In following with the CDC and DOH guidelines. Please read the following to see our reopening plan starting May 3rd, 2021. With this we are hopeing that we can keep moving forward to fully reopen.
On 3/10/2021 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid release new guidance in allowing visitation to resume in Nursing Home. Gracedale is committed to reopening in a safe and methodical manner to ensure the safety of Residents, Staff and Families.
Today is 10/1/21. The PA Department of Health’s website as of 10 am today is reporting in 1,625 long term care facilities there are 76,453positive cases with 16,311 healthcare employees in these facilities affected. At Gracedale, We have one positive staff member and one positive Resident. We have had a total of 422 confirmed positive residents (since 3/3/20) with 0 lab results currently pending. We have had 169 confirmed positive employees since 3/6/2020.
CORE PRINICPLES OF COVID-19 INFECTION PREVENTION
- Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions about and observations of signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection in the prior 14 days (regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status)
- Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)
- Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose)
- Social distancing at least six feet between persons
- Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
- Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Effective co-horting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care)
- Resident and staff testing conducted as required at 42 CFR § 483.80(h) (see QSO20- 38-NH)
These core principles are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for nursing homes, and should be adhered to at all times.
Visitation should be person-centered, consideration on the Residents’ physical, mental and psychosocial well-being, and support their quality of life. In keeping with this person-centered approach Gracedale will be offering Indoor, Outdoor and On-Unit visits. On Unit visits will occur when a Residents health status prevents them from leaving their room.
Physical contact between Residents and Families
Everyone understands the impact COVID-19 has taken with regards to personal contact. If a Resident has been fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitors while wearing a well fitted face mask and performing hand-hygiene before and after.
Visits to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 Residents
Residents who are on transmission-based precautions for COVID-19 should only receive visits that are virtual, through windows, or in-person for compassionate care situations, with adherence to transmissions based precautions. However, this restriction should be lifted once transmission –based precautions are no longer required per CDC guidelines.
SCHEDULING A VISIT
We will be scheduling visits through the Therapeutic Recreation and Volunteer Departments. This allows us to manage the number of Visitors in the building and who comes in to visit. If there is a case of COVID-19 we need to contact trace everyone who was in contact with suspected case.
- Visiting hours
- Monday through Friday
- 9am to 11am
- 2pm to 6pm
- Upon entering the facility report to the front lobby receptionist to sign in and be screened (temperature taken and questionnaire completed). Should a visitor fail screening, the visitor will be denied further access and will be unable to participate in scheduled visit.
- Wear surgical mask at all times (exception is children 2 years of age or younger)
- Use facility supplied alcohol-based hand rub sanitizer before and after visit
- Restrict movement to only designated visitation area
- Upon completion of visit report to the front lobby receptionist to sign out
- Visitations limited to 45 minutes. Gracedale can facilitate 3 simultaneous families. 2 on Tower 7 and 1 in the gardens weather permitting
- Visits will be indoor on Tower 7 or outdoors in the Gracedale Gardens
- Residents will wear surgical mask during visitation –If yours gets soiled during visit we will supply you a new one.
- All visitation areas will be disinfected using products that have EPA approval for COVID-19 after the conclusion of each visit by the Therapeutic Recreation staff member.
- Video conferencing will still be available
- Visitations must per scheduled with the Therapeutic Recreation Department at 610-829-3671
Visitors must follow all of Gracedale’s infection prevention protocols. Failure to do this may cause immediate termination of the current visit and any future visits will be reviewed by Administration.
In an effort to comply with the newly implemented CMS/CDC requirement of informing residents, responsible parties and families to the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 virus cases within Gracedale, we will be updating this website on a regular basis. The following is a summary of the number of positive cases in Pennsylvania and Gracedale, along with what Gracedale has done in response to COVID-19:
Since March, Gracedale has put into place mitigation efforts guided by Department of Health (DOH), Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local County government officials. Here are some of the efforts put in place: stopped all visitors coming into Gracedale, temperature checks for all residents, staff and essential vendors (vendors also must answer a signs and symptoms questionnaire), we purchased FDA approved cleaning products, increased the frequency of cleaning around Gracedale especially those high touch areas, placed a moratorium on group activities (we use closed circuit TV for the residents to view church services and other activities available), closed doors between units and hallways, consolidated units to maximize the efficient use of staff, encouraged residents to remain in their rooms, utilized disposable dining products for meals, residents who leave the units were given masks and educated on social distancing, Resident’s meal are served in their room unless assistance is needed by staff – then social distancing was implemented, Residents and Staff are educated on infection prevention and control (hand hygiene, mask usage, coughing and sneezing protocols), Universal face masking for staff – the different types and when to use each one, transmission based precautions for any resident with suspected, presumed or positive test, purchase of personal protective equipment in large quantities where ever we can (gowns, face shields, eye protection, gloves, masks (N95, KN95, and surgical) and sanitizer), we treat everyone – staff and resident – as if they are positive for COVID-19, we are consolidating resident units to maximize efficient use of staff.
Gracedale continues to update our policies and procedures, as appropriate, in response to COVID-19. The guidance offered by the CDC and DOH is consistently reviewed and put into action in so that we put into place best practices for our residents and staff. Additionally, we continue constant contact with our local Pennsylvania Department of Health office in Bethlehem. We have also signed on with ECRI. ECRI is another valuable partner that reviews our protocols for infectious control and makes recommendations, if needed.
Please fell free to contact Administration at 610-829-3818.