COVID-19 Updates

September 23, 2021

Dear Resident and Resident Representative & Healthcare Team,

The information is as follows as of September 23, 2021 at 130pm (Data is cumulative from 8/29/21).

0 Residents Pending Test Results
27 Residents have tested Positive for COVID-19
12 Residents Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 New Admissions/ Readmissions Persons Under Observation (PUI)*
18 Residents have Recovered from COVID-19
7 Center Staff have tested Positive for COVID-19
5 Center Staff have recovered from COVID-19
0 Center Staff are Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
1 Resident has passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic
0 Center Staff have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic

 

On September 23, 2021, all residents tested NEGATIVE during Outbreak Testing. Outbreak Testing shall continue until no new cases are identified for a period of 14 days from the date of the last positive (9/20/2021).  

Our facility adheres to PA Department of Health Guidance in determining when a case of COVID-19 is resolved and when an individual may be taken off transmission-based precautions. We follow the Symptom-Based Strategy which states, transmission-based- precautions and isolation may be discontinued under the following conditions: • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and, • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and, • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Please return the consent forms as soon as possible, as we are expecting to administer the “Booster” Dose between 9/20/2021 through 10/31/2021.

Last Friday, the FDA recommended booster doses for non-immunocompromised individuals who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The recommendation is for those who are over the age of 65 and individuals who may be at high risk of severe COVID such as health care workers. FDA suggested that a booster dose should be administered no sooner than 6 months after completing the initial two-dose Pfizer primary vaccine series.

Please note the Community Transmission remains High in Luzerne County.

Everyone in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania should wear a mask in public, indoor settings. Mask requirements might vary from place to place. Make sure you follow local laws, rules, regulations or guidance.

As of September 23, 2021 the positivity rate is 10.24%

(Source : https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker)

 

Lastly, in order to keep you informed, our facility updates the Meadows Information Line & Website upon identification of new cases or changes to the visitation protocol. We encourage you share the hotline and website with your family. It is important for you to check the Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 and our website for updates at https://themeadowsdallas.com.

As always, the health and safety of our residents and staff remain our highest priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 13, 2021

Dear Resident and Resident Representative & Healthcare Team,

AN UPDATE FROM MEADOWS NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER

Census: 79 The information is as follows as of September 13, 2021 at 1pm (Data is cumulative from 8/29/21).

0 Residents Pending Test Results
26 Residents have tested Positive for COVID-19
36 Residents Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 New Admissions/ Readmissions Persons Under Observation (PUI)*
6 Residents has Recovered from COVID-19
5 Center Staff have tested Positive for COVID-19
0 Center Staff are Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
1 Resident has passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic
0 Center Staff have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic

 

Please note our county’s positivity rate continues to increase weekly and is currently 10.3%. Per PA Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations and the CDC for High County test positivity rate (>10%): Visitation may only occur for compassionate care situations, according to the recommended principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and facility policies. Therefore, at this time, visitation will continue to be restricted. You can check the county’s positivity rate by going https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view

SARS-COV-2 COVID-19 virus has mutated into the Delta Variant. It is important for you to know viruses frequently change through mutation and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Currently in the United States there are multiple variants, the UK variant (alpha), and the newest, the DELTA variant. The most commonly reported symptoms include headache, sore throat and runny nose. The variants spread more easily from person-person. They can still be detected by currently available viral tests and respond to medicines currently being used to treat COVID-19.

 

 

 

 

During this outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, HCP and residents, regardless of vaccination status, shall have a viral test every 3-7 days until no new cases are identified for 14 days.

Our facility adheres to PA Department of Health Guidance in determining when a case of COVID-19 is resolved and when an individual may be taken off transmission-based precautions. We follow the Symptom-Based Strategy which states, transmission-based- precautions and isolation may be discontinued under the following conditions: • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and, • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and, • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Consent forms for the “Booster” Dose have been mailed to resident representatives. Please Complete the highlighted section. The FDA has revised the EUA Fact Sheets for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. These EUA updates are a result of the FDA’s change in guidance in allowing booster doses for Pfizer and Moderna.  The FDA did not address the Janssen / J & J vaccine in their news release. Please return the consent forms as soon as possible, as we are expecting to administer the “Booster” Dose between 9/20/2021 through 10/31/2021.

Lastly, in order to keep you informed, our facility updates the Meadows Information Line & Website upon identification of new cases or changes to the visitation protocol. We encourage you share the hotline and website with your family. It is important for you to check the Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 and our website for updates at https://themeadowsdallas.com.

As always, the health and safety of our residents and staff remain our highest priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

 

September 10, 2021

 

Dear Resident Representative & Resident,

Please complete the highlighted sections for your loved one to receive the Booster dose.  A “booster dose” refers to another dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who built enough protection after vaccination, but then that protection decreased over time (this is called waning immunity).

The ACIP Committee (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) met on August 30th and began the process of reviewing data to determine booster dose policy and start date. Their next meeting is scheduled for mid-September and it is expected that following that meeting, ACIP will make recommendations to the FDA as to when booster doses should start and if there will be a phased approach. The potential start date of September 20th for booster doses is still tentative.

In the meantime, please be aware that the CDC has indicated that if the mRNA product given for the first two doses is not available, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) may be administered as a 3rd dose.

Per the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are working very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, with the Delta variant, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. For that reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for a booster shot so vaccinated people maintain protection over the coming months. (Source https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html).

Please return the Consent form in the self-addressed stamped envelope. If you have questions about you or your loved one receiving the booster, contact Our Infection Preventionist Nurse, Leanne Montigney, R.N, at (570) 675-8600, ext 136.

 

Sincerely,

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

September 10, 2021

Dear Resident and Resident Representative & Healthcare Team,

AN UPDATE FROM MEADOWS NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER

Census: 80 The information is as follows as of September 10, 2021 at 12:30pm (Data is cumulative from 8/29/21).

0 Residents Pending Test Results
22 Residents have tested Positive for COVID-19
19 Residents Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 New Admissions/ Readmissions Persons Under Observation (PUI)*
1 Residents has Recovered from COVID-19
2 Center Staff have tested Positive for COVID-19
0 Center Staff are Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
1 Resident has passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic
0 Center Staff have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic

 

Please note our county’s positivity rate continues to increase and is currently 8.5%! Per PA Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations and the CDC for High County or jurisdiction test positivity rate (>10%): Visitation may only occur for compassionate care situations, according to the recommended principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and facility policies. Therefore, at this time, visitation will continue to be restricted. You can check the county’s positivity rate by going https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view

SARS-COV-2 COVID-19 virus has mutated into the Delta Variant. It is important for you to know viruses frequently change through mutation and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Currently in the United States there are multiple variants, the UK variant (alpha), and the newest, the DELTA variant. The most commonly reported symptoms include headache, sore throat and runny nose. The variants spread more easily from person-person. They can still be detected by currently available viral tests and respond to medicines currently being used to treat COVID-19.

During this outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, HCP and residents, regardless of vaccination status, shall have a viral test every 3-7 days until no new cases are identified for 14 days.

Our facility adheres to PA Department of Health Guidance in determining when a case of COVID-19 is resolved and when an individual may be taken off transmission-based precautions. We follow the Symptom-Based Strategy which states, transmission-based- precautions and isolation may be discontinued under the following conditions: • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and, • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and, • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Consent forms for the “Booster” Dose is being mailed to resident representatives. Please Complete the highlighted section. The FDA has revised the EUA Fact Sheets for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. These EUA updates are a result of the FDA’s change in guidance in allowing booster doses for Pfizer and Moderna.  The FDA did not address the Janssen / J & J vaccine in their news release. Please return the consent forms as soon as possible, as we are expecting to administer the “Booster” Dose between 9/20/2021 through 10/31/2021.

Lastly, in order to keep you informed, our facility updates the Meadows Information Line & Website upon identification of new cases or changes to the visitation protocol. We encourage you share the hotline and website with your family. It is important for you to check the Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 and our website for updates at https://themeadowsdallas.com.

As always, the health and safety of our residents and staff remain our highest priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

AN UPDATE FROM MEADOWS NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER

Census: 82

The information is as follows as of September 7, 2021 as of 12:30pm (Data is cumulative from 8/29/21).

0 Residents Pending Test Results
20 Residents have tested Positive for COVID-19
13 Residents Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 New Admissions/ Readmissions Persons Under Observation (PUI)*
0 Residents have Successfully Recovered from COVID-19
2 Center Staff have tested Positive for COVID-19
0 Center Staff are Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 Residents have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic
0 Center Staff have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic

*Facility is performing viral testing for SARS-CoV-2 for all residents and HCP (regardless of vaccination status).  We are continuing repeat testing of all previously negative residents and HCP every 3-7 days until the testing identifies no new cases of COVID-19 among residents or HCP in the facility through at least one 14-day incubation period since the most recent positive result.

