Administrator’s Message: 3/17/21
March 17, 2021
At long last – we have new guidance from the CDC on nursing home visitation! This new guidance reflects updates to address the vaccination of residents and individuals from the community, as well as the decrease in community spread and changes to visitation during an “outbreak.”
While the CDC release their new guidance later on March 10th, we reviewed their materials, along with guidance that followed the next day from our state’s health leaders and our operator, Athena Health Care Systems to update our existing policies and procedures to accommodate the new guidance.
For details on the CDC guidance, please visit their website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-after-vaccination.html.
Visitation Reminders / UPDATEs
As before, when an outbreak is detected among residents or staff, all visitations must be suspended except for compassionate care visits, until at least one round of facility-wide testing is completed.
Our current visitation status is: Following Massachusetts Guidelines
We always offer visitations using our technology (iPads, tablets, calls, etc.) and when we can, window visits and outside visits. If you do not have an appointment scheduled, please contact the Director of Recreation at 413-258-4731 to schedule an appointment for an outdoor visit, window visit or virtual visit.
We continue to take all necessary precautions, including wearing personal protective equipment and conducting regular testing of our staff and residents, to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.
We want to provide some reminders about our visitation policy, based on requirements set by our state’s DPH and the CDC. We do apologize, but the below is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity for visits, under the strict state and federal guidelines we must adhere to. We know this is not the optimal way to visit your loved one, but these guidelines have been put in place with your loved ones and our staff’s best interest in mind.
To clarify a few of the below points, a “fully vaccinated” individual is defined as your loved one is two weeks post receiving BOTH of their vaccination doses.
- Call main phone number (413) 258-4731 to set up an appointment.
- Available visiting times are 10:00am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm and 6:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
- Residents may have up to 2 visitors at a time, and two visits per week per resident.
- Visiting can be up to 30 / 45 minutes long.
- Please, do not bring food or beverages to the visit, as masks must remain on at all times.
- Come to the building with a mask on that covers your nose and mouth.
- When you arrive, please sanitize your hands, fill out COVID exposure questionnaire and sign the one-time document acknowledging that you will follow the visiting guidelines.
- The receptionist will take your temperature.
- Go directly to the lower-level dining room. Please do not stop at the nurses’ station, other offices, etc.
- Resident Room Visits may occur under the following conditions:
- If YOU are fully vaccinated, and
- Your loved one has a private room and is fully vaccinated,
- If your loved one has a roommate who is also fully vaccinated,
- If your loved one or their roommate is NOT fully vaccinated, then you will need to meet in the designated visiting area.
- All visitors and residents must wear a facemask that fully covers their nose and mouth, and it must remain in place throughout the entire visit; you must perform hand hygiene prior to approaching the visiting area.
- Please maintain social distancing during the visit. ** If your loved one is fully vaccinated (two weeks post receiving BOTH of their vaccination doses), you may have close contact with your loved one. Please continue to practice social distancing with our staff and any others you may encounter. This is for indoor and outdoor visitation.
- A staff member will be on hand to answer questions, assist during the visit, and sanitize in-between visits.
- Small group activities have resumed.
- When there is a COVID-19 positive resident on a unit, floor, or care area, group activities will be paused for residents on the unit, floor, or care area until the unit, floor, or care area has gone 14 days without a new COVID-19 positive resident.
- A reminder to everyone that we do have various tablet devices for your loved one to utilize to access games, various communication tools, games, news, and more. We have done some tutoring and training on the tablets so that residents are more comfortable with them.
- Small groups of residents who are fully vaccinated may dine together at a table without social distancing. Tables will be 6 feet apart from one another and dining companions should be consistent across meals and days.
Thank you and, as always, please stay safe and healthy!
Greg Dempsey, LNHA
Berkshire Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Center
7 Sandisfield Rd
Sandisfield, MA 01255