To our Residents, Families, Staff, and Community:
As part of our ongoing commitment to the safety and well-being of our residents and staff members, we are providing another COVID-19 update. We will continue to provide weekly COVID-19 updates in the following weeks as well. In the event that we have a staff member or resident test positive for COVID-19, we will provide an additional update by the close of business the next day. As of today, Birmingham Green has one staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19. The affected staff member work at the Health Care Center (Nursing Home) and is currently isolating at home, pursuant to current policies and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Although our team members have been vaccinated, it is possible to have breakthrough cases, thus all infection control measures in place will continue to be followed. For more information on COVID-19 illness after vaccination please visit the CDC’s website. The District Home and Willow Oaks Assisted Living have no positive COVID-19 cases among residents or staff members.
We are aware of the Thursday, November 4, 2021 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement requiring staff vaccinations within long-term care facilities who participate with Medicare and Medicaid. All eligible staff members must have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022. In October, Birmingham Green implemented a mandatory vaccination policy, requiring COVID-19 vaccination(s) for all staff members, contractors, volunteers, and externs to the extent allowed by law. In addition, over the past month, we have administered the Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccines for all eligible residents and team members who provided consent.
While it is safer for visitors not to enter the building, during an outbreak investigation, visitors will still be allowed in the facility pursuant to the updated CMS visitation guidance. If residents or their representative would like to have a visit during the outbreak investigation, masks will continue to be required, regardless of vaccination status, and visits will continue in resident’s rooms. Visitors should adhere to the below Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention and understand there are potential risks of testing positive for COVID-19 if visiting during the outbreak investigation.
Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention
• 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)
• Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose) and social distancing at least six feet between persons, in accordance with CDC guidance
• 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 in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit
• Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
• Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care)
• Resident and staff testing conducted as required at 42 CFR § 483.80(h) (see QSO-20-38-NH Revised)
Appointments will no longer be required to visit across campus. Suggested visitation times are between the hours of 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. If a visitor arrives outside of these hours and the front door is locked, we ask that they call the Nurse Supervisor whose phone number is posted on the front door to assist. We will continue to request that residents have no more than two visitors at a time to maintain physical distancing recommendations. Guests will be escorted to and from the resident’s room. If a resident’s roommate is unvaccinated or immunocompromised (regardless of vaccination status), visits may occur in an alternate room. With the high level of COVID-19 community transmission in our surrounding area, we will require all individuals to wear a mask and keep six feet physically distant while on campus, regardless of vaccination status, during visitation. In accordance with CDC guidelines, team members will be required to wear eye protection during all patient encounters when the COVID-19 community transmission rate is substantial or high. We will continue to monitor the level of community transmission of COVID-19 in our local area and make adjustments as needed. Hand washing will be encouraged before and after your visit. We ask guests to stay home if they are ill or have recently been ill.
Due to the CMS updated guidance, effective Friday, November 19, the visitation calendar was discontinued. If you have questions on how to reserve a private visitation room, please contact your loved one’s building administrator or social worker.
Visitors who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 can provide proof of vaccination to our Front Desk, which will document their status in a confidential logbook. Visitors who provide proof of vaccination will not be requested to get tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but our screening process will continue to include a non-contact temperature check. If visitors have not been vaccinated or are unable to verify their vaccination, we will request a COVID-19 test to be completed upon arrival.
COVID-19 testing for all Birmingham Green residents and staff members, regardless of vaccination status, will occur twice per week until testing identifies no new cases of COVID-19 among staff or residents for a period of at least 14 days since the most recent positive result. Residents who test positive for COVID-19 or may have been exposed to the virus are isolated for 10 days. Full PPE is worn when working with residents who are assumed to be or test positive for COVID-19. We are continuing to follow CDC recommendations and all staff members will continue to wear the appropriate PPE and masks, as well as perform proper infection control measures and stringent cleaning protocols.
Birmingham Green will be hosting a Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 11, 2021, at 11 a.m. For more information, please see the attached flyers.
We encourage you to visit birminghamgreen.org to get the latest information or recorded updates via our dedicated COVID-19 phone line — (703) 257-6282. We remain committed to the safety and well-being of our residents and staff members, and we thank you for your patience during this challenging time.
Our residents are at the center of all that we do. Their safety and the safety of our staff will always be our priority.
Denise Chadwick Wright
Chief Executive Officer