Dear Family and Designated Representative,
We are writing you at this time to provide you with an update on COVID-19 in the facility. We have completed the first round of testing and no new positive cases of COVID-19 among our residents and staff have been identified. We resume indoor/outdoor visitation on Wednesday, April 14th, 2021. Please note that after further review of guidance and information received, residents who have been placed on transmission-based precaution and on quarantine are not eligible for indoor/outdoor visitation, except for compassionate/end of life care visitations. At this time, the 3rd floor remains on quarantine. Residents on transmission-based precaution/quarantine are eligible to receive virtual visitations.
Thank you for your understanding and we hope to see you tomorrow.
We are pleased to inform you that have received new revised guidance from the New York State Department of Health on visitation. The new guidelines are aligned with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid guidance. Please find below some of the most notable changes. Please note that the guidance is quite extensive and we are still reviewing it, and if there is a need for modifications, we will let you in know in the coming days.
All visitors will continue to be screened for signs and symptoms and for exposure to someone with COVID-19 infection in the past 14 days. Any visitor with signs and symptoms, or exposure will be denied entry.
The facility has designated the patio/garden on the 2nd floor as the designated space for visitation. Outdoor visitation is preferred, as it poses lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow. Outdoor visitation will be suspended when the facility is conducting outbreak testing. Residents on transmission based- precaution and quarantine are only eligible to receive virtual visitations.
The facility has designated the great room on the 2nd floor for indoor visitation, to be used during inclement weather. In room visitation is not permitted unless, resident is medically unable to leave his/her room.
Indoor visitation will be limited due to a high risk of COVID-19 transmission (exception-compassionate/hospice care) during the following scenarios:
Unvaccinated residents if the nursing home’s COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater 10% and less than 70% of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated; Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions; or Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until the facility has met the criteria for release from quarantine
Indoor visitation during an outbreak:
If the facility experiences an outbreak, (an outbreak exists when there is a new onset of COVID-19 among resident and or staff), limited to a single area or unit, based on outbreak testing, visitations must be cancelled on that unit until the quarantine period is over. An exception to this rule would be compassionate and end of life visitations.
Visiting hours effective Monday, April 13th, 2021:
Visiting hours are, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 am to 11:30 am and Tuesdays and Fridays from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Mondays and Wednesday 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 9:30 am-11:30 am.
Visitation must be scheduled in advance of the visit. Visitation are limited to 30 minutes long to ensure that all residents are able to receive visitors. Visitation schedule will be strictly adhered to in order to accommodate all other scheduled visitation. If a visitor is unable to make the visit at the scheduled time, they need to re-schedule. Unscheduled visitation will not be permitted. Visitors must arrive on time for their appointment. A 10-minute grace period will be permitted, after 10 minutes, the visit may need to be rescheduled.
Last minute cancellation may be necessary. Notification to the families and designated representatives will be made via an email and on the facility’s website. Residents will be notified via the in-house channel and via one-to-one visits, telephone calls or an overhead announcement.
Visitor Testing and Vaccination:
Effective March 25th, 2021, the facility will not require visitors to be tested or vaccinated, or show proof of such, as a condition of visitation. DOH strongly encourages and recommends testing for visitors in facilities. The facility will offer testing of visitors prior to their visits on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm, however it has to be scheduled in advance by calling the security guard from 9:30am-3:30 pm.
Potential Visit related exposures:
Consistent with the DOH policy, if a visitor tests positive for SARS-COV-2 by a diagnostic test and the visit to the facility occurred from two days before the visitor’s symptom onset, (or in the 2 days before the date of collection of the positive sample for visitors who remained asymptomatic) to the end of the visitor’s isolation period, there is a potential exposure and the facility will follow CDC guidance for community exposure to determine level of exposure to the infected visitor. If the exposure is limited to the resident who received the visitor and various infection control protocols were followed, only the resident will be placed on a 14-day quarantine, monitored and placed contact-based precautions. If the exposure is more widespread, the facility will follow DOH guidance and will conduct contact tracing, outbreak testing, and employees who have been exposed will be furloughed.
Infection Control Protocols:
Visitors must wear a face mask or face covering which covers both the nose and mouth at all times when on the premises of the Home. The Home will provide a mask to any visitor who lacks an acceptable face covering. Visitors who are unable to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention will not be permitted to visit and or will be asked to leave.
Residents who are fully vaccinated, (Fully vaccinated refers to a person who is more than 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2 -dose series or more than weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine, per the CDC’s) can choose to have close contact, including touch with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting face mask and performing hand- hygiene before and after. Regardless, visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.
At this time, we would like to remind you that all visits need to be scheduled online, by visiting our website at www.methodisthome.org. The daily schedule will close promptly at 3:00 pm, and it is important to schedule your visit before this time. It is no longer required to present a negative COVID-19 test as a condition of visitation, however, NYSDOH strongly encourages testing. To this end, the facility is offering testing for visitors. Testing must be scheduled in advance by calling the Security Guard from 9:30 am-3:30 pm, Mondays through Fridays.
For Outdoor visits, our current visiting hours are:
We also have additional visiting time on Mondays and Wednesdays:
6:00pm (2 slots available)
Effective July 20th 2020, the Home the allowed visitation to family members, designated representatives, and members of the Ombudsman Program as indicated in the July 10th, Health Advisory. As per the revised Department of Health, Health Advisory of September 15th and September 17th 2020, effective September 24th, 2020, the number of visitors must not exceed ten percent (10%) of the resident census at any time and only two visitors will be allowed (contingent upon space availability) will be permitted at any one time.
Members of the long-term care ombudsman program are permitted to visit under the following conditions:
Adequate staff are present to allow for personnel to help with the transition of residents, monitoring of visitation, and cleaning and disinfecting areas used for visitation after each visit using an EPA-approved disinfectant.
