‘God, Oklahoma Watch: Amid COVID, an Oklahoma Nursing Home Faces Impossible Decisions | Covid-19 | tahlequahdailypress.com

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Talquay, Oklahoma

Dayna Jordan, Nursing Director of the Beadles Nursing Home in Alva, stands in the hallway on December 8, 2020, next to a painted portrait of the Nursing Home founder and her great-grandmother Bessie Beadles.

Oklahoma Watch

ALVA-At 4:45 this morning, the first ringtone of Dayna Jordan's telephone siren vibrated gently from her bedside table.

The volume and Jordan's anxiety increased with each sound, until the once quiet room was overwhelmed.

When she lay in the darkness under the heavy bed cover, Jordan was troubled by the problems of the day. The answer may mean the difference between the life and death of nursing home residents and caregivers.

Are there enough workers to cover three shifts?

How many will have symptoms?

Are there enough tests?

In November, no. Due to insufficient supplies, Jordan is distributing COVID-19 tests proportionally. She hoped that the decision to save a life eventually cost four dollars.

The 51-year-old director of nursing is responsible for the 150 employees and residents of Alva’s Beadles Nursing Home, which is located nearly three hours northwest of Oklahoma City close to the Kansas border.

In the spring, Jordan built a temporary wall to separate healthy residents from sick residents, and Governor Kevin Stitt imposed orders for whole-house services and closed businesses. When Jordan scrambled to buy expensive protective clothing in the summer, Stitt reopened and, along with the mayor of Alva, dropped the mask requirement.

In the fall, Jordan added more temporary walls to the room, keeping residents in isolation. Alva’s business owners held a festive celebration, and locals opposed the suggestion of wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings, piercing the fortress that Jordan hopes to keep her residents alive.

The COVID-19 infection rate in Oklahoma is the highest in the United States, exacerbating the struggle faced by nursing home staff. Long-term care residents and employees accounted for 3% of infections in the state and 30% of deaths.

At least 765 people died in Oklahoma, where they lived and worked in places like the Beadles. They are someone's father. Someone is a strict professor. A beloved aunt. Faithful friend.

The bulletin board above Jordan's desk is pinned with photos of family, staff and residents. In a photo from the 1990s, the hand on Dayna Jordan's shoulder belongs to Linda Krob, who has worked in the Beadles for nearly 30 years. The wedding invitation of Jordan’s eldest son hangs on it, and in the lower left corner is their youngest son and his wife posing in front of a "go pokes" sign before a football match. Former resident Phyllis Burkes died in 2015. He wore a feather hat and T-shirt next to Dayna Jordan and smiled and said, "This is my awesome grandma costume."

Jordan has been there since 1989, when she was a 20-year-old student at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and she worked as a nursing assistant at her boyfriend's family business. They got married in that December.

Her father died in 2005 while she was teaching nursing students in the hall.

Her husband's aunt was sick, and she took over as the director of nursing in 2008. After his mother died two years later, Adam Jordan became the administrator of the Beadles Nursing Home, which has been taking care of Alva’s elderly, ever since his great-grandmother Bessie Beadles brought the first three patients into her home in 1927. stay healthy.

Bessie drew up plans for a single-story building that could provide more services, but she died before the orange brick building was completed in 1961. This 60-year-old factory is still surrounded by houses and is located on Noble Street, where it became a fixture in the town.

If everything goes according to plan, then when Jordan's eldest son takes over and retires, the Beadles will be passed on to the fifth generation.

But this morning, the responsibility is still Dayna Jordan's responsibility.

She was worried about what was about to happen. She thought of the worst, until the text on the phone brought her back to bed, and she was lying in the two-story rock house, less than a block from the Beadles. The worker is sick and cannot come in.

She skipped the morning yoga practice that had just begun to relieve lower back pain. She brushed her teeth and put on a scrub covered with blue, green, yellow, pink and purple (rainbow) flowers and snowflakes.

She was still dark when she walked towards the nursing home. She stopped under a rusty white archway. On the sign were a cane, a bible and a pattern of a treasure chest with the words "Special Treasure Place" on it.

While praying, she could see the breath in the cold air: "God, please make sure we are safe."

Build a barrier

In the weeks following the first report of infection in Oklahoma, Stitt imposed restrictions on public gatherings, closed unnecessary businesses in counties where cases were confirmed, and helped elderly people with compromised immune systems and Oklahoma The man gave the order to stay at home.

In mid-March, nursing homes across the state were ordered to close their doors to visitors and non-essential personnel. Group activities and meals were cancelled, and residents were restricted to their own rooms to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Beadles Nursing Home quickly moved residents out of its southeast hall and built a plywood barrier to prepare for the COVID-19 wings.

At the end of April, community members drove through the house by car, watched the residents and staff, waved, screamed, cheered and waved from the sidewalk.

