Tuesday 6/23/20

Hello Everyone!

We are pleased to announce that our first official round of sentinel Covid testing has been completed. This included many staff members, 10% of assisted living residents and 10% of nursing home residents/clients. We are very happy to report all tests have resulted negative for COVID-19!

Please remember the next round of testing will be 6/25 and 6/26. It will be conducted out back by Tiffany, Lauren, and Meghan. These are the much gentler anterior nasal swabs. Our goal is to have 100% of our staff to participate to meet state recommendations and standards and best protect the clients/residents we care for daily. Please make every effort to have yourself tested on one of these dates.

We are working on an outdoor visitation policy with stringent guidelines set forth by the State of NH. Our goal is to start outdoor visits in the courtyard on Monday July 6th. We will be setting up 6 visitation stations to allow for physical distancing. Policy to be finalized and circulated by the end of this week.

Happy Tuesday!

Steve and Tiffany

Friday 6/19/20

Hello Everyone!

A special thanks to Commissioner St. James for helping to arrange an incredible seacoast EMS parade that we had here yesterday afternoon. There were 16 vehicles in the parade with full lights, sirens and horns blaring. Police vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, etc. were all involved from many surrounding towns. It was fun for the residents and staff to be reminded how much the community supports us and knows what incredible work is going on to protect all of the residents/clients.

Covid tests keep coming back for assisted living residents, nursing home residents and staff. So far they all remain negative. We continue to thank each of you for your role in assuring that all infection control measures are followed every single day!

As you may have seen on the news, the State is allowing outdoor resident and family visits to start back up. We are working on a plan for this to be able to happen starting Monday July 6. Nursing is developing comprehensive policies for this and the courtyard will be set up to have 6 visiting stations. There are too many rules to mention but they include, multiple screenings of the family and resident, mandatory face masks at all times, only 2 family members for a max 1/2 hour visit, close supervision by the home, no family/resident touching or sharing of food, etc. We are working diligently to strike the balance of helping to reduce resident social isolation while assuring protection from Covid.

PPE Update:

Overall we are doing okay with all PPE. The one exception is gloves. We are working hard to acquire additional boxes of gloves to make sure we have an adequate supply.

Next Employee Testing Date June 25th and 26th:

We are strongly encouraging ALL staff be Covid tested on our next testing date which is Thursday 6/25 and Friday 6/26. Please remember we are asking ALL staff to participate in this testing as it will be offered every 10 days. The state recommends 100% participation from all staff and that is the standard RCRNC is looking to achieve. Tiffany, Meghan, and Lauren will be conducting the testing outside in lieu of the National Guard. The swabbing will be conducted via the anterior nares method which is less invasive and can be done quickly. Please sign-up with Lauren Kosow as soon as possible.

We hope you have a nice weekend. The weather looks amazing. Stay safe and for all the dads out there…”Happy Father’s Day!”

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Thursday 6/11/20

Hello Everyone!

Recently Assisted Living completed sentinel testing of all residents. We are happy to report that Ernest P. Barka remains Covid free! Thank you Lauren for helping to assist the Ernest P. Barka team with their testing.

On Tuesday, June 16th, sentinel testing will continue for both staff and residents/clients at RCRNC. Testing will begin at 11 am. Please remember if you signed up for a testing slot, you must arrive for testing. Our goal is to test 100% of all of our RCRNC staff every 10 days. Staff can show up after 11 am but should be here by 4 pm.

PPE Update

Lauren continues to place orders for PPE from the state emergency supplies. We have been consistently receiving gloves which are always needed due to limited availability.

Lastly, we would like to acknowledge the hard work of the entire team. To the activities team for helping with passing trays and trying to keep the residents entertained as best as they can. To the social services team for assisting with resident visits and providing support to the residents during this difficult time. To the environmental services team for diligently following infection and sanitizing procedures throughout the facility.

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Friday 6/5/20

Hello Everyone!

We hope this message finds you all well. Our facility remains Covid free at the time of this message. We continue to thank everyone for their hard work for making this happen!

Next week we will begin staff Covid testing. This is voluntary at this time but highly encouraged. Please see Lauren Kosow to add your name to the list. A team will be coming to Rockingham County to conduct the testing next week. Unfortunately, we are unable to give a date and time as this will be determined by the amount of staff who sign up. We will distribute this information as soon as it becomes available.

Congratulations to everyone on a deficiency free infection control focused survey conducted by the CMS regional in Boston! Rockingham County was found to be in substantial compliance. This is amazing news and speaks volumes to all of your hard work!

PPE update

We continue to receive gloves and hand sanitizer from the state distribution unit. We have also ordered an additional amount of reusable gowns which will be delivered shortly.

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Thursday 5/28/20

Hello Everyone!

