Long Term Care Can Schedule In-Person, In-Room Visits
One of the most difficult things about COVID-19 for our residents has been the prolonged separation from families and loved ones. We recognize the critical role family members and other outside caregivers such as friends, volunteers, and private personal caregivers, often have in the care and support of our residents. We thank you for your care, concern, and support over the past year as we’ve navigated our way through this virus. We also wish to give each of you a “socially-distanced air hug” for your heroism over this long and challenging year. Because of your diligence in abiding by the restrictions handed to us, we are able to report that we have not had any positive cases among our residents. Zero cases in a nursing home setting is rare and remarkable, and is the result of everyone taking the necessary precautions. It’s been an exhausting and emotional journey to say the least.
We know the desire of our residents and their loved ones to be connected in a more meaningful way and also recognize the concerns that many of our residents and families may have regarding the ability to prevent and contain this virus in light of more people having access to our building. While the virus is still present and active in communities, we must take careful steps in any plans to re-open our settings to visitors because we don’t want to risk exposing our residents or anyone else to COVID-19.
We are excited to announce that starting March 3, 2021, with certain restrictions and specific guidelines, we will open our door to resident visitors. Please know that this can change at any time if we experience just one positive case of COVID. We continue to be governed and fully regulated by state and federal agencies and we will continue to operate in compliance, including COVID guidelines now, and as they are updated.
Visitors of Greene County Medical Center Long Term Care residents must abide by the following procedures and instructions:
1. Screening and Check-In Prior to Entry: Visitors will enter through the front entrance and participate in a check-in and screening process at the front desk before proceeding into the Long Term Care area. The screening process will involve having a temperature taken and answering questions. A visitor cannot proceed to Long Term Care area or visit with a resident if the visitor does not pass screening criteria:
a. Are you under COVID-19 investigation or do you have a pending test result for COVID-19?
b. Have you tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently receiving treatment or required to self-isolate?
c. Do you have signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
d. In the last 14 days, have you had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, is under investigation for COVID-19, or are ill with respiratory illness?
2. Scheduling Visits. Visitors must schedule visits ahead of time. To schedule a visit, contact us by calling (515) 386-0200. If a resident is in quarantine, in-person visits can only be scheduled once they are no longer in quarantine (except in end-of-life circumstances). Residents are able to have two (2) or less visitors per visit and up to 5 visits per week as scheduling and staffing allows.
3. Conducting Visits.
a. Visit only the resident for whom you are a scheduled visitor.
b. Limit your visit to the room of the resident for whom you are designated to visit, or to another location designated by our staff, and limit your movement within the building to traveling to and from the resident’s room or other designated visit location.
c. Perform frequent hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand rub or using the building’s sanitization station.
d. Wear a face mask during the entire visit, and any additional personal protective equipment as required or requested.
e. Practice social distancing by remaining at least 6 feet apart from staff and all residents in the building.
f. At this time, visitors/family are not able to join their loved one for a meal or eat and drink during in-room visits. This is strictly because masks must remain in place on the face properly through the entire visit which is not possible while eating and drinking.
3. Notification of Symptoms or Exposure. Please remember someone can have the virus for up to five (5) days prior to symptoms starting. Given that, all visitors and prospective visitors should monitor themselves for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection continuously and prudently. Visitors must inform Greene County Medical Center Long Term Care if they develop a fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of a visit to a resident, are aware that they have been exposed to COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19.
By visiting a resident in our building, you are agreeing to follow the procedures and instructions listed above and understand that Greene County Medical Center Long Term Care may restrict or revoke the ability to visit if you do not abide by these procedures. You also understand that Greene County Medical Center Long Term Care has voluntarily chosen to allow visits and can suspend or revoke this type of visitation should it become necessary for the safety of our residents.
Please know you may also continue to choose the glass-divided “patio/conference room” visits, technological visits, and visits outdoors when weather permits, if this feels more comfortable to you. The process for that remains unchanged and require scheduling in advance along with all other precautions. Simply let us know if you want this kind of visit at time of scheduling, please.
Thank you for your support and understanding as we cautiously take this step. We look forward to seeing families and visitors; you have been so incredibly missed! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our Long Term Care Director, Lori Harrah.