The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following considerations to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19 during the upcoming holidays. Celebrating virtually or with members of one’s own household poses low risk for spread. In-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk.
Included in the article are highlights on:
Update as of 10/30/2020
Due to early intervention, and with the cooperation of our residents, families, and dedicated team members, Westerwood has had very minimal Covid-19 cases. We proactively test ALL team members each week.
We send out frequent communication to residents and families about testing results, visitation, and other important updates. Decisions regarding holding indoor visitation are made based on the status of COVID-19 cases in the county and state, as well as Westerwood. We also have to adhere to state and federal regulations regarding visitation. In place of in person visits, assistance with video calls to family and friends, as well as window visits, are being offered.
We would like to thank our residents and families for their continued patience, support, and perseverance during this most difficult time!
Update as of 5/29/2020
We want to report that we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Westerwood.
Ohio has seen outbreaks of COVID-19 in congregate settings, including nursing homes. The Governor and the state of Ohio have outlined steps for testing in nursing homes.
Beginning the week of May 24th, testing will begin in nursing homes. All staff in all Ohio nursing facilities will be tested, beginning in facilities where residents or employees have had confirmed cases. Testing will be conducted on all employees and the testing of residents will be based on a clinically driven strategy that targets those who have likely been exposed to COVID-19. The state is organizing Congregate Care Unified Response Teams, which will include medically trained members of the Ohio National Guard, to conduct the testing.
Many aspects of the program are still being finalized and many questions are still unanswered. We are hopeful that, as the program begins, we will learn best practices and protocols.
The testing and re-opening of the community go hand and hand. While we do not know details, we do know it will be a phased process, and operations will not be the same as before this pandemic. Each area of Westerwood will most likely open on different schedules as well.
As we continue to receive guidance and best practices, we will keep you updated.
Update as of 5/14/2020
With warm weather finally arriving and the State starting to open, we need to remind you that Westerwood is not yet open for visitation. Our sector has not been opened by the Governor and we need you to please abide by this. We know it is hard and the temptation to visit is great, but we need to stay closed for the time being to protect your family members and ALL of the residents at FVC. Our residents remain infection free and we need your help to remain so.
Thank you for your consideration of your family member and our residents and staff.
Update as of 5/11/2020
We wanted to provide an update on the status of our community after the notification regarding one COVID-19 positive team member.
We do NOT have any residents who are positive.
You might have seen or heard that on the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 website, there is a listing of all Ohio nursing homes and assisted livings that have positive cases. If you are monitoring that and looking for Westerwood, you won’t find us on there. This is because our team member’s case was included with another community where they work. There are other communities that have had multiple cases where the health department has recommended facility-wide testing. The health department is not recommending facility-wide testing here at this time.
Throughout this process, more of Westerwood’s team members who work more than one job will be tested. This increases the likelihood that a Westerwood team member will test positive even if they are asymptomatic. Each time this happens, we will determine if that person recently worked at Westerwood and with whom they could have had contact. Some of the mitigation steps we have been taking and continue to take related to employees are:
Update as of 5/8/2020
As you know, our whole world is dealing with an unprecedented crisis related to the highly contagious novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We are all pulling together to try to “flatten the curve” so that we can make sure there are sufficient resources to protect those who are most vulnerable. In order for us all to be able to make informed decisions about what is best for ourselves and our families, we believe that it is important that you all stay informed about the status of Westerwood.
We have now experienced a positive COVID-19 test. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, and like so many other communities like ours, we have had a staff member in Ridgewood test positive for COVID-19. This staff member is not working until cleared by the local health department to return to work. While this is not unexpected, it still saddens us, and our hearts go out to those affected. We have notified our local and state departments of health and will continue to work with them to monitor active cases and do everything possible to prevent the spread.
We have previously communicated to you the preventative steps we are taking. Those include restricting visitation, closing all communal dining and activities, enhanced screening of both residents and staff, isolating residents with symptoms, sending staff with symptoms home to quarantine, and staying informed by guidance from federal agencies. In addition to these, we are now increasing the monitoring on all residents in Ridgewood.
We will not be sharing details publicly about positive tests. Rest assured, if we need to contact a family member with updates about a specific resident, we will reach out directly. Please note that out of respect to those affected and their families and in accordance with privacy laws, we will not be sharing any details regarding our positive cases publicly.
