JCH&L Gardenside and Cedarwood are preparing for visits from family members beginning July 15. The facilities have been closed to visitors since March 14 because of state and federal guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are excited to be able to welcome family members back to visit their loved ones. We appreciate their patience and understanding, as we have very strict guidelines we are required to follow in order to keep our residents and tenants safe,” said Deb Sutton RN, BS, NHA, administrator of JCH&L Gardenside and Cedarwood.
The Department of Health & Human Services and CDC have provided guidelines that nursing homes must follow, including strict standards for social distancing and the use of face masks for all visits.
Gardenside and Cedarwood were able to move to Phase 2 on June 24. Phase 2 allows group activities in groups of 10 or fewer, with facemasks required for all residents attending. Group dining is allowed with two per table, with a plexiglass divider between them.
Gardenside and Cedarwood were granted permission to move to Phase 3 as of July 3rd. In order to move to Phase 3, both facilities had to test all staff for COVID-19, with all negative results; have enough personal protective equipment on hand in the event of a case being diagnosed; our hospital must have the capacity to admit any residents who contract COVID-19; we must have adequate staffing and a supervised visitation plan in place; and the public health district we are located in must be in Phase 3 and there cannot be a high number of COVID-19 cases in our county or community. Gardenside and Cedarwood staff were all tested for COVID-19 on June 30, and all test results were negative. Both facilities meet all other requirements.
If at any time a nursing home or assisted living has a positive case of COVID-19 identified with a staff member or a resident/tenant, the facility could be required to move back to Phase 1 immediately, with no visitation.
As the facilities open to visitors:
- They are required to have staff available to monitor and supervise all visits, to ensure the guidelines are properly followed at all times
- Nursing homes and assisted livings must designate a specific location for visits where staff can monitor that guidelines are followed
- All visitors must wear a cloth face mask that fits over their nose and under their chin during the entire visit
- All visitors must always maintain social distancing of 6 feet during the visit
- All visitors must be screened, including a temperature, before entering the nursing home or assisted living. Anyone with any respiratory symptoms will not be allowed to enter
- All visitors must clean their hands with hand sanitizer before entering the nursing home or assisted living
- Visiting areas must be disinfected between visits
To meet these requirements, Gardenside and Cedarwood have developed a visitation plan which includes:
- Family members will be given priority for visits to residents/tenants.
- All visits must be scheduled in advance with Gardenside or Cedarwood.
- Visitation times will be limited and will be offered on Wednesday evenings beginning July 15; Saturday afternoons beginning July 18; and Sunday evenings beginning July 19
- Visitors must check in at the door between Gardenside & Cedarwood (signs will be placed to mark location) 5-10 minutes before their scheduled visit. Park in the West parking lot to access this door. This door is locked, so staff must open the door from inside.
- Visitors must bring a properly fitting cloth face mask with them
- No more than 2 visitors for a resident per visit with only 3 residents allowed visitors at a time
- No children under the age of 14 will be allowed to visit at this time
- Visitors will have their temperature checked and will be asked screening questions
- Visitors will sign in before each visit
- Staff will take the visitor to the designated location and will remind you when we need to end the visit so we can prepare for the next scheduled visitors
- Visitors are required to keep their mask on at all times and must stay at least 6 feet away from their loved one.
Any visitors who cannot wear a mask will not be allowed entry into Gardenside for the safety of our residents. Any visitors who do not follow these guidelines will be required to leave immediately.
“Please bear with us as we begin this new process for visitation. We will continually reassess our visitation times and locations to try to best meet the needs of our residents and families. We understand that it has been extremely difficult for our residents and their loved ones these past several months. We want to bring everyone back together again, but we must keep the safety of residents our first priority,” Sutton said.
Anyone with questions about the requirements should contact Sutton at 402-729-6843.