July 15, 2020- Update to Families
Dear Residents, Friends and Family of Kirkhaven,
On Friday, July 10th Dr. Howard Zucker, State Department of Health Commissioner issued a press release announcing the resumption of limited visitation to nursing homes. As mentioned in our previous COVID 19 update on July 1st, friends and family visits in nursing homes will likely look much different from visits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to resuming limited visitation, the nursing home must first meet specific benchmarks and develop and submit a re-opening plan to NYS DOH. Nursing Homes (NH) in Phase 3 regions (Monroe County, Finger Lakes Region) may resume limited visitation and activities only under the following conditions:
- Adequate staff are present to allow for personnel to help with the transition of residents, monitoring of visitation, and cleaning and disinfecting areas used for visitation after each visit using an EPA-approved disinfectant.
- The nursing home maintains signage regarding facemask utilization and hand hygiene and uses applicable floor markings to cue social distancing delineations.
- Visitors are screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to resident access and visitation will be refused if the individual(s) exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms or do not pass the screening questions. Screening shall consist of both temperature checks and asking screening questions to assess potential exposure to COVID-19 which shall include questions regarding international travel or travel to other states designated under the Commissioner’s travel advisory. The facility must maintain screening questions asked onsite and make it available upon the Department’s request.
- (Required of Visitor Prior to Entry)
Documentation of screening must be maintained onsite at NH in an electronic format and available upon the DOH request for purposes of inspection and potential contact tracing. Documentation must include the following for each visitor to the nursing home:
1) First and last name of the visitor;
2) Physical (street) address of the visitor;
3) Daytime and evening telephone number;
4) Date and time of visit;
5) Email address, if available; and
6) A notation indicating the individual cleared the screening (both temperature and questions)
- There is adequate PPE made available by the nursing home to ensure residents wear a facemask or face covering which covers both the nose and mouth during visitation, if medically tolerated.
- Visitors must wear a face mask or face covering which covers both the nose and mouth at all times when on the premises of the NH. Visitors must maintain social distancing.
- Facilities provide alcohol-based hand rub, consisting of at least 60 percent (60%) alcohol, to residents, visitors, and representatives of the long-term care ombudsman visiting residents and those individuals are able demonstrate to appropriate use.
If the facility falls out of compliance with the requirements due to a new onset of COVID-19 among staff or residents, visitation will be halted immediately.
Any visitor who fails to adhere to the visitation policy will be prohibited from visiting for the duration of the COVID 19 state declared public health emergency.
Kirkhaven is planning to begin limited outdoor visits in our Courtyard on Wed. July 22nd. Weather permitting. Hours of visitation are Monday – Friday, 10am – 12noon and 2pm – 4pm. Each visit will be approximately 30 minutes. The frequency of visitation will be based on the volume of visits requested, individual resident needs and staff availability.
It is our intent to afford each resident equal opportunity to engage with friends and family while maintaining safety and compliance with state and federal guidelines. Zoom, FaceTime and balcony visits are still available on weekends between 10am-12noon and 2pm-4pm. For balcony visits, visitors are asked to 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. The number of visitors for balcony 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 thank you for your continued cooperation and appreciate your kind support as we manage through these unprecedented times.
Anne R. Gallese, CEO/Administrator