COVID-19 Update

June 21, 2021

Dear Resident and Families of Dunklau Gardens:

This letter is simply to provide you some current information related to CDC and CMS guidance for visitation, testing, and vaccination.  We checked the County Positivity rate via the CMS website, which is required for decision making on cohorting new admissions and those who have been on a short leave of absence and returning the facility,  it has finally dropped below 5% for two consecutive weeks and currently is at 2.8%-GREEN!!!  This is a huge accomplishment for our county and we certainly hope it continues as I see large groups of people at various events and most are not masked.  We certainly hope, for the sake of our residents, that those that are unvaccinated abide by the guidance of continuing to mask in close interactions.  The health and wellness of our community and our residents depend on this.  

As our County Positivity rate has been in the GREEN level of two consecutive weeks any unvaccinated staff are testing only one time per month vs weekly.  We will continue to monitor and screen all staff as they enter the facility to work.  We continue to monitor all residents as well for any signs and symptoms and will test as indicated both staff and residents including a confirmatory PCR test if indicated.  We have been blessed to be Covid free for over two months or more.  We continue to offer Covid 19 vaccination to any new resident and staff weekly and encourage vaccination for everyone in our facility and those in our community!!  It is the ONLY means of continue a positive return to what we use to know as “normal”.   

While we anticipate potential loosening of some restrictions by CMS, below is the CMS regulated guidance that Dunklau Gardens is obligated to follow and while we make every attempt to accommodate most requests for visitation we are obligated to ensure there is a degree of control in our environment as we have no way of confirming the vaccination status of those visiting their loved ones in the facility.  This places risk on all residents in the facility.  Please read through the below guidance to assist us through this process and to ensure we continue to be compliant with State, CDC and CMS regulatory requirements.  

Testing Guidance:

  • Routine testing is no longer required for fully vaccinated staff when the facility is NOT in outbreak testing regardless of the county positivity rate.  (Fully vaccinated refers to a person who is > 2 weeks post second dose in a 2 series vaccine).  Routine testing IS required for any staff member that is unvaccinated according to the positivity rate in the community, just as it has been previously. This guidance applies to Essential Caregivers.  Currently 1 time per month. 
  • Testing would be required for vaccinated or un-vaccinated staff if the facility is in an “outbreak” meaning a positive case with a resident of the facility or a staff member.  We would then POC (Point of Care) test every 3-7 days for 14 days to ensure no further positive cases.
  • POC testing will also be done on any staff member or resident that is presenting with any Covid like symptoms regardless of vaccination status.  

Visitation and Source Control Guidance:

  • Visitation must be controlled by scheduling an appointment for visitation by calling 402-727-3577.  We will do our best to accommodate your requests, but we are required to limit the number of visitors in the facility at any given point in time.  Please share this phone number with others that may wish to visit!!  We must also ENSURE that anyone entering the facility is “screened” prior to entering the entire facility.  We can only ensure this by controlling the entry until this guidance changes.
  • Essential Caregivers have a specified timeframe for their visitation and we ask that you stick with those set visitation times unless otherwise discussed ahead of time.  
  • If visitation is designated to a private resident room or a designated visitation room and the visitor and resident are both fully vaccinated, they may choose to have close contact and are not required to wear source control (mask).  Both are still required to do appropriate hand hygiene and must mask when moving throughout the facility when entering and exiting.
  • Visitors WILL BE ASKED if they have been fully vaccinated. This is to guide what can and cannot be allowed during the visitation i.e. unmasked or masked visitation with physical contact.  
  • For unvaccinated visitors, they will be required to adhere to all core principles of hand hygiene, masking and social distancing while in the facility and at all times including their visitation.  

Communal Dining and Activities:

  • Fully vaccinated residents are already participating in communal dining without source control (masking) or physical distancing.  We have returned to full table dining without barriers for all residents that are fully vaccinated.
  • Unvaccinated residents will continue to dine with 2 per table/barrier dining and ensuring 6’ distance between residents to ensure source control.  We do have very few residents that are unvaccinated at this time.  Our resident vaccination rate is 80% or better!
  • Fully vaccinated residents that are participating in activities may choose to have close contact and to unmask during the activity.  Masking is still required when moving throughout the facility.
  • Residents may opt for a cloth mask, but all staff and visitors must wear a surgical mask while in the facility.
  • Depending on the NE weather, it is a GREAT TIME to visit in the courtyards!!

We want to make every visit special while still adhering to the obligations imposed upon the facility to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.  We appreciate your support and will be posting this communication at the facility entry and on our website for others to read.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Jayma Brown, BSN, MSHA
Director of Nursing, Dunklau Gardens

Rachel Reiman, PT, MSHA, LNA
Administrator, Dunklau Gardens

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