By May, as Stitt promoted plans to reopen the state, many restrictions were lifted or relaxed. The Oklahoma Nursing and Medical Association called this a hasty action. But Stitt implemented the plan and urged Oklahomaians to wash their hands, social distancing and wear masks, and act responsibly.

By June, the Oklahoma Department of Health had developed a three-phase plan to protect houses without active COVID-19 infection to welcome visitors. Some facilities are reluctant to open their doors, but Jordan is excited for her residents to reconnect with their loved ones.

Jordan employees built a plexiglass barrier outside for non-contact visits and began to develop a plan to isolate a room that could provide a safe space for indoor visits.

Throughout the summer, outdoor visits and new group activities with masks and social distancing keep residents and employees safe and refreshed. When the residents were unable to gather, the staff used the intercom to call out the bingo number at home. Allow a small group of residents to spread meals in the dining room until everyone has their turn.

But after students returned to Alba Public School and Northwestern Campus in August, the virus spread among workers in the Beadles. A nurse and some assistants were active, and several workers were exposed.

By mid-September, 51 inmates at the Charles Johnson Correctional Center had tested positive two miles across the town.

The state marked Woods County in red on its color-coded infection map, requiring nursing homes in the county to test every worker twice a week.

The federal government provided a series of tests to nursing homes across the country, and Jordan ran out of them in less than two weeks. When Jordan and her husband sought help from the state health department, they were told to only test facilities with active COVID-19 cases, while the Beadles did not. The house spends $7,000 a week to test its employees at Alva’s Share Medical Center, and even the hospital can’t keep up. Beadles ordered more than $4,000 in tests through a private company, but they were out of stock for several weeks, and it is not clear when they will arrive.

Jordan's husband borrowed the test from the Share Convalescent Home, where the administrator of Alva Mayor Kelly Parker.

Parker understands the risks faced by the elderly and the workers who care for them. But he worries about how nearly 4,600 urban residents will respond to business restrictions or cover-up orders.

Stitt is responsible for promoting personal responsibility, so the city is sought after. But some people still ignore the phone.

Parker said: "Here, we have a lot of people who feel that if the government tells you to do something, then they will do the opposite." "I don't want to tell people what to do, but it seems that we have seen less personal responsibility, which is frustrating. ."

Over the years, the Beadles have hosted tricksters who will show off their costumes to residents and pick up sweets. Jordan and other workers will escort urban residents to participate in the Halloween parade in the city, but for safety reasons, the Chamber of Commerce cancelled the 2020 event.

Not all companies comply. Northwest Insurance Company uses its Facebook account to encourage residents to wear masks and maintain social distancing anyway. The post lists 23 downtown businesses that will distribute candy, including boutiques, restaurants, bars, mobile phone providers and timber stores.

The office administrator at the Edward Jones branch on Barnes Street reissued the cancellation notice of the meeting room with a comment: “Parents and children can still choose. No one can stop them from Trick or treat near the city center. If anyone is uncomfortable, don't go."

Parker said the restaurant was full of customers, and in many local businesses, residents were wearing masks instead of masks.

Jordan started looking for disinfectants at Walmart, which were sold out in most local stores and were too expensive to purchase online. A sign was posted requiring masks, but Jordan found several shoppers without masks, and employees did not implement the policy.

Jordan said: "My employees shop there, this is how to reach the local residents." "I just want to yell at them all, but I can't do anything."

When the virus continued to spread in Alva, a nurse in Jordan found the virus from her husband. After a worker in the family's daycare program was exposed, eight Beadles employees began to isolate on the same day. When other students at her school tested positive, her daughter was exposed.

With the reduction in testing, Jordan’s decision on who and when to conduct the test poses greater risks.

It was 10:30 PM on Wednesday, and the certified nursing assistant walked in, almost freezing outside. She told Marque Bergner (Marque Bergner), the hall caller, that she would check every employee for symptoms before starting work. She had a sore throat and a stuffy nose. It may come from allergies.

Without temperature check and inspection, it is not allowed to walk beside the brown carpet at the entrance.

"Do you have a sore throat, cough, or muscle pain?" If the answer is yes, perform a quick COVID-19 test that produces results within 15 minutes. If the answer is no, or the test result is no, Bergner sprays shoes, lunch buckets, wallets and other items with disinfectant before putting them inside.

Anyone who tests positive will be sent home immediately for isolation.

The night before, the nursing assistant reported similar symptoms. Jordan tested her and the result was negative. Does she need other tests?

Bergner called Jordan. Jordan was watching TV at home with Adam. He asked what to do.

Jordan said: "We only have 9 tests left, and I just tested her." "I was thinking,'If we need other people, residents?" She was negative on Tuesday, and I accumulated those tests, so I Decided not to test her again. "

"I will do anything to go back that night."

