October 14, 2021
We are in outbreak again in assisted living.We were informed last evening that a part-time nursing staff employee, who is fully vaccinated and works in the Personal Care assisted living unit on the fourth floor, tested positive for COVID-19. This employee has not been at work since Monday, October 11th. The Baltimore County Health Dept. is directing Pickersgill to institute the same restrictions that we implemented during our most recent outbreak. Assisted living and nursing home residents do not need to quarantine and can continue to participate in communal dining and group activities and have inside visits. However, assisted living, nursing home and apartment residents are to remain separate during the outbreak. Assisted living and nursing home residents should not go over to the apartments, meeting room or the Pickers Grille while we are in outbreak. When leaving the building, assisted living and nursing home residents should use the service hallway on the second floor to go to the front lobby. The Salon remains open though only one resident at a time will be seen. In response to this positive case, all assisted living residents have been tested and contact tracing was initiated and any staff who worked with this employee was tested. We have not received the results of these tests yet. All assisted living staff will need to be tested weekly until the outbreak is closed. We received the results from the routine testing of unvaccinated staff that occurred this past Tuesday and Wednesday and everyone is negative. As far as we know, no other staff or residents have any COVID-19 related symptoms at this time.
While assisted living and nursing home residents can have inside visits, outside visits are still available for these residents. If you want to schedule an inside or outside visit please contact Tricia Selko, Volunteer Coordinator, at 410-842-0420 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Inside visits for assisted living and nursing home residents must be held in the resident’s room and not in a common area or during an activity.
Baltimore County’s positivity rate is 5.2% according to the most recent data available from the CDC. The positivity rate continues to drop and is a little lower than last week. Nevertheless, the CDC still considers Baltimore County to be an area of substantial transmission. The CDC recommends that everyone in areas with substantial or high COVID-19 infection rates wear masks in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. When you are visiting Pickersgill, please wear your mask when you are walking through the building or in common areas.
As of the end of this week, 76.9% of all staff have received at least 1 dose of a vaccine, and 75% are fully vaccinated. I am pleased to report that the number of staff who are fully vaccinated continues to increase every week. This includes the food service and rehabilitation staff. I continue to strongly encourage staff to get vaccinated. 97.1% of our nursing home residents are fully vaccinated, 98.8% of our assisted living residents are fully vaccinated and 98.9% of our apartment residents are fully vaccinated.
Here is the cumulative report of Pickersgill’s experience with the COVID-19 virus since April 1, 2020 when we were informed of our first positive resident, including today’s update. I am only including positive cases in the cumulative report:
- Twenty-five nursing home residents have tested positive for the virus.
- Four apartment residents have tested positive for the virus.
- Fourteen assisted living residents have tested positive for the virus.
- Fifty-six staff have tested positive for the virus.
Mitigating Actions to Prevent or Reduce Risk
As you know, and I have reported previously, we have taken many mitigating actions to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of the virus since the public health emergency was instituted. I provide this section with every update in compliance with Federal regulations. The purpose of this section is to describe the actions we can take if we are in an outbreak. Since the CDC is constantly revising their guidance, we seek the direction of the Baltimore County Health Department about restrictions if either an employee or resident tests positive. At the direction of the Health Department, we could stop outside visitors and deliveries from going to the units that are affected by the outbreak, separate the apartment residents from the assisted living and nursing home residents, end communal dining and group activities in the areas that are affected by the outbreak, and encourage our residents to remain in their room and practice social distancing. We have established a COVID-19 Isolation Unit on the second floor of the Assisted Living/Nursing Home building. All assisted living and nursing home residents who test positive are moved there. When the unit is open, it is staffed with nursing staff who care exclusively for these residents during the course of their illness.
Whether we have an outbreak or not, we continue to encourage residents to wear a face mask when they are not in their room, wash their hands regularly, and practice social distancing. We are checking all assisted living and nursing home residents’ temperature and oxygen levels daily. We actively screen daily all healthcare staff, employees, visitors, and vendors who enter the building according to CDC guidelines; this includes taking their temperature upon entry and denying entry of those with COVID-19 signs or symptoms. We require all employees to wear a face mask and other appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, as necessary, at all times when interacting with or caring for a resident.
We are following CDC, CMS, and Maryland Dept. of Health guidelines and testing any resident or employee who states that they have a symptom that could be a symptom of COVID-19. In addition, we are requiring that a resident is tested before being readmitted to the community from a hospital or other nursing home. If an assisted living or nursing home resident has symptoms and is being tested, they are under strict isolation in their room. An isolation cart is outside their room and any staff who enter the room wear a face mask, face shield, gloves and gown. The resident also wears a face mask when an employee is in the room. This procedure continues until their test results are negative and the resident no longer has symptoms. If the resident is positive this procedure continues for at least ten days and until the resident no longer has symptoms for 24 hours. Employees who have symptoms are excused from work until their test results are negative. If an employee’s test is positive, they are excused from work for at least ten days and until they no longer have symptoms for 24 hours.
We are posting this same information on our website, www.pickersgillretirement.org on the News page. If there is someone with whom you would like to share this information, please have them visit our website. Please contact me or Gina if you have any questions or concerns about this information. Thank you.