To Our Families:
We know you are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and how it may impact your loved ones. Ensuring our residents are in a safe and healthy environment is our first priority.
Per guidance issued on November 18, 2020 from the federal government agency that oversees nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), we are encouraging families to carefully consider family/group gatherings over the holidays. CMS recommends that residents do not leave the building, including during the holidays. Leaving the center could increase your loved one’s risk for exposure to COVID-19.
We understand this is a challenging time, and we want to make every effort to help you to connect with your loved one in safe but meaningful way, especially during the holidays. We will continue to offer and encourage you to utilize our Zoom video conferencing or window visitation.
If You Still Decide to Take a Resident Home for the Holidays
Should you and your loved one ultimately decide to leave the center despite these government recommendations, please be advised that the federal government has also directed us to take extra precautions upon your loved one’s return in an effort to keep all of our residents and staff members safe.
If you believe your loved one may have been exposed to COVID-19 while visiting with you for the holidays, please notify us immediately.
The center may implement the following actions when a resident returns.
- Screen and increase monitoring for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses.
- Test the resident for COVID-19 if:
- signs and symptoms are present,
- there was potential for exposure while outside of the center, or
- the resident left the facility for an extended period of time.
- Place the resident on transmission-based precautions (e.g., keep them isolated to their room) if:
- the resident is symptomatic,
- left the center for an extended period of time, or
- they may have been exposed while outside of the center. Meanwhile, we hope that we can count on you to help us curb the spread of COVID-19, so we can better protect your loved ones and allow for more in-person visitations. Below are some suggestions on how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.
- Ways You Can Help Reduce the Spread of COVID-19
- Please bear in mind that recommendations for infection control precautions such as those listed above may continue to change and it is important that we follow local, state, and federal guidance.
- Reduce the number of people gathering. Large gatherings offer more opportunity for the virus to spread from person to person, especially when a person infected has no symptoms yet can still spread the virus to others unknowingly.
- Ask anyone who has had contact with someone who has been ill to not join the holiday celebration in person. If they have been exposed to someone who is/was ill, they may be spreading the virus without knowing they have it. Offer alternative means to stay in touch over the holidays, such as FaceTime, virtual parties, and virtual holiday meals.
- Remain at least six (6) feet apart both indoors and outdoors. This reduces the amount of virus that you and/or loved ones may come in contact with.
- Wear face coverings both indoors and outdoors. Face coverings help protect both you and your loved ones.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is not available.
- Avoid touching your face or others’ faces. The virus may be on your hands and touching the face may bring the virus into the body.
- Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as doorknobs or countertops, often. The virus may be able to live for extended periods on certain surfaces. Cleaning of surfaces is important to reduce the risk of spread.
- Avoid communal service utensils, passing food/drinks, potluck, or buffet style food service. This offers lots of opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person. Instead, stick with individually prepared plates by a single server.
- Whenever possible, if you are having a gathering, do so outside. When that is not an option, conduct the gathering in a well-ventilated area. This can be done by opening windows and doors, if possible.
- Resist the urge to shake hands or hug others. Instead, verbally greet others. Talk to children about not hugging or touching prior to the gathering.
- Check the local and state conditions and requirements for precautions and restrictions in place. This includes positivity rates and quarantine requirements, before crossing state lines.Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the center’s Infection Prevention & Control Specialist or me.Thank you for your commitment and dedication to our residents.
- Nursing Home Administrator
- For additional information on COVID-19, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
- As we navigate these challenging times, we express our sincere gratitude for your support in helping to protect our residents. This year’s holiday celebrations will undoubtedly be different than we have ever seen before, but together we can find safe ways for our residents to enjoy the holidays with their family and friends.
We currently do not meet the State Guidelines for General Visitations with your loved one at this time. However, we are still allowing Compassionate Care visitations. If you are a Compassionate Caregiver and would like to schedule a visit please contact the Admissions Office to set up your visitation appointment.
The State of North Carolina has determined that the public response to COVID-19 has progressed to the point where long-term care centers may reopen to visitors, under carefully controlled guidelines to ensure the continued well-being of our residents. It is vitally important that everyone carefully comply with these guidelines, both to protect the residents and to make sure no new cases emerge – a circumstance that would force us to once again close General Visitation until we are free of new cases for at least 14-days. The center must also have sufficient staff to support management of visitors, adequate PPE, adequate cleaning and disinfecting supplies and adequate capacity at referral hospitals for the center.
Our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our residents – and we know that your visits with them are important to their health and happiness. We will continue screening residents and each scheduled visitor as they enter the center, and will continue testing staff weekly.
General and Compassionate Care Visitation: The resident will have no more than two (2) visitors per visit at any one time and the visit shall not exceed 45 minutes. Visitation shall be by appointment only and will be conducted in designated areas with center staff supervision. Visitors shall plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to allow for proper screening and education.
- General Visitors:
- General Visitation: These individuals will be allowed to visit only if the center has had no COVID19 positive cases for at least 14-days.
- While taking a person-centered approach and adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, outdoor visitation is preferred. Outdoor visits pose a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow.
- Compassionate care visitors: Provide emotional support to help a resident deal with a difficult transition or loss, upsetting event, or end-of-life. Compassionate care situations include residents recently admitted struggling to adapt to a new home, recent grief from loss, experiencing weight loss and dehydration, and those exhibiting signs of emotional distress.
- Compassionate care visits may be facilitated regardless of a center’s or resident’s COVID-19 status.
- Compassionate care visitors will adhere to the center PPE requirements.
- Compassionate care visitors will undergo COVID19 testing per the Center’s testing schedule.
In addition, to help keep the doors open, visitors will be required to meet the following conditions:
- Visitors will undergo screening each visit to ensure that no one enters with a fever or other condition that could create a possible risk to our residents. This will include temperature checks, questions about symptoms and potential exposure, and observation about any signs or symptoms. The visitor must notify the center if they develop these symptoms within 14 days of a visit.
- Visitors must ensure social distancing and demonstrate proper hand hygiene. Visitors will be escorted to the visitation location and back to the sign-out location.
- All residents and visitors must wear a facemask throughout the time you are visiting. If someone is unwilling or unable to meet this requirement, they should not plan to come into the center, such as children.
- All visitors shall participate in education of the center’s Infection Prevention and Control polices along with return demonstration of proper hand-hygiene and acknowledge understanding and adherence to the center’s protocols.
The center will deny access of a visitor for noncompliance with center infection prevention and control requirements.
We understand some of these requirements may present a challenge, but they are necessary to protect the loved ones under our care. We appreciate your cooperation in complying with the state’s requirements for visitation. Our residents, staff, and management are thrilled to welcome you back soon!
We want to convey our sincere concern for those who have been diagnosed positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts are with them and their loved ones at this challenging time, and our deepest condolences go out to everyone who has lost a loved one during this crisis.
Additional information on mitigating steps the center is taking to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19, as well as cumulative information on COVID-19 cases at the center, can be found below.