Weekly Aging Services Letter

April 7, 2021

To our Residents, Patients and Family Members:

As distribution for COVID-19 vaccinations increase, we are also seeing a slight increase in the county positivity rate for the last couple of weeks. We must remain vigilant. Continue to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.

Vaccination Update

Effective Monday, April 5, 2021, all Florida residents are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for persons age16 and up. The Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccines are authorized for persons age 18 and up.

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/

New Visitation Guidance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated nursing home guidance on visitation. With roughly 80% of residents and 55% of staff fully vaccinated, they have approved visitation unless nursing homes fall into these COVID-19 categories:

  • County positive is greater than 10% and less than 70% of residents vaccinated
  • There are confirmed resident infections
  • There are residents in quarantine

In order to provide additional guidance to long term care facilities regarding visitations being lifted, the Agency for health care administration has developed a series of frequently asked questions. The FAQs can be accessed through the following link: FAQs

Nursing Homes Resources regarding Visitation

Visitation

  • Bartram Crossing, Bartram Lakes, and Green Houses, are under general visitation. All three facilities qualify for general visitation because they have been COVID-19 free for more than 14 days and the county positivity rate has been under 10%.
  • University Crossing is under compassionate visitation. A compassionate care visitation does not exclusively refer to end-of-life situations. Examples of other types of compassionate care situations include, but are not limited to:
    • A resident, who was living with their family before recently being admitted to a nursing home, is struggling with the change in environment and lack of physical family support.
    • A resident who is grieving after a friend or family member recently passed away.
    • A resident who needs cueing and encouragement with eating or drinking, previously provided by family and/or caregiver(s), is experiencing weight loss or dehydration.
    • A resident, who used to talk and interact with others, is experiencing emotional distress, seldom speaking, or crying more frequently (when the resident had rarely cried in the past).
  • Reminder all visitors are still required to wear the masks provided throughout the visit. Visitors must remain in the room of the patient or resident they are visiting and limit movement throughout the facility. In order to maintain the safest possible environment for everyone, visitors are not allowed to accompany patients to the therapy gyms or to walk around the facility with their loved ones.
  • We strongly encourage all visitors to call the facility before arriving to ask about visitation status. We will also be able to give you a general idea about building capacity.

Testing

Testing Frequency for Bartram Crossing and University Crossing is determined by the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate and positive cases as calculated by CMS on a rolling average basis. Our latest weekly COVID-19 positivity rate for Duval County from March 28 through April 3, 2021 is 4.33%. Bartram Crossing will be testing monthly based on our current positivity rate in our county and being COVID-free for the past 14 days. Last week we had two employees who tested positive at University Crossing and one resident this week so we will be testing weekly until further notice. The governor’s order does not require weekly testing at assisted living facilities. We are, however, offering testing to individuals if they had direct contact with someone with COVID-19.

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 Andy Andre, Wes Marsh or Stephanie Hoover directly.

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

Sincerely,

Doug Baer, President and CEO
Trevor Paris, MD, Chief Medical Officer
Maria Interiano, VP Aging Services, (904) 730-1814
Andy Andre, Administrator, University Crossing, (904) 345-8320
Wes Marsh, Administrator, Bartram Crossing, (904) 528-3020
Stephanie Hoover, Administrator, Bartram Lakes and Green Houses, (904) 528-3515

Visitation Guidelines for Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living and Memory Care

Per the state’s Emergency Order, limited visitation is allowed under certain criteria and is determined by the length of time since the facility last had a COVID-19 positive patient, resident or staff member.

