July 12, 2020
I am writing today, July 11th, to inform you of a change in the COVID-19 status of the nursing employee with respiratory symptoms who was included in my July 7th update. The employee finally received the test results yesterday and is positive for COVID-19. This individual is a full-time nursing employee in our nursing home and has not been at work since June 28. She will not return to work until she is asymptomatic and has a negative COVID-19 test. There are no residents in either assisted living or the nursing home who have COVID-19 or have respiratory symptoms that warrant testing. As far as we know there are no other staff who have respiratory symptoms that would warrant testing.
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, 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.
· Before universal testing was conducted, 16 employees who had symptoms were tested and were negative.
· 399 residents and staff were tested as part of Universal testing and all were negative.
· Two employees have been tested since the Universal testing. One employee is positive.
Testing of Staff
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 weekly testing of all staff is a key component of each phase. Testing of residents is not required unless we have a resident who is positive for COVID-19. Weekly testing of employees and vendors who regularly come to Pickersgill will begin this Monday, July 13.
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. This new update will be posted on Monday, July 13th . 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. Thank you.