August 26, 2021
Dear Families and Friends of VMP Healthcare & Community Living,
At VMP, the health and safety of our residents, families, and employees is our top priority. We have appreciated your support and compassion as we navigate the impact of the resurgence of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are writing to provide an update on the status at our VMP community.
As of August 26th, 2021 we have implemented changes to our regular operations as part of our response plan, including enhanced infection control and prevention measures, monitoring residents and staff for symptoms, and regular testing, and restrictions of visitors at Maplewood Healthcare Center and Palmer House Memory Care, except in end-of-life situations on a case-by-case basis.
This response is necessary due to the identification of two positive staff members during our routine testing, one from Palmer House and one from Maplewood Center. 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.
Due to this, VMP Healthcare & Community Living will be restricting visitors for Maplewood Healthcare Center and Palmer House Memory Care affective August 26, 2021. We are asking you delay your visits until after September 9, 2021.
We are committed to respectful, open, and transparent communication. If we have an additional positive case, we will notify the affected resident, their family, and our staff, and follow all privacy requirements. Dr. Keshni Ramnanan, Medical Director, and local and state health departments guide our efforts, as well as, our own preparedness plans. We provide updates to all residents, families, and staff as we learn more, again ensuring we respect and follow privacy requirements.
We continue to work around-the-clock to protect our community and the broader community. Key components of the action plan are:
- Promoting Vaccinations: We are providing vaccine clinics on our premises and continue to encourage both our staff and residents to become fully vaccinated. There is overwhelming evidence of the positive effect the vaccination has on the severity and outcome for individuals who do contract COVID. We have not made vaccinations mandatory for our staff members yet as we are waiting to follow the directives of CMS and the CDC; however, we feel based on the recent press releases from President Biden this will be coming out way very soon and we will comply with these directives. We encourage you to learn more at Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines (cdc.gov)
- 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.
- 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.
- Continuing to restrict visitors in Maplewood Healthcare Center and Palmer House Memory Care for everyone’s safety. We encourage loved ones to communicate with residents by phone, letters, video chat, and/or social media, and are happy to facilitate this communication. We understand that it is hard to not have visitors, especially family. Please contact us if you need assistance. Visitors who need to enter the building for end-of-life care situations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to assure safety for all. Visitors who are permitted to enter the building for end-of-life situations are first screened for fever and respiratory symptoms. They are also required to frequently clean their hands, limit their visit to a designated area within the building, and wear a face mask.
- Continuing to restrict congregate dining and have cancelled any group activities. We have cancelled congregate dining, all community outings, and any group activities. We continue to help residents to practice social distancing and to frequently clean their hands.
- Utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) when interacting with residents, as directed by CMS guidelines.
We are monitoring new information from the CDC, CMS, and state and local health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps.
We want to take this opportunity to share our ongoing gratitude to our dedicated staff, and for their commitment to the care of and service to our residents. It is moments like these that we remember our true calling and what brought us to senior health care. We care deeply about our residents and staff and consider them to be members of our own extended families.
We are all in this together and again thank you for support and understanding.
VMP Healthcare & Community Living