The positivity rate in Luzerne County has increased to 8.5%.  As you may be aware, the SARS-COV-2 COVID-19 virus has mutated into the Delta Variant. It is important for you to know viruses frequently change through mutation and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Currently in the United States there are multiple variants, the UK variant (alpha), South Africa variant (Beta), Japan variant (Gamma) and the newest, the DELTA variant. The most commonly reported symptoms include headache, sore throat and runny nose. The variants spread more easily from person-person. They can still be detected by currently available viral tests and respond to medicines currently being used to treat COVID-19.

New Admits/Readmits are placed under Transmission-Based Precautions for 14 days and considered Person Under Investigation (PUI) if they are NOT fully vaccinated. These residents are included in the number of residents considered Persons Under Investigation.

Please note if your loved one, should test positive for the virus, a representative from nursing will notify you. We ask for your patience during this time when calling to check on your loved one, as the majority of our nursing staff are down a hallway caring for the residents and not at the nurse’s station. We apologize in advance for the wait time. Please continue to reach out to the Activities & Social Services staff to assist you in communicating with your loved ones. We can assist with virtual visits and phone calls for you to keep in touch. The Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 is updated bi-weekly. Please check our website at https://themeadowsdallas.com for updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents, team members and family.

AN UPDATE FROM MEADOWS NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER

Census: 87

The information is as follows as of September 3, 2021 3pm & data is cumulative.

0 Residents Pending Test Results
14 Residents have tested Positive for COVID-19
27 Residents Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 New Admissions/ Readmissions Persons Under Observation (PUI)*
0 Residents have Successfully Recovered from COVID-19
1 New Cases for Center Staff testing Positive for COVID-19
*Center Staff Pending Test Results- 1st round was Negative
0 Center Staff are Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 Residents have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic
0 Center Staff have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic

*Facility is performing viral testing for SARS-CoV-2 for all residents and HCP (regardless of vaccination status).  We are continuing repeat testing of all previously negative residents and HCP every 3-7 days until the testing identifies no new cases of COVID-19 among residents or HCP in the facility through at least one 14-day incubation period since the most recent positive result

New Admits/Readmits are placed under Transmission-Based Precautions for 14 days and considered Person Under Investigation (PUI) if they are NOT fully vaccinated. These residents are included in the number of residents considered Persons Under Investigation.

Weekly Facility Status Updates are posted on our website’s main page on the link for “Covid-19 Updates.” We understand you may have questions or concerns regarding your loved one so please do not hesitate to reach out. Our entire staff continues to work tirelessly to care for all of our nursing home residents in this difficult situation.

Please note if your loved one, should test positive for the virus, a representative from nursing will notify you. We ask for your patience during this time when calling to check on your loved one, as the majority of our nursing staff are down a hallway caring for the residents and not at the nurse’s station. We apologize in advance for the wait time. Please continue to reach out to the Activities & Social Services staff to assist you in communicating with your loved ones. We can assist with virtual visits and phone calls for you to keep in touch.

The Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 is updated bi-weekly. Please check our website at https://themeadowsdallas.com for updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents, team members and family.

AN UPDATE FROM MEADOWS NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER

Census: 87

During the 1st round of testing, residents and Center Staff were tested. The results are cumulative and are as follows as of 9/1/2021 at 11:30am.

0 Residents Pending Test Results
6 Residents have tested Positive for COVID-19
35 Residents Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 New Admissions/ Readmissions Persons Under Observation (PUI)*
0 Residents have Successfully Recovered from COVID-19
1 New Cases for Center Staff testing Positive for COVID-19
0 Center Staff Pending Test Results
0 Center Staff are Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 Residents have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic
0 Center Staff have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic

*New Admits/Readmits are placed under Transmission-Based Precautions for 14 days and considered Person Under Investigation (PUI) if they are NOT fully vaccinated. These residents are included in the number of residents considered Persons Under Investigation.

We are committed to being as forthcoming and transparent as we can during this difficult situation. Weekly Facility Status Updates are posted on our website’s main page on the link for “Covid-19 Update.” We understand you may have questions or concerns regarding your loved one so please do not hesitate to reach out. Our entire staff continues to work tirelessly to care for all of our nursing home residents in this difficult situation.

Facility adheres to PA Department of Health Guidance in determining when a case of COVID-19 is resolved. We follow the Symptom-Based Strategy which states, transmission-based- precautions and isolation may be discontinued under the following conditions: • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and, • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and, • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Please note if your loved one, should test positive for the virus, a representative from nursing will notify you. We ask for your patience during this time when calling to check on your loved one, as the majority of our nursing staff are down a hallway caring for the residents and not at the nurse’s station. We apologize in advance for the wait time. Please continue to reach out to the Activities & Social Services staff to assist you in communicating with your loved ones. We can assist with virtual visits and phone calls for you to keep in touch.

The Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 is updated bi-weekly. Please check our website at https://themeadowsdallas.com for updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.

 

August 30, 2021

 

Dear Resident, Resident Representative and Healthcare Employees,

Please be advised that on the evening of August 29th an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Upon identification of the positive test, facility initiated “Outbreak” testing, in which all residents were swabbed via a point of care antigen rapid test.

There was a total of 3 active confirmed cases of COVID-19. Visitation has been halted due to the outbreak. Testing will continue until the testing identifies no new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection for a period of at least 14 days since the most recent positive result (8/29/2021).

Residents testing positive were transferred into our Red Zone for isolation, and their family members notified.

Our facility has converted the hallways in which the positive residents resided into a “Yellow Zone.” This means residents residing on a “Yellow Zone” are quarantined to their rooms. Staff entering the Yellow Zone to care for the residents are wearing full PPE. As an additional measure to protect all our residents, they have been quarantined to their rooms. At this time, there is no communal dining, activities, or window visits for 2nd and 3rd floor residents, as they are not being transported off the units.

We are continuing to take steps based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of  Health to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19, such as:  Enhanced infection control precautions, Screening residents, staff, and essential visitors for symptoms of the virus, the use of Personal Protective Equipment, Restricting visitation and entry of people to the building, Testing staff and residents for COVID-19 based on current protocols. Due to government privacy requirements, we cannot divulge specific information about the individuals who have tested positive or have symptoms of COVID-19.  Facility staff will continue to contact you directly with resident changes in condition including symptoms of COVID-19.

We are grateful to our dedicated staff in every department for stepping up to do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety, health, wellness and quality of life for our residents.  Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. Please share our website www.themeadowsdallas.com and the Meadows information line at (570) 675-8735.

 

Sincerely,

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

 

Visitation Requirements

In order to safeguard the safety of our residents and the facility’s operations the following plan has been established for visitors. In order to maintain the core principles of Infection Prevention, facility must determine the number of visitors per resident in facility at one time. Therefore, the following will be implemented for Visitors: (Subject to Change)

 

  1. All Visitors must wear a Surgical Mask & Face shield/Goggles during the entire visit & adhere to the CDC Core Principles of COVID19 Infection Prevention. Protective Eyewear (Face Shield/Goggles) shall be provided when the positivity rate is 5% or above in the county. Remember to stop at the Kiosk at the beginning & end of visit for a Pre & Post Temperature Check.

 

  1. Fully Vaccinated Visitors will be REQUIRED to bring their Vaccination Card. A copy of the card will be maintained at the Front Desk.

 

  1. The schedule of visitation hours will be as follows:

Monday through Sunday 9:30am-11:30am & 1:30pm-4pm and 6:30pm-7:30pm for visits.

*Compassionate Care/End of Life Visits allowed as per plan of care and shall be permitted in a Yellow Zone with required PPE.

 

  1. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, is highly infectious and can spread from person to person, including through aerosol transmission of particles produced when an infected person exhales, talks, vocalizes, sneezes, or coughs. The virus that causes COVID-19 is highly transmissible and can be spread by people who have no symptoms. Particles containing the virus can travel more than 6 feet, especially indoors and in dry conditions (relative humidity below 40%), and can be spread by individuals who do not know they are infected.

Therefore, visitors are NOT permitted to eat/drink while visiting the resident.

 

  1. Children are permitted to visit when accompanied by an adult visitor, within the number of allowable visitors. Adult visitors must be able to manage children, and children older than 2 years of age must wear a facemask during the entire Children must also maintain strict social distancing. Facility will allow no more than two (2) adults to visit a resident OR 2 adult and 1 child for INDOOR Visits. For Outside Visits, Facility will allow 4 Adults & 2 Children. This will be strictly adhered to and visitors attempting to visit with more than the allowed number will not be permitted to visit.

 

  1. When both the resident and all visitors are fully vaccinated, and while alone in the resident’s room or the designated visitation room or outside, residents and their visitor(s) can choose to have close contact (including touch, hand-holding or an embrace).

A surgical mask MUST be worn at all times despite vaccination status!!!

 

  1. If simultaneous visits do occur, everyone in the designated area MUST wear a surgical mask, eye goggles/face shield & physical distancing shall be maintained between different visitation groups regardless of vaccination status.

