All reasonable attempts will be made to minimize and prevent the continued spread of a viral or bacterial outbreak.
Definition of Outbreak: An “outbreak” is the occurrence of more cases of a disease/illness than normally expected over a given period of time.
Policy Update 3/25/21: Based on NYS Department of Health: Health Advisory: Revised Adult Care Facility Visitation
Background information from the 3/25/21 Advisory
New York State guidance has focused on protecting adult care facility (ACF) residents from COVID-19, they recognize that physical separation from family and other loved ones may take a physical and emotional toll on residents and their loved ones. Residents may feel socially isolated, leading to increased risk for depression, anxiety, and other expressions of distress. Residents living with cognitive impairment or other disabilities may find visitor restrictions and other ongoing changes related to COVID-19 confusing or upsetting; and the Department of Health (“Department”) understands that ACF residents value the physical, emotional, and spiritual support they receive through visitation from family and friends. In alignment with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department is revising the guidance regarding visitation in ACFs during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
- The information contained in the 3/25/21 directive supersedes and replaces previously issued guidance and recommendations regarding general adult care facility (ACF) visitation and activities, including the guidance issued on March 2, 2021 and the Department’s November 24, 2020 Holiday Guidance.
Amber Court Communities remains committed to the following:
All visitation must be conducted with strict adherence to the Core Principles for reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission:
- Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions about and observations of signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection in the prior 14 days (regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status).
- Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred).
- The use of face coverings or masks (covering mouth and nose).
- Social distancing at least six feet between persons.
- Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene). Cleaning and disinfecting high frequency touched surfaces and designated visitation areas in the facility often, and after each visit.
- Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care).
- Residents in isolation or observation, and residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 status, irrespective of vaccination status, should not have visitors outside of compassionate care or end-of-life situations.
Visitors who are unable to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention will not be permitted to visit or will be asked to leave. Amber Court communities will document this occurrence in accordance with Title 18 of New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, §485.14(h). Refer to # 14 in this policy for additional details.
As of April 1, 2021, out-of-town visitors traveling from other U.S. states or territories are no longer required to test or quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
It is the policy of Amber Court Communities to conduct visitation in accordance with the most recent Department of Health guidance regarding adult care facility visitation. Strategies will be updated as more information becomes available and guidance changes.
Conditions for Visitation
o There have been no orders by local health department or NYS Department of Health to quarantine the community.
o With the exception of compassionate or end-of-life care visits, to be eligible for visitation, residents must not be in isolation or observation with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
o Compassionate care and end of life visitation will be permitted when visitation is not otherwise permitted in accordance with the Department of Health’s current visitation guidance.
- Visitation Spaces: Amber Court Communities is designating the following spaces for visitation that can maintain socially distancing:
- Main dining areas
- Common sitting areas
- Outdoor areas, garden and patio as weather permits
- Private Spaces: Amber Court clearly identifies private space(s) to be used for visitation when privacy is requested as:
- Visitation in a private room (if the resident has a private room).
- Conference rooms
- Maximum visitors:
- The maximum number of visitors at any given time per resident would be 2 and maximum in the building would be 40. The facility may at any time reduce the number of visitors based on its ability manage and to provide oversight. At any one time, the number of visitors will not exceed the number of persons Amber Court Communities staff are safely able to accommodate and supervise to comply with this Health Advisory. This number may vary according to Amber Court Community circumstances and time of day.
- Supervision of Visitors
- Amber Court communities will continue to supervise residents and promote family communications. Staff persons assigned to supervise visits will keep their distance from each visit group to allow for privacy unless assistance is needed. Staff will maintain general awareness that visitors and residents are complying with social distance, face mask and other rules. Any visitor not complying shall be given a warning that further noncompliance will result in loss of their ability to continue the visit or to visit again. Repeated noncompliance should be reported to the administrator.
- Infection Control Policies for Visitors
- Signage is present at all entrances, hallways, by the elevators and at all exit doors providing information on infection control requirements, wearing of masks and handwashing.
- Visitors are screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 at the reception area and are refused access if they exhibit any symptoms or do not pass the screening questions.
- Screening consists of both temperature checks and asking screening questions to assess potential exposure to COVID-19 which shall include questions regarding international travel or travel to other states designated under the Commissioner’s travel advisory.
