We know that you may have questions during these extraordinary times. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to provide more information during this time.
We will update this information regularly as the situation changes, and please do not hesitate to call us with questions.
Q: Should I take my family member out of The Hearth?
Memory care, and assisted living residents receive additional services. While at home within our community they are able to receive the around the clock care they need at all times, which may be difficult for family members to provide during these stressful times.Close
Q: Does The Hearth have any positive residents?
At this time, The Hearth does not have positive cases among residents. We are prepared if this were to occur and have taken the steps to keep our residents safe throughout the community. It is important to note that we have taken these steps prior to requirements from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), The Department of Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).Close
Q: Does The Hearth have staff members that have tested positive for COVID-19?
At this time, The Hearth does not have positive cases among staff members. We are prepared if this were to occur and are adhering to the Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines for all staff members tested positive no matter their role.Close
Q: What are the guidelines for healthcare workers to return to work after testing positive?
An employee who tests positive will remain at home for minimum of 10 days from onset of symptoms with at least 24 hours fever free without fever reducing meds and symptom improvement. If asymptomatic Employee to remain home for 10 days from test.Close
Q: When will visitors be allowed back in The Hearth?
On March 12, 2021 the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced new visitation guidelines for personal care and assisted living communities. These new practices went into effect on Monday, March 15, 2021.
Here is what will not change:
- All protocols for infection prevention and control MUST continue. This includes everyone wearing masks, social distancing (remaining at least 6 feet apart from everyone you encounter including the resident you are visiting).
- All visitors must be screened (loading dock) before entering including temperature checks, health status questions and responding to questions related to potential exposure to COVID-19. A visitor may be denied access depending on the results of the screening.
- Visitation outside is still the preferred location for visits for the protection of all residents, visitors and staff.
- We are still responsible to ensure that at any given time there are not too many visitors in our community that would prevent good infection prevention and control protocols to be followed.
Here is what is new per the CMS/DHS guideline:
- All residents living in our nursing households may have visitors at anytime
- Visitors should limit their movement in the facility to go directly to the resident room
- A resident who is fully vaccinated can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitted mask and performing hand hygiene before and after. Regardless, visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff while visiting.
- We cannot require that visitors have been tested for COVID-19 or have been vaccinated for COVID-19.
- WE DO STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ALL VISITORS TO GET VACCINATED AND TO CONSIDER WAITING UNTIL THEY ARE TWO WEEKS PAST THEIR LAST SHOT WHETHER THEY RECEIVED A ONE DOSE OR TWO DOSE VACCINE. This is what is being recommended for everyone but it is particularly important as we open up our communities that provide a home for so many older and often frail seniors.
- IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO GET TESTED 2-3 DAYS PRIOR TO COMING FOR A VISIT.
- Due to the anticipated volume of visitors we will no longer schedule visits for either inside or outdoors.
- When you come to The Hearth to visit someone in our community you will be screened and you can then go directly to the room of the resident you will be visiting.
- If the weather permits we request that you then escort the resident you are visiting to an outside visiting area.
- In anticipation of increased demand we will set up (weather permitting) additional outside visiting areas in front of the mansion
- We ask that after your visit you use the available supplies to wipe down any touched surface in the visiting area.
- Visits will be limited to 45 minutes to an hour to allow for a maximum number of families and resident to use the outdoor spaces for visiting.
- We suggest that you do not visit during mealtimes.
- We now can continue visits in households that are separated from other households if there is only an outbreak (defined as one new positive case) in one household. We will let you know via signage if we have an outbreak occurring somewhere in the community.
- If an outbreak occurs in more than one household we will need to close again to visitation until testing results in no new positive cases for the required period.
- Because we cannot require proof of testing or proof of vaccination you will potentially be encountering others who have not been vaccinated or tested.
- There are instances where a resident may not have indoor visitation related to our county positivity rate and/or residents with COVID and/or in quarantine.
We ask for your continued partnership in keeping our community safe by doing the following:
- Wear a mask
- Practice social distancing with everyone in the community
- Wash your hands
- Do not visit if you are not feeling well
- Strongly consider getting vaccinated
- Strongly consider getting a COVID test 2-3 days before visiting if you have not been vaccinated or are not two weeks past your last vaccination.
Q: Can I visit my family member as a Compassionate Caregiver?
The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Department of Human Services have released guidance that includes information on Compassionate Caregiver visitation. Here is some important information for you that is included in the guidance:
Compassionate Care visitation is allowed in limited situations per CMS FAQs on Nursing Home Visitation. Care can be provided by Compassionate Caregivers if there are two or more documented “significant changes” in a resident’s condition. A significant change is defined in 42 CFR & 483.20(b)(2)(ii) as: A major decline or improvement in a resident’s status that: 1) will not normally resolve itself without intervention by staff or by implementing standard disease-related clinical interventions; the decline is considered “self-limiting…”, 2) impacts more than one area of the resident’s health status; and 3) requires interdisciplinary review and/or revision of the care plan.
The Hearth will contact the family of residents who may qualify to receive Compassionate Caregiver visitation to discuss options. If you feel that your family member living at The Hearth qualifies to receive Compassionate Caregiver visitation and would like to designate a Compassionate Caregiver for an assisted living resident please contact Dana O'Donnell, at [email protected]. Our clinical team will determine if Compassionate Caregiver visitation is appropriate based on the guidelines we have received.
Please be aware that the CMS FAQs state that they do not believe these visits should be routine and they should be allowed on a limited basis as an exception to restricting visitation.
