COVID 19 Facility Update

12/01/20 8:23am-

Hello! I am sorry for the delay in communication with everyone, I have been out sick. I just wanted to send out a quick update and let everyone know that we are still conducting outbreak testing. This means that we are testing all residents and staff twice a week. All residents have continued to test negative.  We do have two employee’s who are off work that we are keeping a close eye on. It is because of our staffs diligence to  report symptoms even when they are not at work, we are able to continue to keep our residents safe.

Update on visits

We are still working on building a sliding wall for indoor visits. We hoped we would have these walls up before Thanksgiving but everything is moving extra slow due to COVID. All of the materials were delivered to Happy Siesta yesterday. If anyone knows of someone who would be willing to help us building the walls, we would be forever grateful.  If you or someone you know can assist, please have them call Jessica at (712) 786-1117. Please make sure they know they will need to be tested and I will need to know what their hourly rate upfront.

We have been working hard to find a beautician and we are excited to announce that we have hired one! We do not have an official start date for her but we are expecting that it would be before the end of the month.

Christmas Party Planning

Kara and Sammy have been wiping up the holiday cheer! The decorations are out and you can hear the team members signing in the hallways. We plan to have our large resident meal on December 22nd. Our employees wanted to try and make each residents day a little brighter so they have all decided to pick a resident for Christmas and purchase them something they think they would like or need.


We are finally starting up our dental services again. If your loved one is not on the list and you would like to learn more about this, please contact Kathy at (712) 786-1117. If we continue to remain COVID free from a resident stand point, there first visit will be on December 2nd, 2020.


Walgreens has reached out to us and asked us to start thinking about who would or would not want the COVID-19 vaccine. We do not know much about what vaccine we will be receiving or when it will be here but they plan to start distributing them to nursing homes across Iowa before the end of the month. Please feel free to copy and paste the link below into a new web browser if you would like to know more.




11/10/20 7:00pm-

November 10, 2020 (Day 243 in this fight)


I personally want to take a moment to reach out to our family members and help everyone understand the current/critical state of COVID-19 in Plymouth County. COVID-19 continues to impact our lives more and more each day and is putting significant strain on our nursing homes and hospital.  We are fighting every day for you and need your help. Please understand how important this is and the role that you play in helping us slow the spread. Wear a mask, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, stay home when you are sick and practice social distancing by limiting your groups and activities.

We are doing our part to care for every resident and be here when you need us, but we can’t do this alone. Please be mindful of the decisions you make and how this could potentially impact others, especially our most vulnerable.

On behalf of Happy Siesta and every employee, thank you for your constant support, encouraging words, patience and choosing Happy Siesta Heath Care Center to be your healthcare partner. We will continue to fight this fight beside you, one day at a time.

Jessica List, LNHA

11/05/20 11:20am-

We have great news! Starting 11/6/2020 we will be restarting window visits on the main unit. Please email Jessica List at to sign up for a visit!


A visit with your family member can be up to 30 minutes with a max of three people. When you arrive at the facility, please call, and ask for the nurse. You will want to tell the nurse who all will be visiting today and the phone number and address they can be reached at. Please make sure everyone in your party has a mask with them. You will be required to wear a mask during the visit. These visits will take place outside of the therapy room.

General Rules 

  • All visitors are required to check-in with the nurse via phone before their visit.
  • A max of three visitors are allowed per visit
  • All windows must remain closed during the visit
  • One visit per week (family members who have not been able to visit will take priority over ones who have already got to visit with their loved ones)
  • We are trying something new. We are going to avoid strict visiting hours if possible. We are asking that you avoid requesting visits before 9:00 am and during mealtimes, 10:45 am-11:45 am, 4:45-6:00 pm. We are asking that no one visits after sunset.
  • Visits must be set up at least 48 hours in advance. Responses will be sent, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm
  • Once your visit is setup, please call your loved one and let them know. We don’t want to ruin any surprises ;).
  • If you are late for your appointment, you are forfeiting your time with your loved one. Your time may not be extended due to time restrictions for the next visitor.

Things to keep in mind 

If you plan to bring personal items for your love, please let the person scheduling the visit know ahead of time.

  • All items must be labeled
  • Food items must be in a disposable plastic container with the date on it.
  • Please leave all personal items in the car and your cell phone in your pockets until the end of your visit
  • If the staff member has stepped away for a moment and you need to get their attention, please call the facility (712) 786-1117 or request an employee to walkie for someone.
  • We have purchased several Ipads, if you would like to facetime with your loved one outside of your visit, please feel free to give us a call!
  • All visitors are encouraged to maintain social distancing
  • If you have someone you would like added to the visit list, please contact Jessica at



If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing along with headaches, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell PLEASE CALL TO RESCHEDULE. If you have been exposed to COVID-19 PLEASE CALL TO RESCHEDULE! If you need to reschedule, please call as soon as possible so we can allow other residents to visit with their loved ones.  Thank you for your cooperation!

At this time there are no restrictions on window visits for the  Main Unit. All we are asking is that you try to avoid appointments before 9:00am and at meal times (10:45am to 11:45am and 4:45pm to 6:00pm.

