January 8, 2021
Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to spread among the staff and residents in assisted living and the nursing home. We received results from the PCR tests last evening that indicate that two nursing employees, one who works on the Personal Care assisted living unit on the fourth floor and one who works on the nursing home both tested positive for COVID-19. Neither employees are at work. In addition, another resident who lives in the personal care assisted living unit tested positive. She was sent to the hospital for other reasons and tested positive in the ER.
We have established a COVID-19 Isolation Unit on a separate hallway on the second floor of the Assisted Living/Nursing Home building. All assisted living and nursing home residents who test positive are moved there. The unit is staffed with a nurse and geriatric nursing assistants who care exclusively for these residents during the course of their illness. The nursing staff who work on this unit do not work anywhere else in the building. Residents who move to the Isolation unit get more focused care and moving them off their home unit can prevent the virus from spreading further. I had mentioned this Isolation Unit in a previous update but I wanted to repeat it to make sure you are aware of it.
Pickersgill Continues in Outbreak Status
We continue to be in outbreak status. With these new positive cases, we will be in outbreak status for at least another 14 days. All restrictions that are currently in place will continue. Compassionate care visits, outside visits and window visits for assisted living and nursing home residents are suspended at this time. The only exceptions to this are end of life visits in assisted living and the nursing home.
Here is the cumulative count of Pickersgill’s experience with the COVID-19 virus in the 10 months since April 1, when we were informed of our first positive resident, including today’s update. This cumulative count includes individuals whose illness has ended and individuals whose illness is still active. I am only including positive cases in the cumulative report:
- Thirteen nursing home residents have tested positive for the virus. (This is a corrected number. I had miscounted previously.)
- Three apartment residents have tested positive for the virus.
- Eleven assisted living residents have tested positive for the virus.
- Twenty-eight staff have tested positive for the virus.
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. The purpose of this section is to describe the actions we are taking since we have an outbreak. We are stopping outside visitors and deliveries from entering the building, separating the apartment residents from the assisted living and nursing home residents, ending all communal dining and group activities for assisted living and nursing home residents, and encouraging our residents to remain in their room and practice social distancing. We have established a COVID-19 Isolation Unit on the second floor of the Assisted Living/Nursing Home building. All assisted living and nursing home residents who test positive are moved there. The unit is staffed with a nurse and geriatric nursing assistants who care exclusively for these residents during the course of their illness.
Whether we have an outbreak or not, we continue to encourage residents to wear a face mask when they are not in their room, wash their hands regularly, and practice social distancing. We are checking all assisted living and nursing home residents’ temperature and oxygen levels daily. We actively screen daily all healthcare staff, employees and essential vendors who enter the building according to CDC guidelines; this includes taking their temperature upon entry and denying entry of those with COVID-19 signs or symptoms. We require all employees to wear a face mask and other appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, as necessary, at all times when interacting with or caring for a resident.
We are following CDC, CMS, and Maryland Dept. of Health guidelines and testing any resident or employee who states that they have a 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 their test results are negative and the resident no longer has symptoms. If the resident is positive this procedure continues for at least ten days and until the resident no longer has symptoms for 24 hours. Employees who have symptoms are excused from work until their test results are negative. If an employee’s test is positive, they are excused from work for at least ten days and until they no longer have symptoms for 24 hours.
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.