August 23, 2022
We continue to watch our positive COVID-19 cases here at VMP Healthcare & Community Living decline each week. Although very low numbers, both positive employee and resident tests have been seen throughout the month. All employees, regardless of vaccination status, are tested twice weekly in accordance with CMS and CDC guidelines. If a positive test results, we conduct contact tracing to determine exposure risk, needed quarantining and follow-up testing. Dr. Keshni Ramnanan, Medical Director, and local and state health departments are also aware and will guide our efforts, as well as, our own preparedness plans.
Our Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention remain in place. Checking in at the Accushield kiosk and appropriate PPE, including mask, gown and goggles must be worn throughout the visit on all units in Maplewood. Masks must be worn throughout the rest of our common areas in our VMP community. Frequent hand washing is also highly encouraged. Updates to our outbreak status and additional changes to visitation can be obtained by calling our designated visit lines:
- Maplewood Visit Line: (414) 607-4191
- Palmer House Visit Line: (414) 607-4185
Any additional specific information related to visiting your loved one can be directed to our Infection Preventionist at 414-607-4137 or their specific Nurse Manager.
The expectation of CMS is that all healthcare employees are “up to date” with vaccines and boosters. Our Infection Preventionist is tracking this and working with each individual employee to ensure we meet this expectation. Use of anti-viral medication is being reviewed and will follow the direction of state and federal health officials.
As always, we are continuing to closely monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as, state and local health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps.
As new variants of the COVID-19 arise, we continue to work to protect our community and the broader community. Key components of the action plan are:
- Continuing to monitor and screen residents for symptoms. We continue to actively screen residents for fever and respiratory symptoms. Residents are asked to wash their hands often, avoid touching their face, cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and to wear a mask. Residents know to notify the staff immediately if they feel ill. When ill residents are identified, they are monitored closely, isolated in their rooms, and reminded to wear a mask. Medical providers are consulted as appropriate. Residents have been reminded that social distancing remains extremely important. We’ve shared that they should take everyday precautions to keep space between themselves and others (i.e., stay 6 feet away, which is about two arm lengths).
We encourage you to review the CDC website for information about COVID-19, including its symptoms, how it spreads, actions that you and your loved ones can take to protect your health, and how to manage stress and anxiety. See the following links for additional information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html.
- Continuing to screen staff prior to beginning work. Staff are not allowed in the building if they are ill. Upon arriving at the building, a detailed health screening is completed including taking their temperature to check for a fever. Any staff who exhibit symptoms are instructed to put on a mask, isolate at home, call their medical provider, and notify their supervisor. Additionally, our staff is following CDC guidelines for hand and other related hygiene requirements.
- Advising affected staff to take all appropriate measures. For their health and well-being, staff members with a COVID-19 diagnosis are asked to quarantine at home, and contact their medical provider to guide their care. We will follow all CDC guidance on the return to work criteria for health care professionals with confirmed COVID-19.
- Continuing to implement environmental safety precautions. Housekeeping staff continue to take extra measures to clean and disinfect all high-touch areas throughout the building. This includes countertops and tables, faucet handles, toilet flush handles, door knobs, crash bars, door handles, bathroom and kitchen areas, elevator call buttons, and hand rails.
- Utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) when interacting with residents, as directed by CMS guidelines.