Two days later, Jordan received a call from the nursing assistant. He took the time to fix the residents’ hair or help them make-up. It was her vacation day, so when her phone was on and the worker's name was scrolling on the screen, Jordan knew something was wrong. She tested positive.

The text on Jordan's phone shows that she has followed the steps of her assistant in the past week. When does she work? When did the symptoms start? When was the negative test? Jordan called the local hospital and began testing employees and residents.

In a week, seven out of eight night shift workers tested positive. Four people were exposed to the Beadles.

Within a week, two residents tested positive. It spread quickly until the COVID wings that they built in March that could accommodate six patients were full. The beads set up another temporary wall and created an overflow wing that can accommodate eight patients in the center of the building

The group activity was suspended. Residents were demoted to their rooms.

When the Beadles tried to contain the virus, the city was struggling to deal with its own epidemic.

According to data collected by Oklahoma Watch, on November 7, zip codes that include Alva and reach the Kansas-Oklahoma border experienced the largest one-day increase. 45 new cases were reported, for a total of 216 cases. The first COVID-19 death in the region was reported on November 10.

A week later, the case jumped again, and then again two days later.

Alva's hospital-Share Medical Center is busy, and Enid's intensive care unit (which usually transfers critically ill patients) is full.

In order to curb the infection, Mayor Parker and the Alva City Police Chief made a video to encourage residents to take the virus seriously, avoid crowds, wear masks and be friendly.

Parker said in the video: "A kind attitude goes further than any authorization or speech, so that we can all fight this virus together."

The video was posted on Parker’s Facebook page and the police department’s page on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, as the city is experiencing a peak of infection.

The number of new cases was reported on November 24 (Tuesday before Thanksgiving). The record was broken again on December 5.

The protection measures that Jordan established around its residents failed. Ten residents suffered within the wing of the COVID. On Thanksgiving Day, the first Beadles resident died of COVID-19.

Alan Nusser, 81, is a farmer who loves his wife and children. Jordan still remembers the tractor on John Deere's birthday cake and the crying when he was happy.

When Jordan returned home that night, she could no longer afford the 5-foot-tall frames.

She burst into tears and called the Cherokee Clinic emergency call. Jordan occasionally meets with consultants, but since March, she has participated in virtual appointments every week. She needs to talk to her counselor immediately.

She talked with her consultant for two and a half hours.

Jordan said: "I remember saying,'I just don't know how to deal with my anger, I just feel so responsible and powerless.' "It's as good as I can't do anything, or can stop it. "

In the Beadles, 25 employees and 20 residents signed up for COVID-19. In the Alva postcode, there were 5 deaths, 4 of which were residents of the Beadles.

As of Monday, 872 infections have been reported in Alva's postcode, accounting for 19% of the city's population.

Parker said: "People think they are bulletproof." "Then they act accordingly."

The number of infections and deaths across the state also continues to rise. This week, the health department reported 306,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,552 deaths.

Stitt restricted public gatherings, ordered bars and restaurants to close before 11pm, and required restaurant tables to be at least six feet apart.

He did not ask to wear a mask, but asked Oklahomaians to follow the three Ws: wear a mask, pay attention to distance and wash hands.

Stitt said in a press release on the new restrictions on December 10: "Every time you choose to follow three Ws, you are actively protecting those around you." It may even save a life.

When Stitt's team issued the statement, the 92-year-old Beadles resident Alberta Bliss died of complications from COVID-19.

Bliss has been a frequent visitor to the Beadles nursing home for many years. Before she moved in, she always cheered for friends living at home. Jordan always admires her loyalty and loves the spicy pickles she gave me at Christmas.

There are no pickles under the tree this year.

"This used to be a happy place"

Jordan stands in front of the nursing home, where she will spend another day saving all the lives she can save.

She took a deep breath, put a black mask on her face, and then pressed the button next to the locked front door of the nursing home. She smiled at Bergner, the door greeter, who opened the glass door, picked up the thermometer, and scanned Jordan's forehead.

Jordan continued to walk along the corridor and stopped on the closed double door, which marked the only unexposed part of the nursing home. She sprayed Lysol on the soles of her shoes and then applied her hands again in the hand sanitizer.

She stopped at the partially completed puzzle on the table, which had two empty chairs. Residents who used to spend hours talking and working every day have not touched them in weeks.

She said: "It used to be a happy place, but now it has become empty." She investigated the large restaurant, where residents did not see the holiday decorations and were not allowed to leave the room.

Right below the hall, roommates Earl Prigmore and Norm Lancaster sit side by side on the lounge chairs and watch TV.

Lancaster is 80 years old and has four children living nearby, but because of the lockdown, he has not seen them for several weeks. It has been months since he embraced any of them.

Lancaster said: "I have a grandson and a great-grandson, and I live here only half a block." "It's hard to see through the window. See them there and know you can't visit."