- The facility maintains documentation of the screening questions asked onsite and will make it available upon the Department’s request.
- All visitors must wear a mask; masks will be provided as needed.
- All visitors are informed of social distancing requirements.
- A handout, including infection control and safety is provided to all visitors upon entry.
- Covid 19 Cases
- As per the March 25th, 2021 New York State DOH Health Advisory: Revised Adult Care Facility Visitation, all restrictions are now lifted and Amber Court Communities may now conduct visitation, regardless of new Covid-19 cases for residents or staff in the past 14 days or positivity rates.
- Visitors must be 18 years of age or older and must be able to adhere to the core principles of infection prevention and control and established Amber Court Communities policies, and ACF staff are expected to provide regulatorily required supervision and monitoring for all visitors, particularly those who may have difficulty adhering to core principles, such as children once allowed.
- Amber Court Communities has policies widely communicated to residents, staff and visitors that limit the number of visitors to 2 per resident at any one time and limit the total number of visitors inside the ACF at any one time to 40.
- Notifications will be conducted through our robo-call system, posted signage and e-mail, brought to resident council.
- Amber Court Communities scheduling visits for one hour in duration
- Amber Court Communities limits the movements of visitor within the facility to designated areas. Visitors are made aware upon entry that visitation can only take place in the specified designated areas and visitors that violate the rules will be asked to leave.
- Visits with residents who share a room will not be conducted in the residents’ room.
- For situations where there is a roommate and the health status of the resident prevents leaving the room, Amber Court Communities will attempt to enable in-room visitation while adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention.
- Adherence to written screening protocols remain in effect for all staff during each shift, each resident daily, and all persons entering or on the grounds of Amber Court Communities, including visitors, vendors, contractors, and volunteers.
- Amber Court Communities policies and procedures have been updated to afford every opportunity for visits in a safe and thoughtful manner per the March 25th, 2021 NYS DOH guidance. Amber Court Communities policies also contemplate the need for adequate supervision and strict adherence to the core principles of infection prevention and control.
- Amber Court Communities is not permitting visitors under the age of 18 at this time in order to comply with the core principles of infection presentation control and safety.
13.Noncompliant visitors: If Amber Court Communities determines that a noncompliant visitor must end their visit or not be allowed a future visit because Amber Court reasonably believes the visitor is directly endangering the safety of any resident, Amber Court will record and maintain on-site a written statement of the incident including why visitor access was denied or cut short, the date and time and identification of the individual, and make the documentation available upon request to the resident involved and to the person denied visitor access.
- Cleaning between and after visits: Assigned staff persons will clean and disinfect high frequency touched surfaces and designated visitation areas on a regular basis and after each visit. Resident rooms where a visit has occurred shall also be cleaned and disinfected after each visit.
- Resources and additional guidance can be referenced at:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/longtermcare/index.html, and the New York State Department of Health website at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/protecting-public-health-all-new-yorkers#long-termcare-facilities.
- Additional information:
- Adequacy of staff: Amber Court Communities will assure the presence of adequate adult care facility (ACF) staff to allow for personnel to help with the transition of residents, monitoring of visitation, compliance with existing regulatory requirements, and cleaning and disinfecting visitation areas after each visit using an EPA approved disinfectant.
- Signage: Appropriate signage regarding facemask utilization and hand hygiene, and applicable floor markings to cue social distancing delineations must be in place at all times.
- Screening: Screening for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to resident access. o Documentation of screening is maintained onsite in an electronic format and available upon the Department of Health’s request for purposes of inspection and potential contact tracing. Documentation must include the following for each visitor:
- First and last name of the visitor.
- Physical (street) address of the visitor.
iii. Daytime and Evening telephone number.
- Date and time of visit; and
- Email address if available
- Adequate PPE is available at Amber Court Communities to ensure residents wear a face mask, or if unable a face covering, during visitation. Visitors must wear a face mask or face covering at all times when on the premises of the ACF and maintain social distancing. The Amber Court Communities maintains an adequate supply of masks on hand for visitors and make available to visitors who lack an acceptable face covering.
- Amber Court Communities provides alcohol-based hand rub to visitors or representatives of the long-term care ombudsman visiting residents and those individuals are able demonstrate appropriate us.
- Visitation Handout
- Amber Court Communities has developed a quick, user-friendly fact sheet outlining visitor expectations including appropriate hand hygiene, face masks, face coverings and social distancing. The fact sheet will be provided upon initial screening to all visitors.
