Dear New Hope Families and Friends,

 

At New Hope Gracious Personal Care, we continue to focus on the health, safety, and well-being of our residents and staff.  Our efforts will continue until the pandemic is contained or eliminated.  We are in very close communication with our Medical Director and local/state health officials about the appropriate steps to serve the best interests of our residents and employees. 

 

We must begin by acknowledging and thanking our employees, who are going above and beyond to care for our residents in this unprecedented health crisis.  They are caring for, bringing happiness, and being heroes. 

We also understand how difficult this situation is, especially for our residents and their loved ones.  Your patience, understanding, trust, and messages of support are immeasurable.  It continues to be our privilege and honor to serve your loved ones.

As you know, New Hope acted early to restrict access to the facility, require universal masking for all team members, isolate residents with suspected symptoms or exposures to COVID-19, and implement infection control processes based on the CDC’s, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Department of Human Services’ recommendations. We limited exposure by implementing rigorous screening protocols, ceasing communal activities and dining to provide social distancing, while adding meaningful one on one activities and room service.  These steps have served our community well and have positioned us to begin an incremental reopening process.

Below is our reopening plan which is based on guidelines and requirements, provided by the Department of Human Services.  We know that everyone is anxious to visit their loved ones in-person again.  We too are anxious, but we are also cautious and want to make sure we move forward in a manner that prioritizes the health and well-being of our residents and team members.  

We are committed to keeping you connected to your loved ones in as many ways as possible so we will continue virtual visits, phone calls, window and Rapunzel visits.

New Hope Gracious Personal Care Reopening Plan July 22, 2020

COVID-19 Testing Protocol

New Hope has completed successful baseline testing of all residents and staff members for COVID-19. Testing began on June 30, 2020 and ended on July 9, 2020.  Staff members have been trained to complete COVID-19 testing.  Adequate testing supplies and Personal Protective Equipment required to complete testing has been procured and can be replenished by supplier.  Facility has the capacity to test all residents, staff, and medically necessary contractors within 24 hours of an outbreak or as needed based on symptoms.

  • Volunteers and non-essential employees are not being considered at this point.  Medically necessary contractors are screened and treated as employees.

  • Residents that refuse testing will follow suspected COVID protocol, which would include quarantining.  Staff that refuses to be tested will be referred to the Administrator for further instruction.

Isolation Protocol

Residents will not be able to be placed into cohorts due to the structural design of the facility.  Attention will be given to grouping opportunities for dining and activities when possible.  Resident rooms will be utilized for quarantining of residents with suspected exposure, symptoms or diagnosed COVID-19. These rooms will be designated with yellow or red isolation signage.

Screening Protocol

Residents are screened twice daily for a temperature of 100 degrees or greater along with signs and symptoms of the COVID-19. 

 

Staff and essential healthcare workers are screened prior to entry to resident area for temperatures over 100 degrees and below screening questions:

In the past 14 days have you…

  • Had a cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, sore throat?

  • Had contact with someone with confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or under investigation for COVID-19, or ill with a respiratory illness?

  • Worked in a location with recognized COVID-19 cases? 

  • Have you traveled outside of the US or to any hotspot US state?  

Personal Protective Equipment

PPE will be utilized using PPE sparing guidelines.  PPE will be inventoried to assure adequate supplies.  Both Pharmacy and online sources will be used to obtain additional supplies.

Staffing Shortages

New Hope will follow all staffing guidelines required by the Department of Human Services and is not functioning under a contingency staffing plan.  Administrative staff will be utilized in the event that a shortage would occur.

Communal Dining

Residents will continue to be served in their rooms for breakfast and dinner.  Lunch service in the dining room will begin.  Residents will be seated socially distant.  Staff will maintain proper hand hygiene and assure that all residents are assisted with hand hygiene prior to meal service.  Only un-exposed residents with negative screenings will be permitted in the dining room.  All other residents will remain in their rooms. 

Communal Activities

Activities will be held in the activity room and outside courtyards when weather permits for groups of ten residents or less.  Space and activity equipment will be cleaned between activities. Social distancing, hand hygiene, and universal masking will occur at all activities.  Only un-exposed residents will be allowed to participate in group activities.

Visitation Protocol

Social distant outdoor visitation will begin for residents unexposed to COVID-19, these visits will be scheduled and held in our courtyard, under the covered porch/tent.  Visitation will be limited to two guests, screening and hand hygiene is required prior to visit. Socially distant visitation area will be disinfected with EPA registered disinfectant in between visits.  Children are permitted to visit when accompanied by an adult visitor, within the allowed number of visitors.  Adult visitors must be able to manage the child.  Children older than  two years old must wear a face mask during the entire visit.  All visitors and residents will be at least six feet apart in dedicated space during visitation.  All visitors will be screened before visit.  Visitors will not be granted access to the visitation area if screening is not passed.  Visitors will be required to use alcohol-based sanitizer before and after visit, stay in the designated area, sign in and provide contact information, sign out upon departure and adhere to all screening protocols. Outdoor visitation will currently be limited to one visit per week to assure that all residents have an opportunity to see loved ones. Hours of visitation are listed on signup.com.  Food and beverages are not permitted during visitation to assure proper masking during visit.

Visitation can be scheduled by accessing signup.com at  https://signup.com/go/wkeTvQZ  For families and friends that are unable to utilize the scheduling platform, visitation may be scheduled by calling 724-761-4673 beginning on July 22, 2020. Visitation begins on July 23, 2020.

Visitors will be screened prior to entry to visitation area for temperatures over 100 degrees and below screening questions:

In the past 14 days have you…

  • Had a cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, sore throat?

  • Had contact with someone with confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or under investigation for COVID-19, or ill with a respiratory illness?

  • Worked in a location with recognized COVID-19 cases? 

  • Have you traveled outside of the US or to any hotspot US state? 

Halt of Reopening Plan

Please note, reopening is based on the on-going COVID-19 free status of our residents and staff, and Allegheny County not moving back into the red phase.  Therefore at any point our facility could retreat to our current restrictions. New baseline testing will need to be completed with all negative results for residents and staff along with no new onset of COVID-19 cases for 14 consecutive days after testing is completed.

Evaluation Process

After the completion of 14 days (August 5,   2020), all current protocols will be evaluated and if successful additional reopening steps will be added to include non-essential personnel (haircare services), additional dining room service, and larger group socially distant activities.

For more information, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a comprehensive Coronavirus Disease 2019 - COVID-19 page https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Wishing each of you continued good health,

Dawn Dobbs
Administrator

300 Union Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15202

Tel: 412-761-4673

Fax: 412-459-0660

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