Prigmore, 95, used to leave a friend's nursing home every day to drink coffee. His stepdaughter, Nancy, used to visit about once a month, and then took him to the Stillwater home for vacation. He and Lancaster spent Thanksgiving in their room, watching TV, and eating turkey from the turntable next to the chair.

"I would rather take the risk," Prigmore said. "At my age, you will have to die of something, it doesn't make much difference to me."

When the couple looked for what they were looking forward to, Jordan lowered his head.

When she returned to the office, she remembered that it was the 49th birthday of resident Heather Kline, and her family came to see her. Since testing positive a week ago, Kline has been quarantined in the COVID hall. She hasn't left the bed for seven days.

A nurse pushed Kline's chair onto the chain fence in the backyard. Kline's family stood across the street with a hand-made "Happy Birthday" sign, and a dozen workers sang loudly when they joined. They are a few feet away from Kline, and they wear masks to listen to them. Nevertheless, for everyone there, this is still the highlight of today.

Kline asked to stay a few more minutes before taking her back to the isolation room. The nurse agreed.

Jordan left the celebration and answered a phone call from a sickly nurse who was hungry and could not do night work. This was the third employee who took sick leave in a day.

When hung up, a nurse told Jordan that Dorothy Arndt, a resident attending the Jordanian church, vomited again. Jordan tested Arndt for COVID-19. This is positive. The staff began to prepare to transfer her to the alternate COVID hall.

When the greeter called her to the front door, Jordan barely returned to her desk.

Rocky Stewart came to pack up his aunt's property.

Justine Lancaster died early in the morning that day after fighting COVID-19 for more than two weeks. Her room is very small. Since her 104th birthday in March, there are photos, stuffed animals and decorative poster boards everywhere. She likes coffee, sweets, and also likes to play the piano for residents and employees.

Stewart's mother-in-law lived at home before her aunt moved. He is a regular visitor and has known Jordan for many years. Jordan eagerly wanted to hug him because his eyes started to fill with water, but the agreement did not allow it.

Instead, she was holding a cardboard box, and he filled it with his aunt's jewelry.

Stewart left the photo of his aunt to a staff member who had assisted in various activities before the pandemic and now works in the laundry room. She leaned the photo against her chest with one hand, while Jordan squeezed it with the other. They talked about Lancaster's short temper.

It was 4 pm, and her table did not open a red bowl full of lunch in the Beadles cafeteria. The nurse put it there five hours ago.

Jordan fished in the locker and found a band-aid. She folded a pair of spare scrubs and gave them to the new employee, wondering how long she would stay. She advises a distraught employee who fought over dishes with her boyfriend the night before.

The COVID wing nurse provided the latest information about Alberta. Her family was allowed to visit her the night before, goodbye. Compassionate care visits are not restricted by lockouts, and she has almost no time.

Jordan finally sat at her desk, withered on the keyboard, and then looked at the schedule for tomorrow when her husband came in. There are not many days between them. They don't want to burden each other.

But he needs her help to convince staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Jordan's face shined. In the chaos of the day, she never thought of this vaccine.

Recent calls and e-mails from the national health department promised that residents and staff of nursing homes would be one of the first to receive the vaccine.

Jordan dreams that one day, she does not have to worry that a deadly virus will hit residents, employees and family.

Jordan's phone call interrupted her daydreaming, beeping. Donovan Reichenberger, 93, lives in a COVID wing and is currently in poor condition. Reichenberger is a professor in northwest Oklahoma. He is known for his tenacity and high standards. Jordan never attended class when she was a student there, but she knew his reputation well.

Nine days later, Reichenburg Palace died of COVID-19 complications.

Ten days later, the vaccine reached the Beadles nursing home. On December 27th, along with about 100 residents and employees, Jordan received the first of two shots.

These shots are not helpful to residents or employees who have tested positive and are fighting for their lives. Since Jordan feels guilty for failing to protect the care recipients, they have no relief. However, they do provide hope for tired employees and internal residents, as well as Jordan, which remains committed to protecting those who endure in the Beadles Nursing Home.

Oklahoma Watch (Oklahoma Watch) is a non-profit, non-partisan media organization that provides in-depth investigations on public policy issues facing the country. For more information on Oklahoma watches, please visit 


TAHLEQUAH [mdash] 47 years old. Sanitation workers. Died in Oise on January 1, alright. The funeral service was held at Reed-Culver Church at 10:00 am on January 8. Buried in Crittenden Cemetery. Visit the Reed-Culver Hall from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm on January 7th.

TAHLEQUAH [mdash] 71 years old. Health recorder. Died on December 31 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The funeral service was held at Reed-Culver Church at 10:00 am on January 7. Visit the Reed-Culver Hall from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm on January 6.

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