COVID-19 Information and Updates
Posted 11:15 a.m., September 14, 2021
In Supportive Living testing completed yesterday, one resident from the Walnut neighborhood of Crestwood tested positive for COVID-19. This resident is fully vaccinated. We have also learned of a positive Woodland Park staff person who has been off schedule since last week due to an exposure outside of VMRC.
Due to these positive cases, CMS requires us to continue testing all residents and Healthcare employees every 3-7 days until we reach a point of 14 days with no new positives. A healthcare employee is defined as anyone working in Crestwood, Transitional Care or Woodland Park to include nursing, dining, housekeeping, maintenance and all other supportive staff members.
Supportive Living Visitation Update
Indoor visitation in Crestwood is currently suspended in the Walnut neighborhood. All other neighborhoods may continue to have indoor visits at this time, although outdoor visits are highly encouraged. If visiting indoors, there is a limit of two visitors at a time and all visitors must remain masked at all times, regardless of vaccination status.
In Woodland Park, visitation for Harman and Burkholder houses can resume today, September 14. Yoder House will continue with suspended visitation as this is where residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 quarantine. Transitional Care, Warsack, Brunk, Mumaw and Wenger houses may all receive visitors at this time.
The risk of Covid-19 transmission very much exists and is heightened in our resident population. It is important that we all continue to use the tools and practices of effective infection prevention.
- Screen for signs and symptoms of Covid-19 (temperature check and questions of signs, symptoms and exposure) prior to their visit. If signs and symptoms exist visitation will not be permissible.
- Follow proper hand hygiene with encouraged use of accessible hand sanitizer during your visit.
- Wear face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose). Masks or face coverings are to be worn in all common areas and for outdoor visits.
- Physical distance at least six feet between persons.
Posted 8:45 a.m., September 3, 2021
Updated Visitor Policy
New visitation guidelines for Independent Living will go into effect on Monday, September 6. We are implementing these new guidelines out of concerns for the spike of COVID cases, fueled by the Delta variant, and breakthrough cases in Harrisonburg/Rockingham County. We also appreciate and want to accommodate to the best extent possible resident socialization needs.
Indoor visits will be restricted to fully vaccinated family and guests only regardless of the age of guests. Visits may take place in residents’ homes but not in public areas. Non-vaccinated family and guests are free to visit with residents outdoors.
Dining areas will be open to residents only; no guests regardless of vaccination status will be allowed in dining venues.
The public areas of our independent living campus will be open to residents only.
At this time, viewing of the Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society’s Member Show in the Park Gables Gallery will be open only to residents and staff of VMRC. We hope to open the show to the public at a later time when COVID positivity rates indicate that it is safe to do so.
Posted 11:00 a.m., Sept. 1, Updated 3 p.m. Sept. 3
On Monday, two staff members from Woodland Park tested positive for Covid-19. We initiated outbreak testing of all Supportive Living staff and residents and learned that four residents from Harman House tested positive. These residents have been relocated to Yoder House.
Yesterday we completed more staff testing and also tested all residents in Crestwood. All Crestwood residents tested negative, however, an additional three Supportive Living staff members tested positive. On Thursday, one additional resident and one additional staff in Harman House tested positive.
All the residents were vaccinated and all but one of the employees were fully vaccinated. These recent test results speak to the importance of mask-wearing; we know the Delta variant is very transmissible. We also know that the vaccine decreases the severity of symptoms and risk of death.
Indoor visitation for Harman and Burkholder houses is suspended until we meet the 14-day testing criteria of no new cases. Outdoor visits may occur with resident and visitor masking.
Transitional Care, Warsack, Brunk, Mumaw and Wenger houses may still receive visitors. Should future testing during this outbreak period reveal any new cases of Covid-19 among staff or residents we will need to suspend indoor visitation to those areas as well.
These test results are not totally surprising as we have seen transmission rates in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County steadily increase over the last several weeks. Per guidance from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) we will continue testing all staff and residents every 3-7 days until we achieve 14 days of no new positive cases.
The safety of residents continues to be our top priority and it is imperative that we all continue to practice effective infection prevention, including obtaining the vaccine. We know that vaccination is the greatest defense against Covid-19, and with the recent approval by the Food & Drug Administration, we know it to be safe.
Posted 9 a.m., August 16, 2021
Indoor visitation has resumed in Warsack and Brunk houses in our Woodland Park community. We have completed 14-days of no new positive cases of COVID. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.
The Harrisonburg Community Health Center on VMRC’s campus is open four days/week; closed on Thursdays. A reminder that visitors with appointments at the clinic are to go directly to the clinic for their COVID health screening.
Posted 8:30 a.m., August 5, 2021
Effective immediately, VMRC is returning to requiring masks to be worn indoors in all public areas whether persons are vaccinated or unvaccinated. This decision was reached based on the increased transmission numbers of COVID in Rockingham County as reported August 4 by the Virginia Department of Health for individual localities and with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Masks will be required of all visitors, vendors, contractors and family members age 5 years and older.
In taking this step, we are following current guidance of the CDC:
- To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
- Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.
- If you are fully vaccinated and become infected with the Delta variant, you can spread the virus to others.
- People with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated.
As we see COVID numbers increase due to breakthrough cases and the Delta variant, it is extremely important to be vaccinated as a vaccine is the single most effective tool in fighting this virus. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death, AND they reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
This decision reflects VMRC’s commitment to its mission to help people age well and our commitment to sustaining a healthy and safe work environment and living space for employees and residents.
Posted Noon, August 2, 2021
Supportive Living News Indoor visitation has stopped for Warsack and Brunk homes in Woodland Park due to a Supportive Living staff member testing positive for COVID-19 on Friday. Outdoor visits are allowed at these impacted houses; indoor visitation will continue in the other Woodland Park houses.
Due to the positive case, CMS requires VMRC to complete outbreak testing. We will test healthcare employees including vaccinated staff and all residents in Complete Living Care for Covid-19. Testing will occur one time per week for 14 days beyond any positive case until no new positives exist. “Healthcare employee” is defined as anyone working in Transitional Care or Woodland Park to include Nursing, Dining, Housekeeping, Maintenance and all other supportive staff members.
Last week, the positivity rate in Harrisonburg was 4.7 percent. If it reaches 5 percent, testing frequency moves to weekly for unvaccinated staff.
Please be vigilant in your health and safety protocol including frequent hand washing.
Posted 11:30 a.m., July 12, 2021
Residential Living News
Fully vaccinated VMRC residents and staff may choose to go without masks in most areas of VMRC. Exceptions include while on VMRC Transportation, in the Harrisonburg Community Health Center, in the salons, and in all Supportive Living areas: Crestwood, Oak Lea and Woodland Park. Non-vaccinated residents and staff must continue to wear masks in any VMRC public areas.
Masking Update for VMRC Visitors and Guests:
- Fully vaccinated visitors (two weeks beyond second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks beyond one dose of Johnson and Johnson) may choose to not wear a mask while in resident homes or in VMRC public areas. Exceptions include while on VMRC Transportation, in the Harrisonburg Community Health Center, in the salons, and in all Supportive Living areas: Crestwood, Oak Lea and Woodland Park.
- Non vaccinated guests age 5 and older must wear masks at all times and are restricted to visiting in resident homes only.
- All contractors, private aides or vendors are still required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
- All visitors must continue to be screened at the Park Gables front desk upon arrival.
Other Residential Living Updates
- As of Sunday, July 4, vaccinated family members and guests are welcome to join residents in both the Main Street Café and Hartman Dining Room.
- The VMRC Wellness Center is open to fully vaccinated community members. To view current hours and class schedule, visit vmrc.org/wellness-center
Supportive Living News
Based on the current positivity rate in Harrisonburg and guidance from CMS and VDH, we are now testing all non-vaccinated staff in Supportive Living once per month. Visitors to VMRC’s Supportive Living are expected to adhere to the following guidelines for indoor visits:
- No more than two persons may visit indoors with a resident at one time. In public areas of Woodland Park, Transitional Care and Crestwood, masks are required regardless of vaccination status.
- If both the resident and the visitors are vaccinated, masks do not need to be worn while alone in the resident’s room or designated visitation room.
More than two guests may visit with a resident outdoors and masks are not required if everyone present is vaccinated. If a visitor is not vaccinated, everyone present must wear a mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Posted 1 p.m., May 21, 2021
Supportive Living News
Indoor visitation resumes today in Woodland Park and Oak Lea since we have met the required 14-day period of having no new positive Covid-19 cases. All residents are allowed visitors unless the resident is in a quarantine period.
All visitors will be expected to follow the core principles of Infection Prevention. If you are participating in indoor visitation, no more than two persons may visit with a resident at one time. Woodland Park, Transitional Care and Crestwood are considered Healthcare areas. Masking is still required unless the below information applies* regardless of vaccination status.
*If both the resident and the visitors are fully vaccinated the following is acceptable:
- While alone in the resident’s room or designated visitation room, residents and their visitors can choose to have close contact (including touch) and not wear a mask.
- Visitors should wear masks and physically distance from other residents, staff and visitors who are not part of their group.
- Guidance for communal activities and dining now states residents and patients who are fully vaccinated may choose to have close contact and not mask during the activity or dining. If an unvaccinated resident or patient is present, all participants should wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Independent Living News
Employees working in Independent Living regardless of vaccination status will continue to follow the current mask policy of wearing masks. We have not yet attained a vaccination rate of at least 70 percent among RL employees, which we hope to do to protect all of our community. We continue to monitor the positivity rate in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. If by mid-June the positivity rate continues to stay low, we will reevaluate our masking policy.
