Executive Director: Weekly COVID-19 Update September 24, 2020

Residents and Families,

CMS (Medicare), which is the governing body that oversees the regulations in our Health Care Center (HCC), and DHS (Department of Health & Human Services) which is the governing body that oversees Personal Care, have both issued new guidelines for compassionate care visits and expanded the definition to include family members.  Under the new guidelines, in-person visits can finally be expanded beyond end-of-life situations and begin to focus on the emotional needs of our Residents.  Per CMS “while end of life situations have been used as examples of compassionate care situations, the term can be applied to additional situations, i.e.

  • If there is a major decline in the resident’s condition that will not normally resolve itself without intervention by staff, impacts more than one area of resident’s health status, and requires interdisciplinary review and/or revision of care plan.
  • New admission that is struggling with adjustment to their new environment.
  • Grieving resident.

We have been very successful in keeping this virus out of our community for 13 weeks and plan on keeping it that way.  With that in mind and utilizing the information from CMS and DHS, we will be requiring the following steps for all compassionate care giving visits:

To insure the safety of all residents and staff, individuals who are providing Compassionate Care giving must adhere to the following steps and safety measures:

  1. Must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours before care giving duties are initiated. This time frame can be extended to 7 days if testing is limited and delayed in the area.
  2. Must continue on-going test requirements that the community has in place related to positivity rate in the greater community.
  3. Compassionate Care visitors that do not comply with Covid-19 testing or visiting procedures will not be permitted into the facility. 
  4. Must show proof that they have received the annual flu vaccine.
  5. Will be screened prior to entering the community as described in policy for staff screening and will sign in and out using the logs at the entrance.
  6. Must comply will mask wearing, hand sanitation, social distancing from other staff and residents and all other infection control measures in place.
  7. If a visitor is not compliant with these measures they will be asked to leave the community and their status will be reassessed.

The Team here will begin next week to identify those Residents with the greatest need for a compassionate visit.  Family members are welcome to call your Social Worker and make a direct request.  Visits will take place in the first floor dining room after visitors have been screened.

We will be requiring proof of flu vaccination for all visitors beginning October 1.  Regardless of your purpose for a visit, you will need a certificate of flu vaccination.  We are not mandating that you get a flu vaccine – we cannot mandate that.  We are stating that without the certificate you may not enter the community to visit.  We will be using our electronic visitor’s devices for asking and recording the required screening questions.

All visits will be scheduled and we ask that you comply with the timeframes identified.  Please note, these visits are for our Residents and their loved ones to reconnect and provide care.  They are not for speaking with the Nurse about clinical issues or addressing other care issues.  Please contact your Resident’s Social Worker to have those conversations.

I will be on vacation a few days next week so I will not be sending a letter.

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