December 3, 2021, Letter to Friends and Families
We are monitoring the effects and spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and will not take it lightly. Researchers around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron and will continue to share their findings of these studies as they become available. We will do the same and keep you informed.
Meanwhile, 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.
Our main goal is to provide high-quality care and to keep your loved ones safe. We follow guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.
Earlier this month, CMS lifted many pandemic visitation restrictions at nursing homes. The new guidance instructs nursing homes to allow visits at all times.
Although the visitation guidance has been updated, visitation remains “different” from visitation 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:
- Use the designated entrance to complete the screening process.
- 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 on our first floor. The maximum number of visitors in a resident’s room is 2 at a time and 4 on our designated areas on first floor.
- 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.
Our Visitation Guidelines are located in the COVID information page on our website.
Vaccinations are proven to curb the spread of COVID-19 and is a matter of safety as well as compliance with the federal government’s mandated vaccines for health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid facilities.
As of December 3, 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 Pennsylvania Department of Health recently released resources to help providers continue to encourage vaccine-hesitant residents and staff to consider the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Department has developed a series of new vaccine hesitancy materials to help you and your team can leverage in your vaccine outreach efforts including:
- vaccine outreach toolkit for long-term care facilities,
- education one-pager for SNFs and AL/PC communities,
- COVID-19 vaccination rate thermometer to track your progress
Learn more about vaccine facts vs. myths with a downloadable PDF, blog and video blog, which are linked from our website’s COVID-19 page. Visitations are monitored and controlled based on the CDC’s county view data tracker.
Our Facility’s Resident Impact (Since March 30, 2020, through December 2, 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
55 – 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