Family Communications Update – 11/26/2020
As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy.
We hope your Thanksgiving Day has been a peaceful, safe, and enjoyable day. Although the visitation in our state has been halted temporarily, we hope you enjoyed a virtual visit today with your loved one.
As a reminder from the past two weeks, the state of Rhode Island re-issued a new directive on nursing home visitation. This information had been shared in these emails and we have added that to our website and Facebook for your reference.
To maintain a safe environment for all, we continue testing and reporting at regular intervals as required by CMS, CDC, and RIDOH. We continue to remind our staff to not only practice safeguards against Covid-19 in our center but to be vigilant outside of our center and share these practices with their friends and loved ones. We also ask you to do your part while in your community and PLEASE wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your social distance. The incidence of Covid-19 in the community impacts all of us. And please promote these very simple precautions with your extended family and friends.
Some Nursing Department updates
The nursing department has a rapid testing device that helps us to make quicker decisions with the isolation and quarantine of our residents. The test is not as accurate as the nasal pharyngeal test but when a resident is positive it is a quicker detection of Covid-19 and enables us to move residents immediately rather than after 48 hours. A confirmation test is conducted with the nasal pharyngeal test which sent out to the lab usually confirming the results. The rapid test is only effective when testing someone symptomatic, so most residents are still tested with the nasal pharyngeal swab. We must continue twice a week with all residents and staff the routine nasal pharyngeal test.
There is a new test available as well. The shorter swab is more comfortable for our residents and staff. We found several residents hesitant to the deeper penetrating nasal swab but more cooperative to the shorter anterior nasal swab. This helps us with testing and ensures all residents are testing as required.
Covid-19 is not our only concern. We are in the flu season as well and often colds and flu symptoms mimic Covid-19 symptoms. We do not want to misidentify flu as Covid-19 or Covid-19 as flu, so the nursing department has a rapid flu test available as well. This is another tool in our toolbox to assess the symptoms of our residents. A routine flu test submitted to the lab has a 48-hour turnaround as well but when a resident has symptoms the rapid flu test enables nursing to determine flu quickly and immediately isolate and quarantine for flu for everyone’s protection.
Despite our education and encouragement to get the flu and pneumonia vaccines approximately 15% of our residents still need to obtain the protection. If you are the decision-maker for a resident who still needs the flu or pneumonia vaccine and still has questions, please give the nursing department a call. They will discuss any questions you have. Flu and pneumonia are serious illnesses for our residents as well.
We remain thankful for the privilege to care for your loved one. We appreciate your patience, and our entire team extends our warm wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!