March 1, 2023
Unfortunately, we are in a limited outbreak again. A nursing employee who works on the Personal Care assisted living unit on the 4th floor tested positive yesterday for COVID-19. We have been able to identify the residents and staff in the Personal Care unit who interacted with this employee. We have initiated our testing protocol in which we will only test those individuals who were exposed to this employee. The residents and staff who were exposed were tested yesterday and they are negative. They will be tested two more times this week and then weekly for two additional weeks. As we have done previously, we have implemented a limited outbreak again but it only includes the Personal Care unit at this time. Residents who do not have COVID-19 or are not exhibiting any symptoms can continue to participate in communal dining and group activities. The Beauty Salon and Country Store remain open.
Given the prevalence of COVID-19 in the greater community, it is highly likely that residents and staff will be exposed to the virus. The community transmission level has dropped to substantial in Baltimore County. Community transmission levels are decreasing in many counties across the state. It is important that you let us know if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 7 days after visiting a resident in the community. Residents or staff who are exposed to the COVID-19 virus but do not have symptoms will be tested multiple times after being exposed; this follows CDC guidance. While we are not requiring residents to wear face masks when they are not in their room, it is recommended. I strongly encourage residents to wear a face mask when they are not in their room or when they have a visitor. When you are visiting Pickersgill, I recommend that you wear your face mask when you are walking through the building, in the common areas and when you are visiting with residents. We will do a POC rapid test on any employee, assisted living or nursing home resident who is not feeling well.
Here is the cumulative report of Pickersgill’s experience with the COVID-19 virus since April 1, 2020 when we were informed of our first positive resident, including today’s update. I am only including positive cases in the cumulative report:
- Thirty-five nursing home residents have tested positive for the virus.
- Fifty-five assisted living residents have tested positive for the virus.
- One hundred and forty-seven staff have tested positive for the virus.
- Thirty-two apartment residents 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 can take if we are in an outbreak. We seek the direction of the Baltimore County Health Department about restrictions if either an employee or resident tests positive.
Regardless of our outbreak status, 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, visitors, and vendors who enter the building according to CDC guidelines. 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 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 and we follow the CDC recommendations for the length of the isolation period.
Please contact me if you have any questions about this information. Thank you.
Barry Eisenberg, FACHE, LNHA
Pickersgill Retirement Community
615 Chestnut Avenue, Towson, MD 21204
p. 410-825-7423 | f. 410-821-6275