Dear Residents, Families and Friends of Premier:
We hope this finds you all healthy and well.
As you know, nationally, we have been experiencing a record number of positive COVID cases daily. Unfortunately, New Hampshire is not an exception, with cases continuing to climb at an alarming rate. With the upcoming holiday season, which inherently brings people and families together, we need to continue to educate staff and remind families on the collaborative efforts it takes to minimize the risk of re-entry of this virus into our community.
As a facility, we continue to be vigilant with our efforts to keep this virus at bay. In addition to daily health screening of employees, we continue to educate staff on preventative measures, i.e. hand hygiene, social distancing, proper PPE use, and social accountability. Our current regulatory requirement is to test all staff monthly and 10% of employees every week between the monthly testing (based on the county positivity rate).
All residents continue to be screened daily for signs/symptoms of COVID. In addition, all new and returning residents are placed under a 14-day quarantine with frequent monitoring. Due to the increase in state positivity rates, the State of New Hampshire has reinstituted travel restrictions and quarantine requirements when entering or leaving the state. All individuals who enter/re-enter the state, unless for essential purposes, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days following the last date of any high-risk travel, which includes travel internationally (including to/from Canada); on a cruise ship; or domestically outside of the New England states of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island for nonessential purposes. https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/documents/travel-guidance.pdf
We have been fortunate to be able to allow indoor visitation to this point, however this may be subject to change in the very near future, depending on county positivity rates, enhanced risk to residents and facility status.
It takes everyone’s effort to slow the spread of the virus. “COVID doesn’t move, people move COVID.”
We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.
Premier Rehab and Healthcare
Dear Residents, Families and Friends of Birchwood,
Birchwood is excited for the opportunity to begin to allow outdoor visitations as noted in the Governor’s address on June 17, 2020. As mentioned previously, the Vermont Health Care Association and been working closely with the Department of Health and the Division of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), to establish guidelines and criteria for these visits. Finalized guidance was provided to Nursing Facilities as to how these visitations must be structured.
Please note that visitation will look much differently than it has in the past. As we continue to balance the need for resident and families to have contact with their loved ones, we need to remain vigilant with our prevention efforts, ensuring these visitations are done safely, responsibly, and in a manner that supports infection control practices, minimizing the risk of re-entry of the virus into the facility.
We understand that the criteria set forth will not be easy or applicable for all residents depending on their cognition or care needs. For those residents who may not be able to comply with these requirements, we will continue to offer additional means of communication (Skype, Zoom, Facetime, phone call, etc.) for connectivity.
In accordance with the guidance for visitation provide by DAIL, Birchwood’s policy and procedure for visitation is noted below:
- All visitations must be schedule in advance through the Receptionist. This can be done via phone at (802) 863-6384, Monday through Friday, from 7 am to 3:30 pm, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Visiting hours will be from 10am to 5pm daily and are anticipated to begin Tuesday June 23, 2020.
- Visits will be scheduled in 45-minute increments. The initial 15 minutes of the allotted time will be used for assessment, paperwork, and review of policies. The remaining 30 minutes will be for visitation. Staff will sanitize visitation area between each visit.
- Visitors will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival to facility, immediately prior to visitation with resident. Any visitor with symptoms will be excluded from visitation.
- No more than two visitors will be allowed at a time. Visit time slots may not be split between visitors.
- Each resident may only receive one scheduled visit per day.
- All visitors will be required to provide their contact information. The facility is required to keep record of all visit dates, times, and the contact information of all visitors.
- Visitors (with the exception of children 2 years old or younger) will be required to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings at all times during the visit. Visitors are to come prepared with their own facemasks to utilize during the visit. (Residents will also be encouraged to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings during visits if they can tolerate them.)
- Visits will be limited to outside only and in a designated visitation area. Visitors and the resident will remain in the designated area for the duration of the visit. Please note these are outdoor visitations and may be impacted weather conditions.
- Visits are required to be supervised to ensure social distancing of at least six feet between people, and that other infection prevention measures are always maintained (i.e. proper wearing of face covering) during the visit.
- Physical contact between the visitor(s) and residents, including the passing of items directly to the resident and vice versa, is prohibited. If you have gifts for a resident, please be prepared to give items to the staff member during your visitation screening process. The facility will sanitize the items and provide to them to the resident per facility protocol. Please keep this in mind when you are deciding what to bring. If you are bringing food items, please limit to prepackaged items that can be wiped down.
Please note that residents being observed under quarantine (new admissions, etc.) will not be allowed visitation until the completion of their 14-day quarantine.
Failure to comply with any of the visitation rules will result in immediate termination of the visit and may all result in having visit privileges revoked. Failure to follow visitation rules may also result in a 14-day quarantine in facility for the resident you are visiting.
Resident safety remains our top priority and Birchwood is committed to taking every precaution to protect those in our care.
We are so very grateful for the overwhelming show of support you have provided to the staff and residents over the past several months. Our hearts are full with love and appreciation!