We are very excited to announce that CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has changed their guidance to permit visitation in our facility. We cannot wait to see you back in the facility! Although CMS changed the guidance to allow visitation in our facility, they gave us no guidance to accomplish this. We have been working to develop a process that allows for open visitation, while simultaneously adhering to the core principles of infection control in place to protect our residents and staff.
We expect the visitation process to evolve over time as we get accustomed to having visitors back in the facility on a regular basis. We’re asking for your patience as we learn how to have open visitation in a safe and organized manner. In an effort to accommodate all of our residents and families, we are going to start our visitation process with 30-minute blocks of time so that we can work on our screening process and get our feet under us. Over time, we envision a more open process where people can visit longer and ultimately without scheduling time.
In our visitation policy, we have tried to account for every scenario, but I’m positive that we missed one or two. We kindly ask for your patience as our visitation evolves. I invite you to contact the Caring Place facility of your choice with any questions or concerns.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding. We are very excited to put this past year behind us, except to carry forward some of the improved infection control measures we have implemented. Over time visitation will look different. It will be easier for all of us. Above all we want to ensure that our residents, our staff, and you feel safe.
Thank you and Warm Regards.
Chase M. Kohn, COO
Caring Place Healthcare Group
P.S. I’m also excited to share that we are continuing our vaccination process. We had the pharmacy at a number of our communities March 11th to vaccinate new residents and staff. We are committed to maintaining an on-going vaccination program because it provides another layer of protection for everyone!
On December 11, 2020 we received some great news. The FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine. An EUA is based on the need to use a vaccine quickly to save lives during an urgent health crisis. In the coming days, Ohio is scheduled to receive about 100,000 doses in the first round of distribution. Through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care, Walgreens will be administering the vaccine to our residents and our team members, in our nursing facilities.
We know that many of you have questions or concerns about taking the vaccine. We will do our best to provide you with information to ease your concerns and make the most informed decision you can. For beginners, let me state the obvious. The third wave, which started at the end of September has been far worse than the previous two waves. Our positivity rate at all of our facilities has been much higher for both residents and team members.
The COVID-19 Vaccine will help keep you from getting COVID-19; and it will also protect the people around you.
The Vaccine will be administered in two doses – either 21 or 28 days apart. You MUST receive both doses for the Vaccine to be effective.
The Vaccine creates an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
None of the Vaccines currently in development in the U.S. use the live virus.
It will take a few weeks for the body to build immunity after the Vaccine.
According to reports 10-15% of people who receive the vaccine will experience mild side effects such as headache, muscle pains, fatigue, chills, and pain at injection site. It is important to note that physicians say side effects are your body’s way of telling you the Vaccine is doing its job – building immunity.
Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, you are advised to get a Vaccine even if you have previously tested positive for COVID-19.
Safety is the most important requirement for the Vaccine and is assessed in trials by independent experts.
Most adverse side effects occur within 6 weeks of vaccine administration and the FDA has required 8 weeks of monitoring so it can track any side effects.
FDA advises a minimum of 3000 participants to assess safety. The current Phase 3 trials have 30,000 to 50,000 participants. This demonstrates how safety is a top priority for the FDA and the medical community.
We do not know what the future plans are for distributing the Vaccine. We do know that this is our ONE KNOWN chance to get the Vaccine to those most effected by COVID-19 – our team members and residents.
We will continue our practice of wearing PPE at all times. Wearing a mask, social distancing, and practicing hand hygiene protects those who have not been vaccinated.
Walgreens will assign three clinic dates later this month (and in January). The three dates will be arranged to accommodate the clinical requirements for the vaccine’s second dose (which must be administered 21 days after the first dose). The third date will remain tentative as a placeholder, to vaccinate any new admissions or new hires not able to attend the first clinic.
We will take care of registering your loved one to receive the vaccine and provide the pertinent insurance cards; however, we will need either the resident or family member to complete a consent form. As soon as we have the EUA fact sheet and the consent form available, a member of our team will reach out to you to make arrangements to get your consent (which can be done via visiting our Contact Us page).
We can’t underscore how important this Vaccine is in our efforts to re-open our facilities. If we can achieve a high percentage of Vaccination for both our residents and team members, we can begin to look at re-opening other activities such as activities, dining room services, and visitation.
We need your help. Please consider allowing your family member to take the Vaccine and if you are a team member you will also be able to sign up to receive it. It is the only and best way to protect against COVID-19. It is safe and effective; and it will save loves and slow the spread of the virus.