We wanted to let everyone know after completion of the client/resident Covid testing our facility remains Covid free! This is a huge accomplishment and we want to take the time to thank everyone within our organization for their contributions to making this happen. Thank you!

Next, under guidance by the state, we will continue surveillance monitoring and a portion of our client/resident population will be tested on an ongoing basis.

On Wednesday 5/27/20, a regional CMS surveyor from Boston entered our facility for a surprise infection control survey. She reviewed our screening process, infection policies and procedures and toured our potential Covid wing and processes in place. She was impressed by all of our efforts and we should hear more within 7-10 days.

With all of the recent donations, our PPE availability is in significantly stronger shape. Lauren will be obtaining more supplies from the ESU within the week. More updates to come regarding PPE!

I hope you all are enjoying the warmer weather and getting a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Friday 5/22/20

Hello Everyone!

First and foremost, may all of you have a nice Memorial Day weekend. For those of you who are working, thank you for being here providing care to our clients and residents.

On Monday 5/18 all of our clients and residents were tested for Covid per state guidance. The specimens went to the state lab on Tuesday and were processed. We received word from the state that we should receive our results on Saturday, Sunday the very latest. We understand the amount of distress this may be causing our residents and staff as we wait. Please remember we do not have anyone symptomatic at this time. We have a plan in place to move resident/clients should they be Covid positive. We will continue to provide the same exemplary care we have always provided and will support our residents and staff any way needed. We are all in this together.

Some Staff Updates:

Please remember the entrance to the parking lot by the Hilton is a one way only. Please do not exit this entrance as it poses a safety issue.

Also, please remember you may clock in for your shift by the Hilton but please clock out on your unit. Thank you!

PPE Update:

We were fortunate enough to receive several donations of PPE by the ESU in the last week. The National Guard came by today twice to deliver 4,000 gowns and numerous cases of gloves in all sizes. We also received 500 surgical masks and 600 additional face shields. This places our facility in a favorable position to keep residents and staff safe.

We hope you have a terrific weekend!

Please stay safe.

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Thursday 5/21/20

To: Long Term Care Eligible Employees

From: Steve Woods, Director of Long-Term Care Services

RE: Long Term Care Stabilization Program (LTCSP)

This memo is to provide you with an update on the LTCSP, which was established for eligible positions within Medicaid funded residential facilities. The State of New Hampshire put this program in place to provide financial support to frontline workers effective April 19, 2020.

Our submitted application has been approved and on May 15th we received the confirmation of eligible positions. Those employees that hold an approved position will receive a payment based on actual weekly hours worked onsite. Hours worked remotely, unpaid time, and use of Earned Time and Holiday Time do not count towards the LTCSP stipend calculation. Employees in the approved positions that work 30 or more hours will be eligible to receive $300 per week. Employees in the approved positions that work a minimum of 7.50 hours but less than 30.00 hours will be eligible to receive $150 per week. All payments will be retroactive to April 19, 2020.

Payments to eligible employees will be issued once we begin to receive the funds from New Hampshire Employment Security. Payments to Rockingham County are expected to be received within the next three weeks. The stipends will then be included in the regular biweekly payroll and is taxable income; it is not subject to New Hampshire Retirement withholding.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Human Resources at 679.9337

Friday 5/15/20

Hello Everyone!

Below please see the letter sent to all residents and responsible parties this week. If you have any questions please see Steve or Tiffany for further clarification.

Dear Residents/Family Members/Responsible Parties,

I am writing to provide you an update about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).   We continue to follow all guidelines from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and continue to not be accepting visitors until further notice.  We understand that this continues to be a significant request but continue to feel it is necessary.    If you have any questions about this matter please call Cheri Clements, Social Services Director, (603) 679-9319.   Assisted Living specific questions should go to Kris Andreozzi, Assisted Living Director, at any time at (603) 679-9359.

We certainly appreciate the incredible understanding by all families. This is so difficult for everyone.     Staff are all wearing procedure masks at all times and encouraging all residents/clients to wear procedure masks when care is being conducted. We continue doing online Zoom, Facetime and Skype visits with families and having families coordinate visits outside the building to at least see their loved one through the glass. Please make sure the glass remains closed.  Also, please do not call the IPADS looking to Facetime. They are all clouded so your calls may be ringing in on someone else’s conversation time. If you missed a Facetime from us we will call you back.  Please coordinate all visits with Social Services.

We realize this is difficult for you and your loved one but in order to best protect during the visit as they remain the most vulnerable population with this virus.    We continue to allow families to bring care packages in.   We just ask that it be brought to and placed in the air lock at the entrances.   Then our staff will pick up the care package and see that it is delivered to your loved one. 

