Dear Guerin Woods Families & Friends:
The following was released by the Indiana Department of Health (IDH) late this afternoon: "In the past four weeks, Indiana has seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant, which spreads equal to or more than twice as easily from one person to another compared with earlier strains. Indiana's positivity rate has gone from just over 2 percent in late June to more than 6 percent at the end of July, and our daily case counts are climbing again. …. Total 14-day long-term care (LTC) case counts in Indiana have more than quadrupled from June to July, and at least 20 facilities have more than 3 cases in the month of July. Almost all outbreaks that were sequenced in July were caused by Delta variant. Some fully vaccinated residents and staff have tested positive, but they tended to exhibit much milder symptoms than unvaccinated persons. In the larger population to date, 98 percent of all new COVID-19 cases have occurred in people who are not vaccinated."
Because of this increase in activity IDH has altered its previous guidance. To help keep elders, staff and families safe, masks must be worn at all times – regardless of vaccination status – while on Guerin Woods's campus.
Please note the following corollary changes (in all-caps, underlined, and in bold) to Guerin Woods's visitation protocols for vaccinated visitors:
- You must wear a surgical mask as you enter and when you pass through the Villa to your Elder's room. If you are vaccinated, you are NO LONGER permitted to remove your mask when in your Elder's room
with the door closed , but we strongly encourage you to wear it.
Unvaccinated visitors have never been permitted to remove their masks. This prohibition will also continue until further notice.
IDH's recent guidance also states:
- "Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- For additional information, visit https://coronavirus.in.gov.
- Isolate if tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Even if asymptomatic, get tested 3-5 days after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until have had a negative test result – regardless of vaccination status.
- . . . .Remember, getting vaccinated for COVID 19 is the most effective way to prevent severe disease and complications from COVID-19, including hospitalization and death.
- More information on the free vaccine is available at ourshot.in.gov."
- Notification Requirement – NONE. You no longer need to schedule visits.
*Previously, with scheduled visits, our therapists and CNAs were able to schedule around visitation. Because this will no long be possible, please be prepared to be flexible. Your visit may be interrupted or need to be postponed for a short period of time if therapy or some other intervention is underway or scheduled during your visit.
- Visitor Screening Form – Prior to moving to an elder's room, all visitors must complete a Screening Form. WE CANNOT ALLOW VISITATION IF A VISITOR'S SCREENING RESPONSES OR SYMPTOMS INDICATE A RISK OF EXPOSURE.
- Infection Control
- Hand hygiene – Visitors must adhere to hand hygiene requirements upon entry and during their visit, with the use of alcohol-based hand rub being preferred. You must continue to clean your hands frequently with either alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, both of which are readily available in the Villas. Visitors should clean their hands after touching potentially contaminated surfaces, using soap and water after using the restroom.
- Surgical Mask (covering BOTH mouth and nose) – All visitors must wear a surgical mask at all times while on the Guerin Woods campus.
- Social Distancing – All visits are limited to Elders' rooms and visitors may not be present in common areas other than to make their way to an Elder's room. Visitors are not permitted to interact with other Elders and must maintain social distancing when communicating with staff. Unvaccinated visitors must maintain social distancing at all times, both in the common areas and their Elder's room.
- Hours – Daily, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Location – Indoor visitation is restricted to Elders' rooms. Families and friends may also use the Villas' garden areas. If a visitor wishes to speak with a staff member, they should simply use their Elder's call button and not wander through the common area.
- Number of Visitors – If appropriate social distancing is maintained, Elders may have up to 4 visitors at a time.
- Age Restrictions – Because all visitors must be able to comply with infection prevention protocols, Guerin Woods strongly discourages any visitor under the age of 12.
- Testing – Visitor testing for COVID-19 is not required, but Guerin Woods strongly advises unvaccinated visitors to be tested on a routine basis to minimize the risk to Elders and their caregivers.
*Please note that end-of-life and compassionate care visitation follow different protocols. To make arrangements, simply contact Chelsea Wild, Social Services Director (812-951-9088; email@example.com); Jennifer Oney-Holeman, Director of Nursing (502-396-0158; firstname.lastname@example.org); or Kim Smith, Administrator (812-820-6433; 812-399-9046; email@example.com).
I. Guerin Woods COVID-19 Statistics
Total # of Elder Cases
New Elder Cases in Last 24 Hrs
Elder Deaths in Last 24 Hrs
Instances of 3 or More Elders/Staff w/ New Onset of Respiratory Symptoms w/in 72 hours of Each Other
*COVID-19 positive test dates: 8/5/20 (1); 10/14/20 (1); 10/21/20 (1); 10/23/20 (2); 10/29/20 (1); 11/16/20 (1; new admission from another facility); 11/19/20 (1); 12/11/20 (3); 12/15/20 (2); 12/18/20 (1); 12/20/20 (1).
II. Examples of Facility Infection Mitigation/Prevention/Planning Measures
Staff Competency Reinforcement/Training: Infection Control; COVID-19; Proper PPE Use; Handwashing; Social Distancing, etc.
Staff reminders to self-monitor for fever and symptoms of COVID-19 and to stay home if unwell
Staff use of masks in Villas
Increased cleaning frequency & use of COVID-19/EPA approved sanitizing solutions for equipment, frequently touched surfaces and common areas
Placement of alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout the Villas and in elders' rooms
Placement of tissues and trash cans in elder's rooms
Elder social distancing and use of masks (for those willing and able) when in common areas
Use of telephonic/video meetings whenever required
Use of telehealth when appropriate
Creation and use of signage to remind elders and staff re: source control, cough etiquette, social distancing, handwashing
Adoption of pharmacy policies & practices that ensure availability of all necessary medications
Pre-shift screening of every staff member
Assessment of elders for CDC-defined COVID-19 symptoms
Acquisition of additional/excess supplies, e.g., ABHS, soap, paper towels, sanitizing solutions, PPE, oxygen concentrators
Acquisition of COVID-19 testing equipment/kits and testing of staff, vendors, third-party providers, elders, and others as required
Conversion of separate on-site facility to staff sleeping quarters
Staging of COVID-19 materials in anticipation of providing immediate response
Meetings among executive and senior clinical staff re: state and federal COVID-19 guidelines (and changes thereto), associated changes to policies/procedures, education/training, facility changes, etc.
Contingency planning, including adoption of new policies & procedures
Coordination with local and state public health and emergency response authorities
Exclusion of COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 exposed employees in compliance with CDC guidelines
Isolation of elders who may have had an exposure per IDH and CDC guidelines
III. Guerin Woods Contacts
Kim Smith (Administrator)
Susan Gernert (President & CEO)
IV. Elder Testing & Transfers: Guerin Woods is following the guidance and directives of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), and Floyd County Health Department regarding Elder testing. If an Elder were to test positive for COVID-19, the Elder would be transferred to a hospital or other appropriate facility.
V. General Information: For more information about COVID-19, please refer to: https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2400.htm; https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. You can also address general questions about COVID-19 to the ISDH COVID-19 Call Center, available 24/7, at 877-826-0011.
VI. Indiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman: The Ombudsman is NOT a representative of the facility, ISDH, or any other organization. However, we do want to provide accurate information to ensure families are comfortable that their loved ones are as safe as possible and are able to make informed decisions.
Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman
402 West Washington Street, Room W451
Post Office Box 7083, MS 27
Indianapolis, Indiana 46207-7083
800-622-4484 or 317-232-7134
President & CEO
Providence Self Sufficiency Ministries, Inc.
The Meadows of Guerin, Inc.
8037 Unruh Drive
Georgetown, Indiana 47122