December 15, 2020
As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. We have two very important updates to share with you today:
As you may have seen in the news, some exciting updates have taken place regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Our pharmacy providers are working to schedule several dates to visit our center to hold “vaccine clinics” to administer the vaccine. To plan for this, we need consents from families to administer the vaccine to their loved ones. The consent process is similar to that of the yearly flu vaccine that we strongly recommend everyone receive.
Within the next day or two, we will have the consent forms out to you to fill-out and return. Unlike the flu vaccine which we order, administer, and maintain for a period of time in the center, the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered on a specific date(s) and only that date(s).
If we do not have the signed consent form in advance, they may not administer the vaccine. Therefore, it is imperative that we receive the consent back ASAP in order to include your loved one in the order.
Given the nature of the pandemic thus far, we strongly recommend everyone participate. Below are a few links to websites with additional information on the vaccine that may answer your questions.
AMDA: FAQs about the COVID-19 Vaccine for PALTC Staff, Patients, Residents and Family Members http://paltc.org/sites/default/files/QA%20about%20the%20COVID-19%20Vaccine%20for%20PALTC%20Patients%20Family%20Member%20and%20Staff%20_%2012_1_20%20FINAL.pdf
CDC: About COVID-19 vaccines. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/about-vaccines.html
CDC: Understanding the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program and Frequently Asked Questions. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/long-term-care/pharmacy-partnerships.html
Governor Baker recently rolled back many restrictions within the Commonwealth due to the increase in community spread. With that in mind, nursing home visitation has been impacted to meet the below guidelines:
• Once a center has a Staff member or Resident test positive for COVID-19, our entire center is required to place a pause on INDOOR visitation for a 14 day period.
o This means ONLY outdoor or Alternative visits are permitted.
o NO indoor visits are allowed until the 14-Day Quarantine is up.
• Any time a positive test is determined, the 14-Day Quarantine will begin again.
• This also affects activities and the use of our dining room. During an “outbreak,” no communal dining and activities may take place.
• Hospice, end of life, and compassionate care visits are exempt from these guidelines.
Our current situation is: “outbreak”
As a reminder, our indoor visitation policy and procedures follow state and federal requirements. Based on that, nursing homes and visitors must adhere to many conditions that we listed in previous emails. Some are listed below:
• We must limit the number of visitors per patient at one time and limit the total number of visitors in the center at a time. This will be based on the amount of physical space we have available for our designated visitation area, which is our puzzle room.
• Screening for anyone who enters our center – temperature and health screen questionnaire – will take place by a member of our team.
• We cannot allow visitors to move freely throughout our center; visitors will go directly to the designated visitation area, puzzle room.
• Hand hygiene must be followed and personal protection equipment (PPE) must be worn by visitors.
Outside & “Alternative” Visits
Please know that outside and “alternative” visitations will continue. While the weather is changing, we will work to continue to do outside visits on our patio for as long as possible and window visits are still possible. The weather seems to be holding steady for now. Remember that we do offer iPads for our residents to use for video visits, phone calls, etc. to ensure that you and your loved ones remain in contact, as best as you can during these very uncertain times.
We are reminding our staff to not only practice safeguards against COVID in our center, but to be vigilant outside of our center and share these practices with their friends and loved ones. We still ask you to do your part while in your community and PLEASE wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. And please promote these very simple precautions with your extended family and friends.
As always, thank you for your patience and please stay safe and healthy!
Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!
Katrina Dahlgren MHA, LNHA
December 15, 2020