To the editor:
Goodwin House Incorporated is grateful that local media seek to keep citizens informed about the COVID-19 situation for senior living communities and older adults. The media can distill the mounds of information published so citizens can make sense of fact from fiction.
That’s only possible when context is provided.
Unfortunately, the Alexandria Times published a story on July 9, “City long- term care facilities hit hard by COVID-19,” that lacked context. The print version stated that Goodwin House Alexandria’s COVID-19 outbreak was reported on June 30 and listed 14 positive cases of COVID-19 as being reported for Goodwin House Alexandria.
Alexandria Times staff pulled their data directly from the Virginia Department of Health website and did not seek or report context in their print edition. At the request of Goodwin House Incorporated, the Times amended the digital version of the story on July 10 to state that cases on the VDH website are cumulative and not necessarily current.
The context is that Goodwin House Alexandria does not have an outbreak of resident cases. In fact, since the pandemic began in March, Goodwin House Alexandria has had only one resident – in independent living – test positive. That resident is now out of quarantine and has tested negative. Currently, Goodwin House Alexandria has no residents that are COVID-19 positive.
VDH reports the last date of a positive case, whether resident or staff, and the cumulative cases since the state began capturing data. In the case of Goodwin House Alexandria, we have had a total of one resident test positive and 13 staff test positive since March. That’s 14 positive cases and no deaths over four and a half months. Not 14 cases since June 30.
Perhaps the most important fact to report is that, due to Goodwin House’s rigorous infection precaution efforts and outcomes, the Virginia Department of Health and the Alexandria Department of Health approved family and friends visit- ing residents of our Health Care Center – often called Skilled Nursing or Nursing Home – the most vulnerable older adults we serve.
Approval from state and local health departments is the ultimate sign that a senior living organization is responsible and safe.
-Lindsay Hutter, chief strategy & marketing officer Goodwin House Incorporated