Update from Administrator – May 20, 2020
As always, our team and I hope this finds you safe and healthy. As some states begin to ease restrictions on businesses and the general public, please note that the visitor restriction placed on us by the state in early March is still in effect for the foreseeable future; we will advise you when this changes.
We continue to offer our weekly conference call for families and FaceTime calls for you and your loved ones. Please continue to reach out to our recreation team to schedule “visits”. The state was kind enough to supply us with an additional iPads to conduct FaceTime visits.
As you know from our communications, managing this virus has been devastating to our staff but we are doing all we can to treat them. We currently have 44 positive residents in house but will be recovering many of them next week who have not had any symptoms or have not had any symptoms in the past 72 hours and has been 14 days since their positive test. We continue to follow all CDC and state guidelines and receive regular updates on new guidelines that are offered.
Testing our Residents
I want to take this opportunity to update you about measures being taken to protect the rights, health, and safety of nursing home residents. Since this pandemic began, we have been constrained due to having a limited number of test kits and supplies necessary to test all nursing home residents. However, we are now at a point where supplies and testing capability have become available. This means that testing for all nursing home residents has begun, regardless of signs and symptoms.
The Department of Public Health and the National Guard are working with nursing homes to test every resident, both symptomatic and asymptomatic.
As you already know, once tested, residents were appropriately cohorted which required many room changes. This was a necessary step in the process to protect the residents’ health. Please know that residents and family member were notified prior to the room change.
We want to assure you that residents and family members will continue to be informed throughout this process. Regular testing will continue until public health officials feel there is no longer a risk. With this level of testing the state will try to identify areas with the most risk and posing the highest level of concern. They will strategically focus their response to assist nursing homes and appropriately respond to the needs of their residents.
We appreciate your concern for our staff and we have field many questions on social media and through phone calls about testing of our staff. We know there have been many references to testing being available to all staff and that the governor “wants” and “encourages” the testing of all nursing home staff. We have heard that spots are reserved for staff. We strongly support this idea – but the state is not quite there yet. We would love to see mass testing of our staff, but we have not been provided the testing kits to do and based on the below information from the state, this does not appear likely.
The state of Connecticut is reserving only 50 spots per day for nursing home, assisting living, and residential care workers. These spots will be available each day, six days a week (Monday through Saturday), for these workers. Obviously, the demand for testing is expected to exceed the capacity. Our center alone has 187 full and part-time employees. Below is the information we have received from the state:
“Effort will be made to prioritize requests based on the criteria listed below, recognizing that not every potential test recipient will be able to immediately take advantage of this opportunity. (Healthcare workers and their family members can be directed to the CVS website for CVS testing independent of these reserved spots, too).
Priority will be given to persons with one or more of these symptoms:
- Fever of 100 degrees or higher;
- New cough within last 14 days;
- Shortness of breath
Second priority will be given to person with one or more of the following risk factors:
- Exposure to or contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
Healthcare workers may also register through the online system for the general public for assignment to the non-reserved slots. Anyone who does not have an appointment will not be tested. Tests can be scheduled for the same day or up to two days in advance. To register, visit http://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.
As a reminder. our next “Town Hall” meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 22, 2020 at 1:00PM with more updates. We encourage any residents and family members to contact us with any questions you have about the care we are offering. Our commitment is to be as transparent as possible and work to address any issues that arise. This is an incredibly challenging time and we will continue to do all we can to get through this, together.
Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!