Because 90+ percent of residents in Independent living are fully vaccinated, those fully vaccinated residents may choose to go without masks in most areas of VMRC. Exceptions are while on VMRC transportation, in the Harrisonburg Community Health Center, in the Wellness Center, in the beauty salons and in Supportive Living areas: Crestwood, Oak Lea and Woodland Park.
- Fully vaccinated guests may choose to visit without masks in residents’ homes or in VMRC public areas with the exceptions of those areas named above.
- Non-vaccinated residents must continue to wears masks in any VMRC public areas.
- Non-vaccinated guests age 5 and older must wear masks at all times and are restricted to visiting in residents’ apartments.
The CDC has declared that the best protection against COVID is a vaccine. “If you are not vaccinated, you are not safe. Please go get vaccinated or continue to wear your mask.”
We will continue to update you on any changes to our campus’ mask policy based on vaccination rates and the area’s positivity rate.
Posted 3:30 p.m. May 17, 2021
VMRC’s COVID Response Team met this morning to discuss last Thursday’s announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the wearing of masks by vaccinated persons.
There are no changes in Supportive Living masking guidelines because of the healthcare component. The CDC guidelines as they apply to independent living are not as clear, therefore, VMRC’s current masking guidelines for residents and staff working in independent living will remain the same until further notice. We are seeking guidance from Leading Age – the national organization for non-profit aging service providers – to determine best practices for serving a high-risk population.
While last week’s mask announcement was specific to vaccinated persons, the CDC has been very clear to state that the best protection against COVID is a vaccine. To make getting a vaccine convenient for VMRC employees and new residents, VMRC has registered to administer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on a weekly basis.
We resume testing of Supportive Living staff today and SL residents tomorrow and Wednesday. If we do not have any new positives this week, we can resume indoor visitation in Woodland Park and Oak Lea on Friday.
Posted 3:30 p.m. May 7, 2021
We learned this week of two Supportive Living staff members and one resident in Woodland Park who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Because of this outbreak, we are suspending all indoor visitation in Woodland Park and Oak Lea until we meet the 14-day testing criteria of no new cases. Outdoor visits may still occur with mask wearing and physical distancing.
We will continue testing all staff and residents in Woodland Park and Oak Lea every 3-7 days until we achieve 14 days of no new positive cases.
This number of positive cases is the most VMRC has had in more than four months, proof that the risk of COVID-19 transmission still exists. COVID can have serious and life-threatening complications particularly in high-risk individuals such as our resident population. Stopping a pandemic requires all the tools we have available, and vaccination is a critical measure in helping to end this pandemic.
VMRC Wellness Center
The VMRC Wellness Center will be reopening to fully vaccinated community members beginning May 17. “Fully vaccinated” means that individuals are two weeks after completing the complete dose of their vaccine. All community members must show proof of vaccination prior to returning to the Wellness Center. Additional health and safety details are found here https://www.vmrc.org/wellness-center
Posted 10:15 a.m. April 16, 2021
Woodland Park and Transitional Care Visitation Update
We have now reached a 14-day period of having no new cases of COVID-19 in Woodland Park or Transitional Care and have resumed visitation effective immediately.
Visitation is open without the need to schedule an appointment. Outdoor visitation is preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated, however indoor visitation is open as well.
At this time, we are requesting indoor visits be limited to two guests per resident at one time. Indoor visits will preferably occur in resident rooms.
All visitors are asked to follow these core principles of infection prevention:
- Screen for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
- Proper hand hygiene with encouraged use of accessible hand sanitizer during your visit
- Wearing of face-covering or mask that covers the nose and mouth
- Physical distance of at least six feet.
Family contacts received an update on the resuming of visitation yesterday, April 15.
Posted 2 p.m. April 14, 2021
Woodland Park Updates
As with any great challenge, some of the most important learning comes in the aftermath. COVID strained VMRC’s front-line team in Supportive Living – from the emotional and physical demands in their jobs, to the challenges of staff scheduling due to long hours, staff shortages in an industry which has an aging population in need of care and limited applicants to fill positions.
One of the first steps in evaluating our workforce needs in Supportive Living is to immediately address the current staffing challenge. To do this, we are temporarily consolidating the households of Showalter and Yoder houses in Woodland Park by transitioning persons who live there to other Woodland Park homes or to the south wing of Oak lea. This action will immediately reduce the need to staff these houses while allowing us to maintain resident-centered care. With this decision, we are currently pausing admissions to Woodland Park.
We anticipate moves to begin this week and continue next week. These changes will provide residents with private rooms and private baths, consistent staff care and life enrichment programming. Residents in Oak Lea may utilize the Transitional Care gym and will receive meals in their rooms or in The Grille. Visitation for all residents will continue as it is prior to their moves.
The Supportive Living leadership team had personal conversations with Woodland Park frontline employees, residents and family members to explain this decision and answer questions.
This action will immediately alleviate the need to fill 60 shifts. By minimizing the current staffing challenge, we can develop plans to recruit job candidates, offer CNA training at VMRC and identify incentives for current employees which will increase staff retention.
Our goal is to re-open Showalter and Yoder houses in three months, though it may be longer until we can recruit and train additional staff. We will use the time to develop and plan recruitment initiatives, retention incentives and provide onsite CNA training.
We began the COVID journey offering transparent communication, and we continue that commitment as we live out being an authentic community for persons to age well and live fully.
Posted 11:15 a.m., April 8, 2021
The VMRC Wellness Center remains closed to community members at this time, however Outpatient Therapy is now open by appointment. This includes physical, occupational and massage therapy. To schedule an appointment, contact Milana at the Wellness Center at 540-438-4228 or learn more here.
Posted 4:30 p.m., April 2, 2021
This week we learned that a staff member who worked in both Woodland Park and Transitional Care tested positive for Covid-19. In response to this positive result and in accordance with CMS guidance, we tested all residents in those areas. Test results indicated that a resident who lives in Yoder House tested positive for the virus. The resident has since been moved to Transitional Care to be in a “hot” area. We do have to suspend visitation in Woodland Park and Transitional Care until we reach 14 days with no new positive cases. Visitation in Crestwood will continue.
The CDC has stressed that vaccination is our greatest weapon from this virus. Beyond our initial clinics at VMRC, vaccines have not been made available to long-term care facilities to expedite vaccinating additional staff and residents. Supportive Living leadership are working with the Virginia Department of Health to ensure we are one of the first communities to have this opportunity.
Restrictions in Residential Living are slowly lifting. This month we will offer local shopping trips for up to 10 residents, classes and resident gatherings of 20 or fewer, and “take-out” service in the Main Street Café and Bakery to name a few changes.
Posted 9 a.m., March 15, 2021
Because the positivity rate in our area has been under 10 percent for 14 days, we are moving to once a week testing of Supportive Living staff beginning today.
VISITATION – Independent Living
Under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, independent living residents now may have visitors from off-campus and vaccinated residents may visit each other in their homes and across neighborhoods. Residents and visitors except those under age 5 must still wear masks and distance themselves during visits.
Guidelines for visitation in Residential Living:
- Visitations are allowed 7 days a week from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Maximum number of visitors allowed in a resident home is four.
- All visitors should be screened at the Park Gables entrance prior to proceeding to resident’s home and only visit in the home.
- We request that visitors enter through the main doors of each building and not travel through building hallways after they are screened.
- We recommend that eating or drinking during visits be limited so wearing of masks will be maintained.
- Any visitors who are experiencing symptoms or are feeling ill should reschedule their visit.
VISITATION – Supportive Living
Indoor visitation in Crestwood and Woodland Park will begin March 23. Signups will no longer be necessary, but health screenings will be required. Family contacts received information on the visitation policy March 12. The new guidance states that outdoor visitation is preferred, but we will be allowing indoor visitation unless circumstances arise causing us to pause visits.
Indoor visits are limited to two guests per resident at one time and are encouraged to occur in resident rooms. Visitors will be screened prior to their visit and expected to follow these infection prevention practices: wearing face masks, keeping physical distance of at least six feet between people and proper hand hygiene.
Thank you for being vigilant in keeping our community healthy.
Posted 4:15 p.m., Feb. 26, 2021
Today is the end of the two-week period for 91 percent of independent living residents who were vaccinated. We will be expanding campus services and programs to independent living residents in the near future and share those updates here.
Based on yesterday’s testing of Supportive Living staff, we had one positive test result in a staff member who last worked Feb. 19. The person has been placed off the schedule and will follow the appropriate return-to-work guidelines. This positive test result is not considered an onset, so visitation may continue in Woodland Park and Assisted Living.
We are approaching the one-year mark of containing the coronavirus and have attained an excellent vaccine response within our resident population campus wide. About 60 percent of staff working in independent living and supportive living have been vaccinated. The next vaccine clinic is March 3.
Posted 2 p.m., Feb. 19, 2021
Our COVID update for the week:
- After this week’s testing, we have no new positive cases to report.
- Visitation in Woodland Park began Tuesday and is going well.
- All Crestwood neighborhoods are off precautions today and will begin indoor visitation on Tuesday.
Posted 10:45 a.m., Feb. 12, 2021
We end the week with approximately 300 residents and staff from independent living and supportive living participating in a vaccine clinic.
In the two rounds of staff testing this week, we had no positive test results. Additionally, we have no new positive test results among residents to report. The most recent positive staff test result in Complete Living Care was Jan. 31; in Crestwood the most recent positive staff test result was Feb. 4.
The positivity rate in Harrisonburg has increased to 12.5 percent which means that we will continue twice weekly staff testing in supportive living for at least three weeks or two weeks beyond when the positivity rate drops below 10 percent in Harrisonburg. Please encourage your household members and friend circles to do their part to lower this rate by wearing masks, maintaining safe physical distances, avoiding large group activities and frequent hand washing. While VMRC's positive test results are decreasing, we are still impacted by numbers in the greater community.
