April 11, 2023
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak at Pickersgill continues to spread. Over the last 3 days, 2 Personal Care assisted living unit residents on the 4th floor, and 2 agency nursing employees and 1 Activities department employee who work in the nursing home tested positive for COVID-19. 3 COVID positive residents are out of the building at other facilities. As of today, the total number of active COVID-19 cases in Pickersgill are: 11 nursing home residents, 2 Personal Care unit residents, 4 staff and 5 apartment residents. All Personal Care unit and nursing home residents and staff who are on the contact tracing list were tested yesterday, and except for the COVID positive residents and staff, there are no additional nursing home or Personal Care unit residents or staff who are positive for COVID-19. We will continue to test residents and staff on the contact tracing list 2 more times this week. We brought in Vytis Shield over the weekend to disinfect all the common areas on the Personal Care unit and the third floor in assisted living. Assisted living residents who do not have COVID-19 or are not exhibiting any symptoms can continue to participate in communal dining and group activities, though we will continue to separate Personal Care unit assisted living residents on the 4th floor from the 2nd and 3rd floor assisted living residents. Given the number of COVID positive residents I am instituting the following restrictions. Group activities for the Personal Care unit are suspended. Group activities for nursing home residents are suspended and communal dining is limited; nursing home residents who do not have COVID are being encouraged to remain in their room if possible. The Beauty Salon and the Country Store are closed; I will re-evaluate these restrictions at the end of this week.
Given the prevalence of COVID-19 in the greater community, it is highly likely that residents and staff will be exposed to the virus. Some will get the virus as we have seen at Pickersgill. The community transmission level is moderate in Baltimore County and in most counties in Maryland. 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, please 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:
- Forty-nine nursing home residents have tested positive for the virus.
- Sixty-one assisted living residents have tested positive for the virus.
- One hundred and fifty-three staff have tested positive for the virus.
- Thirty-nine 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 tests positive for COVID-19, 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 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