June 2, 2020
I am writing today to give you the weekly update on what is happening at Pickersgill regarding the presence of COVID-19. Here is the current COVID-19 status of our residents and staff as of Tuesday, June 2nd:
· We tested over 400 residents and staff last week as part of the Governor’s universal testing initiative. We have received 349 results as of today and they are all negative. This is great news. We expect to receive the remaining results later this week.
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:
· One assisted living resident tested positive for the virus. She went to the hospital on March 25th and has not returned.
· Before universal testing was conducted last week, seven residents in both assisted living and the nursing home were tested and their tests were negative for the virus.
· One employee tested positive for the virus and has since recovered.
· All employees were tested last week. Before universal testing was conducted last week, 16 employees who had symptoms and were mentioned in my last memo were tested and were negative.
Continuation of Restrictions
The results of these COVID tests are encouraging. However, these results are a snapshot in time. It indicates that the actions that Pickersgill has taken to reduce the risk of contracting the disease has been successful. But it does not predict the future. We need to continue our restrictions as long as required by the Health Dept. Thank you for your cooperation with these restrictions.
Gina and Vici participate in a weekly conference call with the Maryland Dept. of Health. At last week’s call, it was stated that even though the state has started relaxing restrictions, the restrictions for visitors are not being relaxed for residents of congregate senior housing. Pickersgill is considered congregate housing so these restrictions still apply to us. They have not given any time frame when this will change. I know these restrictions have been difficult for the residents and you as a family member or POA, but they will have to continue until the Health Dept. loosens up the restrictions. A number of residents have been able to go outside to one of the patios either alone, with therapy, or with a member of the Activity dept. and enjoy the Spring weather. Family members or friends cannot visit with the resident while they are outside even if they wear a mask and maintain social distancing. We would be glad to allow this type of visiting if the Health Dept. informs us that we can but they have not. We have been informed that a couple of families have not respected the restrictions and this has put the residents and staff at risk. We respectfully ask you not to do this.
Beauty Salon to Open
One of the restrictions that has been lifted is for Beauty Salons. We will be reopening our Beauty Salon this Thursday and will be following the state guidelines. In order to manage the demand for service in an orderly fashion and follow the guidelines Janet and Susan will start with assisted living residents on the second floor and then systematically work their way through the building up to the Decker Center. Either Janet or Susan will be contacting the residents about scheduling an appointment. At this time, they will only be providing, cut, wash and style; no perms or color. In addition, they will only be able to see one resident at a time and then will have to disinfect their station between residents. Please be patient, it may take a while before they will be able to schedule appointments with everyone who wants one.
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. We have stopped outside visitors and deliveries from entering the building, separated the apartment residents from the assisted living and nursing home residents, ended all communal dining for residents, and encouraged our residents to remain in their room and practice social distancing. We are checking all assisted living and nursing home residents’ temperature and oxygen levels twice a day. We screen all healthcare staff and all employees who enter the building according to CDC guidelines; this includes taking their temperature upon entry. We require all employees to wear a face mask and other appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, as necessary, when interacting with or caring for a resident. We are also asking all residents to wear a face mask when they are not in their room or apartment.
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. However, many symptoms of COVID-19 are also symptoms of other respiratory illnesses. So, testing does not automatically mean that the individual has the disease. 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 the test results are negative and the resident no longer has symptoms. Employees who have symptoms are excused from work until their test results are negative or they no longer have symptoms.
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you.