Indoor visitation in supportive living will begin Tuesday, Feb. 16, in Woodland Park and Feb. 23 in Crestwood. These visits will be up to 20 minutes, and visitors will be screened. Masks and physical distancing of at least 6 feet will be required. While the vaccine provides full protection for most persons two weeks after the second dose, a vaccinated person may still be able to spread COVID to others.
Posted 3:15 p.m., Feb. 5, 2021
In this week’s round of supportive living resident testing, we had no positive results. This means that beginning next week, we can stop weekly testing of residents as long as no new staff or resident cases are reported. Staff testing indicated one positive result in a Woodland Park employee over the weekend and one positive in a Crestwood nursing staff member yesterday. This staff person was asymptomatic and tested negative in Monday’s round of testing. Out of an abundance of caution, the three neighborhoods in Crestwood where this person has worked for the past 14 days (Dogwood, Elm, Walnut) will be considered warm units for a two week period with full precautions being taken. This means that the planned reopening of visitation on February 9 will be delayed by two weeks. Woodland Park will resume visitation the week of February 15 as long as no new cases are reported.
The positivity rate in Harrisonburg as of last week was 9.2 percent. If the rate stays below 10 percent for a two-week period, we will be able to go back to once per week testing of supportive living staff.
In independent living, we learned of one positive case of a Heritage Haven resident. This person received a positive result through their physician and has been quarantining since symptoms began.
A 3-day vaccine clinic will be held for independent living residents and staff this coming week to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This marks the next step in our on-going efforts to curb the spread on our campus and within our community.
Posted 3 p.m., Jan. 29, 2021
Our testing results from the week indicate that we have one Woodland Park resident whose results indicated an abnormal positive. After additional testing, the results showed a negative result. The resident is being isolated in Showalter House where the house is on full precautions.
Indoor visitation in Assisted Living will resume Feb. 9 in the Crestwood Conference Room. Scheduling for visits will be managed online as it was previously. In-person activities for residents will resume next week.
The Recovery Task Force for Residential Living will meet next week to consider any changes to visitation, dining and other group activities.
VMRC is required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to test staff based on the positivity rate within the county or city in which the nursing home is located. Since the positivity rate in Harrisonburg is greater than 10 percent, we are required to do biweekly testing. These CMS requirements are to protect our employees who provide direct care and who support those working in the direct care of residents and patients.
Employees are required to test if they work in Transitional Care or Woodland Park: Housekeeping, Laundry, Dining, direct care, Life Enrichment, management and as support staff. Any person who is providing care by arrangement in these locations must also be tested weekly.
As college students return to our area and as the positivity rate remains high, please wear your mask properly. Note this guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
Posted 9 a.m., January 25, 20201
We completed last week a three-day vaccine clinic for residents and employees in Independent Living. Approximately, 91 percent of residents and close to 60 percent of staff received their first doses of the vaccine. On Sunday, we hosted a second vaccine clinic for Supportive Living employees and residents of Woodland Park and Transitional Care.
As the vaccine becomes available, remember that it does not replace those health measures emphasized by the Virginia Department of Health: wearing face masks, maintaining safe distance, frequent hand washing and limiting social contacts. All of these steps will keep us healthy and keep our community strong. Information about the vaccine in our area is available from the Virginia Department of Health
We had all negative resident test results in Supportive Living last week. In Crestwood, we have reached a 14-day period of all negative test results. We had a staff member in Crestwood Dining Services test positive last week - the only positive test among staff all week.
The remaining three Crestwood neighborhoods came off isolation Friday. We will return to physically distance dining in those areas and resume activities the week of January 25. Visitation plans for Assisted Living will be established in discussion with the Virginia Department of Health. We commend the leadership of Kristin Trask and Shelley Kiser for this turnaround, along with the compassion and dedication of their teams.
Posted 2:15 p.m., January 15, 2021
This week’s testing marks a one-week period in which we have had no new positive cases among Assisted Living residents. We did have two staff in Supportive Living who are not in direct care roles test positive in Thursday’s staff testing. Monday’s test results included one Nursing staff member from Assisted Living and one Dining staff member from Complete Living Care test positive. Sadly, a Crestwood resident who had Covid-19 passed away on Saturday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the staff who cared for this resident and for loved ones who are experiencing this loss.
Three neighborhoods in Assisted Living came off isolation yesterday. Cedar, Walnut and Redbud neighborhoods have gone more than 14 days with no new positive tests. Because of this, we will reinstitute physical-distanced dining at lunch today and will move forward with other reopening activities over time. Assisted Living staff will continue with infection control practices that were in place prior to the isolation period.
With the ingenuity of our Supportive Living leadership, VMRC may take admissions again to Transitional Care. We expect this will remain consistent under guidelines approved by the Virginia Department of Health. New admissions will enter the “warm area” of Transitional Care, where they will be cared for as presumed positive for at least 14 days.
Because the positivity rate for the City of Harrisonburg is 25.7 percent, VMRC will continue twice weekly testing in Supportive Living and will continue to do so as long as the rate stays above 10 percent.
We have 98 percent of residents in Residential Living and more than half of the staff in Residential Living registered for the upcoming vaccine clinics the week of January 18 and for the follow-up dose clinics.
VMRC encourages members of the broader community to stay diligent in your health practices and take steps to get the vaccine when it becomes available to you.
Posted 2:10 p.m., January 8, 2021
We received results from yesterday’s COVID testing of residents and staff in Supportive Living. We had no positive test results among staff. We had four residents in Assisted Living with positive results – three were found through rapid tests; one resident was at a hospital and was tested at that location. The residents reside on Elm and Dogwood neighborhoods and are being cared for by our team members.
VMRC has completed one vaccine clinic in Supportive Living. More than 160 employees and approximately 85 Woodland Park residents and Transitional Care patients received the first dose of the COVID vaccine on January 3. Additional vaccine clinic dates will be Jan. 24 and Feb. 14 for Assisted Living residents and Supportive Living employees.
Vaccine clinics will be organized in the near future for residents and employees in our Independent Living community. Residents will be receiving that information in their campus mailboxes in upcoming days. Employees will be notified through their supervisors.
The positivity rate in our area is extremely high, and we have vaccinated about half of the eligible employees on our campus and most residents in Complete Living Care. We desire to create a safety bubble of “community immunity” by committing to following stringent health protocols of getting the vaccine, wearing a face mask, maintaining our distance from others and frequent hand washing.
Please consider doing the same when you have the opportunity for the vaccine. Stay vigilant for the Valley!
Posted 9 a.m., January 6, 2021
VMRC hosted a COVID vaccine clinic Sunday with its pharmacy partner CVS for people considered in the priority vaccine audience. More than 160 Supportive Living employees and approximately 85 Woodland Park residents and Transitional Care patients received the first dose of the vaccine. We are grateful for the turnout and the willingness of our teammates to take this important step. The next vaccine clinic date is Jan. 24 for people to receive the second dose of the vaccine. It also will be an opportunity for employees who were unable to make Sunday’s clinic to receive their first dose of the vaccine. The third clinic date is Feb. 14.
Results of Monday’s testing in Supportive Living revealed that one resident in Assisted Living and two staff members in Complete Living Care tested positive. Additionally, two CLC staff members tested positive over the weekend. PCR tests were used for Woodland Park residents and Transitional Care patients/residents yesterday, and we expect those results in the next 24 hours.
Sadly, we need to report the passing of four residents in Assisted Living due to COVID from Dec. 29 to Jan. 5. Our hearts are with the staff who cared for these residents and for residents’ family members and loved ones.
We continue to test Supportive Living staff and residents on Mondays and Thursdays. Updates will appear on this page as test results become available.
Posted 3:15 p.m., January 5, 2021
In a newly created video message, VMRC leaders from across campus share the impact COVID-19 has had in their lives and across the VMRC community and what the prospect of the COVID-19 vaccine means to them.
Posted 5:00 p.m., December 31, 2020
We are happy to share that no new positive results were indicated in our last round of resident and staff testing in Crestwood Assisted Living or Woodland Park. Transitional Care also had no new positive results in the last round of testing. Sadly, we must report that two residents of Crestwood who had previously contracted the virus have passed this week. Our heartfelt condolences are with the families of these residents, along with the staff who cared for them.
Earlier this week, an unannounced visit by the state licensing board found no deficiencies in our infection control practices
We were informed of two positive staff cases in residential living today. Following the guidelines established by the CDC, both employees are off work for ten days. Two additional residential living employees will be off work for 14 days due to being non-household contacts of one of the positive cases.
VMRC’s first vaccine clinic will be held this Sunday. Residents and staff who work in long term care as well as staff who work in assisted living are eligible. We look forward to this next step in combatting the coronavirus.
It has been a trying year in many ways but we are grateful for dedicated staff and the support, prayers and encouragement of residents, their families and the community.
Posted 4:15 p.m., December 28, 2020
We continue to test both residents and staff in supportive living. In testing conducted over the weekend and this morning, ten positive cases were identified including four Assisted Living residents, one Transitional Care patient, one Woodland Park staff, one Transitional Care staff and three Assisted Living staff.
Crestwood Assisted Living remains under isolation and continued infection control practices. Staff are using full precautions including gowns, wearing N95 masks and face shields. Crestwood staff continue to monitor all residents for any health changes. The patient testing positive from Transitional Care was moved to the “Hot” unit designed specifically to cohort patients or residents who are COVID positive. Staff uses full precautions including gowns, N95 masks and face shields.
We continue regular communication with VDH and Dr. Shenk to mitigate risk and ensure that we are following guidelines and, to the best of our ability, keep staff and residents safe.