11/3/2020 9:17am- We are excited to announce that all of our patient have recovered and have returned back to their normal rooms. Over the next few days we plan to start resuming window visits. We are work on what that plan will look like. Please know that our window visits will become more complicated as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. I hope to have a plan out to you and our other family members before the end of day tomorrow.

10/27/2020 10:34am- We are excited to announce all the one resident has returned to the main unit. The one patient that is left is expected to return to the main unit on Thursday. Yesterday, facility wide testing was complete and we did not have any new cases as far as resident go. We did one employee test positive and that individual was sent home. The employee who tested positive was a-symptomatic.

10/22/20 3:15pm- We had an employee test positive today. They have been sent home and are doing well at this time. We currently have a total of two employees off at this time due to COVID-19. We are excited to announce that two more of our residents recovered yesterday and have returned to the main unit.

I would like to setup anther family meeting via Face-time or Zoom. Please email me your preferred method of meeting and I will add you to my list!

10/19/2020 1:44pm- Just a reminder, we have our family question and answer meeting tomorrow at 10:00am. If you would rather do this by zoom, please send me an email and I will try to setup a zoom meeting. I know it is supposed to be cold out and I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to sit outside. However, I also know that some of our families do not have the option to do zoom so I will still try to do the face to face meeting outside at 10:00am as well and have our zoom members participate from my phone.

10/16/2020 2:32pm- Today we had one more resident test positive. This patients room was fully sanitized and moved to our isolation wing. All of our non-positive residents were tested again today and the rest of the patients tested negative. As of right now we will be switching all of our whirlpool baths over to bed baths to try and decrease the movement in the facility. We have also purchased yard sprayers and started spraying down all areas of the facility with 70% rubbing alcohol. All meals are being served in the residents rooms to prevent traffic. We have asked that all residents use their windows instead of using their fans when they are hot. We continue to pray for good results.

As disheartening as our news maybe, our staff have done an amazing job with this COVID outbreak. Several patients have already recovered and gone back to a normal healthy life. Unfortunately, this has not been the case at other nursing facilities in the state of Iowa.

10/15/2020 1:25pm – As of this update we have seven positive resident and three positive staff members. In a continued effort to stop the spread of the COVID virus, we have decided to take further quarantine efforts and have all residents remain in their rooms for the next 14 days. All cares will be provided in their rooms.


10/12/2020 1:53AM – As of this update we have had 18 total residents that have tested positive for COVID-19 since 9/28/2020. Out of these 18, 12 have recovered, 1 has passed away, and 5 remain in isolation. The 5 in isolation are doing very well!  We continue with a nurse and a CNA dedicated to their care of these residents.

We are so very fortunate to not have any cases in our memory unit thus far. We are doing our best to delegate same staff to each unit in attempts to halt any spread.  Unfortunately, we continue to have cases in the main unit.  We are not totally taken off guard by this, given the high number of cases in our town, county, and surrounding counties. It is everywhere. Despite our very best efforts, it did get in. For that we are disappointed, but not unprepared.  All along we have been preparing for this and are tackling the ‘outbreak’ the same way we tackled our prevention strategies – with an educated, proactive, aggressive front.  Your loved ones are why we do what we do every day, and for them we will continue to fight, until this all passes. Your unwavering support of our efforts is appreciated more than we can express.  COVID has been an exhausting, emotional, challenging fight for all involved. Together we will get through this!
~Jennifer Kuiken, BSN, RN
Director of Nursing

10/05/2020 2:37PM- We are excited to tell you that everyone is doing ok at this time! We want to thank everyone for their prayers and support during these difficult times.

10/02/2020 11:42AM- Today we have a total of five employees that have tested positive out of 75 employees. We also had three more residents test positive yesterday. All positive patients have been moved to isolation.

09/28/2020 4:30 PM- Hi there!  We became aware of a positive staff member today. Upon testing all of our facility residents we were able to trace-track the infection to hall two. 10 out of 55 residents tested positive. We have been doing twice a day assessments on all residents and everyone continues to be asymptomatic. We are so thankful for this but this makes it difficult for our residents and your loved ones to understand why they have to stay in their rooms and that they are “sick”. We are not allowing the cordless phone to go down this hall due to infection control but we do have a designated an I pad so you can face-time with your loved one.

As far as our staff goes, we have had three employees out of 75 employees test positive. To be honest, this is very low with our county positivity rates being above 16% you can check these rates here. 

What are we doing to limit the spread? Our COVID isolation has has been sealed off. All residents will be assessed twice a day or each shift and monitored very closely for signs and symptoms. Our whole facility has been switched over to paper plates. We have requested all nebulizers switched over to inhalers. We are working with the Iowa Department of Public Health and our Local Department of Public Health to determine what our next steps will be. Each and every resident and employee who is tested has to be uploaded in a system called Redcap. This is for CMS (The Center for Medicare and Medicaid) tracking.  We are not allowed to have outdoor or face to face visits with a COVID outbreak. We hope that in a week or two we can start window visits again but this will depend on our staffing and if our residents are all situated. 

