We are happy to report that we have no positive COVID-19 cases in staff, residents, nor short-term rehab guests to report. The positivity rate has dropped below 10% in Polk County.
Bernhard Kloppenburg, Epidemiologist, Florida Department of Health in Polk County, shared the following information:
- COVID-19 activity is still elevated, and while slowly decreasing remains above the increased activity that began after Thanksgiving.
- COVID-19 deaths are a lagging indicator and while we were seeing roughly 12 deaths per week prior to Thanksgiving, we’ve seen over 50 per week in January and over 60 deaths reported thus far in February.
- Influenza activity continues to remain low in Polk and across the state.
- We are seeing indications of increased norovirus activity in Polk County.
The headlines surrounding the CDC last week created some confusion for senior living providers. The CDC has clarified that residents of nursing homes, assisted living, or independent living facilities must still quarantine after direct exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
- Visitation – There are no changes to the directives and guidance related to visitors to long-term care facilities. The following memorandums (CMS QSO 20-39-NH and DEM Order No. 20-011) summarizes the applicable orders that are currently in place for all assisted living and nursing home facilities.
- Vaccines – The federal government announced that it had secured 200 million additional doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine with enough to vaccinate 300 million Americans by this summer. These doses do not include the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is currently being considered for emergency use authorization.
- Masks – The CDC has issued Improve How Your Mask Protects You. This new guidance provides recommendations for better protection against new variants of the virus, including double masking and securing a better fit around the face.
We continue to allow visitations by appointment, and with education on proper handwashing, mask-wearing, and social distancing from others. Once past the screening process, the visitor may only go to the location of the visit and is not to approach other areas, staff, or residents. I understand that many may question why this still necessary if residents, staff, and family are vaccinated. However, we are still under executive orders and will notify you of any changes. Please continue to schedule your visits through the following link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4faaae29a5fac07-fphvisitation. Please review the visitation guidelines available on the website prior to your visit.
Stay safe and healthy,
Maria E. Rivera, Administrator