in consultation with the hospital, the resident’s physicians, and the resident’s family. It is with heavy hearts that we report that 13 COVID-19 positive residents have passed away either at the facility, the hospital, or another skilled nursing facility. We are deeply saddened by the passing of these beloved Veterans. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the residents’ families and friends.

Regarding staff, we have had a total of 30 staff members test positive for COVID-19 since May 20. We have no instance of three or more residents or staff with new-onset respiratory symptoms in the past 72 hours. All staff members are screened before entering the facility and are sent home if they report any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or other illness in accordance with CDC guidelines.

In conjunction with the state health department, residents and staff have been tested for COVID-19 weekly beginning on May 18, 2020.

We are working diligently to limit the spread of the virus to other residents of the facility and are communicating this news to our residents, staff, and their loved ones.

We are strictly limiting access to the building and carefully screening all people entering our facility in accordance with CDC and CMS guidelines. At this time, we are only allowing essential visitors or essential vendors to enter the building on a case-by-case basis. We are also following the CDC and CMS guidance that applies once a nursing facility has a confirmed COVID-19 positive case, as well as working closely with our physician partners and the State and County Health Department.

Our top priority remains the safety of staff, residents, and visitors. This includes making sure all of our employees and staff throughout the facility understand how to protect themselves and the residents in their care. All staff are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with CDC guidelines.

We are dedicated to providing quality care for our residents. We will continue to fight to keep our residents and staff safe.

Please reach out directly to the Facility Administrator with any questions or concerns that you have.


With gratitude,

Your William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home Administration