Update from Administrator – June 1, 2020
As always, the Northbridge team and I hope this finds you safe and healthy. Another “thank you” for all the staff’s hard work, dedication, and compassion for all of our residents here. We remain incredibly grateful for our entire dedicated team and ask you to join me in ensuring that they are included as “Health Care Heroes” battling COVID-19. They are doing everything they possibly can to care for those suffering while also implementing preventive measures to minimize the spread of the disease. Everyone is working hard, and their efforts do not go unnoticed.
Please continue to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule “window or virtual visits”. The state was kind enough to supply us with an additional iPad to conduct FaceTime visits.
The current numbers for our center are 47 COVID-19 positive residents and 2 COVID-19 positive staff members, both whom are recovering at home. Since the start, 27 employees did test positive and have since become symptom free and returned to work using CDC guidelines. We continue to screen every employee by taking their temperature and asking them questions about symptoms related to COVID- 19.
Last week, the state Department of Public Health and members of the National Guard visited our center and found us to be in compliance for PPE(personal protective equipment), staffing and infection control and prevention issues. We continue to follow all CDC and state guidelines and receive regular updates on new guidelines that are offered.
Good news… As of today, we have seen 47 of our residents convert to negative and are now symptom-free of COVID-19 and were discharged home. We are very excited for these residents, their families, and our staff. We anticipate this number to continue to rise and we will begin holding recognition ceremonies to celebrate their success. Check our Facebook page to see updated pictures and video of parades and “graduation” ceremonies. It is truly uplifting for our staff and residents.
We appreciate your concern for our staff and we have field many questions on social media and through phone calls about testing of our staff. We know there have been many references to testing being available to all staff and that the governor “wants” and “encourages” the testing of all nursing home staff. We have heard that spots are reserved for staff. We strongly support this idea – but as I have mentioned before, the state is still not there yet. We would love to see mass testing of our staff, but we have not been provided with the state’s plan to address this.
We are working with the state and our state association for staff testing. This is not about our finances. This is about access, planning and assuring a process is in place.
The state of Connecticut is reserving only 50 spots per day for nursing home, assisting living, and residential care workers. These spots will be available each day, six days a week (Monday through Saturday), for these workers. Obviously, the demand for testing is expected to exceed the capacity. Our center alone has 248 full and part-time employees.
Below is the information we have received from the state:
“Effort will be made to prioritize requests based on the criteria listed below, recognizing that not every potential test recipient will be able to immediately take advantage of this opportunity. (Healthcare workers and their family members can be directed to the CVS website for CVS testing independent of these reserved spots, too).
Priority will be given to persons with one or more of these symptoms:
- Fever of 100 degrees or higher;
- New cough within last 14 days;
- Shortness of breath
Second priority will be given to person with one or more of the following risk factors:
- Exposure to or contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
Healthcare workers may also register through the online system for the general public for assignment to the non-reserved slots. Anyone who does not have an appointment will not be tested. Tests can be scheduled for the same day or up to two days in advance. To register, visit http://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.
Thank you and please stay safe and healthy! Although the weather outside is becoming warmer and sunnier each day, it is important to remember that it is still necessary to be cautious and aware that the risks of COVID-19 are still present.