December 24, 2020
We have had a change in the COVID-19 status of our residents since yesterday’s email. After I sent out my update, we received the results later in the evening for the residents who were tested on Tuesday, December 22. Unfortunately, the news was not good. 4 Decker residents tested positive. They do not have any symptoms at this time. Another Decker resident developed symptoms today and tested positive with the POC rapid test. All 5 residents have been moved to the COVID-19 isolation unit on the second floor of the building. This COVID-19 isolation unit is staffed by a nurse and a GNA.
These positive residents are in addition to the nursing administration employee that I reported yesterday who tested positive. As of this evening, we received the results for all assisted living and nursing home residents and staff and they are all negative except for these 5 Decker residents and the nursing administration employee. We have hired Vytis Shield, a company that provides disinfecting services to disinfect key areas of the nursing home. Vytis Shield was on the nursing home today to disinfect the rooms of these 5 residents, the nursing home dining room and a number of other common areas on the nursing home.
Pickersgill Continues in Outbreak Status
We continue to be in outbreak status. With this new positive case, we will be in outbreak status for at least another 14 days. All restrictions that are currently in place will continue. The only exceptions to this are compassionate care and end of life visits in assisted living and the nursing home. All visitors will need to have a negative COVID-19 test and the test has to be done within 72 hours of the visit. Visitors will need to give a copy of the test results to staff when they visit.
We do not have any new information about the vaccine clinic beyond what I shared in my December 18th update. The tentative dates for the vaccine clinics are still Sunday, January 3, 2021 and Sunday, January 24, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. These clinic dates and times still have to be confirmed by the specific pharmacy team that will be administering the vaccine and we don’t know when we will get that confirmation. We will be receiving the Pfizer vaccine. A consent form has been emailed to anyone who is responsible for making a care decision for a resident. This form only needs to be completed, signed and returned to me if the resident is not capable of providing their own consent. This form is due back to me by no later than December 28th.
Guidance for Family Gatherings as COVID-19 Cases Increase
Both the MDH and the Federal Government are strongly discouraging residents from leaving the community to attend family gatherings. We agree with this position. Given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the community and the high positivity rate, leaving Pickersgill to attend a family gathering could increase a resident’s risk for exposure to COVID-19. Residents have the right to leave the community and attend a family gathering if they so choose. We support that right.
If you decide to take your family member or friend out of the community to celebrate Christmas, please make sure that you and the resident are following all appropriate infection control practices, including wearing a face mask when not eating, maintaining social distance and performing hand hygiene. Of course, please let the nursing staff know if you decide to include the resident in your Christmas celebration. In order to protect the other residents in the community, we will quarantine for 14 days, any resident who leaves the building to attend a family gathering. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you and your family a healthy, safe and Merry Christmas.
Here is the cumulative report of Pickersgill’s experience with the COVID-19 virus since April 1, when we were informed of our first positive resident, including today’s update. I am only including positive cases in the cumulative report:
- Six nursing home residents tested positive for the virus.
- One apartment resident tested positive for the virus.
- Three assisted living residents tested positive for the virus.
- Twenty staff 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 are taking since we have an outbreak. We are stopping outside visitors and deliveries from entering the building, separating the apartment residents from the assisted living and nursing home residents, ending all communal dining and group activities for assisted living and nursing home residents, and encouraging our residents to remain in their room and practice social distancing.
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 and essential 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 if you have any questions or concerns about this information. Thank you.