In residential living, two additional employees have tested positive. These two cases are not connected to one another as the second employee case was a result of a household contact. No new cases of residential living residents have been reported. Visitation and residential group gatherings continue to be on hold at this time as we monitor Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County percent positivity testing rates.
Vaccinations will begin at VMRC this Sunday, Jan. 3 and we are hopeful for the future, however, we remind everyone to remain vigilant in their safety practices – wear a mask, physical distance and wash hands frequently.
Posted 5:30 p.m., December 21, 2020
TEST RESULTS Results from the weekend’s resident and staff testing indicate that we have an additional positive test result in an Assisted Living resident and three Supportive Living staff members. One staff member from Assisted Living tested positive in this morning’s testing. We deeply regret that two residents passed within the week from the virus. Our hearts go out to the residents, family members and staff at this difficult time. We express our gratitude to staff who are caring for residents bravely and compassionately.
We are testing staff and residents today in Assisted Living and Complete Living Care. We are doing rapid tests with all staff and Assisted Living residents. PCR (lab) tests will be conducted among residents in Woodland Park and Transitional Care. One Woodland Park resident who was quarantined in Oak Lea has returned home to Woodland Park.
VISITATION Because of the rise of cases on our campus and the greater community, we will continue to suspend all indoor visitation in Residential Living and all visitation in Supportive Living until further notice.
VMRC is following the Virginia Department of Health new back-to-work guidelines which include a 10-day return to work recommendation. VDH also has provided healthcare facilities with the following guidance as a strategy to mitigate staffing shortages among employees who test positive for COVID:
“Allow health care professionals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection to provide direct care only for patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, preferably in a cohort setting.”
VACCINE As part of our goal to contain the virus on our campus, VMRC will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic with our Pharmacy Partner Omnicare/CVS for residents and staff in long term care and employees in Assisted Living. These tentative dates are January 3 and 24. VMRC is receiving the vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech. More information about the vaccine process and development can be found here: Answering Patients’ Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC
We appreciate your continued diligence to wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, keeping a small “safety bubble” and physical distancing. Your health practices will keep our community safe.
Posted 10:45 a.m. December 16, 2020
We are providing this update on completed testing in Assisted Living based on previous positive cases identified Friday, Dec. 11. We have an additional six residents and three staff in Assisted Living who tested positive for Covid-19. These cases mean that we will suspend all visitation in Crestwood including outdoor distanced visits for 14 days.
The residents live on Hickory, Redbud, Cedar and Walnut neighborhoods. Under guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and our medical director Dr. Jonathan Shenk we are currently cohorting positive residents as best we can to contain the virus.
Staff are off the schedule and will follow VDH return-to-work guidance. In addition, a Woodland Park employee tested positive as part of Monday’s staff testing, and we learned that a Supportive Living employee who had been off due to household contacts tested positive.
In order to contain the virus, staff working in Assisted Living are using full precautions including gowns, wearing N95 masks and face shields. We will continue to seek guidance from VDH and Dr. Shenk to mitigate and staff these areas.
Our team has weathered many months of containing this virus, and they continue to meet the challenge bravely and compassionately. We are grateful to each of them.
We look forward to the time that a vaccine will help minimize the effects of this virus and will provide greater assurance to mitigating and containing Covid-19. Until then, please be vigilant with wearing a face mask, maintaining at least six feet physical distance, wash your hands frequently and limit your social circle.
Posted 2:45 p.m. December 14, 2020
In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and keep VMRC residents and staff safe, we continue with weekly testing, adherence to best practices in infection control and strict “back to work” criteria under the guidance of the Virginia Department of Health.
Despite these stringent health protocols, Friday in Assisted Living we had four staff and six residents test positive for COVID-19. All six residents reside on the Hickory neighborhood. They are all isolating in their rooms with a staff member designated for their care. Three of the six residents have symptoms; the other three are asymptomatic. All four staff members have been removed from the work schedule.
In response to the first positive resident, we tested all residents and a majority of staff. All these persons tested negative. Our staff took immediate and effective action. We are pleased with the way our team is caring for and supporting all the residents on the Hickory neighborhood.
Due to these circumstances, visitation in Assisted Living will be discontinued at least through the next 14 days including outdoor distanced visits.
We are suspending all group activities for residents in Assisted Living. We will return to virtual activities.
Thank you for understanding these measures to contain the virus and keep VMRC residents and staff safe.
Posted 5 p.m. December 7, 2020
Results from Thursday's resident testing for COVID were all negative. Last week, three Supportive Living team members tested positive as part of the weekly staff testing. All were asymptomatic. We also learned that a staff member from Assisted Living received a positive test result for Covid-19. The employee last worked Nov. 22. She was scheduled to work on Nov. 25 but called out with a fever and sought testing. She has been removed from the schedule until tomorrow.
Visitation will continue to be restricted in Woodland Park and Transitional Care until further notice. We must go 14 days with no positive results among employees or residents. This 14-day period resets each time a person tests positive. At this time, we are encouraging Facetime, window visits and phone calls with loved ones. Visitation in Crestwood continues under the current guidelines.
The four residents from Woodland Park who tested positive for COVID-19 have completed their quarantine periods and have safely returned to their homes in Woodland Park. They experienced few to no symptoms the past two weeks.
Last week we had an unannounced inspection visit in Woodland Park from the Office of Licensure. We were identified as being in good condition with no deficiencies. We commend all the staff who achieved these results!
In October, VMRC registered with the Virginia Department of Health for the Pharmacy Partnership program to vaccinate residents and employees. As we get closer to an approved vaccine for distribution and administration, we will communicate the plan to staff, residents and families under the guidance of the Virginia Department of Health. We believe this is an important “next step” to keeping the health and safety of residents and employees a top priority. Our goal remains to contain the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.
Posted 11:30 a.m. November 18, 2020
We learned yesterday that four residents tested positive across three homes in Woodland Park. Those homes - Harman, Mumaw and Burkholder - have been placed on isolation. We retested all residents of Woodland Park through rapid antigen testing, and all of those tests have returned negative. We are in the process of testing all staff who work in Woodland Park and Oak Lea.
We are continuing to follow procedures recommended by the Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to contain the spread. We are taking steps to limit the exposure to residents and staff and to ensure that infection control protocols continue to be followed.
We learned Monday that a patient on the Admissions Wing in Transitional Care tested positive for COVID-19 as part of routine surveillance testing last Friday for new admissions. The patient came to VMRC from a local health care facility Nov. 6 where the patient tested negative for COVID at discharge. Per VMRC’s protocol, the patient has been on isolation and under strict precautionary measures since being admitted. As required, we have reported the case to the Virginia Department of Health and are following their recommendations of using full droplet precautions and isolating the patient.
Under VDH guidelines, any person who is placed within transmission-based precautions upon admission and develops COVID-19 infection with-in 14 days after admission is not considered a case of nursing home onset. All Transitional Care patients were tested Monday with the antigen rapid testing and no additional patients tested positive. We will test residents weekly and continue to restrict visitation in Oak Lea and Woodland Park until we reach the 14-day all negative threshold.
We commend VMRC’s front-line care staff for their resilience, dedication and compassion to residents and patients during this time.
We learned late last week that a Woodland Park employee tested positive for COVID after being exposed by a member of his/her household. The staff member last worked on November 7. The following day the staff member developed symptoms and did the right thing by seeing his/her personal care physician for testing and not coming to work. The staff member will follow return-to-work guidelines set by the VDH.
CRESTWOOD VISITATION - We began indoor visitation in Assisted Living this week. Visits will take place in the CW Event Dining Room under the following protocol:
- Visits will last a maximum of 20 minutes.
- Visitation will take place 1-5 p.m. Tuesday – Friday.
- Two visitors will be allowed per visit.
- All visitors and residents will wear masks.
- Space will be sanitized between visits.
- Children may be one of the two visitors.
- If we have any positive cases in Assisted Living, we will immediately suspend visitation. We are still allowing front-porch visitations.
- No visitation will take place on actual holidays, but we will extend visiting hours the day before/after the holidays to ensure opportunity for all.
Please consider these guidelines from the CDC for a safe and healthy holiday season:
Posted 1:45 p.m. November 11, 2020
We have had all negative results from this week’s round of Supportive Living staff testing. Additionally, we had all negative results for Woodland Park residents and Transitional Care patients from last week.
We learned that a resident in Independent Living tested positive November 5 as part of the resident’s routine workplace testing for COVID. The resident was asymptomatic. The employer is working with the Virginia Department of Health in contact tracing to mitigate any spread on VMRC’s campus. The resident and spouse are following VDH’s protocol to quarantine in their home.
One staff member who works part time in Woodland Park’s Mumaw House had a positive test result in the Nov. 2 round of staff testing. The employee, who was asymptomatic, tested positive in a rapid antigen test. Because the employee was asymptomatic, a PCR test which is a molecular lab test with a higher level of accuracy was obtained to confirm the positive result. The employee was put off of work immediately, and confirmation came upon receiving the PCR test results.
As of today, our records show that 14 residents and 21 employees on our campus have had positive test results since we began tracking in March. These numbers represent cases reported in Independent Living and Supportive Living.
We are entering traditionally cooler months which means more time indoors. Please maintain your diligence with good hand washing, wearing face coverings and keeping a safe distance from others. With these steps, we can avoid a surge in our community and avoid a strain to our area's healthcare system.
Posted 10 a.m., Nov. 9, 2020
Family visits have started in independent living within the homes of residents. As always, the health and safety of residents are our top priority. With that in mind, these guidelines are in place for family/resident visitations:
- Visits are allowed 9.am.-7 p.m.
- The maximum number of visitors allowed in a resident home at one time is four.