The state is working on testing all residents for Covid-19.  This could happen very quickly as they are seeking to test all facilities in the state and then do repeated random tests thereafter.  They will be using the oral swabs and not the nasal swabs and then the samples will get sent to the lab.  We have been very fortunate to have had no positive tests thus far amongst all of our residents and staff .  It truly emphasizes the hard work we all have done.

Our staff continue to do an amazing job.  We are continuing to do screenings on all employees that are coming in for every shift.  We are very lucky to have such a dedicated group of health professionals.   We are working on plans every single day here to make sure we are staying abreast of the most current rules and regulations. 

For updated information please visit our Blog.   It is located at:

www.RockinghamCountyLTCnews.org

You will find information regarding Covid operations, PPE supplies, etc.

Thanks for your understanding of all of the inconveniences caused by this serious health concern.  I pray that you and your family stay safe.  Protecting your loved one continues to be our ultimate responsibility.

Updates:

Per new state guidelines, all residents/clients will be swabbed for Covid using the anterior nares swabbing method on Monday 5/18. The tests arrived today and we will start Monday morning. The samples will be sent to the state lab for processing. This will provide a baseline sample of our population and we will be testing a small percentage of residents/clients weekly after this baseline testing has been completed.

PPE update:

We acquired 15 gallons of sanitizer from Flag Hill Winery that we will continue to utilize for disinfecting wipes.

We received a large batch of PPE from the ESU which included: 20 cases of gloves, 500 surgical masks, 100 pairs of goggles, 100 face shields and 1000 disposable gowns. In addition, we have also ordered more reusable gowns and 3 new infrared thermometers.

On B2-B and F2 you will see some changes to the plastic that was placed weeks ago. This plastic will allow for better cleaning protocols and be easier for logistic purposes. Thank you to Paul Allen and his team for facilitating this quickly!

At this time we remain Covid free and thank you all for your efforts to maintain this status!

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Friday 5/8/20

Hello Everyone! Happy Friday!

As of today we remain Covid free. As this pandemic continues we need to remain diligent to follow all infection control practices and procedures. Thank you all for your continued hard work and commitment to protect the residents/clients we serve.

Next week we will be having a dress down week. Please take the opportunity to participate and have a little fun with this! The daily colors are:

Sun – Pink

Monday – Blue

Tuesday – Red

Wed – Green

Thurs – Orange

Fri – Multicolor/tie dye (be creative)

Sat – Purple

Please remember that if you wish to be tested for Covid there are testing sites and testing available to you. We are strongly encouraging staff to be tested, there are several test sites available to you. Please see www.NH.gov for further testing information.

PPE Update:

We received an additional 500 disposable gowns from the state emergency supply. While we are still in need of disposable gowns, this will certainly help replenish our current supply. In addition, we are utilizing our reusable gowns to help protect our current disposable gown supply.

We were pleased to have such positive coverage of RCRNC on WMUR last evening and this morning. The story reflected all of the hard work we are all doing to keep our facility Covid free.

Happy Nurses Week to all of the amazing nursing staff. This is a challenging time for the nursing profession, thank you for all that you do during this global pandemic.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of those celebrating this weekend!

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Tuesday 5/5/20

Hello Everyone and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

As of today we do not have any Covid + staff or residents/clients. This is a true testament to all of your hard work! Please remember it is imperative that you clean your hands with the sanitizer prior to entering the Hilton for screening and before you take your mask for the day. This helps reduce the spread of infection and keep our facility safe and Covid free.

We are looking for 6-8 staff members to join our “Clean Hands Count” initiative which coincides with the CDC initiative. We will meet regularly, if interested please submit your name to Lauren Kosow by Friday the latest. We are hoping to meet starting the week of May 18th.

As of May 1st we aligned with a new rehab vendor. Much of our existing rehab team has joined the HealthPro team. Please if you see new members of our HealthPro Heritage team take the time to introduce yourself and say hello!

Last week our two universal workers started and have helped with the residents and with our screening process. In the next couple of days you will see that the screening process is becoming more streamlined in an effort to make the overall process easier for check-in. If you have any suggestions we would love to hear from you!

PPE Update

We are carefully monitoring our gown usage as this continues to have a high burn factor. We have started to utilize our reusable gowns. Thank you to Bill Connolly and his team for customizing the gowns for easier donning and doffing. We have over 70,000 surgical masks and over 200+ N95s which we are conducting fit testing for our staff members. Thank you Kristen Babicki for coming at 3 am to fit test the off-shift staff members. We continue to look for gowns and gloves as these have a higher burn rate. We are looking for baby monitors for our quarantine unit, if you have one we could use we would appreciate it. This monitor will further help our continuous monitoring efforts.

Happy Nurse’s Week to all of you! We can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work and contributions to our organization.

“How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.”

-Florence Nightingale

Sincerely, Steve and Tiffany