 

  1. Visitors from Out of State will be required to have a RAPID Point-of-Care Antigen Test PRIOR to Visit UNLESS FULLY VACCINATED. Visitor must PROVIDE VACCINATION CARD at the time of the visit or must receive a Rapid Point-of-Care.

 

  1.  Alcohol-based hand rub will be provided to each visitor and demonstrated how to use it appropriately, if necessary Visitors MUST wear a surgical mask & face shield during the entire visit based on the criteria above, as well as Use Alcohol-Based Hand Rub Before & After Visit, Stay in Designated Facility Location, Sign-In & Provide Contact Information, Sign-Out Upon Departure and Adhere to & Pass Screening Protocols.

 

  1. All Visitors must adhere to the 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)
  • Surgical mask (covering mouth and nose)
  • Social distancing at least six feet between persons
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit
  • Appropriate staff/visitor use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  •  Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care)
  •  Resident and staff testing conducted as required at 42 CFR § 483.80(h)

Do not visit when ill or if you have had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 14 days

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 please read statement from CMS: 

Visitors, and any individuals who enter the facility (e.g., hospice staff), must monitor for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection for at least 14 days after exiting the facility. If symptoms occur, self-isolate at home, contact your healthcare provider, and immediately notify the facility of the date you were in the facility, the individuals you were in contact with, and the locations within the facility you visited. Facilities shall immediately screen the individuals of reported contact, and take all necessary actions based on findings.

By Signing below, you are acknowledging to adhere and comply with the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Facility Visitation Protocol:

PRINT NAME________________________________     SIGNATURE:________________________________

Name of Resident you are visiting:_______________________________

 Revised 6/4/2021, 6/28/2021, 8/17/2021

Protocol 4/29/2021

August 3, 2021

Dear Resident/Responsible Party,

Each year thousands of people die from vaccine-preventable influenza in the U.S., despite the availability of an effective vaccine and many more are hospitalized. Now, more than ever, it is of the utmost importance for you and your loved one to receive the influenza vaccine. Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus first identified in 2019, and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.

You can protect your loved one from the flu by making sure you are immunized each year. A flu vaccination will protect you from getting the flu and will prevent you from passing this serious illness to our most vulnerable residents. Getting immunized against influenza demonstrates your commitment to preserving the health of your loved one.

If you do become sick with a cold or the flu virus, or any other contagious illness, you will not be permitted to enter until you recover. Many of our residents are frail and are at risk for severe complications from any cold or illness. The flu causes serious illness, hospitalization, and health problems that can lead to death. Per the Center for Disease Control a mandatory mask protocol for all indoor visits is in place for the well-being of our residents, visitors and staff until further notice.

Influenza (Flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Nursing Home Administrator

August 5, 2021

 

Dear Residents and Resident Representatives,

Due to the increase of individuals in the community contracting COVID19 and local hospital reports of COVID-19, there will be no visitors permitted indoors or on the resident care areas effective Friday, August 6, 2021.  Our county positivity rate has doubled over the past week and we are all concerned for the well-being and safety of our residents.

Please note, you will still be permitted to take your loved one outside BY APPOINTMENT, as there is a lower rate of transmission if outdoors. These precautions are being implemented as an additional measure to protect our most vulnerable population. Outdoor visits generally pose a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow. Therefore, at this time, visits shall be held outdoors. All infection core prevention measures must be adhered to for outdoor visits, including source control of surgical mask, hand hygiene and social distancing.

  1. The schedule of visitation hours will be as follows BY APPOINTMENT.

Monday through Sunday 9:30am-11:30am & 1:30pm-4pm and 6:30pm-7:30pm for visits.

*Compassionate Care/End of Life Visits allowed as per plan of care.

PLEASE CALL THE FRONT DESK TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO VISIT YOUR LOVED ONE DURING THE ABOVE VISITING HOURS.

 

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread by adhering to CDC Recommendations for social distancing, frequent handwashing, respiratory etiquette and universal masking and get vaccinated.

In order to keep you informed, our facility updates the Meadows Information Line & Website upon identification of new cases or changes to the visitation protocol. We encourage you share the hotline and website with your family. It is important for you to check the Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 and our website for updates at https://themeadowsdallas.com.

As always, the health and safety of our residents and staff remain our highest priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

August 2, 2021

 

Dear Resident and Resident Representative,

As you may be aware, the SARS-COV-2 COVID-19 virus has mutated into the Delta Variant. It is important for you to know viruses frequently change through mutation and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Currently in the United States there are multiple variants, the UK variant (alpha), South Africa variant (Beta), Japan variant (Gamma) and the newest, the DELTA variant – first initially identified in India.

The newest variant of COVID-19 (the DELTA variant) is rapidly spreading across the nation. The level of transmission is Luzerne County is moderate at this time.

 

CDC reports the Delta Variant is as contagious as chicken pox with more severe illness with a spread rate of 1:8 as compared to the original COVID-19 strain, which was 1:2. It is infecting many of the unvaccinated in the community. The DELTA variant is also a threat to those who are fully vaccinated, but the rate is far less than those who are unvaccinated. The United States is reporting a wave of cases among the unvaccinated.

 

The most commonly reported symptoms include headache, sore throat and runny nose.

The variants spread more easily from person-person. They can still be detected by currently available viral tests and respond to medicines currently being used to treat COVID-19.

 

What you can do to continue to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and all its variants:

– Get a COVID-19 vaccine!

– Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others

– Continue to stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you

– Avoid crowds and/or poorly ventilated indoor spaces

– Wand your hands often with soap and water and use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t

available.

 

We are able to obtain the JANSSEN COVID VACCINE from our pharmacy for both our residents and healthcare personnel.  Please remember all visitors MUST wear a mask AT ALL TIMES when visiting their loved ones, regardless of vaccination status, per CDC’s newest guidelines pertaining to the COVID-19 Delta variant that is rapidly spreading across the nation.

 

What We Know

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, including severe illness and death.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 currently circulating in the United States, including the Delta variant.
  • Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild.
  • If you are fully vaccinated and become infected with the Delta variant, you can spread the virus to others.
  • People with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated.

(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus).

 

What You Need to Know

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
  • COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days.
  • It typically takes 2 weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the second dose of a 2-dose vaccine or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus).

 

Sincerely,

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

 

 

 

June 28, 2021

Dear Resident and Resident Representative,

Due to everyone’s diligence, we have remained successful with our open visitation. Our current county positivity rate continues to drop and is down to 3.3%.  Thankfully, the facility continues with no new COVID19 positive cases.   Given our current county positivity rate, we are now testing only unvaccinated staff on a monthly basis; as well as newly hired staff and new admissions upon arrival to the facility. Remember that fully vaccinated is defined as a person who is >/= 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series or following receipt of one dose of a single-dose COVID19 vaccine.

Our pharmacy is approved and ready to assist with continued vaccine administration, for any staff, current resident or new admission resident that wishes to receive COVID19 vaccination.  We will be offering the Johnson & Johnson COVID 19 vaccine as needed or desired.  Our facility’s COVID 19 vaccination rate is currently at 89% for residents and 71% for staff.

We appreciate all your efforts in adhering to the guidelines that have been established for the residents, staff, and your safety.  Given our success, we will continue with open visitation during the times of 9:30am – 11:30am and 1:30pm – 4:00pm and 6:30pm – 7:30pm.  We continue to ask for no visitation during resident meal times, as this is their time to return to “their bubble” and have their masks off with no social distances in most instances.

Due to our continued success, we will resume the possibility of taking your fully vaccinated loved one out of the facility, starting 7/2/2021.  We have  a  “sign-out” sheet that you will be asked to complete, each time.  These will be located at the Nursing Station.  It is important that you read it and ask any questions that you may have; especially as it relates to infection control practices or proper/safe techniques for the resident’s transfer and/or walking abilities.  We recognize that it has been a long time since you have taken your loved one out and they may have had some changes.  Therefore, we will be more than happy to schedule a time to complete car transfer training or safe resident handling prior to the date that you would like to take your loved one out of the facility.

 

Please know that residents and staff continue to be screened for symptoms daily and everyone remains asymptomatic for COVID19.  If any resident or staff member should become ill and test positive for COVID19, visitation may be restricted. Please call the Meadows Hotline for updates during an outbreak.  Therefore, it is very important, not only for our staff, but also our visitors, to remain vigilant.  Remember it is important that we all should:

  • Wear a face covering when in public or around those that you do not live with.
  • Maintain social distancing with others.
  • If you have any respiratory illness or new onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, loss of taste/smell, muscle pain, sore throat, or vomiting, please stay home.
  • Get the COVID19 vaccination.

For more information on COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and others, go to:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Should you have any questions in regards to this letter or the information from the Federal, State, or Local government, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself, Cristina Tarbox, LNHA or Michelle Setta, R.N., Director of Nursing at 570-675-8600.  We will be more than happy to assist and answer any question to the best of our ability.

As always, if the facility experiences any changes in regards to our COVID19 response, we will notify you!