We will continue to be vigilant in doing our part to stop the spread of the virus with extra reminders and staying updated on the latest information pertaining to this new virus as we do with any new outbreaks.
Please contact us with any questions. We know that this crisis is particularly challenging for you. We empathize with your feelings of separation and vulnerability and we want to thank you for your ongoing support and trust.
If you have any questions about COVID-19 or the steps that we are taking to protect our residents, please contact us via email at email@example.com.
Update as of 4/23/2020
At Westerwood, we continue to fight the good fight and follow all the guidance and best practices available to us.
We DO NOT have any cases of coronavirus at Westerwood. We have been able to build up a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) like face masks and face shields. We have decided that, as an extra precaution to protect your loved ones and our staff, residents will now wear masks as we perform care. Staff providing direct care will now wear face shields in addition to their masks. This is another layer of protection that we are able to do at this time. We will continue to monitor our overall situation and keep you all informed with updates.
Thank you for entrusting us with caring for your loved one. We understand the difficulty this has placed on you. It breaks our hearts, too. Please know that our residents, your loved ones, are our family too.
We will continue to provide love and comfort to each of them.
Update as of 4/16/2020
We are happy to report that Westerwood currently DOES NOT have any positive cases of COVID-19 in any of our care settings, nor do any of our team members. Our strict policies and vigilant enforcement are helping keep the virus out. Our team members are being very responsible with their practices here at Westerwood and at home.
We have been preparing for if we do get a positive case. One of our key efforts is focused on clear communication. If a Westerwood resident or staff member were to test positive for the virus, we will immediately notify residents, families, and staff. We believe in transparency — it has been something we strive for at Westerwood.
Communities like ours are considered congregate settings and are therefore extremely vulnerable to this virus. At the beginning of March, we, along with many other communities, started to restrict visitors and screen residents, staff, and anyone who comes to Westerwood. We closed community areas and canceled all activities, including dining and several other group settings. We have been following all guidance from the Ohio Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, and other trusted sources.
We are doing our very best to keep the virus out of Westerwood. Thank you for your understanding and for your patience during this difficult time.
Update as of 4/1/2020
Update on the use of facemasks at Westerwood: As you know, the safety of our residents and staff is our number one priority. Based on the information we’re receiving from our industry trade association, we anticipate an order will soon be issued for staff to wear facemasks when interacting with residents.
Out of an abundance of caution, we are being proactive and not waiting. Starting Thursday, April 2nd, any staff member who has resident contact or interaction will wear a facemask. This includes all outside providers such as hospice or home health workers.
We DO NOT have any cases of COVID-19 at Westerwood. We are taking this action to provide as much protection as possible to residents and staff.
Update as of 3/13/2020
At Westerwood, we take the health of our residents, staff, and families very seriously. As a result, we are being proactive in our efforts to limit the spread of viral infections, including COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). We are diligently following the guidance of the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
As of March 12, 2020, and until further notice, Westerwood is closed to outside visitors except for families of those residents receiving end of life care. We understand that this may be viewed as excessive, but we want to limit the risk for our residents. We know family and resident connections are important and we will assist with alternative ways for communication, such as phones and other devices.
For all questions and concerns, please read the FAQ’s below or reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long is the visitation restriction going to last?
At this time there is no specific date the visitation restrictions will be lifted. Westerwood will follow the guidance of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
How do I keep informed/stay connected?
Please look for updates on the Westerwood Facebook page and ourthis page. There is an email address, email@example.com, for any non-emergency communication or questions. Also, be on the lookout for emails from us with new information and updates.
I do my loved ones laundry, how will that be coordinated?
While visitation is restricted, Westerwood will be doing all resident laundry. If you have clothing you need to bring in, you may drop it off with the receptionist at the Health Care Center entrance. We are labeling resident laundry and doing individual loads of laundry to ensure all items are returned to the correct resident.
I need to bring something to my loved one, how do I do that?
Please try to limit any drop-offs to urgent matters and necessities. The items that you need to get to your loved one can be brought to the Health Care Center entrance and left with the receptionist.
How do I coordinate a phone or video call with my loved one?
A process is being set up to allow family to call in and schedule a time for their loved one to call or FaceTime/Skype with them. Be on the lookout for an email with the details of this process.
If the resident had an appointment with AARP to have their taxes done at Westerwood, those appointments have been canceled.