Update from Administrator – November 5, 2020
November 5, 2020
As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy.
We continue testing our staff and residents at regular intervals as required by CMS, CDC and DPH. We are happy to report that we remain COVID free!
Last week, more than 35 nursing homes across the state reported staff and/or new resident cases of COVID-19 in their centers. Due to these numbers, CT DPH has ordered weekly testing of all staff to further safeguard against COVID entering our center, effective November 1. We are reminding our staff to not only practice safeguards against COVID in our center, but to be vigilant outside of our center and share these practices with their friends and loved ones.
PLEASE wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. These are simple things we must continue to do, not just in our centers, but in our personal lives to keep COVID out!
Due to the increase in the number of COVID cases in the community and communities across the state, we need to prepare for the inevitable – accepting COVID-19 positive patients into our center for their post-hospital recovery. Our partner hospitals in the community have begun asking us to be ready to take admissions and making referrals to us as well as other nursing homes. As yet, we have not admitted anyone with a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Our center does have the capacity and capability to care for these recovering individuals, including ample PPE. As long as these residents are positive for the virus they will remain in quarantine. We are prepared to admit any COVID positive resident to a very specific area, away from other residents. We are strongly advocating for the state to re-open the COVID-Recovery Facilities in Meriden and Torrington (and elsewhere) to ease the pressure on all nursing homes. Many nursing homes across the state are also supporting this effort.
Because these individuals would arrive in recovery, their admission to our center will NOT trigger a suspension of visitation plans, either indoor or outdoor, per the state DPH.
Some updates / Reminders
- FLU VACCINE: We STRONGLY encourage that all staff and residents receive an annual Influenza Vaccine. We have received our shipment of vaccine; please consider completing a consent form to ensure your loved one receives their vaccine if you have not done so already. Our goal is 100% participation of staff and residents.
- Each nursing unit has tablets assigned for resident use such as virtual visits, games, etc. and many of our residents are enjoying learning how to use this technology and having the world at their fingertips.
- Our outdoor social distancing activities programming continues to expand and evolve. Given the great forecast for the coming days, we are in good shape to be outside as much as possible.
As a reminder, our indoor visitation policy and procedures follow state and federal requirements. Based on that, nursing homes and visitors must adhere to the following conditions:
- We must limit the number of visitors per patient at one time and limit the total number of visitors in the center at a time. This will be based on the amount of physical space we have available for our designated visitation area, which is our first-floor dining room, just off the lobby.
- We need to limit the duration of visits to help ensure all patients can receive visitors. Just like our outdoor visits, once we have more experience behind us, we can adjust this, if necessary. We schedule our visits on the hour, the visits are scheduled for 45-minutes to allow 15 minutes to disinfect the area after each visit.
- Cleaning and disinfecting of the designated visitation area will occur by our staff in between visits. This is another factor affecting the amount of time and numbers of visitors we can have in our center.
- Screening for anyone who enters our center – temperature and a health screen questionnaire – will take place by our center staff.
- We cannot allow visitors to move freely throughout our center; visitors will go directly to the designated visitation area, first-floor dining room, and will be supervised.
- Hand hygiene must be followed and personal protection equipment (PPE) must be worn by visitors.
- Social distancing requirements remain as they do for our outside visits.
- We offer indoor and outdoor supervised social distancing visits 7 days a week.
Indoor, End Stage of Life Care Visits
Should a new case of COVID be identified in the center, all inside visits, except end stage of life, will be temporarily put on hold.
Outside & “Alternative” Visits
Please know that outside and “alternative” visitations will continue, and if possible, we encourage this over indoor visits. While the weather is changing, we will work to continue to do outside visits on our patio for as long as possible and window visits are still possible. As mentioned earlier, the weather seems to be holding steady for now.
Remember that we do offer iPads for our residents to use for video visits, phone calls, etc. to ensure that you and your loved ones remain in contact, as best as you can during these very uncertain times.
Please remember, tangible items are not to be given directly to residents. All packages, clothing, food and drink, must be given to the receptionist. Cigarettes, lighters, e-cigarettes, etc., are never to be given directly to residents. These must be given to the receptionist for proper labeling and storage.
As always, thank you for your patience and understanding, and please stay safe and healthy!