December 17, 2021
We know how important holiday traditions are for you and your loved ones. Unfortunately, as of this date we are experiencing an outbreak in our Maplewood Health Center. This includes both positive cases and exposure. Currently, it is limited to the second floor units. All affected residents, their family and employees are being notified and will follow all privacy and quarantine requirements. 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.
So it is with an abundance of caution we ask you to use great caution if visiting at this time. Full PPE, including N95 mask, gown and goggles must be worn throughout the visit on units affected in Maplewood. 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.
Below we would like to provide you our guidelines for this upcoming holiday season following the guidance from the CDC and CMS. There are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health. Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible.
Here are safer ways to celebrate the holidays with our residents:
During your visit all Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention are in place:
- Due to the current rate of transmission in our county, all visitors must wear a mask at all times within our facility. Vaccinated residents and family members may choose to have close contact however visitors must be sure to socially distance from other residents and staff. Children and adults who cannot wear a mask or simply prefer a virtual visit should try and coordinate with another family member to provide virtual visits. If assistance is needed call (414)607-4176.
- We recognize that food is an important part of holiday celebrations. If food is to be consumed, it should be in a private room with only the resident and visitor(s) (no additional residents or staff present). Visitors should be 6 feet away from the resident and masks should be replaced when not eating or drinking.
- Visitors may attend facility lead activities as long as they wear a mask and socially distance from other residents and staff.
- Larger groups (3 or more visitors at a time) should visit with a resident in a private room or private gathering space where no other residents are present. Activity rooms and dining rooms may be reserved in advance by calling (414) 607-4327.
- We encourage frequent hand hygiene throughout any visit.
- Areas throughout the community are cleaned and disinfected often and designated visitation areas after each visit.
- Keep all visitation to designated area or room. Refrain from wandering down hallways, entering other rooms or loitering in lobby areas before or after visit.
Going home for the holidays:
- Residents may leave the facility according to our Leave of Absence policy.
- For the resident’s health and safety, the same guidelines outlined above should be followed, adapting them for the situation including mask wearing and choosing lower risk settings (for example a small dinner at home rather than a large crowded gathering).
- Residents who are unvaccinated may be subject to a 14-day quarantine after returning from a leave of absence.
Additional Covid-19 Guidelines:
- Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination such as young children or those at high risk such as the elderly or immunocompromised by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated.
- Whether vaccinated or not, mask wearing is encouraged due to the current rate of transmission while out and about around town.
- Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
- If you will be traveling, choose safer travel options such as traveling by car or taking a flight with fewer stops.
- If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, you could consider additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a test) in advance of gathering to further reduce risk.
- Delay your visit:
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
- If you are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test
At VMP we are continuing to work toward meeting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) emergency regulation requiring COVID-19 Vaccination for health care workers. Our VMP leadership and Infection Preventionists is offering ongoing vaccine clinics for any unvaccinated employees and campus volunteers. This has also provided an opportunity for our employees who received the vaccine over six months ago to receive a booster if they are interested.
As for resident vaccine boosters, all Maplewood, Palmer House and Wesley Park residents who want them have received them.
Employee COVID-19 testing continues two times per week. On average we have at least one positive result each week which then results in contact tracing, notification of potential exposure, appropriate quarantining and follow-up testing. If we have a positive case, 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.