Last week we learned about the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) testing requirements that include routine staff testing. Based on our current county positivity rate provided by CMS, our care center is in the low category. CMS recalculates the county positivity rate weekly and we will keep you updated if our category changes. This category requires us to routinely test staff monthly. Our first round of routine testing for staff will be 9/22/2020. We continue to test symptomatic residents and staff as symptoms arise and perform entire-site testing during an outbreak (positive case in our care center). Should a confirmed case come from any of these tests, we would promptly notify our residents, staff and their families.
The threat of this devastating and deadly virus is still with us. Minnesota is experiencing an increase in the number of positive cases in areas across our state, which can pose a greater risk of exposure to both our residents and our staff. As of 9/11/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
We continue to offer outdoor visits, window visits and virtual visits. As a reminder, all visitors must comply with our screening protocols and other infection control measures when they visit their loved one. Please contact Deb Heck at 320-695-2165 ext. 30 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your visit in advance.
Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. Please contact our care center for more information or visit www.jobswithus.org to apply.
Thank you again for being partners with us in fighting the COVID-19 virus. Please do not hesitate to reach out Autumn Roark, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns. Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care center can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page.
As of 9/4/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
This week, CMS and MDH released new testing requirements for our care center’s staff and residents that are effective immediately. “Facility Staff” is defined broadly, to include employees, consultants, contractors, volunteers, and caregivers who provide care and services to residents on behalf of the facility, and students in the facility’s nurse aide training programs or from affiliated academic institutions. The requirements outline routine testing depending on our county positivity rate:
Low: Monthly testing in counties with less than 5% positivity
Medium: Weekly testing in counties with 5-10% positivity
High: Bi-weekly testing in counties with greater than 10% positivity
The rule also requires testing in three scenarios: (i) symptomatic individual identified; (ii) outbreak (new case arises in facility); and (iii) routine testing. While CMS does not recommend routine testing of residents unless the resident leaves the facility regularly, it does require routine testing of staff.
As providers of senior care, we know how important family and friends are in supporting the physical and mental health of our residents. We continue to review our visitation policy on a weekly basis. In the meantime, we welcome patio visits, open and closed window visits, and virtual visits. As a reminder, you can help limit exposure in our community through appropriate hand hygiene, mask use, and social distancing.
If you or someone you know is looking for ways to help, our residents and staff enjoy receiving letters and cards from the community. We also have a variety of open positions that can be found at www.jobswithus.org.
Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care center can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Autumn Roark, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Browns Valley Health Center performed entire site testing again on August 5th. The results of these tests are reflected in the chart below. We are thrilled to announce we have no other confirmed cases in our care center. We will discontinue weekly testing at this time.
We are now six months into the Coronavirus Pandemic. Six months of learning how to fight against an invisible virus to protect our residents and staff. Six months of following recommendations from Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that change almost daily. Six months of seeing and feeling the devastating impact this virus has on our industry and the people we serve. Six months – and the fight is still not over.
As visitor restrictions in the care centers continue to loosen, it is crucial that we all remain vigilant on social distancing, face masks and proper hand hygiene. As we experienced, open window visits and patio visits can come to an immediate halt if any resident or staff member test positive for COVID-19. The healthcare heroes in our community need you. This week we are calling on the friends and family of all who live and work here to partner with us and our affiliates, as we keep face masks and social distancing as important in our everyday lives as it is in our care center. Post a picture of you wearing a facemask and tag our Facebook page @Browns Valley Care Center using the hashtag #MaskingWithSFHS. Tell us and the rest of our community why you continue to wear a facemask and be proud of helping protect our seniors and those who care for them.
If you or someone you know are interested in becoming a healthcare hero, visit www.jobswithus.org. We have a variety of positions to start or continue your career in senior care. Plus enjoy flexible scheduling and compelling benefits including a sign-on bonus, as you care for our seniors on the front lines of this pandemic.
Residents continue to enjoy one on one activities with staff as well as small group activities while socially distancing and wearing surgical face masks. Visiting with your loved one can be done virtually, open or closed window, and outdoor patio visits. We ask that you schedule your visits ahead of time due to high demand, staffing and the safety of our residents. Please contact Deb Heck at 320-695-2165 Ext 30 or email@example.com or visit our Facebook page to schedule your visit.
For any questions or concerns, please contact Autumn Roark, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 Ext. 11 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information on our planning and preparedness can be found on our website at www.sfhs.org.
As of 07/17/2020, there have been no known cases of Coronavirus in our care center. We know that you share our concerns about efforts to keep residents in our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new, optional program called Essential Caregiver was released from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) with guidelines last Friday. While we welcome this opportunity to make necessary exceptions to the visitor restrictions for those previous to COVID-19 providing essential care, we must all continue to be vigilant. We ask for patience as we consider the concept of the Essential Caregiver, what components make up the design of the program and when the time is right to implement this in our care center; balancing the safety, health and wellness for all who live and work here and for those who serve in the Essential Caregiver role.
We continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) regarding infection and prevention control (IPC). The following list identifies best practices currently in place at our care center:
Indoor person to person visits are not allowed unless considered under the Compassionate Visit criteria. Alternative opportunities for visits by appointment include,
Open or closed window visits with social distancing.
Outdoor patio visits with social distancing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required upon visitor successfully passing the visitor screening. All outdoor visits must be monitored by staff.
Volunteers. In some cases, volunteers have been specially trained and specifically assigned screening or monitoring duties and have limited access to the care center with PPE use.
Non-essential health care providers (HCP). In some cases, depending on ability to use telehealth methods and certain procedures required, HCP are allowed access.
Other Infection Control Practices
Residents are monitored for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection.
Resident(s) presenting with respiratory symptoms consistent with CoVid-19 will be recommended for testing and quarantined while awaiting test results.
Dependent on outcomes, point prevalence testing (PPT) of the entire resident population and employees will implemented.
Residents are quarantined
if exposed to individuals with COVID-19 or those with exposure risk,
or upon return from medically emergent appointments out of the care center. Some medically necessary appointments may not require quarantine upon re-entry to the care center.
Essential health care providers (HCP), who cannot use telehealth methods for treatment or are providing specific procedures will be allowed access using PPE and using specific ICP.
Essential HCP, Compassionate Criteria visits and employee entrance to the building will be limited to one location when possible.
Employees/contractors are screened upon entry and actively monitored while in the care center.
Any staff or contractor showing respiratory symptoms consistent with CoVid-19 will be asked to be tested and not allowed to enter the building and expected to quarantine at home while waiting for test results.
Social distancing is practiced throughout the building.
All Staff are required to wear PPE including a surgical masks and eye protection. Additional PPE is required if a segregated unit is used or outbreak occurs.
Residents are required to wear masks while receiving cares or are out of their room, unless medically exempt.
All deliveries are left at the care center designated delivery door or in the vestibule where possible.
Cleaning protocols are met for COVID-19.
Updated information on our preparedness for COVID-19 can be found on our website (www.sfhs.org) or Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
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