Covid-19 Updates

September 25, 2020

Good Evening:

I am pleased to provide good news in this update. We received the results from the September 21st and 22nd  testing for substantially all staff. All staff for whom we received results are negative. The results for nine staff are pending.

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.
  • Eight staff tested positive for the virus.

Relaxation of Restrictions

We have gone more than 14 days with no positive cases. As a result, the Baltimore County Health Department gave us approval this week to enter into Phase 1 for the relaxation of restrictions for assisted living and the nursing home residents. This means that the assisted living and nursing home residents can eat in the dining rooms. The number of residents who can eat in a dining room is limited. Each table can only have 1 resident and the distance between residents must be at least 6 feet. We started communal dining on September 24th for the nursing home and the fourth-floor assisted living Personal Care unit. Communal dining for residents on the 2nd and 3rd floor of assisted living started today, September 25th . We expanded the 3rd floor dining room into the auditorium so we could increase the distance between tables. Some residents will want to continue to eat in their room and we will accommodate their wish.  In addition, we can start having group activities again though we are limited to 5 residents in a group.

On September 17th, the federal government issued new guidance that significantly relaxes COVID-19 restrictions on nursing homes if there has been no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the previous 14 days and the facility is not currently conducting outbreak testing. The Maryland Health Department (MDH) is in the process of revising their restrictions to be consistent with these recent changes in the federal government’s guidance on COVID-19 restrictions. MDH will apply these changes to both assisted living and nursing home residents. We anticipate that this new guidance will be effective in October. Once MDH issues their new guidance we will proceed to immediately implement it. As a result, we will be able to further relax the current restrictions under which we are operating.

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. 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. 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.

Barry

Barry Eisenberg, FACHE, LNHA 
Executive Director 
Pickersgill Retirement Community 
615 Chestnut Avenue, Towson, MD 21204 
p. 410-825-7423  |  f. 410-821-6275 

beisenberg@pickersgillretirement.org