- All visitors shall be screened at the Park Gables entrance prior to proceeding to the resident’s home.
- All visitors except those under age 5 and all residents shall wear a mask during visits and do their best to maintain safe distancing.
- We recommend that eating or drinking during visits be limited to allow masks to be worn during the visit.
- No overnight stays will be allowed at this time.
- Any person who is experiencing symptoms or is feeling ill should not visit.
Indoor visitations may be suspended at any time due to COVID outbreaks within our community or the greater Harrisonburg/Rockingham County area. If you are unsure of our visitation policy, please check this page for updates or contact your loved one prior to visiting.
We appreciate your commitment to good health practices which allow VMRC to open its independent living areas to family members. Please be vigilant for the Valley and VMRC.
Posted 12:30 p.m. October 29, 2020
We learned this morning that an employee in Residential Living Dining has tested positive for COVID-19. This employee was asymptomatic and last worked Monday, Oct. 26. He was tested through contact tracing for possible exposure to a positive case in an educational environment. VMRC is working with Dining leadership to do its own contact tracing with other employees and residents. We will follow appropriate return-to-work procedures before allowing the employee back on schedule.
COVID is still in our community, therefore, continue to maintain a safe distance from others, wear face coverings and practice good hand washing.
The CDC offers these guidelines for safely celebrating upcoming holidays:
Posted Noon, October 27, 2020
This morning we learned that an employee who works in Woodland Park and Transitional Care tested positive for COVID-19. She last worked October 19 in Mumaw House. This employee was scheduled to work the weekend of October 24-25 as her weekend, but she began having cold-like symptoms Friday afternoon. Instead of coming to work with symptoms, she went to her doctor for testing and was off the schedule while awaiting test results. This employee did the right thing by not coming to work with symptoms. She reports that she is feeling much better at this time. The employee will remain off work until meeting the Virginia Department of Health return-to-work criteria.
With this news, we will follow guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which require testing if there is a single new case of COVID-19 infection in any staff or residents in a nursing home community. Under these guidelines, all staff and residents should be tested, and all staff and residents who have tested negative should be retested every three to seven days until testing identifies no new cases of COVID-19 infection among staff or residents for a 14-day period since the most recent positive result.
The Supportive Living management team will be communicating with staff and families about testing day(s) this week. This also means we will need to discontinue visitation in Woodland Park until we once again reach the 14-day threshold.
As the weather becomes cooler and the holidays approach, we encourage you to be mindful of keeping a safe “bubble” for your health and that of people in our community.
Posted 12:55 p.m. October 23, 2020
The CMS percent positivity rate for Harrisonburg has dropped to 7.4 percent and has been below 10 percent for a two-week period. This means that beginning October 26, we will only be testing Supportive Living staff once per week on Mondays. The once per week testing will continue as long as the percent positivity rate remains below the 10 percent threshold. All results from this week’s staff testing on Monday and Thursday were negative.
The CDC has released several new guidelines recently:
Update to Definition of Close Contact: Previously, a close contact was defined as within 6 feet of an infected individual for more than 15 minutes. That definition has now been expanded to within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Read the full definition on the CDC website.
CDC Holiday Guidelines: The CDC has released its guidance on upcoming holiday celebrations. This is important information not just for residents but for staff and the general community as well. We all must continue to be mindful of our gatherings and interactions, even as the holiday season approaches. The guidance can be found here.
Residential living staff have been working on plans for indoor visitation for independent living residents; we will share those plans when they are finalized.
Posted 2:15 p.m. October 17, 2020
VMRC staff who work in Supportive Living continue to be tested twice per week. The results of last week's testing produced all negative results. Per guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, we will continue to test these staff members twice weekly until the percent positivity rate drops below 10 percent in Harrisonburg. As of Friday, October 16, it was 11.7 percent.
We reached a point of 14 days with no positive cases among residents in Woodland Park and patients in Transitional Care. Because of this, we no longer need to test residents unless there is a new confirmed case or onset of symptoms.
Woodland Park outdoor visits began earlier this month and have been going well. Crestwood Assisted Living has also expanded visitation to include outdoor visits. Visitors must follow the precautions of wearing masks and physical distancing. The Crestwood visitation window is still open for those in Memory Care and for those who prefer to use it. Outdoor visits will continue as long as no residents receive a positive COVID test.
Kudos to Life Enrichment who successfully implemented a week of fall festivities for residents in Woodland Park in lieu of their traditional fall festival!
Posted 4:45 p.m. October 2, 2020
With the positivity rate in Harrisonburg at 16 percent this week, we are continuing to test twice weekly those staff who work in Supportive Living. We had all negative results this week. Because we reached a 14-day period of negative test results among residents in Woodland Park and Transitional Care, we did not test Supportive Living residents this week.
One staff member who works in Residential Living tested positive for COVID this week. The staff member came to work without symptoms, but at lunch experienced the loss of taste and immediately went for testing. This employee did the right thing in getting tested upon recognizing this specific symptom of the coronavirus.
Wellness & Community Based Services is expanding group activities for independent living residents with facility-specific events for a maximum of nine residents. The Wellness Center is scheduling outdoor activities for up to eight persons twice weekly in the Park Gables lower parking lot. The Wellness Center also has increased to two the number of people in the fitness area.
Resident Services Managers are recommending expanded visitation options for independent living residents in their respective communities. We will communicate details when plans are finalized.
Outdoor visitation in Woodland Park begins Tuesday. Residents and their loved ones will maintain six-feet physical distance and wear masks. Up to four family members may visit with one resident; visits will be self-scheduled online. Visits will occur with family members on house front porches and residents on screened porches. Visitors will provide their own chairs. Indoor visitation will not be allowed until the positivity rate in Harrisonburg is below 10 percent.
We continue to encourage you and your household members to practice good health habits. Let’s keep the positivity rate low in Harrisonburg. Be vigilant for the Valley and VMRC!
Posted 4 p.m. September 25, 2020
This week we reached a 14-day period of all negative resident test results in Supportive Living for the second time. This means we can begin planning safe outdoor visits for residents in Woodland Park based on recently announced visitation guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Our goal is to begin outdoor visits in Woodland Park on October 6. We are communicating this news along with information about the sign-up process to family members. Outdoor visits will continue as long as the 14-day COVID-free testing window is in place.
We had one employee test positive in this week’s rounds of resident and staff testing. The employee last worked at VMRC on August 28 and is able to identify an outside source of exposure to Covid-19 which occurred after her last scheduled work date. All other staff and residents have tested negative.
The positivity rate in Harrisonburg this week was 29.1 percent which means Supportive Living staff are still testing twice weekly. We can return to weekly testing when the positivity rate drops to under 10 percent. Indoor visits in Woodland Park will be possible once our local positivity rate is lower and we are at a 14-day period of all negative resident tests.
Please be vigilant in your health practices to keep the positivity rate low in our community.
Posted 11:30 a.m., September 21, 2020
Our Supportive Living management team is reviewing recently released guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would allow for limited visitation in long term care communities. We applaud VMRC team members who have kept residents’ mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health a priority during this pandemic through compassionate care and thoughtful activities and interactions with residents.
One of the steps toward allowing limited visitation in Woodland Park and Oak Lea is reaching a 14-day period of all negative test results. We will be testing residents on Wednesday; if all of the results are negative, we will have reached that milestone – again.
Last week, we had all negative results for residents and staff. These results include Thursday’s results for staff testing from Monday and Thursday, and resident testing last Wednesday.
It is with sadness we report that one of the residents in Showalter House who tested positive for COVID passed away last week. He was comfortable and his daughter, wearing full PPE, was with him. The remaining five residents who tested positive are stable. Staff working in Showalter are keeping these residents comfortable and hydrated.
Our infection control practices continue to be deemed deficiency free by state licensure officials. Staff working in Showalter House are using full PPE; residents are on full droplet precautions and are quarantined in their private rooms. A dedicated housekeeper has been assigned to Showalter and is continually cleaning and sanitizing surfaces. Staff in other Woodland Park homes are wearing surgical masks and face shields.
While currently we are seeing a downward trend in the number of new COVID cases per day in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, with the return of JMU students in October for in-person classes we will likely see the number of cases increase as more people reside in the Harrisonburg area. Please be vigilant for the Valley and VMRC!
Posted 3:45 p.m., September 15, 2020
Today, VMRC had another unannounced infection control survey from the state licensure division. Once again, we were deficiency free.
VMRC continues with biweekly staff testing as mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services based on the positivity rate of Harrisonburg which currently has a record high number of new COVID cases. Results from the September 10 testing indicate that two employees tested positive. Neither provide direct care to residents. One works in Oak Lea Dining, and the other is in nursing administration. We suspect that both cases are community transmission. Both employees are asymptomatic and will remain off work. They will follow return-to-work guidelines as set by the Virginia Department of Health.
Of the residents who tested positive in Showalter House, one is now on comfort care. A family member using full PPE (a gown, gloves, N-95 mask) is with him. Staff working in Showalter House are using full PPE; residents are on full droplet precautions and are quarantined in their private rooms. A dedicated housekeeper has been assigned to Showalter and is continually cleaning and sanitizing surfaces. Staff in other Woodland Park homes are wearing surgical masks and face shields.
Please be vigilant about wearing face coverings correctly and consistently with masks over your mouth and nose. Harrisonburg has become a COVID “hot spot” in the nation, and we must do all we can for our health and safety. Together, we can keep COVID at bay and our community safe.
Posted 2:15 p.m., September 9, 2020
VMRC is continuing weekly testing of Woodland Park residents and Oak Lea (Transitional Care) patients until we have 14 consecutive days with all negative results. We tested residents and patients Wednesday using the rapid test method and learned that evening that a resident living in Burkholder House tested positive for Covid-19. This resident moved to Showalter House that same evening to help prevent additional spread in Burkholder House. The resident has not displayed symptoms and has stated “feeling just fine.” All other residents in Woodland Park and patients in Oak Lea received negative test results.
