Dear Residents, Friends and Family of Kirkhaven,

Today we received a positive COVID-19 test result for a staff member who was tested on August 25th. This employee has been tested weekly and screened daily prior to beginning work since these requirements were initiated and from the beginning of the pandemic. Also, we are relieved to announce that the employee has not recently worked in our facility for an exposure to have occurred with residents. For this reason, re-testing residents for COVID-19 is not necessary at this time. The employee is self-quarantining at home until cleared to return to work by the department of health. We continue to monitor all residents daily for symptom checks, vital signs, and pulse oximetry.

Furthermore, in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s executive orders, and under the guidance of the NY State Department of Health, we are required to halt visitation immediately for a period of no less than twenty-eight (28) days, consistent with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) established thresholds. No further actions or policy changes are necessary at this time. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding of these restrictions.

Our commitment to providing respectful, attentive and compassionate end of life care has not wavered. When we identify an elder who is declining, medical providers, direct care staff, supportive care staff work together to attend to that individual’s needs. We inform families of our observations and bring them into the discussions around end of life care. We understand the concern families have, not being able to be with their loved one during this difficult time. We currently are able to offer short visits (15-30 minutes), two designated family members at a time for end of life situations. End of life visits must be scheduled and coordinated through the nurse manager or social worker.

As shared in previous updates, our Social Work and Life Enrichment teams continue to work diligently to help connect residents with family and friends at least once weekly via telephone calls, Zoom and FaceTime.

In addition, balcony visits may be scheduled on weekdays between 10am-12noon and 2pm-4pm, weather permitting. For balcony visits, we ask that visitors park in a visitor parking spot and proceed to the designated safe area in the driveway adjacent to the main entrance and 2nd floor balcony. Please do not block the main entrance area. The number of visitors for balcony type visits is limited to two (2) for safety reasons in the parking lot, driveway and main entrance areas. Staff will escort residents inside the building to the balcony area and remain with the resident during the visit. Please contact your designated Social Worker or the House Manager to schedule a Zoom, Facetime or balcony visit.

We appreciate that families and friends of our residents want to be kept updated and we are doing our very best to keep everyone informed. We will continue to keep the lines of communication open with family and responsible parties by promptly communicating information related to any positive COVID-19 cases, or if any resident suffers a COVID-19 related death, along with general communications such as new or revised policies to you via email or direct phone call / US mail if an individual does not have access to email or the internet.


Anne R. Gallese, CEO/Administrator