Stay Safe and Healthy,

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

 

 

 

4/29/2021

May 27, 2021

 

Dear Residents, Resident Representatives & Healthcare Personnel,

As a follow-up to last week’s letter in regard to the employee who tested positive, the individual has completed the CDC Guidelines for isolation, and has returned to work. The 1st and 2nd round of testing resulted in no new cases for our residents and healthcare personnel. During an outbreak, residents and healthcare personnel are tested per guidelines, until no new cases of COVID-19 among residents or HCP in the facility are detected through at least one 14-day incubation period since the most recent positive result. We are pleased to report there have been no new cases as of today.

Moving forward, unvaccinated healthcare personnel shall continue to be tested weekly as per the Frequency of Testing Requirements from CMS. Residents shall be tested upon identification of an individual with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or if a resident or staff member test positive for COVID-19 during routine testing. The positivity rate in Luzerne county has decreased to 6.8%. At this time, there are approximately 79% of residents vaccinated and almost 70% of healthcare personnel vaccinated!!!! We continue to encourage our residents and staff to get vaccinated!!

Please contact Laura Wingard, (570) 675-8600, ext 139 to set up either an outside or indoor visit with your loved one.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread by adhering to CDC Recommendations for social distancing, frequent handwashing, respiratory etiquette and universal masking and get vaccinated.

In order to keep you informed, our facility updates the Meadows Information Line & Website upon identification of new cases or changes to the visitation protocol. It is important for you to check the Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 which is updated at least weekly during an Outbreak and as needed, as well as our website at https://themeadowsdallas.com. Please share this information with your family members.

As always, the health and safety of our residents and staff remain our highest priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

Visitation Requirements (Effective June 7, 2021)

 

In order to safeguard the safety of our residents and the facility’s operations the following plan has been established for visitors. In order to maintain the core principles of Infection Prevention, facility must determine the number of visitors per resident in facility at one time. Therefore, the following will be implemented for Visitors: (Subject to Change)

 

  1. The schedule of visitation hours will be as follows:

Monday through Sunday 9:30am-11:30am & 1:30pm-4pm and 6:30pm-7:30pm for visits.

*Compassionate Care/End of Life Visits allowed as per plan of care.

 

  1. Visitation will be permitted in the resident room, designated areas in the lobby (sitting area & family room) as well as Outside Pond area for visits. Outdoor visits are encouraged. There shall be no more than 2 adults and 1 child visiting a resident in their room, so that CDC Guidelines for social distancing may be maintained.

 

  1. If the resident is in a single-person room, visitation may occur in their room.

 

  1. Please note per PA Department of Health (PAHAN-568) visits for residents who share a room should ideally not be conducted in the resident’s room. If a visit is already occurring with the roommate, you will need to have a visit outdoors or in another designated area within the facility.

 

  1. If in-room visitation must occur (e.g., resident is unable to leave the room), an unvaccinated roommate should not be present during the visit. If neither resident is able to leave the room, facilities shall attempt to enable in-room visitation while maintaining recommended infection prevention and control practices, including physical distancing and source control.

 

  1. If simultaneous visits do occur, everyone in the designated area should wear source control and physical distancing should be maintained between different visitation groups regardless of vaccination status.

 

  1. When both the resident and all visitors are fully vaccinated, and while alone in the resident’s room or the designated visitation room or outside, residents and their visitor(s) can choose to have close contact (including touch, hand-holding or an embrace) and to not wear source control.

 

  1. All Visitors will be screened, which will include COVID-19 screening questions and a pre- and post-temperature. Staff will monitor visitation to ensure compliance with social distancing, universal masking and hand hygiene.

 

 

 

  1. Physical distancing and source control shall be adhered to when either the resident or any of their visitors are not fully vaccinated:
  • Visitors should wear source control and physically distance from other healthcare personnel and other patients/residents/visitors that are not part of their group at all other times while in the facility.

FULLY VACCINATED VISITORS WILL BE REQUIRED TO BRING THEIR VACCINE CARD TO SHOW PROOF OF VACCINATION STATUS. A COPY OF THE CARD WILL BE MAINTAINED AT THE FRONT DESK.

 

  1. There shall be no more than the allowable number of visitors per resident based on the facility’s capability to maintain social distancing and infection control protocol.

 

  1. Each resident will be provided a facemask (if they can comply) to wear during the visit.

 

  1. Visitors from Out of State will be required to have a RAPID Point-of-Care Antigen Test PRIOR to Visit. IF Out-Of-State Visitor is FULLY VACCINATED & PROVIDES VACCINATION CARD, test is not required.

 

  1. Children are permitted to visit when accompanied by an adult visitor, within the number of allowable visitors. Adult visitors must be able to manage children, and children older than 2 years of age must wear a facemask during the entire Children must also maintain strict social distancing. Facility will allow no more than two (2) adults to visit a resident OR 2 adult and 1 child for INDOOR Visits. This will be strictly adhered to and visitors attempting to visit with more than the allowed number will not be permitted to visit.

 

  1. For OUTSIDE Visits ONLY, Facility will allow 4 Adults & 2 Children. The protocols above must be adhered to for the well-being and safety of our residents.

 

  1. Visitors will NOT be permitted to access facility or facility grounds if they do not pass scree

 

  1. Alcohol-based hand rub will be provided to each visitor and demonstrated how to use it appropriately, if necessary

 

  1. Visitors MUST wear a face mask during the entire visit based on the criteria above, as well as Use Alcohol-Based Hand Rub Before & After Visit, Stay in Designated Facility Location, Sign-In & Provide Contact Information, Sign-Out Upon Departure and Adhere to & Pass Screening Protocols.

 

 

 

 

  1. All Visitors must adhere to the 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)
  • Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose)
  • Social distancing at least six feet between persons
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit
  • Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  •  Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care)
  •  Resident and staff testing conducted as required at 42 CFR § 483.80(h)

 

  • Do not visit when ill or if you have had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 14 days

 

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

By Signing below, you are acknowledging to adhere and comply with the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Facility Visitation Protocol:

PRINT NAME_______________________________

 

SIGNATURE:________________________________

 

Name of Resident you are visiting: _______________________________

 

Revised 6/4/2021

4/29/2021

May 27, 2021

 

Dear Residents, Resident Representatives & Healthcare Personnel,

As a follow-up to last week’s letter in regard to the employee who tested positive, the individual has completed the CDC Guidelines for isolation, and has returned to work. The 1st and 2nd round of testing resulted in no new cases for our residents and healthcare personnel. During an outbreak, residents and healthcare personnel are tested per guidelines, until no new cases of COVID-19 among residents or HCP in the facility are detected through at least one 14-day incubation period since the most recent positive result. We are pleased to report there have been no new cases as of today.

Moving forward, unvaccinated healthcare personnel shall continue to be tested weekly as per the Frequency of Testing Requirements from CMS. Residents shall be tested upon identification of an individual with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or if a resident or staff member test positive for COVID-19 during routine testing. The positivity rate in Luzerne county has decreased to 6.8%. At this time, there are approximately 79% of residents vaccinated and almost 70% of healthcare personnel vaccinated!!!! We continue to encourage our residents and staff to get vaccinated!!

Please contact Laura Wingard, (570) 675-8600, ext 139 to set up either an outside or indoor visit with your loved one.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread by adhering to CDC Recommendations for social distancing, frequent handwashing, respiratory etiquette and universal masking and get vaccinated.

In order to keep you informed, our facility updates the Meadows Information Line & Website upon identification of new cases or changes to the visitation protocol. It is important for you to check the Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 which is updated at least weekly during an Outbreak and as needed, as well as our website at https://themeadowsdallas.com. Please share this information with your family members.

As always, the health and safety of our residents and staff remain our highest priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

May 19, 2021

 

Dear Residents, Resident Representatives & Healthcare Personnel,

As a follow-up to last week’s letter in regard to the resident who tested positive, while out of our facility, the individual has completed the CDC Guidelines for isolation, and was cleared to return to Meadows. The 1st and 2nd round of testing resulted in no new cases for our residents. However, during this week’s testing, a non-nursing individual, who had been fully vaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19. The individual did not have any direct contact with the residents, but per Pennsylvania Department of Health, this triggers outbreak testing. Therefore, residents and healthcare personnel will be tested again this week and then again within three to seven days, until no new cases of COVID-19 among residents or HCP in the facility are detected through at least one 14-day incubation period since the most recent positive result.

Guidelines for Indoor Visitation during an outbreak are as follows: When a new case of COVID-19 among residents or staff is identified, a facility begins outbreak testing and suspends all visitation (except that required under federal disability rights law), 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., units) of the facility, then visitation can resume for residents in areas/units with no COVID-19 cases.

Guidelines for Outdoor Visitation are as follows: While taking a person-centered approach and adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, 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. However, if you do have an outdoor visit with your loved one, this is at the risk of your own health. All infection core prevention measures must be adhered to for outdoor visits, including source control of surgical mask, hand hygiene and social distancing.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread by adhering to CDC Recommendations for social distancing, frequent handwashing, respiratory etiquette and universal masking and get vaccinated.

