Dear Families,

On Friday, June 12, OHCF sent a notice to all our employees that they were required to be tested for COVID-19 at the Florida Department of Health testing site at the Okeechobee City Hall Park. While we are still waiting for a number of the test results to come in, the majority of results have been returned, and we have some unfortunate news.

Six of our employees have positive COVID-19 test results. Although none of these have active symptoms, they were immediately removed from the schedule and must have two concurrent negative tests in order to return to work.

We continue to follow all recommendations by both State and Federal agencies in our COVID-19 protocols and will continue to send all employees for COVID-19 testing on a regular basis. All staff are required to be checked prior to entering the building every day, all staff are wearing masks while in the building, handrails and door handles are being disinfected multiple times daily, and we have closed all of our wings and departments with only the employees who work in that unit allowed to enter. We also have strongly encouraged all our staff to use every precaution while not at work and off duty.

Per the CDC guidelines, every employee who tests positive or exhibits signs or symptoms of COVID-19 is immediately removed from the schedule and may not return to work until the CDC criteria are met.

For our residents, we have increased the daily monitoring of COVID-19 signs and symptoms and are now doing temperature checks and review of COVID signs and symptoms three times daily. Residents who are admitted from the hospital or another facility must have a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival, and after arrival are placed in quarantine for 14 days in the section of our facility reserved for new admissions.

If you have any questions, please call the facility at (863) 763-2226, extension 4009 and speak with our Director of Nursing, Jody Wakelee, RN or the unit manager where your loved one resides.

Please help us communicate this to your family members who may not have received this notice. We update our email database frequently but rely on your assistance for accuracy. If you believe an approved family contact is not receiving these notices, please contact us here.