We ask that you carefully consider your request as we all continue to partner in keeping COVID outbreaks controlled in our communities. Please remember that it only takes one positive case in a staff person or a resident to send us back to pre-opening plans that will limit dining, activities and visitation for all. We’ve been fortunate since this pandemic started in March, and we are all working to keep The Hearth at Drexel a safe and healthy place to live and work.Close
Q: Do I Need to be tested for COVID-19 if I qualify for Compassionate caregiving visits?
Yes. We require compassionate caregivers to be tested weekly. Testing requirements are based on county positivity rates.Close
Q: What confirmation do you need for negative test result?
A copy of the test result.Close
Q: Can I bring a package to my loved one?
Yes, we are accepting packages at the loading dock. We will wipe down all packages and distribute them to the residents.Close
Q: Does The Hearth have a minimum quarantine if a resident is out for an extended period of time?
A 14-day quarantine is required for residents if they have been out of the community for consecutive days. Careful consideration will be used when determining whether or not a quarantine will be required upon return to the community. If there is thought to be even the slightest risk of exposure or breech in infection control measures we will err on the side of caution and enforce a quarantine upon return to the community. Unfortunately, the guidance given from CMS/DOH/DHS clearly states that we cannot automatically enforce a quarantine for every resident that leave the building and need to consider the circumstances surrounding the visit.Close
Q: Where can I make requests to take a resident out for an outing? What is the process?
Requests for outings can go to Dana O'Donnell [email protected] . We will need information surrounding the outing such as where it will take place, how many people will be involved, will social distancing be maintained etc. We will then make the determination of whether or not a quarantine will be needed upon return to the community. A memo of understanding will need to be signed when taking a resident out of the building for any reason.Close
Q: How is The Hearth's staffing?
The Hearth's staffing remains strong.Close
Q: What plans have been implemented to engage residents during this time?
We are doing everything we can to provide meaningful interactions with our residents. We continue to offer doorway exercise classes, trivia, and individual visits. We have distributed activity packets with crossword puzzles, find an item, trivia questions and coloring pages. The residents also have enjoyed our rolling bar and treat carts. We are offering Face-timing and skyping with friends and family. Residents are also asked if they would like to walk outside or sit on the patio, weather permitting.Close
Q: If my loved one becomes ill—are you still sending residents to the hospital?
Yes, if a resident requires hospitalization they will be transported to the hospital. To ensure everyone’s safety (when possible) we are escorting the resident out of the building to the awaiting ambulance. We will provide a mask for the resident (if tolerated) to decrease exposure during transport and in ER.Close
Q: Is The Hearth still allowing admissions?
The Hearth is accepting new admissions for residents. New residents must test negative for COVID-19 prior to moving. The safety of our residents is among our highest priorities and a second test is administered on the move-in day. We are asking new residents to quarantine within their apartment home until the results of the second results are recieved, usually about 72 hours or less. After recieving a negative test result the new resident may join community activities and dining.Close
Q: What are vestibule visits?
If requested, the resident can come to the East or West vestibules and family can come outside to visit. (door is to remain closed). Visits must be scheduled in advanced and are limited when regular visitation is occurring.
Q: What is the procedure for mail and packages?
Mail is delivered to the residents every day (we do hold mail for 3 days before delivery). Packages are received at the loading dock, sanitized and delivered to the residents apartment.Close
Q: Are and how are residents encouraged to exercise and go outdoors?
Exercise is held daily on each household, all residents are asked by the exercise leader if they would like to participate. Residents join in their doorway or we have chairs set up to maintain social distancing. Weather permitting, residents can use the porches or go outside to get fresh air. Staff will ask residents, time permitting or the resident can ask for assistance.Close
Q: Does Dr. Megerian still do monthly visits with residents?
Dr. Megerian continues to visit our residents at the Hearth. He is usually here every Monday morning but that is subject to change.Close
Q: What is the procedure if a staff member becomes ill?
Each staff member is screened prior to entering the building and upon leaving their shift. If the employee does not meet the screening they are asked to leave and contact their medical provider.Close
Q: What happens if a resident becomes ill?
If a resident becomes ill, all efforts are made to care for the resident here at the Hearth, if we cannot safely care for the resident, they will be sent to the hospital per the physician's order.Close
Q: Are the Patios clean?
All 4 patios have been cleaned and power washed. Social distance should be maintained with residents on the patios.Close
Q: Is the HVAC system safe?
Our HVAC system does not use HEPA filters. The filters are changed in the HVAC system per the manufacturer's recommendations. We do not have any negative air pressure rooms at the Hearth.Close
Q: Are staff under-reporting symptoms because they cannot afford to take time off?
All staff have been instructed to report any illness and not to report to work if sick. Staff are screened prior and after their shift. Liberty has allowed employees to go in the negative for time so that their paycheck will not be affected.Close
Q: Will you be testing all residents and staff?
Per the guidance’s, we were required to completed Universal testing on all residents and staff—All test results were negative. Currently, all staff members are required to be tested every 4-6 weeks. If a staff member/resident tests positive, the Hearth at Drexel is required to return to full mitigation (meaning no visitation) until the community is 14 days with no positive tests. On a daily basis we will continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), The Department of Human Services and the CDC.Close
Q: Are you doing antibody testing?
We are not doing antibody testing. There are many studies being conducted and to date there have been no reliable results for antibody testing. We will continue to follow CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines for testing.Close
Q: What are The Hearth's reopening plans?
Q: Where can I find information on the COVID-19 vaccine?