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March 15, 2021
Dear Residents and Families of Dunklau Gardens:
Last week we received new guidance from CMS and the CDC regarding visitation for those in long term care facilities with the data gained recently post COVID-19 vaccination in CMS Memo QSO-20-39-NH. This communication is probably the best, long awaited communication I have the pleasure to provide you with regarding the changes with visitation at Dunklau Gardens. In meeting the guidance for indoor visitation, currently we have over 74% participation in our resident vaccination rate. We continue to provide vaccination for all new residents into the facility as this will continue to help our ability to allow physical contact during visitation. Below is the summary of how visitations can occur for residents in Dunklau Gardens:
Visitation is allowed in the facility for all residents, but must be scheduled with a 24 hour notice. Please call 402-727-3577 and we ask that you leave a message. Several staff will respond to your request for visitation.
- Visitation is scheduled between the hours of 10am-4pm M-F and 10-3pm on Sat. and Sun, with special considerations on a case by case basis. All visitors must enter at the front entrance and complete a screening prior to visitation.
- Visitation is limited to 1 hour visits to enable the facility to accommodate as many visits as possible. (This excludes compassionate care and essential caregiver visitation).
- Visitors will be scheduled for a specific time slot as preparations for cleaning and disinfecting the area must occur between visits. The visitor must be on time for their scheduled visit or we may need to ask that it be rescheduled so that it doesn’t interfere with another residents’ visitation.
- Visitation will be limited to 2-3 visitors per residents per visit and may include children. Children must not be allowed to wander freely and children over the age of 4 must be have a well fitted mask at all times.
- To ensure protection and limited undue exposure of “unmasked” contact, eating and drinking during visitation is currently not allowed in the facility.
- Per the guidance, residents that have been fully vaccinated (2 weeks post last vaccination) are allowed to have close contact, including touch with their visitor while wearing a well-fitted face mask and performing hand hygiene before and after visitation. We continue to encourage all visitors to become vaccinated when they have the opportunity to further protect all of our residents and staff.
- If a resident is allowed and able to leave their room for visitation, visits will be set up in the new chapel or DG 100 dining room or outdoor if weather permits.
- Residents whose ability to comfortably leave their rooms warrants an in-room visit, will be set up accordingly. Residents in semi-private rooms will require special considerations to limit any exposure to the companion resident. Residents in a private room can more easily accommodate an in-room visit when warranted. In room visitation may require escorting of the visitor to the room and out of the facility post visitation to limit any other contact with another resident.
- Compassionate Care and Essential Caregiver Visitation will remain unchanged.
- ALL VISITATION WILL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE CORE PRINCIPLES OF INFECTION CONTROL: SCREENING UPON ENTRY TO THE FACILITY.
- FREQUENT HAND HYGIENE, PROPERLY FITTED MASK AT ALL TIMES, SOCIAL DISTANCING OF AT LEAST 6’ FROM ANY OTHER RESIDENT AND STAFF IN THE FACILITY DURING VISITATION.
Additional, changes in quarantine status of residents who are considered fully vaccinated have been adjusted. Should a resident that is fully vaccinated leave the facility for a controlled visit i.e. physician appointment, procedure or brief hospitalization will not require quarantine for 14 days. Unvaccinated residents may continue to require 14 day quarantine depending on the level of risk of exposure during their absence. It is also encourage to avoid high risk situations as much as possible such as exposure to unvaccinated individuals, larger gatherings, mask-less community exposure.
We continue to appreciate all the support and compliance our residents and families have demonstrated this past year and while we feel really great about things to come it will continue to depend on our facility remaining COVID free and these visitation allowances will be suppressed should there be any positive cases in either staff or residents until we feel very confident that any further spread is unlikely. Your continued compliance with all the infection control practices is critically important to this visitation expansion!
We hope to decrease staff and essential caregiver testing to 1 x per week as soon as our county positivity rate drops below 10% for a second week, but we are always open to testing to ensure confidence in any given situation that may arise.
If you have any further questions, please contact myself or Jayma Brown, DON and thank you again for your ongoing support of our staff that have worked so hard this past year in collaboration with our residents to keep this facility as safe as we possible could in light of this pandemic. We look forward to seeing you all!
Jayma Brown, BSN, MSHA
Director of Nursing, Dunklau Gardens
Rachel Reiman, PT, MSHA, LNA
Administrator, Dunklau Gardens