December 16, 2020
There have been a number of changes in our COVID-19 status since my December 11th update. We tested 102 staff on Monday, December 14th, and learned today that 3 staff tested positive. One individual works in the accounting office in Administration, one works in the Rehabilitation department and one is a nursing employee who works in the nursing home. We believe that they are isolated cases since there is no clear trail of transmission between them. These employees are not at work. We tested all residents and some staff yesterday and have not received the results from those tests yet.
Pickersgill Continues in Outbreak Status
We were hopeful that we could end our outbreak status next week. But with these new positive cases, we will continue to 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. Due to increased testing in Maryland at this time, many individuals are finding that it can take 3 to 5 days to receive the results. Anything over 3 days is outside the 72-hour time frame that is required. Some individuals are finding that the only type of test that seems to be working for visitation is the rapid test. Rapid testing gives you the results within minutes.
CVS is the pharmacy provider who will be administering the COVID-19 vaccine at Pickersgill. They have identified 2 tentative clinic dates when they will be on-site to administer the vaccine to all staff and all assisted living and nursing home residents who want the vaccine. The tentative dates are January 3, 2021 and 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 vaccines and we don’t know when we will get that confirmation. We also don’t know which vaccine we will be receiving; it could be either Pfizer or Moderna. We hope to hear more next week. We will let you know as soon as we know. Every assisted living and nursing home resident who receives the vaccine will be required to complete a consent form. If the resident is capable of giving their consent, we will have them complete the consent form. If they are not capable or unwilling to give their consent, I will send an email to the individual who is responsible for making that healthcare decision and request consent on behalf of the resident. The consent is able to be given by replying to the email but it will need to be returned quickly once I send it.
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.
- Eighteen 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.
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about this information. Thank you.Barry