Update from Administrator – November 12, 2020
November 12, 2020
As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy.
Last week, nursing homes and assisted livings in Rhode Island reported staff and/or new resident cases of COVID-19 in their centers. We continue to follow guidance and protocols set by RI DOH. Although so much more is known about COVID-19 and its spread, it remains a very difficult challenge for our state and region to control.
We are reminding our staff to not only practice safeguards against COVID in our center, but to be vigilant outside of our center and share these practices with their friends and loved ones. We still ask you to do your part while in your community and PLEASE wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. And please promote these very simple precautions with your extended family and friends.
Since November 3, “Visitation Level 3” has been in effect to curb the spread of COVID in nursing homes. Below are more details on the Governor’s orders, but essentially, we are back to only compassionate care and end of life circumstance visits with your loved ones.
Visitation Level 3: No visitation unless required under federal guidance, or in certain other circumstances.
• Visitation is suspended unless required under federal guidance; or in certain other limited clinical circumstances, including compassionate care.
• Compassionate Care visits are allowed only under certain circumstances according to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, the facility visitation plan, and federal guidance. Even under these circumstances, anyone who meets the conditions listed above is prohibited from visiting, in addition to those who are younger than 18.
Please contact us if you have any questions about this new state directive. Updates will be posted soon.
Indoor, End Stage of Life Care and Compassionate Care Visits
Should a new case of COVID be identified in the center, all inside visits, except end stage of life, will be temporarily put on hold. As we indicated in our last update we experienced some new cases and are temporarily on hold.
Please know that “alternative” visitations will continue. Remember that we do offer iPads for our residents to use for video visits, phone calls, etc. to ensure that you and your loved ones remain in contact, as best as you can during these very uncertain times. The activities department is very active with visitation and will schedule appointments if you contact that department.
Covid Positive Patients
The RI DOH has asked all assisted living and nursing facilities to develop a plan to accept and manage patients with COVID-19. It is challenging but we are better prepared for the situation than we were back in March. Our staff have a better understanding of the virus and how it spreads, they have ample PPE supplies to protect both our residents and our staff and we had time to think through the best way to keep our residents safe. All of our residents are monitored by nursing to determine if anyone is developing any symptoms and we can quickly test individuals to see if they are positive with the new testing equipment received. We utilize a special machine that gives us results in 15 minutes. We must double check that result with the traditional test that verifies the validity of the rapid test but the time saved helps us to respond quicker. Anyone suspected with symptoms is immediately relocated to our infection control floor where we continue to monitor and quarantine individuals for the required 14 days.
In addition, we have a section dedicated for anyone deemed to be COVID-19 positive. As you know Rhode Island has seen a large increase in positive people and that increase is reflected in the hospitals. The Governor’s office, the RI DOH and the largest hospitals have asked all nursing facilities for assistance in accepting the individuals who can be transferred to lower levels of care. We are proud that our experience helps us lead the way.
We will continue testing and reporting at regular intervals as required by CMS, CDC and DPH and will work to protect our residents and staff through this period. All of us doing our part we can make it through this period.
As always, thank you for your patience, remind you to wear your mask, wash or sanitize your hands and please stay safe and healthy!
Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!