Weekly Aging Services Letter

December 1, 2021

To our Residents, Patients and Family Members:

We hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a great Thanksgiving. We are seeing a slight increase in the Duval County positivity rate compared to last week however our community transmission level is at low as detailed below. We also continue to remain vigilant. Please continue to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.

Visitation Guidelines

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated nursing home guidance on visitation. We are now allowing Required Visitation which means “a facility must facilitate in person visitation consistent with CMS guidelines”. Please visit the website below: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-39-nh-revised.pdf

  • Masks are required when entering the facility and encouraged when visiting your loved one in the room. Visitors must remain in the patient/resident’s room throughout the visit.

Testing

Testing frequency for Bartram Crossing and University Crossing is now determined by the county community transmission level instead of county positivity rate. Level of community transmission refers to facility’s county level of COVID-19 transmission. This metric uses two indicators for categorization (1. Total number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 7 days and 2. Percentage of positive diagnostic and screening nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) during the last 7 days), which can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Integrated County View site at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.

The community transmission level is at low which means that we will stop testing unvaccinated staff at Bartram Crossing and University Crossing until further notice. Our latest weekly COVID-19 positivity rate for Duval County from November 22 through November 28, 2021 is 2.67%. The governor’s order does not require weekly testing at assisted living facilities.

Vaccination Update

On November 12th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published an Interim Final Rule (IFR) requiring Skilled Nursing Facilities, Nursing Facilities, and ICF-IIDs to establish a policy ensuring that all eligible staff be vaccinated for COVID-19 or request a medical or religious exemption.

The implementation dates for this rule are as follows:

  • Phase 1 – December 6, 2021: Staff must have received at least the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine, except staff who have been granted exemptions.
  • Phase 2 – January 4, 2022: Staff must be fully vaccinated, except staff who have been granted exemptions, or those whom COVID-19 vaccination must be temporarily delayed as recommended by the CDC due to clinical precautions and considerations.

If you have any questions about vaccine distribution, please contact the Department of Health for more information. For a list of vaccination sites in Florida please visit the website: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/covid-19-vaccines-in-florida/

CMS is committed to continually taking critical steps to ensure America’s healthcare facilities continue to respond effectively to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). On May 11, 2021, CMS published an interim final rule. This rule establishes Long-Term Care (LTC) Facility Vaccine Immunization Requirements for Residents and Staff. This includes new requirements for educating residents or resident representatives and staff regarding the benefits and potential side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccine, and offering the vaccine. Please open link below for our COVID-19 vaccine education letter: https://brooksrehab.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Education-for-families-and-residents-COVID-19-Vaccine-1.pdf

We also want to remind you that our weekly communications along with a schedule of our monthly activities and our menus are available on the Bartram Crossing, Bartram Lakes and University Crossing websites. We also encourage you to follow our social media channels for photos and information. Brooks Rehabilitation is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Bartram Lakes is also on Facebook.

Safety continues to be our number one priority. Please know that we are strictly adhering to all directions from the local and state health departments. If you have any additional questions, please contact Maria Interiano or Andy Andre directly.

We are committed to keeping your loved ones safe and keeping you informed.

Sincerely,

Doug Baer, President and CEO
Trevor Paris, MD, Chief Medical Officer
Maria Interiano, VP Aging Services, Bartram Campus (904) 528-3020
Andy Andre, Administrator, University Crossing, (904) 345-8320