December 17, 2021, Letter to Friends and Families
With holiday celebrations and visits upon us, please note the attached guide for visitation safety tips when visiting a care facility. This guide is also available on our website’s COVID-19 page and on our social media pages.
We strive to provide high-quality care and to keep your loved ones safe. Please consider the safety of family, friends and our staff. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines for safely celebrating this year’s holiday season.
The CDC’s top advice is for eligible Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine before gathering and traveling for the holidays.
As of December 16, 2021, our vaccination rate for our active residents is 95% and staff is 100%, for a total of 98.3% of our facility fully vaccinated.
The results of our second round of testing for potentially exposure residents and staff on second floor came back negative this week. The second floor will be returning to green status as of 12/18/2021. Family members and all others impacted by the virus will be contacted directly and provided with results and updates.
We are continuing to monitor the effects and spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and will share the latest information as it becomes available. The best way to minimize COVID-19 exposure and keep you and your family safe is to get vaccinated (if you’re eligible). By being vaccinated, you can help better protect those not yet eligible for vaccination, such as young children.
We follow guidance from the CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS as well as the latest COVID-19 infection control guidance with relation to its impact on our residents and visitors.
For information about vaccination rates at nursing homes, please refer to CMS’s Care Compare site
We maintain that our top priority is to protect the residents, staff and families. Your cooperation and partnership in maintaining a safe environment is appreciated. CMS lifted many pandemic visitation restrictions at nursing homes. The new guidance instructs nursing homes to allow visits at all times.
The guidance has been updated, but visitation varies from how we proceeded prior to the pandemic. The following infection control principles and best practices must be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, regardless of your vaccination status:
- Upon arrival, all visitors must complete the screening process. Visitors who fail the screening will not be permitted to visit.
- Visitors will not be permitted to visit if they:
- Refuse screening;
- Refuse to wear a mask;
- Currently test positive for COVID-19;
- Have COVID-19 test results pending;
- Exhibit symptoms of COVID-19;
- Were recently exposed to COVID-19;
- Currently meet the criteria for quarantine.
- Complete hand hygiene upon arrival and departure (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)
- Wear a face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose) at all times.
- Maintain physical distancing at least 6 feet between people, in accordance with the CDC.
- Limit visitation to resident’s room or designated visitation area. If roommate is present, please maintain physical distancing or visit in another location. We recommend that if your loved one is in quarantine or in isolation that you refrain from in-person visitation and we will assist with virtual visits
- Notify staff when you are leaving so we can clean and disinfect the visitation area.
Visitors who do not adhere to the infection control requirements during visitation will be requested to leave.
- In order to maintain physical distancing, we ask that large family groups visiting break up into smaller units to maintain the 6-foot distance. If we determine, during peak visitation times, that the facility cannot accommodate additional visitors due to physical distancing, we may ask you to wait until current visitors have departed to ensure can ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of your loved one, other residents and staff. The maximum number of visitors in a resident’s room is 2 at a time and 4 on our designated areas on first floor to maintain physical distancing.
Our Visitation Guidelines are located in the COVID information page on our website.
Our Facility’s Resident Impact (Since March 30, 2020, through December 16, 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
58 – 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.
As always, we appreciate that you entrust us with the care of your loved ones. If you have any questions, we are always available for you. Thank you again.
Mary Rose Applegate, MBA, RD, NHA