Update from Administrator – October 29, 2020
I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Linda Urbanski and I am the new administrator at Newtown Rehabilitation and Health Care Center. Although I have spoken to some of you last Friday during our weekly call to provide a facility update and keep communication flowing freely, I look forward to the day when we can meet face to face at the facility.
My team and I wish you all the best and hope you remain safe and well.
Per new State guidelines, we have once again begun to test our staff weekly. We will continue to follow directives regarding resident testing as required by CMS, CDC and DPH. We are happy to report that we remain COVID free!
As you may have seen in the news lately, Connecticut, as well as other states across the country is experiencing an uptick in positive COVID cases throughout many communities. 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.
“COVID Fatigue” is the new thing we hear about on the news: people are tired of wearing their mask and being vigilant in their hand washing and social distancing. This is leading to an uptick in COVID cases. These are simple things we must continue to do, not just in our centers, but in our personal lives to keep COVID out!
PLEASE wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.
- FLU VACCINE: We STRONGLY encourage that all staff and residents receive an annual Influenza Vaccine. We have received our shipment of vaccine; please consider completing a consent form to ensure your loved one receives their vaccine if you have not done so already. Our goal is 100% participation of staff and residents.
- The Department of Public Health (DPH) also announced that are resuming routine surveys. As always, we will continue to communicate to you when a state or federal agency has conducted a survey here.
- Food is now allowed to be dropped off by families for their loved one’s enjoyment and take out delivery has also been authorized. Please coordinate delivery with us.
- Our Beauty Salon is open for salon services, following strict guidelines.
- Each nursing unit has tablets assigned for resident use such as virtual visits, games, etc. and many of our residents are enjoying learning how to use this technology and having the world at their fingertips.
- Our outdoor social distancing activities programming continues to expand and evolve. Due to inclement weather, we now have indoor visitation stations available. We realize the residents enjoy the outdoor visits so much so we will continue them for as long as possible.
- Every weekday, I and my administrative team round a different nursing unit and meet with our residents to let them know we’re here for them and give them an opportunity to voice any questions or concerns they may have directly to us. We also use this time during rounds to assess our residents, our environment, and ask our residents specific questions such as satisfaction with meals, preferences, activities being provided, interaction and response from staff, proper operation of all equipment in room and more!
We have implemented our indoor visitation policy and procedures following the state and federal requirements. Based on that, nursing homes and visitors must adhere to the following conditions:
- We must limit the number of visitors per patient at one time and limit the total number of visitors in the center at a time. This will be based on the amount of physical space we have available for our designated visitation area, which will be in our Activities Room and Art Room.
- We need to limit the duration of visits to help ensure all patients can receive visitors. Just like our outdoor visits, once we have more experience behind us, we can adjust this, if necessary.
- Cleaning and disinfecting of the designated visitation area will occur by our staff in between visits. This is another factor affecting the amount of time and numbers of visitors we can have in our center.
- Screening for anyone who enters our center – temperature and health screen questionnaire – will take place by our center staff.
- We cannot allow visitors to move freely throughout our center; visitors will go directly to the designated visitation area, Activities Room and/or Art Room located on the 1st floor. An outdoor sign will direct you to the areas. You will not be required to enter through the Main Entrance.
- Hand hygiene must be followed and personal protection equipment (PPE) must be worn by visitors.
- Social distancing requirements remain as they do for our outside visits.
- We offer indoor and outdoor supervised social distancing visits 5 times a week.
Indoor, End Stage of Life Care Visits
Should a new case of COVID be identified in the center, all inside visits, except end stage of life and Compassionate Care visits will be temporarily put on hold.
Outside & “Alternative” Visits
Please know that outside and “alternative” visitations will continue. While the weather is changing, we will work to continue to do outside visits on our patio for as long as possible and window visits are still possible. The weather seems to be holding steady for now.
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.
As always, thank you for your patience and please stay safe and healthy!
Linda A. Urbanski, Ph.D.