MANCHESTER (September 4, 2020) – The conditions and rules related to COVID seem to evolve and change almost every day. This is especially true in skilled nursing care centers across the State and country. However, it is important to note that the COVID infection rate in Connecticut nursing homes is LESS than the infection rate in the general population. Skilled nursing care centers are a safe place to receive the care you or your loved one need at this time.
At iCare we are working closely and continuously with the Department of Public Health (DPH), taking guidance from the CDC and others, to make our care centers as safe, comfortable, welcoming and effective as possible. We modify and augment our extensive response guide and refine our policies whenever new information becomes available.
So what can you or your loved one expect if you are admitted to an iCare center for skilled nursing care today?
- Outdoor visitation with residents has been in place for quite some time at all iCare centers. These outside visits are available seven days a week and include social distancing and the use of face masks at all times for safety.
- Indoor visitation is only permitted by the Department of Public Health in the form of compassionate visits for a change in resident medical condition related to end of life care. DPH is expected to continue to revise and modify the rules around indoor visitation in the near future to enable safe interactions. As soon as those modifications are issued we will change our policies to follow suit.
- Staff members continue to be screened upon arrival and during their shift for signs and symptoms of COVID and travel to any restricted areas.
- Residents are cohorted (grouped together) by their COVID status to prevent or contain the spread of infection should a new case arise. Currently the basic cohorts are negative/naive residents who have never been infected and recovered residents as well as a separate and distinct cohort for new residents under observation and isolation and those with a potential exposure.
- Newly admitted residents will be re-tested for COVID upon arrival and be treated with full infection control precautions for 14 days.
- Ongoing COVID testing of residents and staff will continue with a frequency set by CDC and DPH guidelines and based on a number of prevalence factors.
- Communal dining and group activities are restricted those that can be safely modified to include masking with social distancing and be held outdoors.
- Residents and family members can expect a clear, obvious and persistent use of personal protective equipment and COVID testing to continue for the health and safety of all.
Although it looks as though anxiety and uncertainty about COVID will exist for some time to come, it is important to seek out the healthcare that you need. Hospitals and nursing homes alike have extensive preparation and controls to create a safe and healthy environment. If you need medical care and treatment, including in a nursing home, seek it out. We will be here to care for you.