In order to keep you informed, our facility updates the Meadows Information Line & Website upon identification of new cases or changes to the visitation protocol. It is important for you to check the Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 which is updated at least weekly during an Outbreak and as needed, as well as our website at https://themeadowsdallas.com. Please share this information with your family members. Please contact Laura Wingard, (570) 675-8600, ext 139 to set up a visit with your loved one. Virtual visits are available as well.

As always, the health and safety of our residents and staff remain our highest priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

Visitation Requirements

In order to safeguard the safety of our residents and the facility’s operations the following plan has been established for visitors. In order to maintain the core principles of Infection Prevention, facility must determine the number of visitors per resident in facility at one time. Therefore, the following will be implemented for Visitors: (Subject to Change)

 

  1. The schedule of visitation hours will continue to be BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

Monday through Sunday 9:30am-11am & 1:15pm-5pm and by special appointment for visits in the specified areas. Visits in the designated outside or inside zone will be scheduled for 30 minutes. *Contact Laura Wingard, Activities Director (570) 675-8600, ext. 139

 

  1. Visitation will be available in designated zone(s) based on the vaccination status of the resident and visitor. Facility has determined the Chapel Area and Lobby, as well as Outside Pond area will be permitted for visits.

 

  1. All Visitors will be screened, which will include COVID-19 screening questions and a pre- and post-temperature. Residents will be transported to the designated zone(s) for the limited visit, as visitors will NOT be permitted to enter resident care areas/ resident floor/room. Staff will monitor visitation to ensure compliance with social distancing, universal masking and hand hygiene.

 

  1. The following physical distancing and source control recommendations shall be adhered to when either the resident or any of their visitors are not fully vaccinated:

 

  • The safest approach is for everyone to maintain physical distancing and to wear source control. However, if the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their unvaccinated visitor(s) while both continue to wear well-fitting source control (Face Masks)
  1. If you and your loved one(s) are FULLY Vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch, hand-holding or an embrace) with their visitor. The following physical distancing and source control recommendations shall be followed when both the resident and all of their visitors are fully vaccinated:

 

– While alone in the resident’s room or the designated visitation room, residents and their visitor(s) can choose to have close contact (including touch) and to not wear source control.

  • Visitors should wear source control and physically distance from other healthcare personnel and other patients/residents/visitors that are not part of their group at all other times while in the facility.

FULLY VACCINATED VISITORS WILL BE REQUIRED TO BRING THEIR VACCINE CARD TO SHOW PROOF OF VACCINATION STATUS. A COPY OF THE CARD WILL BE MAINTAINED AT THE FRONT DESK.

 

  1. Designated staff will wipe down visitation areas after each visit. Staff will use an EPA-registered disinfectant to wipe down visitation area between visits and ensure proper wait time in between visits.

 

  1. There shall be no more than the allowable number of visitors per resident based on the facility’s capability to maintain social distancing and infection control protocol. Facility has determined there shall be no more than five (5) resident visitations occurring simultaneously in a zone.

 

  1. Visitation for residents with diseases that cause progressive cognitive decline (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease) and residents expressing feelings of loneliness will be given a priority.

 

  1. Each resident will be provided a facemask (if they can comply) to wear during the visit. Visitor MUST adhere with universal masking and observe social distancing during the entire visit.

 

  1. Visitors from Out of State will be required to have a RAPID Point-of-Care Antigen Test PRIOR to Visit, so please arrive at least 20 min prior to the scheduled visit.

 

  1. Children are permitted to visit when accompanied by an adult visitor, within the number of allowable visitors. Adult visitors must be able to manage children, and children older than 2 years of age must wear a facemask during the entire Children must also maintain strict social distancing. Facility will allow no more than two (2) adults to visit a resident OR 2 adult and 1 child for INDOOR Visits. This will be strictly adhered to and visitors attempting to visit with more than the allowed number will not be permitted to visit.

 

  1. For OUTSIDE Visits ONLY, Facility will allow 4 Adults & 1 Child. The protocols above must be adhered to for the well-being and safety of our residents.

 

  1. Visitors will NOT be permitted to access facility or facility grounds if they do not pass screen

 

  1. Alcohol-based hand rub will be provided to each visitor and demonstrated how to use it appropriately, if necessary

 

  1. Visitors MUST wear a face mask during the entire visit based on the criteria above, as well as Use Alcohol-Based Hand Rub Before & After Visit, Stay in Designated Facility Location, Sign-In & Provide Contact Information, Sign-Out Upon Departure and Adhere to & Pass Screening Protocols.
  2. All Visitors must adhere to the 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)
  • Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose)
  • Social distancing at least six feet between persons
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit
  • Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  •  Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care)
  •  Resident and staff testing conducted as required at 42 CFR § 483.80(h)

 

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

By Signing below, you are acknowledging to adhere and comply with the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Facility Visitation Protocol:

PRINT NAME_______________________________

 

SIGNATURE:________________________________

 

Name of Resident you are visiting: _______________________________

 

 

Revised 4/29/2021

April 29, 2021

 

Dear Residents, Resident Representatives & HealthCare Personnel,

 

On April 27, 2021, CDC issued new recommendations, which allow greater flexibilities for fully vaccinated staff, residents, and their visitors! Visits must continue to be scheduled through the activities department by calling (570) 675-8600, ext 139.

The updated guidance allows fully vaccinated nursing home residents to resume dining activities without masking or social distancing restrictions. If unvaccinated residents are present then social distancing requirements and masking must remain in place.

Additionally, the new guidance permits visitations and personal contact among residents and visitors who are fully vaccinated. If visitors and residents are both fully vaccinated, they can visit without masks and without social distancing as long as they are alone in their room or in a visitation room or outdoors without unvaccinated individuals. Please note, this will not be permitted until facility representative has verified visitor has been fully vaccinated. Visitor MUST bring in original vaccination card on day of visit. A copy will be obtained and maintained at the Front Desk for reference.

The CDC continues to direct facilities to limit the total number of visitors in the facility at one time in order to maintain recommended infection control precautions. Facility shall continue to limit the number of visitors per patient at one time to maintain any required physical distancing from others in the facility.  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.

Please note when the positivity rate decreases to under 10% OR 70% of our residents are fully vaccinated, indoor visitations may resume. Thank you for your patience.

Sincerely,

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

 

April 22, 2021

 

Dear Residents, Resident Representatives & Healthcare Personnel,

As a follow-up to last week’s letter in regard to the employees who tested positive, we would like to inform you that both employees have completed the CDC Guidelines for isolation, and are cleared to return to work. The 1st round of testing resulted in no new cases for our residents and employees.

Healthcare personnel continue to be tested Bi-Weekly as per the Frequency of Testing Requirements from CMS. Residents shall be tested upon identification of an individual with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or if a resident or staff member test positive for COVID-19. The positivity rate in Luzerne county has increased to 10.6%, which keeps us in the Red Zone.

 

Due to the positivity rate and percent of unvaccinated residents, indoor visitations must continue to be suspended, as per direction from Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Outdoor visits, will be available beginning Monday, April 26, 2021. Please contact Laura Wingard, (570) 675-8600, ext 139 to set up an outside visit only with your loved one. Virtual visits are available as well.

 

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread by adhering to CDC Recommendations for social distancing, frequent handwashing, respiratory etiquette and universal masking.

The Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 is updated at least weekly during an Outbreak and as needed. Please check our website at https://themeadowsdallas.com.

As always, the health and safety of our residents and staff remain our highest priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

 

 

April 14, 2021

 

Dear Residents, Families & Staff,

Please be advised that as of April 14, 2021 we have a total of 2 active confirmed COVID-19 cases among non-nursing personnel. Due to the positive cases, we are in “Outbreak” mode.

When a new case of COVID-19 among residents or staff is identified, a facility immediately begins outbreak testing and suspends all visitation, until at least one round of facility-wide testing is completed. Visitation may resume based on the following criteria:  If the first round of outbreak testing reveals no additional COVID-19 cases in other areas (e.g., units) of the facility, then visitation can resume for residents in areas/units with no COVID-19 cases.

However, due to the positivity rate and percent of unvaccinated residents, indoor visitations will continue to be suspended, even if the above criteria have been met, as per direction from Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Please note per PA Department of Health Guidelines, outdoor visits, will be available after we have had at least one round of facility-wide testing, resulting in all negative results.

Please be advised rapid point-of-care tests were completed this morning on all residents. All residents tested negative. All active Healthcare Personnel are being tested April 15, 2021.

In the interest of protecting the health and wellbeing of all our residents and staff in accordance with CMS & PA-Department of Health, the organization has temporarily suspended all in-person visitation for all visitors at the Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. As we follow recommendations to avoid risk of transmission of COVID-19, we are being mindful of the residents’ best interest and social interactions with family and loved ones, therefore window visits and virtual visits are available during this time.