The five residents of Showalter House who tested positive last week are in stable condition and resting well. The staff working in the home are focused on providing comfort foods and keeping the residents hydrated and comfortable.
We continue to practice stringent infection control measures. Staff working in Showalter House are using full PPE (gowns, gloves N-95 masks with face shields); residents are on full droplet precautions and are quarantined in their private rooms. A dedicated housekeeper has been assigned to Showalter and is continually cleaning and sanitizing surfaces. Staff in other Woodland Park homes are wearing surgical masks and face shields.
We are currently in the process of retesting all staff in Woodland Park and Oak Lea. We have received new guidance for staff testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. VMRC, as are all nursing care facilities, is now required to test staff based on the positivity rate within the county or city that the nursing home is located. The positivity rate in Harrisonburg is currently above 10 percent which requires us to do biweekly testing for staff.
As numbers in our community increase, we encourage you to remain vigilant in your own health protocol: wear face coverings, maintain safe distances from others, wash your hands frequently. Be a champion for health in our community and for the VMRC community.
Posted 3:30 p.m. September 9, 2020
VMRC is now testing some employees biweekly based on new requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS mandates nursing home communities test staff based on the positivity rate within the county or city that the nursing home is located. Since the positivity rate in Harrisonburg has increased to 35 percent, we are now required to do biweekly testing of employees in our short-term rehab and long-term care communities known as Transitional Care and Woodland Park. This will continue until the positivity rate in Harrisonburg drops below 10 percent.
We will be testing employees in Transitional Care and Woodland Park from these areas: Housekeeping, Laundry, Dining, direct care, Life Enrichment, management and in support roles. Any person who is providing care by arrangement in these locations, for example hospice staff, must also be tested biweekly.
These testing requirements are to protect our employees who provide direct care and who support those working in the direct care of residents and patients. As the numbers increase in our community, encourage your friends, family and household members to wear face coverings, keep a safe physical distance and practice good hand hygiene.
Since March, VMRC has worked endlessly to contain COVID-19 from its campus. We currently have five residents and four staff who tested positive in Woodland Park’s Showalter House. Until now, VMRC had no residents in Woodland Park test positive since we began specific CDC recommended infection control practices in March to contain COVID.
Throughout this coronavirus, VMRC has had ample personal protective equipment (PPE), and the design of Woodland Park for long-term care has minimized exposure and infection among residents. Most importantly, we are grateful for our team that has provided loving care tirelessly in the midst of a very difficult situation.
Thank you for being Vigilant for the Valley and for your support of VMRC in your health and safety practices!
Posted 1:30 p.m. September 1, 2020
VMRC learned today that we have one positive case of COVID-19 among Supportive Living staff. The employee tested negative August 20 through our Surveillance testing. However, she developed symptoms almost a week later and has been off work since August 27. The employee believes she contracted COVID through a household member who was exposed by a co-worker.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services consider one healthcare worker testing positive an “outbreak.” Per their requirements, VMRC will have to test Supportive Living residents and employees weekly until we reach the 14-day all negative period. These testing requirements were released last week – reflecting the fluidity of COVID nursing home requirements.
(CDC and CMS also consider an “outbreak” as one new nursing home-onset case among nursing home residents. A resident who is admitted to the nursing home with a COVID-19 diagnosis or a resident/patient in Transitional Care who develops COVID-19 within 14 days of admission is not considered a nursing home-onset case and would not trigger an outbreak response and testing.)
As of September 2, CMS is also mandating staff testing based on the positivity rate within the county that the nursing home is located. Since the City of Harrisonburg has a 5 percent positivity rate, VMRC must test all staff in Woodland Park and Transitional Care weekly. Any person who is providing care by arrangement in these locations, for example hospice staff, must also be tested weekly. If the positivity rate increases to 10 percent in Harrisonburg, then VMRC must test biweekly.
The increases of positive cases in our community with the return of university students serve as important reminders to act as if everyone is positive and asymptomatic. VMRC has been fortunate to have such low numbers of positive cases in the last several months; please remain vigilant in wearing face coverings, maintaining appropriate physical distance and frequent hand washing.
Posted 4 p.m. August 28, 2020
The last two rounds of VMRC's testing in Supportive Living has shown all negative results. Therefore, we have met our 14-day criteria to cease weekly testing. We have performed community-wide testing of Woodland Park and Transitional Care for staff and residents since July 15.
This allows us to move into Phase Two of “reopening Nursing Homes.” Our testing plan shifts to only testing symptomatic staff and residents and doing contact tracing of these persons should a positive result apply. If we have a Nursing Home Onset case, we would return to Phase One - and resume weekly testing.
We can now work toward safe, structured visitation in Woodland Park which includes scheduled outdoor visits with family members.
The efforts of our team have made this achievement possible. We appreciate the commitment of all employees in keeping the health and safety of VMRC residents and patients a priority.
We encourage continued commitment to healthy practices among our community neighbors and friends: wear a face covering, maintain healthy physical distance and wash your hands frequently.
Posted 10:15 a.m. August 26, 2020
We have received results from last week’s testing of all Woodland Park residents and patients in Transitional Care. A patient from a local hospital who had a short stay at VMRC on the Admissions Wing in Transitional Care tested positive for Covid-19 in our weekly testing. The patient has discharged home and is no longer a patient at VMRC. Results for all other residents and patients were negative for Covid-19. These results speak to the diligence of the entire care team, Supportive Living management and staff supporting the care team who work in Supportive Living.
A complete report of staff test results from the same period are pending. We have received some results and of those, all results are negative. We will postpone this week’s testing until we have received all results and complete guidance from the Virginia Department of Health as to next steps for testing.
With the influx of college students to the Harrisonburg area, please be mindful and increase your vigilance of following proper hand washing, ensuring physical distancing and cleaning surfaces.
VMRC is part of a collaborative effort of community partners who are committed to the public health in our community. Together, we are “Vigilant for the Valley!”
Posted 9 a.m. August 11, 2020
Follow-up testing for VMRC’s recovery planning was completed August 6 with testing of patients and employees on Transitional Care North and Woodland Park residents. Residents and employees on TC North were all negative as were the test results for all Woodland Park residents. These results reflect the dedication and commitment of the Supportive Living leadership team and employees in following health protocols to ensure the health and safety of residents and patients in our care.
We learned last night that an employee who works in Woodland Park has tested positive for Covid-19. This employee tested negative during our point prevalence testing on July 16. The employee developed symptoms August 4, visited his/her health provider and sought testing. A positive test result came back August 9. VMRC and this employee will work with the Virginia Department of Health in following return-to-work guidelines.
We will be testing all employees who serve or support residents in Transitional Care or Woodland Park today as part of requirements related to VMRC’s recovery plans. We will continue to test weekly until we have all negative results for a 14-day period for employees and with no onset of cases in Woodland Park and Oak Lea, according to requirements from the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Posted 10:45 a.m. July 31, 2020
We learned yesterday that officials from the Virginia Department of Health who are providing VMRC with guidance on follow up testing have provided new information for our recovery plans. The VDH assigned nurse and epidemiologist after further discussion with state officials indicated that further widespread testing of staff and residents is necessary for Transitional Care and Woodland Park. This testing requirement includes any staff members who work in or directly support Woodland Park or Transitional Care.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also is starting to require this step. As a community, we need to do whatever is necessary to protect the health and safety of residents and employees.
The course of action from this news:
- We started testing patients in Transitional Care North this week; it should be completed Monday.
- Beginning Aug. 3, we will test Woodland Park residents. Staff will be tested the week of August 10.
- Testing must be completed by Aug. 12.
- VDH stated we do not need further testing at this time for Crestwood residents or staff.
- We anticipate that this testing will continue weekly until we have all negative results for a 14-day period.
Future testing will be determined by positive test results and their location(s). VDH offers guidance specific to the origins of positive cases – whether originating in the long-term care community or cases in individuals who were admitted from an acute care center with a known positive test or who became positive within 14 days after admission to a short-term rehab center.
We will continue to share updates as we receive them.
Posted 9:15 a.m. July 29, 2020
We learned Monday of three individuals on our campus who have tested positive for COVID-19.
A staff member who worked on Transitional Care South and in Woodland Park has tested positive. The employee has been asymptomatic and participated in the Supportive Living testing on July 16 and 17. The employee has been placed off the schedule and will follow return-to-work guidelines put in place by the Virginia Department of Health. VMRC continues to monitor all residents in Supportive Living on each shift for symptoms of Covid-19. At this point we have not identified any residents in Supportive Living with symptoms, and all residents tested negative on July 15.
We also learned that a resident in our independent living community has tested positive for COVID. The resident is asymptomatic and “feels fine.” The resident has stayed at home other than necessary medical appointments.
We also have a reported positive case of a Residential Living employee. This employee had a family member who had co-workers who were positive for COVID-19. This employee did not have any close contact with residents.
As we enter August with no reprieve from COVID, VMRC leaders encourage everyone to protect themselves by following infection control precautions: good hand washing, wearing face coverings in public and maintaining physical distance of at least six feet.
Posted 4:45 p.m. July 23, 2020
VMRC conducted a second round of COVID-19 testing with 453 Supportive Living residents and staff July 15-17. We have received our results and are pleased to announce that no residents tested positive. We are grateful to our staff for the precautions they follow to keep the residents and each other safe.
