May 19, 2020
I am writing today to give you an update on what is happening at Pickersgill regarding the presence of COVID-19. Here is the current COVID-19 status of our residents and staff as of Tuesday, May 19th:
· There are no residents in either assisted living or the nursing home who have COVID-19 or have respiratory symptoms that would warrant testing.
· The test result for the nursing employee mentioned in the last update was negative. There are no other staff who have COVID-19 or 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 and is no longer in the community.
· 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.
· Thirteen employees were tested and their tests were negative for the virus.
As you know Governor Hogan has ordered that each nursing home increase testing of residents and staff for COVID-19. We heard from The National Guard yesterday that the COVID-19 test kits will be delivered to Pickersgill this Friday, May 22, 2020. We were informed that we will be given enough tests for all Pickersgill residents in addition to all staff. This includes assisted living and nursing home residents as well as apartment residents. Testing for all staff as well as assisted living and nursing home residents is mandatory. Testing will be scheduled for next week, between Tuesday, May 26th and Friday, May 29th. We are still working on the actual schedule and the plan for administering the tests. It is our intent that all testing will be complete by the end of next week. It could take up to a week to get the test results.
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. 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. Since she had been going to other communities, she decided, out of an abundance of caution, to be tested even though she was asymptomatic; her test result was negative.
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 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.