We are continuing to take steps based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of  Health to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19, such as:  Enhanced infection control precautions, Screening residents, staff, and essential visitors for symptoms of the virus, the use of Personal Protective Equipment, Restricting visitation and entry of people to the building, Testing staff and residents for COVID-19 based on current protocols. Due to government privacy requirements, we cannot divulge specific information about the individuals who have tested positive or have symptoms of COVID-19.  Facility staff will continue to contact you directly with resident changes in condition including symptoms of COVID-19.

 

 

 

Please note that although, COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, none are 100% effective, meaning a small number of people might become infected after being fully vaccinated. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic.

The organization sincerely apologizes for the impact this may have on your families. Our Social Workers are here to aid the residents and family members during this time of difficulty.

 

We will notify you if there are new cases among residents or staff are diagnosed. Please call the Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 for weekly updates. Information is available on our website, themeadowsdallas.com. As always, the health and safety of our residents and staff remain our highest priority.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

 

 

 

 

 

April 12, 2021

 

 

Please note As of Monday, April 12th the Current Positivity rate in Luzerne County increased to 10.3%. Unfortunately, due to the positivity rate and percent of unvaccinated residents, indoor visitations have been temporarily suspended. Please note per PA Department of Health Guidelines, outdoor visits are still permitted. If you are not able to have an outdoor visit due to inclement weather, a window or virtual visit is available. Please contact our Activities Department to schedule a visit at (570) 675-8600, ext 139.

 

As of this date, 63% of our residents have been FULLY VACCINATED. Individuals who received passive antibody therapy for COVID-19 (Monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 treatment) in January and February were deferred to receive their vaccine for a minimum of 90 days from treatment to avoid treatment interference as per the guidelines.  The Pharmacy will be administering the 1st dose of the vaccine to these residents on May 20th. The 2nd dose is scheduled to be given on June 17th.  If you have questions regarding the status of your loved one’s vaccine, please contact the Nursing Department.

As soon as the positivity rate decreases to under 10% OR 70% of our residents are fully vaccinated, indoor visitations may resume. Fully vaccinated refers to a person who is ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine, per the CDC’s Public Health Recommendations for Vaccinated Persons.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

 

Take Care,

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

 

 

April 8, 2021

 

Dear Resident and Resident Representative,

 

The Current Positivity rate in Luzerne County is 9.3%. Please be prepared that although facilities shall allow indoor visitation for residents (regardless of vaccination status), there are a few exceptions which would halt indoor visitations. A few circumstances when visitation shall be limited would be due to a high risk of COVID-19 transmission. The exceptions include the following scenarios when limited indoor visitation will occur:

 

  • Unvaccinated residents, if the nursing home’s COVID-19 county positivity rate is >10% and <70% of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated;2
  • Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated until they have met the criteria to discontinue Transmission-Based Precautions; or
  • Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.

 

As of this date, 59% of our residents have been FULLY VACCINATED. Individuals who received passive antibody therapy for COVID-19 (BAM Therapy/monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 treatment) in January and February were deferred to receive their vaccine for a minimum of 90 days from treatment to avoid treatment interference as per the guidelines. If you have questions regarding the status of your loved one’s vaccine, please contact the Nursing Department.

The Pharmacy will be administering the 1st dose of the vaccine to these residents on May 20th. The 2nd dose is scheduled to be given on June 17th. We have been reaching out to our local Government Officials and Department of Health representatives for support to procure doses for our current residents and new admissions.

On a positive note, the CDC has stated, “Quarantine is no longer recommended for residents who are being admitted to a post-acute care facility if they are fully vaccinated and have not had prolonged close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 14 days (i.e., no known exposure to COVID-19). Therefore, new admissions or readmissions, who are fully vaccinated do not need to enter the “Yellow Zone” as long as the above criteria has been met.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

Visitation Requirements

 

In order to safeguard the safety of our residents and the facility’s operations the following plan has been established for visitors. In order to maintain the core principles of Infection Prevention, facility must determine the number of visitors per resident in facility at one time. Therefore, the following will be implemented for Visitors: (Subject to Change)

 

  1. The schedule of visitation hours will continue to be BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

Monday through Sunday 9:30am-11am & 1:15pm-5pm and by special appointment for visits in the NEUTRAL ZONE. Visits in the designated outside or inside neutral zone will be scheduled for 30 minutes.

*Contact Laura Wingard, Activities Director (570) 675-8600, ext. 138

 

  1. Visitation will be available in designated neutral zone(s). Facility has determined the Chapel Area and Therapy gym, as well as Outside Pond area will be permitted for visits.

 

  1. All Visitors will be screened, which will include COVID-19 screening questions and a pre- and post-temperature. Residents will be transported to the designated neutral zone for the limited visit, as visitors will NOT be permitted to enter resident care areas/ resident floor/room. Staff will monitor visitation to ensure compliance with social distancing, universal masking and hand hygiene. Visitor and UNVACCINATED Resident must maintain social distancing of at least six-feet distance during the entire visit and wear facemask during entire visit. REGARDLESS, Visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.

 

  1. If your loved one is FULLY Vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch, hand-holding or an embrace) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting face mask and performing hand-hygiene before and after. REGARDLESS, Visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.

 

  1. Designated staff will wipe down visitation areas after each visit. Staff will use an EPA-registered disinfectant to wipe down visitation area between visits and ensure proper wait time in between visits.

 

  1. There shall be no more than the allowable number of visitors per resident based on the facility’s capability to maintain social distancing and infection control protoc Facility has determined there shall be no more than eight (8) resident visitations occurring simultaneously in a neutral zone.

 

  1. Only residents residing in the unexposed (Green Zones) may safely accept visi

 

  1. Visitation for residents with diseases that cause progressive cognitive decline (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease) and residents expressing feelings of loneliness will be given a priority.

 

 

  1. Each resident will be provided a facemask (if they can comply) to wear during the visit. Visitor MUST adhere with universal masking and observe social distancing during the entire visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Children are permitted to visit when accompanied by an adult visitor, within the number of allowable visitors. Adult visitors must be able to manage children, and children older than 2 years of age must wear a facemask during the entire Children must also maintain strict social distancing. Facility will allow no more than two (2) adults to visit a resident OR 2 adult and 1 child. This will be strictly adhered to and visitors attempting to visit with more than the allowed number will not be permitted to visit.

 

  1. Visitors will NOT be permitted to access facility or facility grounds if they do not pass scree

 

  1. Alcohol-based hand rub will be provided to each visitor and demonstrated how to use it appropriately, if necessar

 

  1. Visitors MUST wear a face mask during the entire visit, Use Alcohol-Based Hand Rub Before & After Visit, Stay in Designated Facility Location, Sign-In & Provide Contact Information, Sign-Out Upon Departure and Adhere to & Pass Screening Protocols.

 

  1. All Visitors must adhere to the 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)
  • Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose)
  • Social distancing at least six feet between persons
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit
  • Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  •  Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care)
  •  Resident and staff testing conducted as required at 42 CFR § 483.80(h)

 

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

By Signing below, you are acknowledging to adhere and comply with the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Facility Visitation Protocol:

PRINT NAME____________________________

SIGNATURE:____________________________ 

Name of Resident you are visiting: _______________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 11, 2021

 

 

Dear Resident and Resident Representative,

 

This letter is to inform you of the important changes to the Visitation Guidance issued by CMS and CDC on March 10th. While CMS guidance has focused on protecting nursing home residents from COVID-19, they recognize that physical separation from family and other loved ones has taken a physical and emotional toll on residents and their loved ones. CMS understands that nursing home residents derive value from the physical, emotional, and spiritual support they receive through visitation from family and friends. In light of this, CMS is revising the guidance regarding visitation in nursing homes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since, COVID-19 vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. Millions of vaccinations have since been administered to nursing home residents and staff, and these vaccines have been shown to help prevent symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection (i.e., COVID-19). Therefore, CMS, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is updating its visitation guidance accordingly, but emphasizing the importance of maintaining infection prevention practices, given the continued risk of COVID-19 transmission.

 

Guidance

Visitation shall be conducted in dedicated visitation spaces, outdoors, and for circumstances beyond compassionate care situations. Regardless of how visits are conducted, there are certain core principles and best practices that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission:

 

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
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit•

 

Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care) •     Resident and staff testing conducted as required at 42 CFR § 483.80(h) (see QSO-

20– 38-NH)

 

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. The risk of transmission can be further reduced through the use of physical barriers (e.g., clear Plexiglass dividers, curtains). Visitors who are unable to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention shall not be permitted to visit and/or shall be asked to leave. By following a person-centered approach and adhering to these core principles, visitation can occur safely based on the below guidance.

 

 

Outdoor Visitation

While taking a person-centered approach and adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, 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. However, weather considerations (e.g., inclement weather, excessively hot or cold temperatures, poor air quality) or an individual resident’s health status (e.g., medical condition(s), COVID-19 status) may hinder outdoor visits. For outdoor visits, facilities should create accessible and safe outdoor spaces for visitation, such as in courtyards, patios, or parking lots, including the use of tents, if available. When conducting outdoor visitation, all appropriate infection control and prevention practices should be adhered to.

