July 14, 2020
Here is the current COVID-19 status of our residents and staff as of Tuesday, July 14th:
· There is one full-time GNA who works in the nursing home who tested positive for COVID-19. She has not been at work since June 28th.
· An apartment resident who is currently in the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. We are in contact with the Baltimore County Department of Health and are awaiting instructions about how to respond.
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. Since we are testing staff weekly and testing residents when warranted, I will no longer be providing a cumulative count of the number of residents and staff who have been tested and are negative. I will only include positive cases in the cumulative report:
- One assisted living resident tested positive for the virus. She went to the hospital on March 25th and has not returned.
- One apartment resident tested positive for the virus and is in the hospital.
- Two employees have tested positive for the virus. One has recovered and the other is recovering.
Testing of Residents and Staff
Weekly testing of all staff began this week. In addition, the Health Department has directed us to conduct weekly testing of all nursing home residents. Nursing Home resident testing started today.
Continuation of Restrictions
As I mentioned in my last update, the Maryland Dept. of Health has issued a number of Directives, Orders and Guidance with criteria for the relaxation of the restrictions implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health Department’s direction is very clear. If we have a positive COVID-19 case we must return to the highest level of mitigation in the building. We will not be able to move into Phase 1 for relaxing some of the current restrictions until we have at least 14 days with no positive COVID-19 cases. The main change for Pickersgill is that we have closed the Beauty Salon. We will be able to open it again when we enter Phase 2 for relaxing restrictions.
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.
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.