State’s first COVID senior unit now COVID-free, closing

Signature HealthCARE celebrated being COVID-free and the closure of its COVID-19 unit with a party on June 19.

Signature announces 1,000+ recoveries systemwide

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Since the beginning of the fight against the Coronavirus and its virulent corresponding illness, COVID-19, Signature Healthcare has led the fight for their residents and communities. Today, Signature HealthCARE is celebrating a milestone in that war, announcing it has surpassed 1,000 recoveries in its 110 facilities across 10 states. 

On June 19, Signature HealthCARE held a party to celebrate its staff and patients being COVID-free and the closure of its COVID unit. Staff members that had recovered were presented with a red rose and a special plaque.

“As of Tuesday, June 23, we have a total of 1,103 recoveries. That’s 77.7% of our total number of positive cases so far,” said Joe Steier, president and CEO of Signature HealthCARE. “Much of the media focuses on the negatives of this pandemic that has changed our world. But there are positives, too. We must celebrate the victories and let our communities know, this pandemic can be defeated, one person, one resident, one staff member at a time. We’ve got 1,000-plus victories to prove it.” 

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, Signature HealthCARE employed a facility-wide testing strategy in select locations, testing all residents and staff, when its first COVID-19 positive cases surfaced. This strategy came highly recommended by Signature’s infectious disease physicians as a way to quickly identify the scope of the virus in a facility, knowing that positive persons can be asymptomatic, and then work swiftly to contain any further spread. This approach was applauded by the CDC and is now being mandated by many states. 

In tandem with this proactive protocol, Signature HealthCARE made the decision to create several COVID-19 units within select facilities. The flagship facility for the creation of its COVID-19 units was Signature HealthCARE’s facility in Putnam County. 

Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County not only trailblazed the way for Signature’s COVID-19 units in other states, but also accepted patients from hospitals and other long-term care facilities within the state of Tennessee that did not have the capacity or capability of housing and treating COVID-19 positive patients. 

Signature HealthCARE is now thrilled to announce that Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County is COVID-Free, and its COVID-19 unit is closing as a result. Putnam has seen a total recovery of 51 of its 57 positive cases. 

This past Friday, the facility held a COVID-Free celebration with resident and staff survivors of the virus, facility leaders and community government officials. Residents received a special plaque with a white rose for their successful fight against the virus and staff who worked the COVID-unit received a special plaque and a red rose. Some staff, who worked the COVID-unit and overcame the virus, received both a red and white rose. 

“This could not have been done without the time, dedication and commitment of our staff,” said Lee Rooney, CEO and administrator of Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County. “Their tenacity and heroism were nothing short of inspiring for our facility and our residents. We had staff who tested positive, but once medically cleared, came back to help fight the virus that fought them. We love our residents and we are truly like a big family, protecting one another. We have celebrated in our victories and deeply mourn our six beloved residents who have passed during this pandemic. We continue to fight in their memory and won’t back down.”

As of Tuesday, June 23, some of Signature HealthCARE’s highest state recovery percentages include: 

Florida: 62.9% 

Georgia: 82.4% 

Indiana: 74.3% 

Kentucky: 90.2% 

North Carolina: 96.3% 

Tennessee: 89.6% 

While many of the COVID-19 units in its facilities are seeing a positive decline, Signature HealthCARE and all of its facilities know the battle is far from over. Its facilities and their staff continue to take every precaution possible and follow the strict guidelines of the CDC and other controlling government agencies as they change day by day. 

Signature continues the screening of all stakeholders and residents daily for symptoms of the virus, utilizing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves and masks, restricting facility visitation in accordance with federal and state guidelines and using alternate methods of communication for families, including telehealth, social media and the mailing of cards and letters. 

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