May 7, 2021, Letter to Family and Friends
We are continuing to monitor and follow the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 infection control guidance that impacts our residents and visitors.
Coronavirus testing requirements for fully vaccinated nursing home residents also have been eased, according to new guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This permits visitations and personal contact among residents and visitors who are fully vaccinated.
If visitors and residents are both fully vaccinated, they can visit without masks and without social distancing as long as they are alone in their room or in a visitation room without unvaccinated individuals. It also means dining at the same table with other fully vaccinated residents without masks and social distancing.
We have made some advancements in our visitation policy for this upcoming week. Scheduled visits are increased to 60 minutes and as indicated above there is more liberalization related to masking and social distancing for vaccinated residents and their vaccinated visitors. Vaccination is the critical component to keeping us all safe. Our community positivity rate continues to be high at 8.3% so we are cautiously advancing and encouraging more vaccination. Our next steps will be increasing frequency, time period and locations on visits, so more to come.
A list of our visitation protocols is attached and posted on our website at https://jhep.org in the COVID-19 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.
Fully vaccinated nursing home workers and other healthcare personnel who are asymptomatic can be exempt from expanded COVID-19 testing as well.
CDC recommends that vaccinated workers who are either symptomatic or in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 still have a series of two viral tests immediately and again five to seven days after exposure. Unvaccinated workers also should continue to submit to regular testing, according to the guidance.
We continue to recommend mask-wearing, hand hygiene, surface cleaning, social distancing and, of course, vaccination.
Our vaccination rate is among the best for health facilities in our area and we 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.
Our current vaccination rate for staff is 84% and 93% for residents. Our combined building rate is 88%.
For information about vaccination information, please check the CDC’s fact sheet.
Our Facility’s Resident Impact (Since March 30, 2020, through May 6, 2021)
0 – Residents currently in our building with a confirmed active case of COVID 19
56 – 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.
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. Vaccine information.
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