September 5, 2020
I am writing today to inform you of a recent change in the COVID-19 status of a staff member. We received the results yesterday from the August 31st and September 1st testing of all staff. The results for 3 staff are still pending. Of the results that we received, all staff tested negative except for one assisted living nursing employee who tested positive. She does not have any COVID-19 related symptoms. She is not at work and will be out until the end of her isolation period.
Decker residents did not have to be tested on September 1st. There are no Decker residents who have COVID-19 or have any COVID-19 related symptoms. There are no assisted living residents who have any COVID-19 related symptoms and no one has COVID-19.
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 am only including positive cases in the cumulative report:
- One assisted living resident tested positive for the virus.
- One nursing home resident tested positive for the virus.
- Seven staff tested positive for the virus.
Continuation of Restrictions
As I mentioned in a previous update, we submitted a formal request to the Baltimore County Health Department to allow Pickersgill to move into Phase 1 of relaxation of restrictions. The Health Department gave us approval on Wednesday, September 2nd to move into Phase 1. Under Phase 1, we would have been allowed to have limited communal dining and small group activities. We were very excited about this for the residents. We recognize how difficult these restrictions have been for them. Moving into this phase is primarily dependent on not having any positive COVID-19 cases among both residents and staff for at least 14 days. This is a very tough standard. As a result of the positive case we will not be able to move into Phase 1 until September 17th at the earliest. This assumes that we will not have any additional positive cases when we test on September 8th . We are disappointed that we cannot move into Phase 1 at this time. However, the Health Department guidance is very clear that if we have even one positive case, it is considered an outbreak, and we must return to the pre-phase 1 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. I provide this section with every update in compliance with Federal regulations. 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.Barry