We recently sent out a mailing asking if you or your loved one would like to have an MMR vaccine. We are starting to get a lot of consents back for this. We expect the solution to arrive sometime today or tomorrow. This was recommended by our medical director Dr. Geha. He believes that there is some benefit to a current MMR vaccine and a reduction of COVID symptoms. If you did not receive this or would like to know more please contact Jennifer our Director of Nursing.


9/24/2020 8:55AM- Just a reminder, if you are going to bring items with you to your visit for your loved one, all items need to be in a sealed container that can be sanitized. All clothing items should be labeled with your loved ones first initial and last name. Food items are allowed but need to be clearly dated. Housekeeping does not want to get ride of something that you might have just brought the prior day.

Face to face visits have been approved for the Atrium patients now. Starting Monday will will start having face to face visits. Please keep in mind, face to face visits for the Atrium can be very difficult for staff and will be on a case by case basis. We plan to start off with all visits being face to face and modify visits as necessary to ensure your loved one and our staff are safe.

9/23/2020 10:30AM- As of today our county rate has decreased to 16.9! This is down from 23% from two weeks ago. Because our county positivity rates are decreasing, we are starting to allow residents to move about the facility and talk with their friends who live here. Please help encourage your loved one to wear a mask and keep a six feet distance.

As far as facility visits go, we plan to restart outdoor visits Monday. They will be the exact same as last time only Jennifer will be setting up the visits for our main unit. The visits will still be by email only. Please email to setup an appointment. All visitis must be set up at least 48 hours in advance.

9/14/2020 12:46PM- COVID-19 Testing

As part of CMS’ commitment to protecting nursing home residents, and to boost the surveillance of COVID-19, nursing homes are now required to conduct testing of residents and staff.  More information about these requirements and guidelines can be found here.  These guidelines include testing staff on a certain frequency based on the COVID-19 positivity rate for the county the nursing home resides in.  Rates of county positivity are posted here. Facilities should monitor these rates every other week and adjust staff testing accordingly.
Happy Siesta Care Center is now able to rapid test staff and residents. Each test takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Happy Siesta is not in outbreak status. This means our staff have the right to refuse testing if they so chose unless they are symptomatic. We will not mandate staff testing or resident testing unless we have a positive case in our facility. At that point, our residents will be allowed to refuse testing but our staff will not.
As far as outside visits go, our current positivity rate is at 22.4%. This is only down .6% from the prior week. We do not feel at this time that it is safe to start outdoor visits. We will continue to review this on a weekly basis. We plan to resume visits when our county is under 10% for more than two consecutive weeks. We encourage family members to set up window visits with the nurse whenever possible.

8/31/20 11:55AM- We have great news! We have had four total positive cases here at Happy Siesta, three staff and one resident. All four have fully recovered with no permanent side effects. I could not be prouder of our team, many other homes in our area have not been this lucky.

8/31/20 11:52AM- I am sorry, I just realized why a few of you might think that we have restarted visits. We have not. We are not restarting visits due to Remsen being declared a hot spot. Our case counts are currently over 23%. Until we start to see a trending decline in case counts, we will not be restarting visits or moving into the next phase.

8/26/20 11:23AM- We are excited to announce that our previously positive resident is expected to be fully cleared to return back to our main unit tomorrow. This resident has had very mild symptoms during their stay in the quarantine area and has full recovered. This resident will be asked to remain in their room under close supervision for the next 4 days as an added precaution.

8/26/2020 11:21AM- We were notified yesterday that another employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This employee was taken of work on 8/20/20 due to other issues and will remain off work until they are cleared by the CDC and the IDPH to return to work.

8/20/2020 5:30AM- We had three more employees tested. One of the three employees has come back positive. The individual that tested positive has been taken off work per the CDC guild lines.  We also now have one positive resident. This individual has been transferred to a different part of the facility away from the general population. The patient is stable and is experiencing very mild symptoms. We have also designated specialized staff to this area in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All high touch surfaces are being wiped down regularly and all staff are being screened at the start and the end of each shift. All residents are being screening at least once a shift for symptoms.

8/16/2020 2:00PM- We currently have two employees who have tested positive. Both employees are at home and experiencing very mild if any symptoms. Any employee who starts to experience any symptoms will be taken off work per the CDC’s guidance. The employee will not be allowed to return to work until they have cleared all recommenced standard of return to work program.


As of 8/14/2020 2:27PM- We currently have one positive employee. This employee has worked very minimally and had on full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on during their single shift in the last five days. This employee had minimal contact with our residents and is currently off work and following the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) guidance. At this time, no residents have exhibited signs or symptoms. We are currently assessing each resident every shift. All employees are being screened in and screened out. All high touch surfaces are being sanitized several times throughout the day. For precautionary measures, we will be moving back to phase one and stopping all visitations until further notice. This is for the safety of our residents and our community. We will also no longer be allowing our beautician to start services yet.

We are encouraging family member’s to Face-time with their loved ones. If you would like to Face-Time with your loved one, please contact Sammy at Happy Siesta Monday-Friday from 10am-4pm (712) 786-1117.