Hi Family & Friends,
I hope everyone had a joyous and safe Easter week. The residents enjoyed having visitors again. We had an anonymous person drop off Easter lily plants, a church member donated four boxes of decorations, and Chaplain Etta had special services and communion.
Unfortunately, the positivity rate in Polk County is still slowly rising and last week it rose to 7.86%.
The first round of outbreak testing for the Assisted Living was done last Tuesday and all AL staff and residents tested negative for COVID.
Porter McGrath employees continue to test weekly on Tuesdays, unfortunately, and we had a positive staff member last week. There was no direct contact with anyone as this individual was on vacation. However, the Polk County Department of Health still considered it an outbreak.
Therefore, outbreak testing of PMG residents and guests took place last week. Visitation ceased until the results came back. All residents and guests of FPH tested negative after the first round of testing. Visitation has resumed.
“When a new case of COVID-19 among residents or staff is identified, we begin outbreak testing and suspend all visitation, until at least one round of facility-wide testing is completed. Visitation can resume based on the following criteria:
• If the first round of outbreak testing reveals no additional COVID-19 cases in other areas (e.g., another unit) of the facility, then visitation can resume for residents in areas/units with no COVID-19 cases. However, the facility should suspend visitation on the affected unit until the facility meets the criteria to discontinue outbreak testing. For example, if the first round of outbreak testing reveals two more COVID-19 cases in the same unit as the original case, but not in other units, visitation can resume for residents in areas/units with no COVID-19 cases.
• If the first round of outbreak testing reveals one or more additional COVID-19 cases in other areas/units of the facility (e.g., new cases in two or more units), then facilities should suspend visitation for all residents (vaccinated and unvaccinated) until the facility meets the criteria to discontinue outbreak testing.
Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention
• Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions about and observations of signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection in the prior 14 days (regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status)
• Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)
• Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose)
• Social distancing at least six feet between persons
These core principles are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for nursing homes and should be adhered to at all times.
Visitors who are unable to adhere to the 3 core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention should not be permitted to visit or should be asked to leave.
Outdoor visitation is preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Outdoor visits generally pose a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow. Therefore, visits should be held outdoors whenever practicable.”
We note that compassionate care visits should be allowed at all times, for any resident (vaccinated or unvaccinated) regardless of the above scenarios. Lastly, we continue to consult with our local health department when an outbreak is identified to ensure adherence to infection control precautions, and for recommendations to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Maria Rivera, Administrator