With this round of testing we did learn that three employees who have regular assignment on the admissions wing of Transitional Care have tested positive for Covid-19. All three employees have been removed from the schedule and will follow return-to-work guidance provided by the Virginia Department Health. We continue to monitor all residents in Supportive Living on each shift for symptoms of Covid-19. We place the highest priority on the health and safety of our residents and employees to ensure we can contain the virus on our campus.
At the very least the Virginia Department of Health will require further weekly testing for the staff and residents of VMRC’s Transitional Care admissions wing. We are awaiting guidance as to further testing of staff and residents for the other areas of Supportive Living.
Posted 4:15 p.m. July 13, 2020
We learned today of confirmed positive COVID-19 test results for two employees who worked in Woodland Park and Oak Lea. One employee last worked on July 3 and the other July 8.
As is the protocol, VMRC is working closely with officials from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) on this incident. While we are disappointed in this news after such positive results from our Point Prevalence Survey Test, we are prepared with stringent infection control measures. On Thursday, we completed our second N-95 mask fitting for staff in Woodland Park and on the Admissions Wing in Transitional Care. These particular masks are designed to best protect employees caring for an aging population.
In addition, under guidance from the Virginia Department of Health, we will be conducting two consecutive weeks of testing for all Supportive Living residents and all Supportive Living staff. Resident testing will be Wednesday of this week and staff testing Thursday and Friday. A similar round of testing will be conducted next week. Depending on the results, additional testing may be required.
Posted 3:30 p.m. July 8, 2020
VMRC learned from the Virginia Department of Health last evening that the results from our June 26 Point Prevalence Survey testing were all negative for COVID-19. This news reflects our employees’ commitment and diligence to following infection control practices at work and outside of work.
As the PPS testing represented a single point in time, we learned today of two separate positive test cases of COVID-19 on our campus. An employee who last worked in Woodland Park on July 2 has tested positive and a patient on the Admissions Wing in Transitional Care has tested positive. The TC patient who is not a VMRC resident has been receiving needed medical services outside of VMRC.
This turn of news shows how quickly things can change regarding this virus. The employee participated in the PPS testing and was negative at that time. VMRC leaders are working with the Virginia Department of Health in both cases. Because of these two incidents, we will implement additional infection control precautions in all Woodland Park houses. The precautions in Transitional Care – staff wearing full personal protective equipment on the Admissions Wing and the wearing of masks and face shields on TC South – remain in place.
We continue to encourage all community members to abide by these steps to limit your risks to illness:
- wear a facemask or covering in public
- maintain at least six feet of physical distancing
- stay home as much as possible
- practice frequent handwashing
Posted 10:15 a.m. July 7, 2020
VMRC is taking incremental steps in its recovery plan with a focus and commitment on resident health and safety. Here are the latest changes in independent living areas:
- The VMRC Wellness Center reopened July 6 for resident members. Members and staff will maintain a safe physical distance, and masks are required to/from the exercise station. Resident members who wish to use the Center will do so by appointment. Only four members will be allowed during any given half hour.
- Mail pick up from lobby mailboxes resumed Monday.
- We have expanded outdoor visiting areas for independent living residents. Visitation restrictions for indoors have not been lifted.
We are still awaiting results of our PPS testing from the Virginia Department of Health. At this time, we do not have any known confirmed test cases on our campus.
Posted 1:30 p.m. June 25, 2020
VMRC will conduct a Point Prevalence Survey testing for COVID-19 on Friday, June 26. The study is critical to begin the process of reopening, including limited visitation, and to keeping VMRC residents, employees and visitors safe.
“We are following reopening criteria from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for nursing facilities. These criteria include a recommendation that all facilities conduct a baseline testing survey,” said Maureen Pearson, VMRC spokesperson.
A PPS entails testing all individuals in a designated area of a facility, whether or not they have symptoms, on one day. The Virginia Department of Health, in partnership with the Virginia National Guard, is conducting baseline or point prevalence surveys with a goal to complete these baseline surveys of all Virginia nursing homes by July 15.
VMRC will test all residents in its assisted living, long term care and short-term rehab communities, employees working in those areas and employees working in independent living communities. Employee tests will be conducted through drive through and walk-up screenings. Residents in the supportive living areas will be tested in their apartments or rooms.
“The Virginia Guard members performing the tests are paramedics qualified and trained specifically to conduct large scale testing,” said Rebecca Kline, director of Nursing at VMRC. “The results can be used to intervene early in outbreaks and begin the process of re-opening so that residents may have limited visits with their families.”
As other communities are required to undergo testing because of outbreaks on their campuses, VMRC is being proactive with testing. Twice since April, VMRC has been found deficiency free during unannounced focused infection control surveys by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Posted 10:30 a.m. June 15, 2020
On June 11 the Virginia Department of Health in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conducted an onsite, unannounced focused infection control survey. VMRC was found to be deficiency free. We acknowledge and appreciate our Supportive Living leadership team and staff who have been diligent these past several months to contain COVID-19 on our campus.
Virginia entered Phase 2 on June 5. VMRC will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Virginia Department of Health as we evaluate our visitation policy in Supportive Living communities.The recommendations from CMS state: "Phase Two: Due to the elevated risk COVID-19 poses to the health of nursing home residents, visitation is still generally prohibited except for compassionate care situations. In those limited situations, visitors are screened and additional precautions are taken, including social distancing, and hand hygiene (e.g., use alcohol-based hand rub upon entry). All visitors wear a cloth face covering or facemask for the duration of their visit."
Thank you to our community partners and volunteers who have given $12,192 worth of supplies and have provided 3,167 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep VMRC residents and staff safe during these times.
Posted 2:30 p.m. June 9, 2020
VMRC officials learned late yesterday that a resident in one of our independent living communities has a confirmed positive test for COVID-19. The resident and spouse have been self-quarantining for the last 13 weeks leaving home only for life-sustaining medical treatments. Both residents have followed VMRC protocol including wearing face masks and staying in their home. Officials with the Virginia Department of Health are in communication with the resident to conduct contact tracing. VMRC continues to follow stringent infection control practices which have been in place since early March.
We are reminding the general public to follow these practices for their health and safety:
- wear a facemask or covering in public
- maintain at least six feet of physical distancing
- stay home as much as possible
- practice frequent handwashing
A high percentage of people who are positive with COVID-19 are asymptomatic which is why it is extremely important to limit contact with people outside of your household even as our community is easing restrictions.
VMRC is limiting visitors in Independent Living Communities to two people outside only for a brief visit. Visitors and residents MUST wear face masks. There are no visitors allowed in Transitional Care, Assisted Living and Woodland Park.
Posted 3:15 p.m. June 5, 2020
As Virginia enters Phase 2 today, VMRC has eased some practices put in place during the pandemic.
Silver Scissors, a hair salon for independent living residents, reopened this week with these safety measures:
- Residents must call to schedule an appointment; no drop-ins are permitted.
- Only one resident and one stylist can be in the salon at a time.
- Face masks must be worn at all times; the stylist will wear a face shield.
- The salon is not open to community members.
Residential Living updated the “no visitors” restrictions with these new criteria:
- Up to two family members or friends may visit briefly with a resident household outside only 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday.
- Residents and visitors must wear face masks and maintain at least 6 feet physical distancing at all times.
Transitional Care, Assisted Living and Woodland Park areas are still closed to visitors.
Marketing will slowly ease back into sales using a process for screening prospects and having visitors only use exterior entrances into units. A model under design on the first floor of Park Place will allow prospects to view an apartment without entering resident hallways or apartments.
VMRC will be continuing with the Admissions Wing in Transitional Care for the foreseeable future. Admissions staff are very diligent in monitoring incoming patients for symptoms and requiring facilities to provide a negative COVID test from the day of discharge and admission to us.
Regulatory changes from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Virginia Department of Health regarding the admissions process for Woodland Park and Assisted Living will guide our future admissions. At this time there is no estimated time that we will resume admissions to these areas from the outside community.
Posted 2 p.m. May 29, 2020
This webpage is intended to keep the public informed and updated on issues related to COVID-19 which are important to VMRC. The health and safety of our residents and staff continues to be our greatest priority. This is why we believe it is important to encourage community members to wear face coverings.
Today marks the beginning of Gov. Ralph Northam’s requirement of Virginians to wear a face covering to enter public buildings or businesses. This includes but is not limited to
- All ‘brick and mortar’ retail establishments - essential and non-essential stores including grocery stores and pharmacies
- All personal care and grooming establishments
- Any indoor space shared by groups of people who may congregate within six feet of one another or who are closer than six feet to each other for more than 10 minutes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face masks or coverings because they are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 which is highly contagious. The virus can be “invisible” - anywhere from 40-80 percent of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 did not have symptoms. Read on for more details.
When you wear a face covering, you are preventing the spread of COVID-19 – to your parent, your child, your grandparent. On behalf of the seniors who live at VMRC and the people who care for them, we express our appreciation to all who #MaskUp.
Posted 8:45 a.m., May 28, 2020
VMRC officials were notified May 26 that an employee who works as a Shahbaz in Woodland Park on an as needed basis tested positive for COVID-19. The employee last worked on May 11. The employee has only had assignment in Warsack House in the month of May. Following guidance from the Virginia Department of Health given VMRC’s added Personal Protective Equipment precautions and the length of time passed that the employee worked prior to testing positive or becoming symptomatic no additional precautions or testing has been recommended.
We have notified residents in Complete Living Care, their family contacts on record and powers of attorney of this incident. We will be working in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Health on any additional follow up and continue to monitor residents for symptoms related to Covid-19.
Our aggressive actions to contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community includes screening all staff at the beginning of each shift and instructing staff who have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to stay home and consult with their medical provider preferably using telehealth. We are not allowing employees to return to work until they have had at least three days (72 hours) fever free without the use of fever reducing medication, improvement in respiratory symptoms and 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared as per Virginia Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
We will continue to take steps to limit the exposure to residents and staff and to ensure that infection control protocols are followed by all who enter the VMRC Community.
