Visits Now Allowed at All Times for All Residents
It is with great happiness that we share this update with you today! Visitation regulations in skilled nursing communities have taken a big step in the less-restrictive direction as recently released by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). The COVID-19 vaccines have decreased the number of cases of COVID-19 in skilled nursing communities throughout the country since the implementation nearly a year ago.
Effective immediately, visitors will be allowed at all times for all residents at Perry Lutheran Homes King's Gardens Campus and Eden Acres Campus! There are core infection prevention guidelines that visitors still need to follow. Please read through the new visitation guidelines below.
New Visitation Guidelines:
It is vital to the safety of our residents and staff that all visitors always adhere to these core infection prevention and control principals during visits.
- Visitors who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19, or currently meet criteria for quarantine, should not enter the nursing home. Nursing homes should screen all who enter for these exclusions.
- Visitors having any symptoms of any virus should not enter the nursing home.
- Visitors must practice good hand hygiene, including the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Visitors should wear a face covering or mask and practice physical distancing.
Perry Lutheran Homes will facilitate outdoor visitation, weather permitting, and the resident is able to so. Outdoor visitation is preferred, particularly when the resident or the visitor is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Outdoor visitation also generally poses a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow.
- All individuals who enter a nursing home must be screened for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and are denied entry if displaying any symptoms, have recently tested positive for COVID-19, or currently meet the criteria for quarantine.
- Visitors at King's Gardens Campus must use the service entrance door on the east side of the building. Visitors at Eden Acres Campus must use the employee entrance door on the west side of the campus (northern-most door on west side).
- Visitors will be allowed at all times for all residents.
- Visits must be conducted in a manner that adheres to the core principles of infection prevention and control, including reducing risk to other residents.
- We encourage visitors to monitor the number of visitors that are visiting at one time to help maintain physical distancing during the visit. If you desire to have a larger gathering (5 or more), please contact Laura Orbell, Family Visit Coordinator at 515-218-3230 or email@example.com, in advance, and we will attempt to arrange for a larger visitation area that can better accommodate the core infection prevention and control principles.
- We encourage visitors to maintain awareness of the number of visitors in the building and to conduct their visits in a manner that helps adhere to the core infection prevention and control principles, like physical distancing, and not place other residents at risk.
- Visitors must take the most direct route to/from the visit location and maintain physical distancing from other residents and staff.
- If your loved one has a roommate, we encourage the visit to occur outside of the resident room. Visits for those residents with roommates will take place in one of our family visitation areas. If visits must occur in the resident’s room for those residents with a roommate, we ask that you ensure the privacy curtain is closed for the duration of your visit and that you ensure that core infection prevention and control measures are maintained.
- When the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker (located at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view) indicates that Dallas County, Iowa is in high (red) or substantial (orange) community transmission, residents and visitors must wear face coverings or masks throughout the duration of the visit. In addition, Perry Lutheran Homes reserves the right to request you to test for COVID-19 prior to your visit. If you decline testing, your visit will not be limited based on declination; however, this may aide in additional infection prevention and control measures.
- When the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker (located at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view) indicates that Dallas County, Iowa is in moderate (yellow) or low (blue) community transmission, the safest practice is for residents and visitors to continue to wear face coverings or masks and physically distance, particularly if either is at increased risk for severe-disease or are unvaccinated. If the resident and all visitor(s) are fully vaccinated and the resident is not moderately or severely immunocompromised, they may choose not to wear face coverings or masks and to have physical contact. However, visitors must continue to wear face coverings or masks whenever around other residents or staff.
- Residents may choose to have close contact with visitors; however, residents who are unvaccinated should be aware of the risks of physical contact prior to the visit.
- If a resident is in transmission-based precautions (indicating they are suspected or confirmed for COVID-19), all visitors will be notified upon entry of the risks of visiting and the precautions necessary. Visits for residents in transmission-based precautions will only occur in the resident’s room.
- When a nursing home onset case of COVID-19 is identified, Perry Lutheran Homes will continue to have indoor visitation. All visitors will be notified upon entry of a potential COVID-19 outbreak and the potential risks of visiting. All visits will be conducted in the resident’s room during an outbreak investigation and all visitors will be expected to maintain face coverings, regardless of vaccination status.
- Compassionate Care Visitation will be implemented if a resident is identified as being severely immunocompromised. During compassionate care visitation Perry Lutheran Homes reserves the right to limit the number of visitors the resident is exposed to based on consultation with the resident or their representative.
Communal Dining, Activities and Resident Outings:
- Perry Lutheran Homes will continue to follow CDC guidelines related to communal dining and activities. Current CDC guidelines can be located at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-recommendations.html
- Residents will be allowed to go on outings. Prior to the outing, the resident and the person transporting the resident on an outing will be educated about infection prevention and control measures to mitigate COVID-19.
- When the resident returns, they will be screened for signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and to identify if they were possibly around someone with COVID-19. If the resident was possibly exposed to COVID-19 and is not fully vaccinated, they will be placed into quarantine and offered testing per CDC recommendations.
- In certain situations where uncertainty exists about the unvaccinated resident being exposed to COVID-19 (such as a large event like a wedding), Perry Lutheran Homes may require the resident to quarantine upon return, regardless of duration of outing.
- Any unvaccinated resident leaving Perry Lutheran Homes for longer than 24 hours will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon return.
For the safety of all residents and visitors, Perry Lutheran Homes strongly encourages all residents and visitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you would like to be vaccinated, please reach out to your physician. Please contact Melissa Gannon at 515-465-5316 if you have any questions regarding revised visitation, dining, activities, and resident outings.
Our staff members continue to wear proper PPE in all resident areas, are screened for COVID-19 symptoms before and after every shift, and get routine COVID-19 tests based on policies issued by local and national health agencies. You can continue to find COVID-19 updates on our website at: https://perrylutheranhomes.org/covid-19/. On that page you can select either King’s Gardens Campus or Eden Acres Campus.
Without a doubt, Christ has been beside us throughout this pandemic. Even amidst the trying times, we’ve been blessed in so many ways. And, with this latest news, we are looking forward to seeing families, friends and volunteers visit our residents more often!
Melissa Gannon, COO & Administrator
Perry Lutheran Homes