The following applies at all locations:

  • Visitation will be permitted seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. with the last guests entering by 6 p.m.
  • Families will no longer need to schedule visits in advance. You will be able to make a walk-in appointment as you arrive. However, facilitators will be responsible for limiting and monitoring the visitors in our building at all times to comply with safety and regulatory guidelines.
  • Facilitators at the main entrance of each facility will know how many visitors are in each area at any given time. If you arrive when your loved one’s neighborhood is at capacity, you will be asked to wait in your car until someone leaves that neighborhood. We will notify you by phone or text as soon as it’s possible to enter, which may be up to one hour later.
  • We strongly encourage all visitors to call the facility before arriving to ask about visitation status (are we under general or compassionate visitation regulations), if the patient/resident is on contact isolation and when they are scheduled to be in therapy that day. We will also be able to give you a general idea about building capacity.
  • Visits will be limited to one hour per day to allow as many families to see their loved ones as possible. Visitors will be scheduled for one hour when they arrive on site.
  • Visitors must remain in the patient/resident’s room throughout the visit and wear a face mask at all times. If you are found without a mask, your visiting privileges can be suspended and you will be required to leave.
  • If a patient/resident is under contact isolation, they will not be permitted to have visitors.
  • If it is your first time visiting the facility, you will be required to complete safety training when you arrive. You can review the video in advance of your visit by clicking here.
  • Therapy schedules will take priority over visitation. If you arrive when your loved one is scheduled for therapy, that therapy will still take place as planned. If the therapist determines it is in the best interest of your loved one, he or she may be able to conduct therapy in the patient’s room.
  • While visiting, please do not attempt to assist your loved one with transfers (to/from bed, chair, toilet, etc.) without assistance from a staff member.

In addition, each facility will be required to comply with the following guidelines determined by the length of time since the facility last had a COVID-19 positive patient, resident or staff member.

Compassionate Care Visitors

If a facility has had a COVID-19 positive patient, resident or staff member within the past 14 days, the Emergency Order ONLY allows for a visit from a Compassionate Care Visitor. Essential Caregivers have been removed. This is the latest update from the FDEM Emergency Order 20-011, 10-22-2020. See the link for more details.

Compassionate care visitors provide support, including emotional support, to help residents deal with difficult transition or loss, upsetting events, end-of-life situations, significant changes (such as recent admission to the facility), the need for assistance, cueing or encouraging with eating or drinking, or emotional distress or decline.

Compassionate care visitors may be allowed entry into facilities on a limited basis for these specific purposes.

  • Compassionate care visitors must be designated in advance. Two per patient/resident can be designated.
  • Once a compassionate caregiver has visited the resident in person, they cannot be removed from the list and replaced with someone else. You can have up to 5 designates compassionate caregivers but only two can visit at the same time.
  • Residents/Patients can designate up to 5 visitors but no more than 2 visitors at the same time.
  • Visits will be scheduled for one hour per day to allow as many families to see their loved ones as possible.
  • Visitors must complete training when they arrive the first time (this is included in the one-hour visit)
  • Visitors must have surgical masks and any other PPE required by the CDC (Brooks will provide this for each visitor)
  • Visitors are NOT required to have a negative COVID-19 test before visiting
  • If a patient/resident is in quarantine for COVID-19, or on contact isolation for any reason, they are not allowed to have in-person visitors.

General Visitation

  • Once there are no new COVID-19 cases in the facility for 14 days, general visitation may begin.
  • Each patient/resident or his or her representative may designate up to five (5) general visitors.
  • A resident may be visited by no more than two (2) general visitors at a time.
  • Visits will be limited to one hour to allow as many families to see their loved ones as possible. Visitors will be scheduled for one hour when they arrive on site.

General visitors must also:

  • Wear a face mask at all times and perform proper hand hygiene;
  • Sign a consent form noting understanding of the facility’s visitation and infection prevention and control policies;
  • Comply with facility-provided COVID-19 testing, if offered;
  • Visit in a resident’s room or other facility-designated area; and
  • Maintain social distance of at least six feet with staff and residents, and limit movement in the facility.

At any point, a facility may shift between allowing Compassionate caregivers to General Visitation and vice versa, depending on the time since the last COVID-19 case. Each facility will know on any given day which type of visitation is allowed.