Nursing Center Update 3/15/2021

Nursing Center Update 3/15/2021

March 15, 2021

To Our Residents and Families,

We want to start off by thanking you all again for your continued patience and support. This pandemic has not been easy for any of us and especially for you. Covid-19 has turned our worlds upside down in just a years’ time. Now that Covid-19 positivity rates are starting to decrease around us we are starting to see some changes in guidance for nursing homes.

Last week, we received updated guidance from CMS (QSO-20-39-NH-Revised). With this, we are excited to announce some relaxation to our current policies on visitation, communal dining, and activities. Please see the below highlights of changes based on the new guidance.

  • Indoor visitation will be allowed at all times (during normal visitation hours 8a-8p) for all residents except under the following circumstances (note compassionate care visits should still be permitted under circumstances below):
    • Resident is unvaccinated and the county positivity rate is greater than 10% and less than 70% of the facility residents are fully vaccinated.
    • Resident is COVID-positive, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue Transmission-Based Precautions.
    • Resident is quarantined, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine (have not tested positive and without symptoms for 14 days after their admission or exposure).
    • Resident on a unit with an outbreak.
  • Close Contact During VisitationVaccinated residents may choose close contact, including touch, with their visitor, while wearing a well-fitted face mask and performing hand-hygiene before and after. Visitors should maintain physical distance from other residents and staff in the facility. This applies both to indoor and outdoor visitation.
  • Outdoor visits remain the preferred method of visitation even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated. We understand that the current weather conditions do not always permit outdoor visitation therefore indoor visitation will always be offered (except in the above limited circumstances). However, on days where the sun is shining and it is warm, we encourage you to take your loved one to a designated outdoor visitation area.
  • Screening of visitors is required and must include a series of questions and observations. Please see our attached screening tools. If you are exhibiting signs or symptoms of Covid-19 or have been exposed to or tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 14 days, you will be denied entry to the building even if you have been fully vaccinated. 
  • Compassionate Care Visits– Compassionate care visits and visits required under federal disability rights law, must be allowed at all times, regardless of a resident’s vaccination status, the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate, or an outbreak.
  • Communal Dining and Activities– May begin while maintaining the core principles of Covid-19 infection prevention as defined by CMS. Group activities will resume for residents not in isolation/quarantine. Communal dining will also resume on resident units while maintaining 6ft distancing. Our 1st floor dining room remains closed for resident meals at this time while we work on a safe re-opening plan.

While it may be a while before we fully open, we are sure you will appreciate the opportunity for some private visitation time with your loved ones. We ask that you continue to schedule your visits with the Recreation Department to allow all residents a safe opportunity for visits with their loved ones. Please see the attached visitation instruction sheet and brief risk assessment for full detail. Please note a well-fitting mask remains a requirement for entrance to the facility.

To schedule your visit with your loved one, please contact Jill Simmons Recreation Director at 860-824-3831 or jasimmons@geercares.org

If you have any questions regarding Geer Nursing residents, please contact Director of Nursing Cady Bloodgood at (860) 824­3825 or cbloodgood@geercares.org ,or Infection Preventionist Melissa Foley at (860) 824-3861 or coronavirusquestions@geercares.org

Please read attachments:

2021-03-15 GN visitation screening tool

2021-03-15 GN visitation procedure

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