To our Residents, Families, Team members, and Community:
As part of our ongoing commitment to the safety and well-being of our residents and team members, we are providing another COVID-19 update. We will continue to provide weekly COVID-19 updates in the following weeks as well. As of this week, Birmingham Green has two team members who have tested positive for COVID-19. The affected team members work at the District Home and Willow Oaks Assisted Living Facility and are 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 Health Care Center (Nursing Home) does not have any positive COVID-19 cases among residents and team members at this time.
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 team 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 team 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 at this time, 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 this time, masks will continue to be required, regardless of vaccination status, and visits will continue in residents’ rooms. Due to the high transmission rate in our county and the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, we would like to offer several options for visitation. The Alternative options will include access to our private visitation rooms (Lilac and Jasmine), a heated outdoor visitation tent, or our multi-purpose room. Our new visitation rooms are available in the Health Care Center (Nursing Home). Reservation for a private room is not required and visitation within a resident’s room remains an option for all facilities on campus. 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. If a resident’s roommate is unvaccinated or immunocompromised (regardless of vaccination status), visits may occur in one of our private rooms. 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 resident 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. For more information, please see the Virginia Department of Health suggestions, tips for a safe visit.
Due to the CMS updated guidance, effective Friday, November 19, the visitation calendar was discontinued.
Visitors who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 can provide proof of vaccination to our receptionist, which will document their status in a confidential logbook. Visitors who provide proof of vaccination will not be asked if they would like 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 require a non-contact temperature check and testing is available upon request.
COVID-19 testing for all Birmingham Green team members, regardless of vaccination status, will occur once per week in the Nursing Home while COVID-19 testing will occur twice per week in Willow Oaks and the District Home until testing identifies no new cases of COVID-19 among team members for a period of at least 14 days since the most recent positive result. The team members who tested positive for COVID-19 or may have been exposed to the virus are isolated for 10 days. We are continuing to follow CDC recommendations and all team members will continue to wear the appropriate PPE and masks, as well as perform proper infection control measures and stringent cleaning protocols.
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 team 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 team members
will always be our priority.
Denise Chadwick Wright
Chief Executive Officer