August 13, 2020
Here is the current COVID-19 status of our residents and staff as of Thursday, August 13th :
· All assisted living residents are asymptomatic and no one has COVID-19.
· All nursing home residents were tested last week; they are all asymptomatic and no one has COVID-19. We do not have the results yet from this week’s testing.
· We received the results for the staff who were tested on August 3rd and 4th . All staff who were tested are negative for COVID-19 except for one food service employee that tested positive. She is not at work. I informed you about this employee in the August 7th memo. We do not have all the results yet from this week’s testing.
· A nursing employee who works in the nursing home was exposed to COVID-19 while out in the community. This employee tested positive for COVID-19 this week and we received her results today. She is currently not at work.
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.
- Five employees tested positive for the virus.
Continuation of Restrictions
Over the last month, the Maryland Department of Health has been issuing additional guidance and directives for how congregate care communities like Pickersgill should be responding to the Pandemic State of Emergency. One of these directives is weekly testing of all staff, which we are doing. Other directives specify and further refine the requirements for relaxing restrictions that all nursing homes and assisted living communities must follow. Among the changes they have allowed are outdoor visits on campus for assisted living residents, which we have been doing, and not requiring a resident to quarantine if they leave the building and return the same day. Updates are constantly being sent out. In addition, the Health Department has specified 3 phases for the relaxation of restrictions. Each phase allows us to open up the community a little more. We have applied to be approved for Phase 1 for Assisted Living. We are unable to apply for Phase 1 for the nursing home at this time because we have had a nursing home employee with positive COVID within the last 14 days. We will continue to follow the state mandated restrictions as long as required by the Health Dept. while we seek approval for each of the 3 phases in assisted living and the nursing home. This week we asked the Maryland Health Department if a resident can leave the building with a family member for a medically necessary appointment or on an outing. They are considering whether this can happen and at what phase of the relaxation of restrictions it would be permissible. Until we get that guidance, I ask that these types of outings that you would want to take with your family member or friend not occur. I recognize that these restrictions have been very tough on your family member in the community and you. We will do our best to relax these restrictions as quickly as we are able given government directives. Please contact Tricia Selko if you want to schedule an outdoor visit with your family. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your cooperation with these restrictions.
Rachel Rosenstock, Delegating Nurse Joins Pickersgill
At the end of July, Rachel Rosenstock joined our team as the new delegating nurse. Rachel is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years’ experience in a variety of health care settings. She has worked in hospitals, nursing homes , and hospice. She also worked for the local chapter of the American Red Cross in their CNA training program. She also has experience as an educator and as an infection preventionist. We are very fortunate to have someone of her experience join our team. Rachel will be working closely with Simonne Bisaha, our Resident Care Coordinator, to oversee the care provided to our assisted living residents.
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. 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.