July 7, 2020
Here is the current COVID-19 status of our residents and staff as of Tuesday, July 7th:
· There are two nursing staff who have symptoms that warrant testing and they have been tested. One staff person has returned to work and the other is not working pending the test results.
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.
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 Health Department has specified 3 phases for relaxing COVID-19 restrictions. 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. We are in the process of developing a plan for how we are going to test the staff and we expect to start testing in the near future.
Continuation of Restrictions
The Baltimore County Health Department has developed a checklist to determine if a community is approved for Phase 1, 2, or 3. We are completing the checklist for Phase 1 and the Health Department will determine if we are approved to enter Phase 1. Once we have been approved for Phase 1 we will be able to relax certain restrictions. I will share them with you when that happens. In the meantime, we are continuing the current restrictions regarding visitors in the building. Visitors and deliveries will not be allowed in the building at this time. Assisted living residents can visit with family and friends outside of the building. Nursing Home residents can visit with family and friends through a window. These visits are being coordinated by Tricia Selko, our Volunteer Coordinator. Please contact her at email@example.com if you would like to schedule a face to face visit. Deliveries should be placed on the table in the vestibule. Thank you for your continued support of our efforts.
Mitigating Actions to Prevent or Reduce Risk
As I have written 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 screen 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. In addition, our Nurse Practitioner is now seeing assisted living and nursing home residents only at Pickersgill; she is not going to any other communities.
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. If an assisted living or nursing home resident has symptoms and is being tested, they are under strict isolation in their room. This isolation 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 have started posting this same information on our web site, 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. Thank you.