Weekly Aging Services Letter
March 15, 2022
To our Residents, Patients and Family Members:
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be a service to you and your loved one. We continue to see a decrease in the Duval County positivity rate and community transmission level compared to last few weeks. We remain committed to keeping your loved ones and our staff safe. Please continue to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.
On March 10th, 2022 CMS released a memo with new guidelines around routine testing.
The Memo says routine testing of staff, who are not up-to-date, should be based on the extent of the virus in the community. Staff, who are up-to date, do not have to be routinely tested. “Up-to-Date” means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. So this means if a staff is not up to date based on the definition above they will need to start testing based on the community transmission level. See specific details below regarding our community transmission level.
For a summary on the recent changes and to review the most up to date CMS Memo please visit: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-38-nh-revised.pdf
Testing frequency for Bartram Crossing and University Crossing is still 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 moderate which means that we will need to test once a week for unvaccinated and “not up to date” staff at Bartram Crossing and University Crossing until further notice. Our latest weekly COVID-19 positivity rate for Duval County from March 7th through March 13th, 2022 is 1.96%. The governor’s order does not require weekly testing at assisted living facilities.
We are currently 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.
- We strongly encourage to limit the time and visits with your loved ones in our facilities for their safety and yours.
- 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. CMS Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection also include proper hand hygiene (alcohol based hand rub preferred) and social distancing (6 feet apart) in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- Visitors who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 or currently meet the criteria for quarantine, should not enter the facility. If you have any questions you can call the facility.
On January 13th the U.S. Supreme Court issued opinions in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccination requirement cases.
The rule will be implemented in 2 phases:
Phase 1 – January 27, 2022: 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 – February 28, 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. Currently we are in compliance with Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the vaccine mandate. We will continue to encourage our staff and residents to receive the vaccine.
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 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 Barbara Engelkes, Angela Youngblood or Andy Andre directly.
We are committed to keeping your loved ones safe and keeping you informed. Thank you again for allowing us the opportunity to be of service to you and your loved ones.
Doug Baer, President and CEO
Trevor Paris, MD, Chief Medical Officer
Barbara Engelkes, Administrator, Bartram Crossing (904) 528-3020
Angela Youngblood, Administrator, Bartram Lakes and Green Houses (904) 528-3515
Andy Andre, Administrator, University Crossing, (904) 345-8320