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Update from Administrator – November 16, 2020

November 16, 2020
Dear Families,
As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy.
We continue testing our staff weekly as required by CMS, CDC and DPH.
Last week, more than 35 nursing homes across the state reported staff and/or new resident cases of COVID-19 in their centers. Due to these numbers, CT DPH has ordered weekly testing of all staff to further safeguard against COVID entering our center, effective November 1. We are reminding our staff to not only practice safeguards against COVID in our center, but to be vigilant outside of our center and share these practices with their friends and loved ones.
PLEASE wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. These are simple things we must continue to do, not just in our centers, but in our personal lives to keep COVID out!

Some updates / Reminders
• FLU VACCINE: We STRONGLY encourage that all staff and residents receive an annual Influenza Vaccine. We have received our shipment of vaccine; please consider completing a consent form to ensure your loved one receives their vaccine if you have not done so already. Our goal is 100% participation of staff and residents.
• Each nursing unit has tablets assigned for resident use such as virtual visits, games, etc. and many of our residents are enjoying learning how to use this technology and having the world at their fingertips.
• Our outdoor social distancing activities programming continues to expand and evolve. Given the great forecast for the coming days, we are in good shape to be outside as much as possible.
Indoor Visits
As a reminder, our indoor visitation policy and procedures follow state and federal requirements. Based on that, nursing homes and visitors must adhere to the following conditions:
• We must limit the number of visitors per patient at one time and limit the total number of visitors in the center at a time. This will be based on the amount of physical space we have available for our designated visitation area.
• We need to limit the duration of visits to help ensure all patients can receive visitors. Just like our outdoor visits, once we have more experience behind us, we can adjust this, if necessary.
• Cleaning and disinfecting of the designated visitation area will occur by our staff in between visits. This is another factor affecting the amount of time and numbers of visitors we can have in our center.
• Screening for anyone who enters our center – temperature and health screen questionnaire – will take place by our center staff.
• We cannot allow visitors to move freely throughout our center; visitors will go directly to the designated visitation area.
• Hand hygiene must be followed and personal protection equipment (PPE) must be worn by visitors.
• Social distancing requirements remain as they do for our outside visits.
• We offer indoor and outdoor supervised social distancing visits 5 times a week.

Indoor, End Stage of Life Care Visits
Should a new case of COVID be identified in the center, all inside visits, except end stage of life, will be temporarily put on hold.
Outside & “Alternative” Visits
Please know that outside and “alternative” visitations will continue, and if possible, we encourage this over indoor visits. While the weather is changing, we will work to continue to do outside visits on our patio for as long as possible and window visits are still possible. As mentioned earlier, the weather seems to be holding steady for now.
Remember that we do offer iPads for our residents to use for video visits, phone calls, etc. to ensure that you and your loved ones remain in contact, as best as you can during these very uncertain times.
As always, thank you for your patience and please stay safe and healthy!

Please remember, for our inside visits we can only allow two family members per resident at a time. The visits will be in the lounge and will be spaced out to allow for cleaning after each visit. Please contact Kathy or Rachel in recreation to set up your appointment. Remember the visit will be like the outside visit, mask and social distance of 6 ft.

Please remember our call will be at 4 pm tomorrow.

For inside visits, When you enter, you will need to sign in, get your temperature taken and answer 5 covid related questions.

November 16, 2020 Athena News
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