June 4, 2021, Letter to Family and Friends
We continue to 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.
Thank you to all who participated in our family Zoom meeting today to go over our new visitation guidelines for residents starting MONDAY JUNE 7, 2021, for residents in green zones. Essentially, a two-hour visit can be scheduled daily for each resident. Visitors can go to the resident units to visit in their loved ones rooms or to bring the resident to one of our neutral areas on our first floor for the visit. For the safety of all and to be in compliance with regulatory guidelines we ask visitors going into resident units to visit only in the resident rooms not the common areas. Scheduling is still required at this time. A list of our visitation protocols is attached and posted on our website at https://jhep.org in the COVID-19 section. Please read over the details. To schedule a visit please email Mary Ryan at email@example.com 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 Sat, Sun and Monday no later than the Friday at 1 pm so schedules can be provided to reception staff.
Staff testing: Our non-vaccinated staff members continue to test weekly. We are pleased to report no positive test results from testing this week.
Our Facility’s Resident Impact (Since March 30, 2020, through June 3, 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
Our vaccination rate is among the best for health facilities in our area and continue to encourage vaccinations by the general population in a quest for overall herd immunity, which experts place at 70-to-80 percent of the United States population.
As of today, 85% of our staff is vaccinated and 93% of our residents for a total facility rate of 88%.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
We have received requests from families regarding taking their loved one out of the building for building for meals, day trips or overnights. In order to safely accommodate your resident as well as all of the other residents and staff in our building we would need to determine the details of the trip to determine if your loved one would need to be located in a yellow zone to quarantine upon return.
Where? Who? Vaccinated vs unvaccinated resident and guest? How many people? How long? Mask wearing? Social Distancing?
There is no true black and white answer as everyone can answer the questions differently. Generally vaccinated residents going out for short visits of 6 hours maximum with other vaccinated persons can occur without the need for yellow zone quarantines when returning to the building.
Our main goal is the safety 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.
Therapeutic Leave (TL) guidelines will also need to be followed, ie physician’s order to permit therapeutic leave, advance notice to have medications prepared, notice by the responsible party of who is permitted to take a resident out on TL for residents who are not capable of making this decision for themselves. Is training needed on for the persons taking the resident out related to safe car transfers and other care issues? Also medications if needed when the resident is out of the building will need to be ordered in advance and packaged by pharmacy for therapeutic leaves.
We ask that you provide us with plenty of notice prior to scheduling a short outing with a minimum of seventy two hours (72). Please remember that a long time has passed since residents have gone out so things like car transfer status may have changed. Assessing if your loved one can safely handle car transfer and training for you on how to get your loved one safely into the care may need to be done. Getting this process rolled out smoothly will take time.
We ask that for now, you contact Amber Ferranti, Director of Social Services as the point person to get short therapeutic leaves started for your family member. She can be reached at 570-344-6177 extension 1154 or email@example.com – Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Amber will be the point person with our clinical team to get the process started.
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