Update from Administrator – June 16, 2020
June 26, 2020
As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. Another “thank you” for all the staff’s hard work, dedication, and compassion for all of our residents here. We remain incredibly grateful for our entire dedicated team and ask you to join me in ensuring that they are included as “Health Care Heroes” battling COVID-19. They are doing everything they possibly can to care for those suffering while also implementing preventive measures to minimize the spread of the disease. Everyone is working hard, and their efforts do not go unnoticed.
Starting June 15, 2020, we are excited to offer in-person visits between residents and their families! In accordance with our new policy, we will be offering outdoor social distancing visit options for residents to spend time with family, friends, and loved one. As outlined in the Department of Public Health Care Memorandum to Nursing Homes dated June 1, 2020 the following are the stipulations and requirements:
A long-term care facility may allow in-person visitation in a designated outdoor visitation space, provided that the long-term care facility implements all of the following safety, care, and infection control measures:
- A resident who is suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 cannot be visited. A resident who has recovered from COVID-19 may be visited.
- Prior to transporting a resident to the designated outdoor visitation space, the long-term care facility must screen the visitor for fever or respiratory symptoms. Any individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 infection (fever equal to or greater than 100.0 F, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, myalgia, chills or new onset of loss of taste or smell) will not be permitted to visit with a resident.
- Transport of a resident to and from the designated outdoor visitation space must be safe and orderly. At a minimum, safe transport means that the resident cannot be transported through any space designated as COVID-19 care space or space where residents suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 are present.
- A long-term care facility staff member trained in such patient safety and infection control measures must remain with the resident at all times during the visit.
- Visitors must be limited to no more than two individuals. A visitor must remain at least 6 feet from the resident and attending staff member(s) at all times during the visit.
- Staff and residents must wear a surgical face mask and visitors must wear a face covering or mask for the duration of the visit.
- Visits with a resident in a designated outdoor space must be scheduled in advance and are dependent on permissible weather conditions, availability of outdoor space, and sufficient staffing at the facility to meet resident care needs, and the health and well-being of the resident.
- A long-term care facility may limit the length of any visit, the days on which visits will be permitted, the hours during a day when visits will be permitted, and the number of times during a day or week a resident may be visited.
At this time, we are offering in-person The following is the information about these visitations at our Center:
- Days for scheduling in-person visitation are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11:30a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays 11:30 a.m. through 8:45 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays 11:30 a.m. through 3:45 p.m.
- All appointments must be scheduled with the Receptionist Desk from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. by calling 978-458-8773 a minimum of 48 hours prior to visit. For those of you who we have provided us with an email address, you may also use our Sign-Up Genius account to make an appointment. Email users will receive an email from SignUpGenius allowing you to to sign up for dates and times. A separate instruction letter is attached to this letter with instructions on how to use the “Sign-Up Genus.”
- Visitors must arrive at least 10 minutes prior to visitation for proper screening by center. We ask all visitors to report to the back patio of Northwood, parking is available. All visitors must sign-in and have their temperatures taken as well as their Oxygen Saturation levels, and answer the required questions mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. All Visitors must be wearing facemask or facemask will be given before screening.
- In-person visitation at this time will only have duration of 20 minutes. To accommodate all loved ones and residents’ schedules this will need to be strictly managed. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation as we roll out this program.
- No more than two visitors during each in-person visit.
- Visitors cannot transfer or exchange any items with residents.
- Visitors must maintain 6 feet distance from residents and staff at all times (no physical contact).
- To give residents opportunity to have visitations, all residents at this time can only have one in-person visit per week.
- All visitations are weather permitting, and Center will do its best to contact visitors if cancelling is required due to weather.
We are still offering other options for visiting with your family member such as electronic devices and/or window visits that can also be scheduled with the Recreation Department by email or by phone.
Enjoy your time with your loved one and please comply with these safety guidelines as listed above. If you have any questions at any time, please do not hesitate to call (1-978-458-8773) or email (email@example.com) at any time.
I would like to begin with an update to you on the facility wide testing that was conducted 5/13/2020. We were able to test all but 1 resident, and tested all staff members. This was mandated by Governor Baker and Mass DPH with a minimum testing result of 90%. Our center is well within that threshold but we will retry with our 1 resident to see if they would reconsider their choice to get them tested as soon as possible.
We may be turning the corner on our center’s battle with COVID-19. As of today, we have seen 80 of our residents convert to negative and are now symptom-free of COVID-19. We are very excited for these residents, their families, and our staff. We anticipate this number to continue to rise and we will begin holding “graduation” or recovery ceremonies, to celebrate their success.
We had our infection control survey with Mass DPH this morning and were told by the surveyor that she had no concerns, our PPE inventory was substantial, and our staff was well versed in infection control policy and procedures. Over the last week we have continued to appropriately cohort our residents according to the CDC guidance.
We continue to schedule consistent staffing on all our units. We continue to follow all CDC and state guidelines and receive regular updates on new guidelines that are offered. This information is shared with our staff and additional training is continually taking place.
We currently have zero positive residents in house but will discuss our numbers in more detail during our weekly call (information below). Last week, the state DPH visited our center and found us to be in compliance for PPE, staffing and infection control and prevention issues. We continue to follow all CDC and state guidelines and receive regular updates on new guidelines that are offered.
Check our Facebook page to see updated pictures and video of parades and “graduation” ceremonies. It is truly uplifting for our staff and residents.
Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!
Robert J. Petroff –Interim Administrator
Northwood Rehabilitation and Health Care Center