Updated: November 22, 2021
Glen Arden HCC/EHU Pandemic Emergency Plan
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Glen Arden has been receiving regular updates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (DOH), and Executive Orders from the Governor. Because of the rapidly evolving nature of the updates, Glen Arden adopted a policy that the most recent update would become our policy. Our current pandemic plan is the accumulation of all the guidance and updates we have received.
As of today 98% of our residents in the Health Center, Enriched Housing, and Independent Living have been fully vaccinated. In the Health Center and Enriched Housing, all residents had booster shots if they qualified. We are on our way to have the entire staff fully vaccinated within the next few weeks. All staff have received at least one dose.
Edmond C Marchi, Executive Director
Health Care Center Visitation:
On November 12th, 2021 CMS put out the revised guidelines for nursing home visitation. On November 16th, 2021 the New York State Department of Health put out the DAL (Dear Administrator Letter) outlining New York State’s nursing home visitation revisions. Over the past few days, the leadership team at Glen Arden have been reviewing both documents and developing the revised visiting policies. The biggest change is no appointments needed.
Below is the summary of the revised Glen Arden Health Care Center visiting protocols.
Suggested Visiting Hours:
11:00 am – 8:00 pm 7 days per week. Call 845-360-1448 for visits outside of these hours.
Lunch is served between 12 noon and 1 pm; dinner is served between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm.
Check in will continue to be at the front desk (health screens still required). During suggested visiting hours you can drive to the front entrance of the Nursing Home after your Health Screen at the front desk. You will be given a visitor pass at the front desk which must be displayed.
All visitors will go directly to either the resident’s room or designated visiting area. The CMS guidance requires facilities to “limit movement in the facility.”
All visitors will be required to wear a mask and physically distance “at all times.” This is required because Orange County has a “high to substantial community level of transmission.”
Outings of longer than 24 hours will require the resident to be considered a “new admission or readmission” and the current CDC recommendations will apply. You will still complete the attestation for outings.
The guidelines “strongly encourage” visitors in areas of high transmission (Orange County) to be tested on their own 2-3 days before a visit.
The facility continues to be responsible to maintain the “Core Principles of Infection Control” at all times. We have been doing that by scheduling appointments to control volume and flow of visitors. We use the front desk as the check in because we do not have staff to be stationed at the Nursing Home entrance to conduct the Health Screen. We are seeking volunteers to be stationed at the Nursing Home entrance during peak hours, holidays, and weekends. If we can get enough committed volunteers, we can offer check in at the Nursing Home entrance. Please contact Ro at 845-360-1440 if you would like to volunteer.
Finally, we have always understood the importance of visiting and the impact of isolation. I am concerned that these guidelines were written based on trends CMS was seeing in September. Currently our community is seeing rising cases, we are in substantial transmission risk, and local nursing homes are seeing significant rise in positive cases with vaccinated residents and staff. Below is the statement listed in the CMS guidance.
PHE = Public Health Emergency
“In other words, while all residents have a right to visitation, fully open and unrestricted visitation posed a clinical health and safety risk to other residents during this PHE, and therefore, it was reasonable to place limits on visitation. However, current nursing home COVID-19 data shows approximately 86% of residents and 74% of staff are fully vaccinated, and the number of new COVID-19 cases each week has been dramatically reduced. For example, the average number of national resident COVID-19 weekly cases in January 2021 was approximately 20,000 per week, whereas the average number in September 2021 was approximately 5100 per week (approximately an 80% reduction), demonstrating the effectiveness of the vaccines.”
The Leadership team wants nothing more than to open visitation with zero restrictions 24 hours a day. However, we can not ignore what is going on in our Community today. The highest COVID positivity rate in Orange County in September 2021 was 26.7 per 100k; the highest positivity rate in Orange County so far in November is 47.91 per 100k. We are concerned about another holiday spike, our rates are moving up, and we are seeing more vaccinated people test positive. These were not the conditions that we were seeing in September 2021 when the guidelines were developed. One lesson we have learned with COVID is that things change and evolve rapidly. At the end of the day, we depend on people’s best judgement. If you are not feeling well, if you think you may have been exposed, or if you know you have been exposed and meet the criteria for quarantine, please do not visit.
Suggested Visiting Hours: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm 7 days per week. Check in at front desk for Health Screen before entering EHU.
Check in at Front Desk for Health Screen.