 

*Fully vaccinated refers to a person who is ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine, per the CDC’s Public Health Recommendations for Vaccinated Persons.

 

Indoor Visitation

Facilities shall allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents (regardless of vaccination status), except for a few circumstances when visitation should be limited due to a high risk of COVID-19 transmission (note: compassionate care visits shall be permitted at all times). These scenarios include limiting indoor visitation for:

  • Unvaccinated residents, if the nursing home’s COVID-19 county positivity rate is >10% and <70% of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated;2
  • Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated until they have met the criteria to discontinue Transmission-Based Precautions; or
  • Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.

 

Facilities need to consider how the number of visitors per resident at one time and the total number of visitors in the facility at one time (based on the size of the building and physical space) may affect the ability to maintain the core principles of infection prevention. If necessary, facilities should consider scheduling visits for a specified length of time to help ensure all residents are able to receive visitors. During indoor visitation, facilities should limit visitor movement in the facility. For example, visitors should not walk around different halls of the facility. Rather, they should go directly to the resident’s room or designated visitation area. Visits for residents who share a room should not be conducted in the resident’s room, if possible. For situations where there is a roommate and the health status of the resident prevents leaving the room, facilities may attempt to enable in-room visitation while adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention.

 

 

Note: CMS and CDC continue to recommend facilities, residents, and families adhere to the core

principles of COVID-19 infection, including physical distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between people). This continues to be the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly if either party has not been fully vaccinated. However, we acknowledge the toll that separation and isolation has taken. We also acknowledge that there is no substitute for physical contact, such as the warm embrace between a resident and their loved one. Therefore, if the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting face mask and performing hand-hygiene before and after. Regardless, visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.

 

Indoor Visitation during an Outbreak

An outbreak exists when a new nursing home onset of COVID-19 occurs (i.e., a new COVID-19 case among residents or staff). This guidance is intended to describe how visitation can still occur when there is an outbreak, but there is evidence that the transmission of COVID-19 is contained to a single area (e.g., unit) of the facility. To swiftly detect cases, we remind facilities to adhere to CMS regulations and guidance for COVID-19 testing, including routine staff testing, testing of individuals with symptoms, and outbreak testing.

 

When a new case of COVID-19 among residents or staff is identified, a facility should immediately begin outbreak testing and suspend all visitation (except that required under federal disability rights law), 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., units) 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.

o 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.

 

While the above scenarios describe how visitation can continue after one round of outbreak testing, facilities should continue all necessary rounds of outbreak testing. In other words, this guidance provides information on how visitation can occur during an outbreak, but does not change any expectations for testing and adherence to infection prevention and control practices. If subsequent rounds of outbreak testing identify one or more additional COVID-19 cases in other areas/units of the facility, then facilities should suspend visitation for all residents (vaccinated and unvaccinated), until the facility meets the criteria to discontinue outbreak testing.

 

NOTE: In all cases, visitors shall be notified about the potential for COVID-19 exposure in the facility (e.g., appropriate signage regarding current outbreaks), and adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, including effective hand hygiene and use of face-coverings.

 

Outbreak testing is discontinued when testing identifies no new cases of COVID-19 infection among staff or residents for at least 14 days since the most recent positive result. For more information see CMS Memorandum QSO-20-38-NH.

4

 

 

We note that compassionate care visits and visits required under federal disability rights law should be allowed at all times, for any resident (vaccinated or unvaccinated) regardless of the above scenarios. Lastly, facilities shall continue to consult with their state or local health departments when an outbreak is identified to ensure adherence to infection control precautions, and for recommendations to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

 

Visitor Testing and Vaccination

While not required, CMS encourage facilities in medium- or high-positivity counties to offer testing to visitors, if feasible. If so, facilities should prioritize visitors that visit regularly (e.g., weekly), although any visitor can be tested. Facilities may also encourage visitors to be tested on their own prior to coming to the facility (e.g., within 2–3 days). Similarly, we encourage visitors to become vaccinated when they have the opportunity. While visitor testing and vaccination can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, visitors should not be required to be tested or vaccinated (or show proof of such) as a condition of visitation. This also applies to representatives of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and protection and advocacy systems, as described below.

 

Compassionate Care Visits

In addition to family members, compassionate care visits can be conducted by any individual that can meet the resident’s needs, such as clergy or lay persons offering religious and spiritual support. Compassionate care visits, and visits required under federal disability rights law, should be allowed at all times, regardless of a resident’s vaccination status, the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate, or an outbreak.

 

Lastly, visits should be conducted using social distancing; however, if during a compassionate care visit, a visitor and facility identify a way to allow for personal contact, it should only be done following appropriate infection prevention guidelines, and for a limited amount of time. Also, as noted above, if the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting face mask and performing hand-hygiene before and after. Regardless, visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility. Through a person-centered approach, facilities shall work with residents, families, caregivers, resident representatives, and the Ombudsman program to identify the need for compassionate care visits.

 

 

 

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Required Visitation

Facilities shall not restrict visitation without a reasonable clinical or safety cause, consistent with 42 CFR § 483.10(f) (4) (v). A nursing home must facilitate in-person visitation consistent with the applicable CMS regulations, which can be done by applying the guidance stated above. Failure to facilitate visitation, without adequate reason related to clinical necessity or resident safety, would constitute a potential violation of 42 CFR § 483.10(f) (4), and the facility would be subject to citation and enforcement actions.

 

Residents who are on transmission-based precautions for COVID-19 should only receive visits that are virtual, through windows, or in-person for compassionate care situations, with adherence to transmission-based precautions. However, this restriction should be lifted once transmission-based precautions are no longer required per CDC guidelines, and other visits may be conducted as described above.

 

Access to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman

As stated in previous CMS guidance QSO-20-28-NH (revised), regulations at 42 CFR § 483.10(f)(4)(i)(C) require that a Medicare and Medicaid- certified nursing home provide representatives of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman with immediate access to any resident. During this PHE, in-person access may be limited due to infection control concerns and/or transmission of COVID-19, such as the scenarios stated above for limiting indoor visitation; however, in-person access may not be limited without reasonable cause. We note that representatives of the Office of the Ombudsman should adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention as described above. If in-person access is deemed inadvisable (e.g., the Ombudsman has signs or symptoms of COVID-19), facilities must, at a minimum, facilitate alternative resident communication with the ombudsman, such as by phone or through use of other technology. Nursing homes are also required under 42 CFR § 483.10(h)(3)(ii) to allow the Ombudsman to examine the resident’s medical, social, and administrative records as otherwise authorized by State law.

 

Federal Disability Rights Laws and Protection & Advocacy (P&A) Programs Section 483.10(f)(4)(i)(E) and (F) requires the facility to allow immediate access to a resident by any representative of the protection and advocacy systems, as designated by the state, and as established under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act), and of the agency responsible for the protection and advocacy system for individuals with a mental disorder (established under the Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals Act of 2000). P&A programs authorized under the DD Act protect the rights of individuals with developmental and other disabilities and are authorized to “investigate incidents of abuse and neglect of individuals with developmental disabilities if the incidents are reported to the system or if there is probable cause to believe the incidents occurred.” 42 U.S.C. § 15043(a)(2)(B). Under its federal authorities, representatives of P&A programs are permitted access to all facility residents, which includes “the opportunity to meet and communicate privately with such individuals regularly, both formally and informally, by telephone, mail and in person.” 42 CFR § 51.42(c); 45 CFR § 1326.27.

 

Additionally, each facility must comply with federal disability rights laws such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

 

 

 

 

For example, if a resident requires assistance to ensure effective communication (e.g., a qualified

interpreter or someone to facilitate communication) and the assistance is not available by onsite staff or effective communication cannot be provided without such entry (e.g., video remote interpreting), the facility must allow the individual entry into the nursing home to interpret or facilitate, with some exceptions. This would not preclude nursing homes from imposing legitimate safety measures that are necessary for safe operations, such as requiring such individuals to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention. Any questions about or issues related to enforcement or oversight of the non-CMS requirements and citations referenced above under this section subject heading should be referred to the HHS Office for Civil Rights, the Administration for Community Living, or other appropriate oversight agency.

 

Entry of Healthcare Workers and Other Providers of Services

Health care workers who are not employees of the facility but provide direct care to the facility’s residents, such as hospice workers, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel, dialysis technicians, laboratory technicians, radiology technicians, social workers, clergy, etc., must be permitted to come into the facility as long as they are not subject to a work exclusion due to an exposure to COVID-19 or showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 after being screened. We note that EMS personnel do not need to be screened, so they can attend to an emergency without delay. We remind facilities that all staff, including individuals providing services under arrangement as well as volunteers, should adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and must comply with COVID-19 testing requirements.

