Friday, March 13, 2020
Dear Residents, Family and Friends:
The Federal Government, under the direction of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), have mandated new rules regarding the visitation and rights of residents in Skilled Nursing Homes and long-term care facilities
CMS is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s health care facilities and clinical laboratories are prepared to respond to the threat of the COVID-19, which includes additional guidance to nursing homes to help them improve their infection control and prevention practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, including revised guidance for visitation.
Effective March 13, 2020, For ALL facilities nationwide:
Facilities should restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situation. In those cases, visitors will be limited to a specific room only.
- No visitors allowed, unless they are essential health care workers, or compassionate care visits for end of life situations, including hospice. All doors are now locked. There is a doorbell on the front entrance for compassionate care visits, but visitors will only be allowed in after a staff member takes their temperature (under 100.4) and completes a COVID-19 recommended screening.
- If a compassionate care visit is allowed, visitors must perform hand hygiene frequently and wear a facemask (at the very least, and maybe other PPE, depending on what’s happening) at all times while in the building.
- Allowed visitors must restrict the visit to the resident’s room or to the specific location designated by the Facility.
- Most importantly, the end of life visitor must be screened for signs and symptoms of illness. They will be temped, and questioned about travel, and whether they have a cough, shortness of breath or a sore throat – if the answer is “yes” to any of the inquiries, the answer is “no” to the proposed visitation.
As visitors exit, they should be advised as follows:
- Monitor for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection for 14 days after they leave
- If symptoms occur, they should:
- Self-isolate at home
- Contact their health care provider
- Immediately notify the facility of:
- The date they were there
- Who they were in contact with while there à which then triggers the facility responsibility to immediately screen these folks with whom they were in contact, and take action based on the results of the screening.
- Where in the facility they were when they visited
Decisions on whether to allow compassionate care visitors are made on a case-by-case basis – which means facilities may deny the requested end of life visit if the facility staff think allowing the visitor would threaten or negatively impact the health and welfare of the resident or community as a whole.
Essential health care providers are allowed in – unless they are ill. Same as above – everyone gets temped, everyone gets assessed, and everyone takes the questionnaire. Every day. This includes staff, doctors, hospice workers, EMS, government officials, etc. Everyone who walks through facility doors will be temped, assessed and complete a screening questionnaire.
Information for Residents:
- All group dining and activities remain cancelled until further notice.
- No outside appointments except as medically necessary.
- No performances or outside vendors, except as medically necessary.
We understand this is a difficult time, and sincerely apologize for the challenges this presents for you and for your loved one. We willingly offer alternative means of communicating with your loved one, and are happy to facilitate virtual visitation as listed below. We encourage you to remain in contact with your loved ones without in-person visitation until such time as we are able to welcome you back.
- By Phone: every resident has a facility provided phone in their room. The 4-digit extension is your loved one’s room number followed by bed number. For example, in the South hall the room 130 Bed A extension is 1301. In the North Hall you must put a “5” first. For example, Room 09 Bed B is 5092, and Room 16 Bed A is 5161. Or you can always dial extension 2000 for South Nursing Station and 4000 for North Nursing Station and the staff will assist.
- FaceTime or Skype. For a video chat, please email ParkManor-ED@EnsignServices.net with multiple available times, and a Park Manor staff will coordinate your video chat.
- Email: you may send emails to ParkManor-ED@EnsignServices.net and they will be delivered to your loved one within 24 hours.
We thank you for your continuing confidence, and for helping us in our attempts to keep our residents, staff and community safe. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns or requests for assistance. We will keep you updated as information becomes available, and encourage you to frequently review the CDC website dedicated to COVID-19 for health care professionals (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/index.html).