Covid-19 FAQs

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.

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  • Q: Does The Hearth have any positive residents?

    At this time, The Hearth does have residents who have tested positive. We are prepared 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).

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  • Q: Does The Hearth have staff members that have tested positive for COVID 19?

    Yes, The Hearth has had staff members test positive. We are adhering to the Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines for all staff members tested positive no matter their role.

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  • 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.

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  • Q: When will visitors be allowed back in The Hearth?

    The Hearth at Drexel has received 3-step re-opening guidance from the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services. At this time, we are mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to temporarily suspending visitation with the exception of compassionate caregivers until we are able to reach the next step of re-opening.

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  • 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. 

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  • Q: Do I Need to be tested for COVID-19 if I qualify for Compassionate caregiving visits?

    Yes. We require all visitors to be tested prior to their in apartment visits.  Test results are currently good for one month. Testing requirements are based on county positivity rates, if rates increase and testing is required more frequently a notice will be sent out.

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  • Q: What confirmation do you need for negative test result?

    A copy of the test result.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Q: How is The Hearth's staffing?

    The Hearth's staffing remains strong.

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  • 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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

     

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Q: Are the Patios clean?

    All 4 patios have been cleaned and power washed.  Social distance should be maintained with residents on the patios.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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