Cross City assisted living facility recognized as only one in the state to have zero COVID-19 cases

Governor Ron DeSantis lifted the nursing home visitation ban a few weeks ago
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 6:12 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - As the state continues its reopening process, many businesses and companies continue to follow strict COVID-19 regulations. Nursing homes have been especially cautious with Governor Ron DeSantis lifting the visitation ban just a few weeks ago.

While the pandemic has caused several breakouts in nursing homes across the country, Cross City Rehabilitation and Care Center has been recognized as the only facility in the state to have zero COVID-19 cases.

“You see one facility get hit after another. We knew that we were one of the buildings that had not had an outbreak ... but we had no idea that we were the [only] one. I would say we are still shocked," Regional Director of Operations, Marie Dyal, said.

Dyal said they were shocked to hear the news but also, in a way, not surprised.

“Even back in April and March when things were first coming out ... they always went one step above,” she said about her staff.

Dyal said they took extra steps when it came to cleaning safety measures but also when it came to educating staff and family about the best way to keep the residents safe and healthy.

“This staff has been very dedicated,” Executive Director Timmako Glanton said. "They have put in extra long hours. I even have staff here that worked 19 days straight one time … just making sure everything was covered.”

It’s not only the staff’s dedication that they give credit to for this good news. They also give credit to their faith.

“We met on the lawn out front and we just prayed," Michelle Riels, Admissions and Marketing Director, explained.

Surrounding the building are red ribbons tied onto nearby trees.

“There’s a story in the Old Testament about the children of Israel ... when the plague was coming, they put the blood of Jesus on their doors. That red ribbon on the tree? That was our plea," Riels said.

Those ribbons are still there, serving their original purpose but now also as a reminder of their good faith efforts.

“We wanted to give God all the glory, along with our knowledge and education that was followed. He has given us wisdom and guidance and we give him credit and glory for just answering our prayers,” she said.

When asked their plan moving forward, staff said ‘much of the same,' because apparently what they’re doing now is working.

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