Updated based on the March 25th, 2021 guidance.
At Amber Court of Elizabeth, we have designed a dynamic plan, in accordance with New Jersey’s Executive Directive No. 20-026 and, in response to the Covid-19 Outbreak Control Plan and Phased Reopening. At Amber Court of Elizabeth, we are taking steps above and beyond government recommendations. For example, our goal is to test all residents and associates for COVID-19, which enables us to response proactively.
To enhance the quality of life for our residents and assist them in coping with possible feelings of isolation, we’ve rolled out some fantastic high-tech ways they can be social over any distance. Our residents have access to video call apps like FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and more to help them stay in touch with family, loved ones or even their best friend next door.
Phased Resumption of Operations Plan
Restricted Operations: Communities in this phase have active cases of COVID-19 or community members exhibiting symptoms of the virus. During this time:
- Infection control protocols remain in place
- Residents continue to self-quarantine in their rooms
- Meals are delivered to residents in their rooms
- Team members provide 1:1 programming in residents’ rooms & suites
- Regular Room Stops and Hydration Stops take place throughout the day
Communities that have satisfied applicable federal, state, and local requirements may enter this phase when they have met certain criteria, including 14 days without an active, confirmed case of COVID-19. During this time, infection control protocols remain in place and residents may participate in:
- Socially distanced dining in community common areas may initiated
- Scheduled, socially distanced small-group programming will be made available
Communities, such as Amber Court of Elizabeth, that never had an outbreak or that concluded an outbreak and 14 days have passed since New Jersey moved to Stage 2 (June 15, 2020) of the Road Back to Recovery and the facility has submitted all the attestations required in this Directive may implement visitation.
As visitation is permitted based on Phase 2:
Amber Court of Elizabeth will screen and log all persons entering the facility and all staff at the beginning of each shift. Screening is to include:
- Temperature checks including subjective and/or objective fever equal to or greater than 100.4 F
- Completion of a questionnaire about symptoms and potential exposure which shall include at a minimum:
- Completion of a questionnaire about symptoms and potential exposure which shall include at a minimum:
- Whether the visitor has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not yet met criteria for the discontinuation of isolation per guidance issued by NJDOH and CDC.
- Whether in the last 14 days, the visitor has returned from a state on the designated list of states under the 14-day quarantine travel advisory, available for review at: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/travelinformation/which-states-are-on-the-travel-advisory-list-are-there-travelrestrictions-to-or-from-new-jersey.
Amber Court of Elizabeth will observe anyone entering the facility for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, including, but not limited to:
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
- sore throat;
- muscle or body aches;
- new loss of taste or smell;
- congestion or runny nose;
- nausea or vomiting; or
Upon screening, Amber Court of Elizabeth will prohibit entry into the building for those who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Exhibit signs or symptoms of an infectious communicable disease, including COVID-19, such as a subjective and/or objective fever (evidenced by a temperature check of the visitor equal to or greater than 100.4 F or as further restricted by facility), chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea;
- In the last 14 days, has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or someone under investigation for COVID-19, or someone ill with respiratory illness;
Weekly staff testing for Covid-19 continues
COMMUNICATION PLAN/FAMILY NOTIFICATION
- Amber Court Communities facilities will notify each resident’s primary contact family members or next of kin for all residents if any resident tests positive for COVID-19, or if any resident suffers a COVID-19-related death, within 24 hours of such positive test result or death.
- Amber Court Communities facilities will also update families/ Next of Kin upon changes to the policies and Procedures during Phase Changes in the Reopening Process.
- Weekly updated on phase reopening and other Covid-19 updates will be provided to designated family members and significant others
CORE INFECTION CONTROL AND PREVENTION POLICIES & PPE
Amber Court of Elizabeth remains vigilant and adheres to all NJDOH and CDC guidelines and protocols for Infection control and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Amber Court of Elizabeth continues to train and provide staff with all recommended infection control techniques and COVID-19 PPE, to the extent PPE is available, and consistent with CDC guidance on optimization of PPE (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/index.html). All staff must wear all appropriate PPE when indicated. Staff may wear cloth face coverings if facemask is not indicated.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Reach out to us at Amber Court of Elizabeth for more information
- At www.ambercourtal.com