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Update from Administrator – September 29, 2020

September 29, 2020

Dear Families,

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! We continue testing our staff and residents at regular intervals as required by CMS, CDC and DPH.

A few quick points:

  • I want to reiterate that this pandemic is still active and while we remain COVID-free, our state continues to report new cases of COVID and as we see in the news, some states continue to surge with new cases. This serves as a reminder that we must all remain vigilant in following all guidelines, recommendations, and best practices to stay safe and fight this pandemic.
  • Although we are following social distance guidelines, handwashing protocols, hygiene recommendations, and wearing masks in our center – it is still STRONGLY encouraged that all staff and residents receive an annual Influenza Vaccine. While the vaccine is not in the center yet, please consider completing a consent form, in advance to ensure you loved one receives their vaccine.
  • We have received the “Point of Care Testing Device” from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that is designed to enable us to conduct COVID-19 Antigen testing within our center, providing rapid results. We are working on getting our clinicians certified in the use of this device and will communicate with you once we begin using it.

Visitation Updates

Indoor Visits

As you may have read or seen in the news, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued guidance to states on indoor visits, due to the changing weather. Our latest update from the state Department of Public Health is that we are responsible to develop an indoor visitation plan and policy for our center that is thoughtful, safe, and compliant with the new state guidance. We plan to have more details to share with you ASAP, but please see some notes below on guidelines that we all must follow to ensure for everyone’s health and safety. We are as excited as you must be to hear this news and look forward to seeing you!

Nursing homes and visitors must adhere to the following conditions:

  • According to the state guidance, 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 will be mentioned at the time of your visit.
  • 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.
  • 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 health screen questionnaire – will take place.
  • We cannot allow visitors to move freely throughout our center; visitors will go directly to the designated visitation area.
  • 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.

 

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. 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. 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.

As always, thank you for your patience and please stay safe and healthy!

Sincerely,

Sobha Lamontagne

September 29, 2020 Athena News
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