Update from Administrator – November 19, 2020
November 19, 2020
As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy.
We are happy to report that we remain COVID free! We will continue testing and reporting at regular intervals as required by CMS, CDC and DPH.
Last week, nursing homes and assisted livings in Massachusetts reported staff and/or new resident cases of COVID-19 in their centers. We continue to follow guidance and protocols set by MA-DPH. Although so much more is known about COVID-19 and its spread, it remains a very difficult challenge for our state and region to control.
We are reminding our staff to not only practice safeguards against COVID in our center, but to be vigilant outside of our center and share these practices with their friends and loved ones. We still ask you to do your part while in your community and PLEASE wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. And please promote these very simple precautions with your extended family and friends.
- We have attached a Legislative Alert for your review and action regarding two important amendments being debating in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, both affecting our center to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
- Our facility has tablets assigned for resident use such as virtual visits, games, etc. and many of our residents are enjoying learning how to use this technology and having the world at their fingertips.
- Every weekday, I and my administrative team make rounds and meet with our residents to let them know we’re here for them and give them an opportunity to voice any questions or concerns they may have directly to us. We also use this time during rounds to assess our residents, our environment, and ask our residents specific questions such as satisfaction with meals, preferences, activities being provided, interaction and response from staff, proper operation of all equipment in room and more!
As a reminder, our indoor visitation policy and procedures follow state and federal requirements. Based on that, nursing homes and visitors must adhere to many conditions that we listed in previous emails. Some are listed below:
- We must limit the number of visitors per patient at one time and limit the total number of visitors in the center at a time. This will be based on the amount of physical space we have available for our designated visitation area, which is our Downstairs hallway.
- Screening for anyone who enters our center – temperature and health screen questionnaire – will take place by a member of our team.
- We cannot allow visitors to move freely throughout our center; visitors will go directly to the designated visitation area, downstairs.
- Hand hygiene must be followed and personal protection equipment (PPE) must be worn by visitors.
Indoor, End Stage of Life Care Visits
Should a new case of COVID be identified in the center, all inside visits, except end stage of life, will be temporarily put on hold.
Outside & “Alternative” Visits
Please know that outside and “alternative” visitations will continue. While the weather is changing, we will work to continue to do outside visits for as long as possible. The weather seems to be holding steady for now.
Remember that we do offer iPads for our residents to use for video visits, phone calls, etc. to ensure that you and your loved ones remain in contact, as best as you can during these very uncertain times.
As always, thank you for your patience and please stay safe and healthy!
Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!
Christine Tkacz, LNHA
Berkshire Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Center