At Elderberry Healthcare, the safety and health of our residents, patients, and staff is our top priority. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and are following guidance from the CDC, other local, state and federal health organizations to do our part to help lessen the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
To provide you with timely and relevant information, we are adding this web-based communications platform. This allows us to provide daily updates so that you have access to the most up-to-date key information on our efforts to protect our residents, patients and staff.
Admission Criteria – Even prior to COVID-19, we routinely prepare to minimize the transmission of various infections through policies, procedures, training and use of Personal Protective Equipment. Although routine admissions continue within our facility, rest assured we are following CMS and CDC guidelines and protocols regarding new admissions to provide care for our newly admitted residents while ensuring the safety of our existing residents and staff. In addition to our standard protocols, we have enhanced our admissions criteria during this time to include more in-depth screenings and have designated an area/environment within the facility for our new residents. We are committed to provide additional monitoring of new admissions to provide additional caution and safety for all residents and staff.
Our web-based update is below.
As of May 31, 2020,
- No residents are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We are performing resident screenings daily including temperature checks.
- No staff members are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We are performing staff screenings at the beginning of each shift including temperature checks.
- No outside Healthcare providers coming in to the facility to perform essential care functions are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We are screening outside Healthcare providers before allowing entry including temperature checks.
- Strict visitation protocols remain in effect.
- No outside personal items including laundry. We are providing in-house laundry services for all patients and residents.
- Our supply levels remain sufficient to serve our residents at this point in time.
We know that it is difficult to be away from your loved one for an extended period of time. We encourage you to write letters, text, call, email, skype, facetime, email photos or use other electronic means to continue to communicate to your loved one. These small gestures have a tremendous impact on our residents and patients!
Questions have come up regarding mass testing for the coronavirus.
We want you to know that we share your desire to keep our residents and staff as safe as possible during this time.
Greater access to testing has been – and remains – a top priority for our facility and other skilled nursing facilities across the state. Here’s what we understand about the LabCorp test based on conversations with state officials: The “at-home” test is currently limited to first responders and health care workers who have exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus and have received a physician’s order.
We are hopeful that the at-home testing may provide local and state health officials with additional testing capacity for healthcare workers, including those who work in skilled nursing facilities. As LabCorp said in its press release:
“… the at-home test kit is meant to increase both the supply and availability of tests for first responders and health care workers who may exhibit signs of the coronavirus. Enabling individuals to self-administer sample collection will help prevent the risk of transmitting the virus to others and reduces the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) as the tests do not require a clinician to perform the test collection.”
Rest assured that protecting our state’s skilled nursing facility residents is a priority for Gov. Cooper and other North Carolina health care officials. The state is assisting facilities with securing personal protective equipment and making testing available in facilities that have experienced positive cases. Due to limited supplies and limited testing capabilities, however, there currently remains the inability to provide mass testing in facilities where there are no signs or symptoms.
We are grateful that our residents and staff remain sign, symptom and coronavirus free. As you know, we have been aggressively limiting access to our facility, screening all staff, and carefully monitoring residents since early March. In addition, we continue to carefully follow the guidance of local, state and federal health officials with regard to the preventative and precautionary measures we are taking to protect our residents and staff. We will continue to monitor recommendations for exposure testing and asymptomatic testing.
Thank you for your thoughts, patience and support as we navigate through these unprecedented times.
FOOD & SNACK QUESTIONS
We continue to have questions regarding… can I and what types of snacks, food or drinks can I bring for my family member or loved one during the coronavirus visitation restrictions.
We realize it is helpful to be able to drop off something for your loved one so everyone can feel connected. Or they’re calling because they miss a favorite dish, sandwich, snack or drink.
Therefore we have prepared this Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) sheet to assist you.
• Especially during this time of restrictions, we are attempting to stock a variety of food, snacks, and drinks in an effort to provide for your loved ones comfort and taste.
• Although there is no specific evidence to support whether the coronavirus can or cannot be transmitted via food or food packaging, out of an abundance of caution for our resident population and the workers that provide their care, we are continuing to restrict food, snack and drink delivery from the outside to only commercially packaged containers (cartons, boxes, bags, cans, bottles, etc.) that can be easily sanitized with hospital-grade sanitizing agents.
• Although it is tempting to bring fresh fruits now that they are starting to come into availability or homemade comfort items, it is difficult and time consuming to wash and sanitize prior to providing them to your loved one. Please wait and provide those items when the pandemic eases and we are able to remove visitation restrictions.
• The same applies to drive through meals and drinks, it is difficult and time consuming to wash and sanitize prior to providing them to your loved one. Please wait and provide those items when the pandemic eases and we are able to remove visitation restrictions.
• Again we cannot stress enough to consider, before bringing, the packaging. Unfortunately several items that are being left are not safely concealed, thus, cannot be properly sanitized or distributed.
• A table and/or tote(s) are available by our entryway to leave items you want to provide for your loved one or friend. Items will be collected, sanitized and delivered at least morning, afternoon and evening.
• Label who for, whom from, date and room number prior to bringing. Or fill-out stick on labels will be available on the table to complete and place on item(s).
Residents Still Having Fun during Coronavirus Precautions and Restrictions
The absence of visitors and the continuing need to social distance as much as possible within our facility has temporarily changed how we socialize, engage and entertain our residents.
However, rest assured our activity and other staff members have been coming up with creative ways our residents can still have fun while staying safe.
In general, all our staff members are engaging with residents at every interaction, asking questions about their day, how they are feeling, and what they have been doing. Regular attempts are being made to ensure residents are staying in touch with family and friends by helping them set up various forms of video chat, phone calls, or writing cards and letters.
Of course, residents are staying in their rooms a lot more, and those who are able have been doing individual activities like reading, word searches, coloring and making crafts. The long running Gunsmoke which originally aired in the mid-50s through the mid-70s with Matt Dillion, Ms. Kitty and Fetus have become a popular TV show again. Hallway bingo is becoming popular, in which the activity staff goes hall by hall to call out bingo while residents check their bingo cards in their doorways. Residents are being encouraged, condition permitting, to stand, stretch and move to increase circulation. Technology, computers, tablets, e-readers, etc. are being utilized to explore virtual activities such as online museums, online classes, online games, online religious events, product browsing, movies, concerts and past sports events.
Residents are continuing to be asked what Activities they would like to do. If it is something usually done in groups, inventive ways are being explored to modify the activity, so it will work within guidelines from the CDC and various other health officials.
In another attempt to help you stay in touch and engaged, we are adding to this page an Activity Calendar update. Although it is not all inclusive of all the wonderful things going on each day, it will give you some idea of what’s going on while you can’t visit. Updates will be posted weekly on Monday around 11am.
Weekly Activity Calendar
For the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), we encourage you to visit the following websites.
NC 2-1-1 is now available 24/7 as a resource for assistance related to COVID-19.
Dial 2-1-1 to get connected to resources in your community
- Madison County Health Department – Click Here
- NC Governor’s Office – Click Here
- White House’s 15 Days to Slow the Spread – Click Here
- NCHCFA COVID-19 Site – Click Here
- AHCA COVID-19 Site – Click Here
- CDC – Click Here.
- World Health Organization – Click Here
- NC Department of Health and Human Services – Click Here
- Medicare – Click Here