August 13, 2021, Letter to Family and Friends
Good news! All resident tests from 5th floor and all staff tests for the week were negative! Green zones open for visits in accordance with our visitation policy are 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. 4th floor zone for new admissions, hospital returns is yellow.
We have implemented masking and social distancing protocols for our facility due to rising concerns about the Delta variant of COVID-19. Decisions of this nature are not taken lightly and are being made out of an abundance of caution.
We will continue to monitor the Delta variant and update our practices accordingly. Reinstating the masking and physical distancing protocols is in the best interest for the safety and welfare of your loved ones and our staff. COVID infections are expected to peak in October and will impact both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. We want to reduce the risk of another outbreak.
Our visitation guidelines are posted on our website at jhep.org in the COVID section. To schedule a visit please email Mary Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 570-344-6177 ext. 1104. Mary is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. We do ask for visits to be scheduled one day in advance. Please schedule visits occurring on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, no later than the Friday before at 1 p.m. so schedules can be provided to reception staff.
We will continue to follow guidance from (CDC), Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and will monitor and follow the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 infection control guidance with relation to its impact on our residents and visitors.
The CDC updated its guidance on how to protect yourself and others who are fully vaccinated:
- To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
- Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated
- If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be protected even if you are fully vaccinated. You should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people until advised otherwise by your healthcare provider.
Many medical experts confirm that the best way to limit one’s chances of getting COVID is to become fully vaccinated. We encourage all residents, staff, family members and volunteers to become vaccinated, which makes one less susceptible to the variant. Find vaccines near you: https://www.vaccines.gov/search. For information about vaccinations, please check the CDC’s fact sheet. We are able to obtain the Moderna and J&J/Janssen vaccine through our Pharmacy provider moving forward. This will allow us to schedule vaccine clinics for new residents and staff, and any residents or staff who change their mind and want to take the vaccine. PharMerica offered us to the option of opening our vaccine clinic to immediate family members of both our staff and residents who are in need of a vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is available for person 18 years of age or older and is given in two doses. The J&J/Janssen vaccine if a 1 shot dose for persons age 18 and older. If you are interested in joining our next available vaccine clinic please contact Denise Skrzysowski, RN, our Infection Control Preventionist at email@example.com or 570-344-6177 extension 1173. We are pleased to be able to offer this service to help control the spread of COVID 19. Due to the delivery of the vaccine, vaccination can only occur during the week at this time.
Our vaccination rates for our active residents and staff as of August 12, 2021, is 87% of staff vaccinated, 93% residents for a total of 90% of our facility vaccinated. Our nonvaccinated staff are tested weekly. Next test date is Wednesday August 18, 2021.
Our Facility’s Resident Impact (Since March 30, 2020, through August 12, 2021)
0 – Residents currently in our building with a confirmed active case of COVID 19
57 – CONFIRMED: Residents with laboratory positive COVID-19
0 – SUSPECTED: Residents with new suspected COVID-19
53 – Confirmed Staff Total: with a positive COVID-19
- Please note that test results are reported on our daily call-in line at 570-207-6711. Family members and all others impacted by the virus will be contacted directly and provided with results and updates.
Our main goal is the safety and well-being of your loved one. If everyone abides by the infection control guidelines, we can keep our residents safe and they can enjoy family time! Please understand while we are moving forward with managing COVID 19, it still is out there in the community and that is how it can be brought back into our building. Part of our protocol involves a risk assessment related to potential exposure of our residents when going out on therapeutic leave. Due to the increasing number of variants and the vulnerability of our resident population, residents who frequently go out on therapeutic leave weekly with higher level of risk assessed may be required to have routine COVID testing moving forward.
Thank you again for entrusting us with the care of your loved ones. If you have any questions, we are always available for you.
Mary Rose Applegate, MBA, RD, NHA