There is no question that we are living in strange and very stressful times as we are all trying to navigate our way through this global pandemic. Pennsylvania in particular has set specific orders and guidance for long term care facilities to help us get through with resident safety at the top of its priorities. In light of recent communications we have received from the Department of Human Services, our regulatory agency, I feel it’s important to send an update out to all of you.
On Friday June 26th 2020, we received an order from the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health stating we are now required to conduct baseline COVID testing on all residents and staff of personal care facilities. Testing must be completed by August 31st 2020. We have already been in communications with CVS health to assist us in facilitating testing and we have scheduled July 9th as a testing day here at WEL Doylestown. All testing will be conducted on site by a CVS representative. Any resident who has been tested on or after June 12th will not need to be retested. There will be no out of pocket costs for residents or staff who are tested.
In recent days, particularly when Governor Wolf announced that Bucks County would move into the green phase on July 26th, the staff at WEL Doylestown received an overwhelming amount of phone calls from friends and families requesting in person visitations. Unfortunately, we are not able to assist with expediting in person visits at this time. We do, however, have a plan with clear guidance from the Department of Health, for reopening in the near future. The first step of the reopening plan is the start and completion of baseline testing. Once that is completed, we will move into a monitoring phase. This phase will last 14 days, if all test results are negative and we continue with no new COVID cases in personal care. After we are case-free for 14 days, we can begin in person visits. We will have set times and guidelines for the visitations, for example, masks, screenings, and set locations. If you would like to schedule a face time meeting with your loved one prior to reopening, please contact the personal care activities staff to assist you.
We have worked extremely hard to protect the residents from this terrible illness, and we will continue to move forward to reopening in the safest way possible. While we understand the hardship you are enduring by being separated from your loved ones, we ask that you continue to exercise patience as we work to move through our reopening plans.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
If you have further questions, please contact me at 267-895-1146 or at mminninger@WEL.org.