December 18, 2020
Here is my weekly update on Pickersgill’s COVID-19 status. We tested all assisted living and nursing home residents this week. We learned last evening that a resident on the Personal Care (PC) assisted living unit on the 4th floor tested positive. She was immediately put in isolation. She is asymptomatic. All other PC and assisted living residents are negative. All nursing home residents are negative as well. The PC resident who I told you about last week has remained asymptomatic. Subsequent to the initial positive test, we did 3 follow up tests and she was negative for all three tests. She has completed her isolation period and is being returned to her PC room today. The apartment resident who was positive for COVID-19 has completed her isolation. As far as we know, there are no other apartment residents with COVID-19.
As you know we are testing all employees at least once a week and employees who work in the nursing home twice a week. We have received the test results from this week’s testing, except for one staff member. All staff for whom we received the test results are negative. Of the three nursing staff members who previously tested positive, two have completed their isolation, recovered from the virus, and are back at work. The other nursing employee is still out of work.
Pickersgill Continues in Outbreak Status
We were hopeful that we could end our outbreak status next week. But with this new positive case in PC, we will continue to be in outbreak status for at least another 14 days. All restrictions that are currently in place will continue. It has come to my attention that some families are visiting with residents who live in the assisted living units that have direct access to the patios. These visits are not appropriate at this time given our current restrictions. If a resident receives one of these visits, they will need to be quarantined. The only inside visits that are allowed at this time are compassionate care and end of life visits.
We have been told that assisted living and nursing home residents and staff will be in the first group to receive the vaccine. Independent living residents are not part of this group though we are advocating to include them. We have not been given clear information about this by the Maryland Health Department or CVS. CVS will be administering the vaccine. We hope to hear more next week. CVS will come on site to administer the vaccine but we do not know when this will occur. We will let you know as soon as we know. We will require a completed consent form from any resident who receives the vaccine. We do not have the consent form from CVS yet but will need it returned quickly once it is given to the resident or their responsible party.
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:
- One nursing home resident tested positive for the virus.
- One apartment resident tested positive for the virus.
- Three assisted living residents tested positive for the virus.
- Fifteen 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 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 respiratory 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.