The facility will maintain signage regarding facemask utilization and hand hygiene, and applicable floor markings to cue social distancing delineations.
All visitors (including members of the long-term care ombudsman program) must present a verified negative test result within the last 7 days and visitation will be refused if the individual (s) fails to present such negative test result, exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms, or does not pass screening questions. End-of-life and compassionate care visits are not subject to a verified negative test result but are subject to all other COVID-19 screening requirements.
All Visitors, staff, contractors, physicians, and members of the long-term care ombudsman program who enter the building will be screened to determine exposure to COVID-19 positive or potentially positive individuals. Screening questions include physical symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection as defined by the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC).
Temperatures are taken and documented for all individuals entering the building. This screening procedure was effective March 6, 2020. Documentation of screening will be maintained onsite in an electronic format and available upon the Department of Health requests as per NYSDOH guidelines. All visitors must provide their first and last name, physical (street) address of the visitor; daytime and evening telephone number; date and time of visit; email address if available.
Visitors screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to resident access and visitation will be refused if the individual (s) exhibits any COVID symptoms or do not pass the screening questions. Screening will consist of both temperature checks and asking screening questions to assess potential exposure to COVID-19 which shall include the questions regarding international or travel to other states designated under the Commissioner’s travel advisory.
Visitors must wear a face mask or face covering which covers both the nose and mouth at all times when on the premises of the Home. The Home will provide a mask to any visitor who lacks an acceptable face covering. Visitors are not permitted to touch, kiss, and or hug residents.
Visitors must wash their hands in the lobby once they have been cleared to visit.
Visitors must maintain social distancing of a minimum of six (6) feet, except when assisting with wheelchair mobility.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available upon entering the Home and in the designated spaces for visitation.
As of August 17th, 2020, visiting hours are: Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 am to 11:30 am and Tuesdays and Fridays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. There will be no visitation on holidays and weekends. The facility may allow for indoor visitation under certain circumstances in an inside, well ventilated space with no more than ten (10) individuals who are appropriately socially distanced and wear a facemask or face covering while in the presence of others. The facility has designated the great room on the 2nd floor for indoor visitation to be used during inclement weather, provided it meets the above visitation criteria for indoor visitation.
The Director of Social Work and the Director of Recreation and or their designees will coordinate all requests for visitation.
Visitation must be scheduled in advance of the visit. Visitation schedule will be strictly adhered to in order to accommodate all other scheduled visitation. If a visitor is unable to make the visit at the scheduled time, they need to re-schedule. Unscheduled visitation will not be permitted. Visitors must arrive on time for their appointment. A 10-minute grace period will be permitted, after 10 minutes, the visit may need to be rescheduled.
The patio/garden is the designated space for visitation. During inclement weather, the great room is the designated space for indoor visitation, provided the facility meets all requirements for indoor visitation. Last minute cancellation may be necessary. Notification to the families and designated representatives will be made via an email and on the facility’s website.
Residents will be notified via the in-house channel and via one-to-one visits, telephone calls or an overhead announcement.
Visitors are strictly prohibited in residents’ rooms, care areas, residents’ units or any other areas in the facility, except under certain limited circumstances such as residents receiving end of life care.
Eating and or drinking is not permitted. Care packages must be left at the front desk and care packages procedures will be followed.
Visitors may only use the restrooms in the lobby across from the front desk.
Visitors under the age of 18 are permitted to visit if accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.
A member of the Recreation team, will escort the visitor (s) from the lobby to the designated visitation space. The Recreation staff will transport the resident to the designated visitation space.
The facility will proactively notify residents and family members of information pertaining to this policy.
An interdisciplinary team, will meet to review compliance with the visitation program and to address any issues and concerns. The team comprised of the Director of Social Work, Director of Nursing, Medical Director, Director of Recreation, Director of Plant Operations, and Director of Housekeeping will meet monthly or as needed.
The Facility reserves the right to modify this policy as circumstances change and in compliance with directives from the Department of Health and the Governor’s office.
A copy of this policy will be posted on the Home’s website and will be broadcasted via email.
The facility reserves the right to refuse any visitor who is under the influence, disruptive or presents a danger to any resident and or staff.
All non-essential personnel as outlined in the September 15th Health Advisory, second section, #7 , will be subject to the same infection control requirements as staff, contractors, vendors, physicians, including but limited to testing for COVID-19 with the same frequency as for staff; screening, wearing a mask, performing hand hygiene, maintain social distancing.
If any visitor fails to adhere to the protocol, he/she/they will be prohibited from visiting for the duration of the Covid-19 state declared public health emergency.
The following ongoing guidance from the Department of Health and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services served as the basis for temporarily revising the facility’s visitation policy during this pandemic:
- DAL NH 20-04 COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Homes March 6, 2020
- CMS QSO-20-14 NH March 9, 2020
- DAL NH 20-04 COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Homes revised
- CMS QSO-20-14 NH March 13, 2020 revised
- DOH Health Advisory: March 13th, 2020, COVID-19 _ Effective immediately – suspend all visitation except where medically necessary.
- DAL: DHCBS 20-08 March 14, 2020
- Health Advisory: Skilled Nursing Visitation-July 10th, 2020
- Health Advisory-March 13th, 2020, July 10th, 2020-COVID-19 cases in Nursing Homes and Adult Care facilities
- Health Advisory: Skilled Nursing Facility Visitation-September 15th 2020-Effective September 17th 2020.
- Health Advisory: Skilled Nursing Facility Visitation-September 17th, 2020, effective September 17th, 2020.
- CMS QSO-20-39-NH September 17th, 2020