 

Communal Activities and Dining

While adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, communal activities and dining may occur. Residents may eat in the same room with social distancing (e.g., limited number of people at each table and with at least six feet between each person). Facilities should consider additional limitations based on status of COVID-19 infections in the facility. Additionally, group activities may also be facilitated (for residents who have fully recovered

from COVID-19, and for those not in isolation for observation, or with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 status) with social distancing among residents, appropriate hand hygiene, and use of a face covering (except while eating). Facilities may be able to offer a variety of activities while also taking necessary precautions. For example, book clubs, crafts, movies, exercise, and bingo are all activities that can be facilitated with alterations to adhere to the guidelines for preventing transmission.

 

Survey Considerations

Federal and state surveyors are not required to be vaccinated and must be permitted entry into facilities unless they exhibit signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Surveyors should also adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, and adhere to any COVID-19 infection prevention requirements set by state law.

 

 

AN UPDATE FROM MEADOWS NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER

The information is as follows as of THURSDAY 3/4/2021 as of 8AM            Census: 75

We are relieved to report there have been no new cases of COVID19 since 2/17/2021.

Over the course of the Outbreak, which began January 1, 2021 the total cases were as follows:

45 Residents in total have tested Positive for COVID-19
8 Residents are Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19*
0 Resident has developed a new onset of Respiratory Symptoms within a 72-hour Period
0 Active Cases for Center Staff testing Positive for COVID-19
16 Resolved Cases for Center Staff Testing Positive for COVID19
0 Center Staff are Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 Center Staff have developed a new onset of Respiratory Symptoms within a 72-hour period
18 Residents have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic
0 Center Staff have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic

*New Admits/Readmits are placed under Transmission-Based Precautions for 14 days and considered Person Under Investigation (PUI). These residents are included in the number of residents considered Persons Under Investigation. New Admissions are placed in a Yellow Zone.

As of the week ending 2/24/21, Luzerne County Positivity Rate has decreased to 6.1%

Healthcare personnel will continue to be tested Weekly as per the Frequency of Testing Requirements from CMS. Residents shall be tested upon identification of an individual with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or if an employee or staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

 

In regards to Visitation, CMS recommends the following steps nursing homes take before reopening to visitors?

 

Nursing homes should continue to follow CMS and CDC guidance for preventing the transmission of COVID-19. In addition, they should follow state and local direction. Because nursing home residents are especially vulnerable, CMS does not recommend opening facilities to visitors (except for compassionate care situations) until phase three when:

 

  • there have been no new, nursing home onset COVID-19 cases in the nursing home for 28 days (through phases one and two)
  • the nursing home is not experiencing staff shortages
  • the nursing home has adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and essential cleaning and disinfection supplies to care for residents
  • the nursing home has adequate access to testing for COVID-19
  • Referral hospital(s) have bed capacity on wards and intensive care units

 

Please note if your loved one, should test positive for the virus, a representative from nursing will notify you.

Please continue to reach out to the Activities & Social Services staff to assist you in communicating with your loved ones. We can assist with virtual visits and phone calls for you to keep in touch. Window Visits will be available beginning Monday, March 8th (Weather Permitting).

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread.

Pandemics can be stressful, especially when you are staying away from others. During this time, it’s important to maintain social connections and care for your mental health. Please contact our Activities Department at (570) 675-8600, ext 139 to schedule a virtual visit with your loved one.

The Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 is updated bi-weekly. Please check our website at https://themeadowsdallas.com for updates.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to our residents, staff and family members during this very trying time. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.

 

 

AN UPDATE FROM MEADOWS NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER

The information is as follows as of THURSDAY  2/25/21 as of 4:30PM            Census: 72

45 Residents in total have tested Positive for COVID-19
6 Residents are Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 Resident has developed a new onset of Respiratory Symptoms within a 72-hour Period
0 Active Cases for Center Staff testing Positive for COVID-19
16 Resolved Cases for Center Staff Testing Positive for COVID19
0 Center Staff are Considered Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
0 Center Staff have developed a new onset of Respiratory Symptoms within a 72-hour period
17 Residents have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic
0 Center Staff have passed away due to COVID-19 during this pandemic

*Please note HCP are considered Presumed Under Investigation, if they have been exposed to an individual per CDC Guidelines and are quarantined for 14 days from the date of exposure.

New Admits/Readmits are placed under Transmission-Based Precautions for 14 days and considered Person Under Investigation (PUI). These residents are included in the number of residents considered Persons Under Investigation. New Admissions are placed in a Yellow Zone.

Residents and HCP will continue to be tested weekly until 14 days have passed since the last positive on 2/17/21.

The Facility conducted RAPID Point-of-Care Antigen Tests on Monday 2/22/21 on the 36 residents eligible to be tested. All residents tested NEGATIVE via the COVID19 AG CARD Rapid POC Test. 

As of the week ending 2/17/21, Luzerne County Positivity Rate has decreased to 7.1%

Facility adheres to PA Department of Health Guidance in determining when a case of COVID-19 is resolved. We follow the Symptom-Based Strategy which states, transmission-based- precautions and isolation may be discontinued under the following conditions: • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and, • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and, • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Please note if your loved one, should test positive for the virus, a representative from nursing will notify you.

 

 

 

 

 

Please continue to reach out to the Activities & Social Services staff to assist you in communicating with your loved ones. We can assist with virtual visits and phone calls for you to keep in touch.

The Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735 is updated bi-weekly. Please check our website at https://themeadowsdallas.com for updates.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to our residents, staff and family members during this very difficult time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.

 

 

 

 

 

December 2, 2020

Dear Resident and Resident Representative,

This letter is to inform you, Center for Disease Control had voted to have long-term residents and healthcare workers to be the first group to have access to a COVID19 vaccine. This is very encouraging!!! Nursing home residents could receive the vaccine in the next month!

Vaccines are safe and effective and the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses. Although, there is not yet an authorized or approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the COVID-19 vaccine is currently being developed and when available, will be distributed to Pennsylvanians in a phased approach (Source CDC.GOV).

It is important to note, the COVID-19 vaccine will not be the cure for the virus. It will be another tool in the toolbox for our fight against COVID-19, and we must continue to practice other mitigation efforts, such as wearing a mask, hand washing, physical distancing and downloading COVID Alert PA.

The enclosures in regards to the vaccine is included for your edification. Additionally, you can find more information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html. Please be aware, consent forms will be mailed to you in the near future. It is vital, these vaccination consent forms are returned in a timely manner. Walgreen’s Pharmacy has been assigned to our organization to administer COVID-19 vaccines. As we anticipate FDA approval/emergency use authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine, Walgreen’s Pharmacy is working diligently to create the essential processes to safely and seamlessly deliver and administer the vaccine to our residents as soon as the vaccine becomes available.

Please Stay Well & Stay Safe!!!

Sincerely,

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS

Dear Resident and Resident Representative,

This letter is to inform you of new testing requirements issued by Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for nursing homes.
As per CMS, the Testing Frequency will be as follows based on three triggers for testing:
Symptomatic, Outbreak and Routine/Surveillance

Symptomatic Testing: Facility shall test any staff or residents who have signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Facility shall continue screening all staff, residents and other visitors.

Outbreak Testing:  Facility shall test all active staff and residents in response to an outbreak (defined as any single new infection in staff or any nursing home onset infection in a resident). All staff and residents that tested negative will continue to be tested every three to seven days. This testing frequency will last until testing identifies no new cases of COVID-19 infection among staff or residents for a period of at least fourteen days since the most recent positive result.

Routine Testing:  Facility shall test all staff based on the extent of the virus in the community, using CMS’ published county positivity rate in the prior week as the trigger for staff testing frequency (see table below):

 

Community COVID-19 Activity County Positivity Rate in the past week Minimum Testing Frequency
Low <5% Once a month
Medium 5%-10% Once a Week*
High >10% Twice a Week*

*This frequency presumes availability of Point of Care testing on-site at the nursing home or where off-site testing turnaround time is within 48-hours.

You may access reports of COVID-19 county-level positivity rates at https://data.cms.gov.  Our Infection Preventionist Nurse monitors Luzerne County’s positivity rate every other week and adjust the frequency of testing accordingly. Currently, the positivity rate for Luzerne County is 4.1% based on data from 8/13-8/19/2020.

In order to comply with these testing requirements, CMS has provided skilled nursing facilities with a rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic testing device.  Testing results are produced within fifteen minutes. Our facility has received the BD Veritor Analyzer to conduct rapid point of care testing.
Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center conducted baseline testing on all active residents and healthcare employees in July and then again in August. Additionally, we have been completing testing every two weeks as part of our surveillance program on a random sample of healthcare employees.

Please note, our facility has set-up a special Meadows Information Line (570) 675-8735.  Weekly updates will be available pertaining to the status of COVID19 cases.

Remember to continue to do your part to keep Pennsylvanians safe and take the following steps to avoid spreading COVID-19:

  • Maintain social distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others
  • Wear a cloth face covering when in public
  • Wash your hands often, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water for twenty secondsIn the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me at (570) 675-8600, ext 102 with questions or concerns you may have.For the most up-to-date information on this topic, please visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/covid19.Sincerely,

Sincerely,

Cristina Tarbox, LNHA, MHA, MPS
Licensed Nursing Home Administrator