Posted 10:30 a.m. May 15, 2020
Today marks the beginning of Virginia’s Phase 1 “Reopening Plan.” While some COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted in our area, VMRC residents are considered a vulnerable population. We will continue with our “no visitors” visitation policy and stringent health protocols until further notice.
VMRC leaders are working on a recovery plan and will communicate this plan as it emerges to residents, their family contacts, employees and on this website. We know that it will take adaptation as the situation within our community evolves.
Beginning Monday, we are offering limited recreational opportunities with physical distancing for people living in our independent living communities. Libraries in residential living communities will be available by reservation only. The Park Gables Billiards Room will be available to one household at a time through reservations. These areas will be sanitized after resident use. The VMRC Wellness Center will remain closed
Supportive Living activities involve one-on-one staff/resident engagement while following all recommended infection control precautions. VMRC has added the use of face shields to its PPE in Woodland Park under recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health.
As of today, VMRC has not had a confirmed positive test case of the coronavirus among any resident. We are grateful to our employees for enabling us to maintain a healthy and safe environment to the 700+ residents who call VMRC “home."
Posted 10 a.m. May 8, 2020
VMRC’s policy of ‘no visitors’ on campus remains in place this weekend. We understand the desire to see loved ones, especially on Mother’s Day weekend. Our staff are available and willing to help residents use technology to visit with their family members.
The best gift to give your loved one this year is the gift of health. We appreciate you observing our no visitors policy this weekend and every day.
Virginia’s Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to announce May 14 the easing of some restrictions in Phase One of ‘reopening’ the Commonwealth. Because the population we serve and care for is the most vulnerable for COVID-19, all of VMRC’s current policies and restrictions will remain in place until further notice.
We will not make any changes to our protocols until the Commonwealth’s Phase Three unfolds possibly in August. As we develop and finalize recovery plans, we’ll communicate those with residents, family members and on this website.
Posted 10 a.m. May 6, 2020
Today VMRC lifted droplet based isolation precautions in Warsack House that have been in place since April 20 when we learned that an employee who worked in Warsack House tested positive for COVID-19. Since then no other staff or residents have tested positive, and residents and staff of Warsack House are free from symptoms of COVID-19.
Under guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, VMRC isolated all 10 residents of Warsack House and placed them on droplet precautions for 14 days. Under VMRC’s droplet precautions, staff wear facemasks, eyewear, gowns and gloves as part of these transmission-based precautions. Staff who worked in Warsack House were also kept from working anywhere else in Woodland Park during this time.
We commend the staff of Warsack House and Supportive Living team leaders for their diligence and commitment to infection control practices. Their commitment to those practices resulted in VMRC being deficiency free after an unannounced COVID-19 Infection Focused Survey on April 21 by the Virginia Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This state regulatory agency conducts VMRC’s annual survey and site facilities.
Warsack House will return to best practices for infection control during a pandemic including wearing masks, practicing good hand hygiene and disinfecting surfaces based on CDC guidelines. VMRC continues to screen staff at every shift and maintains a 'no visitor' policy.
Warsack House is one of the eight homes in VMRC’s Woodland Park long term care community. Residents have their own private rooms and baths in this modern design of nursing care that emphasizes individual routines, home environment and access to the outdoors.
Posted 11 a.m. April 29, 2020
VMRC Foundation officials have announced they are cancelling the annual VMRC Benefit Golf Tournament for 2020 due to current events. The tournament, traditionally held in July, would have celebrated its 35th year as a fundraiser for VMRC’s Memory Care Endowment.
“It is the right thing to do given so much uncertainty about the future because of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Les Helmuth, CFRE, executive director of the VMRC Foundation. “We rely on business partners, participants and volunteers to make this event a success, and we recognize that many of them have been impacted personally by these current times.”
Last year, the Benefit Golf Tournament netted over $67,000 for memory care education, programming and training for VMRC employees who care for residents with cognitive issues.
Businesses and individuals who have already committed sponsorships have been offered alternatives to support VMRC through an emergency fund established to help with expenses related to COVID-19, VMRC’s Good Samaritan Fund which provides for residents who have outlived their personal resources or to sponsor the 2021 Benefit Golf Tournament.
Posted 10 a.m. April 23, 2020
VMRC was found to be deficiency free after an unannounced COVID-19 Infection Focused Survey by the Virginia Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This state regulatory agency conducts VMRC’s annual survey and site facilities. On April 21 the inspectors conducted a virtual survey that included several staff interviews and review of our policies and procedures related to our COVID-19 infection control practices.
The results of the Infection Focused Survey were shared with VMRC on April 22.
Posted 3:15 p.m. April 20, 2020; Updated 4 p.m. April 20
Our aggressive actions to contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community continue under guidance from the CDC and Department of Health. This includes screening all staff at the beginning of each shift and instructing staff who have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to stay home and consult with their medical provider preferably using telehealth. We are not allowing employees to return to work until they have had at least three days (72 hours) fever free without the use of fever reducing medication, improvement in respiratory symptoms and 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
In keeping with our commitment to transparent communication, we were notified April 20 that an employee who works in Warsack House of Woodland Park tested positive for COVID-19. The employee last worked April 17 and did not work anywhere else on campus beyond Warsack House. Under guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, VMRC has isolated all 10 residents of Warsack House and placed them on droplet precautions for 14 days. Under VMRC’s droplet precautions, staff wear facemasks, eyewear, gowns and gloves as part of these transmission-based precautions.
We are working in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Health on their follow up to this incident.
Warsack House is one of the eight homes in VMRC’s Woodland Park long term care community. Residents have their own private rooms and baths in this modern design of nursing care that emphasizes individual routines, home environment and access to the outdoors.
Posted 10:15 a.m. April 17, 2020
The patient in VMRC’s Transitional Care Admissions Wing who tested positive for COVID-19 is doing well and is not showing any symptoms. Patients who come to VMRC for Transitional Care services are put on isolation and droplet precautions. We are carefully evaluating admissions to Transitional Care and requiring that the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association COVID-19 emergency guidelines be followed for any hospital transfer and admission to our facility.
Staff working in the Admissions Wing wear facemasks, eyewear, gowns and gloves as part of our transmission-based precautions. We will continue our aggressive actions to contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community under guidance from the CDC and Department of Health.
If a VMRC employee is out based on our health screening criteria, VMRC offers an Emergency Paid Sick Leave. VMRC also will cover COVID-19 treatment at zero cost for our covered employees for the April 1 - May 31 timeframe. Previously we began covering COVID-19 testing at zero cost to employees in our health plan.
Posted 8:30 a.m. April 13, 2020
VMRC learned Saturday, April 11, that a patient in VMRC’s Transitional Care in Oak Lea tested positive for COVID-19. The patient, who is not a VMRC resident, came to VMRC April 4 from a local hospital and has been on isolation and under our strictest precautionary measures since being admitted. Transitional Care staff decided to have the patient tested for COVID-19 after learning a family member with whom the patient lived prior to the hospital stay had tested positive for the virus. We expect the patient to fully recover and be safely discharged home.
VMRC officials have reported the case to the Virginia Department of Health and are following their recommendations. VDH officials commended VMRC on the precautionary measures taken - having the patient isolated upon admission, the use of full droplet precautions, the monitoring of staff, and fully restrictive visitation. Under VMRC’s droplet precautions, staff wear facemasks, eyewear, gowns and gloves as part of these transmission-based precautions.
We are continuing to follow procedures recommended by the Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to contain the spread. Our unwavering focus remains on the health and well-being of our community. We will continue to take steps to limit the exposure to residents and staff and to ensure that infection control protocols are followed by all who enter the VMRC Community.
Posted 5:15 p.m. April 9, 2020
This week has brought with it some new guidelines for the use of face masks in long term care communities.
- According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), all long term care staff should wear a face mask while they are in their facility. To meet this guidance and preserve VMRC’s current supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), Woodland Park employees are being given cloth face masks to wear while at work.
- Also under CMS guidelines, all residents in long term care whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or not should cover their noses and mouths when staff are in their rooms. Additionally, residents who must leave the facility to attend appointments MUST wear a mask when outside their rooms. To meet this guidance and preserve our current supply of PPE, all Woodland Park residents are using cloth face masks.
- Cloth masks were issued for employees in Assisted Living to be worn under CMS guidance.
- We are continually evaluating our supplies and making decisions based on CMS and CDC guidelines for use of face masks.
Whether you choose to wear a face mask or not in public, please remember that wearing a face mask does not take the place of social distancing and good hand hygiene.
Posted 11:15 a.m. April 6, 2020
During this COVID-19 pandemic, VMRC will manage two separate wings within Transitional Care for short-term rehab patients.
One of the wings will be dedicated to admissions from any acute care setting. Patients will be cared for under isolation droplet precautions for 14 days. Staff will wear facemasks, eyewear, gowns and gloves as part of these transmission-based precautions. Dedicated staff will work solely on this wing in 12-hour shifts. These employees will enter and leave from that wing and not go anywhere else on VMRC’s campus. Meals will be delivered by Dining Services to that wing in such a manner that care staff will receive the meals at a location and deliver to the patients. We will use all disposable items and trays for patients and staff.
If a patient has been in the admissions wing for 14 days without symptoms and needs to continue care, the patient will transfer to a longer term wing to continue his/her treatment plan.
On Friday the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention suggested that the public wear facemasks when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as in grocery stores or pharmacies, to slow the spread of COVID-19:
Remember, wearing a facemask does not take the place of social distancing and good hand hygiene. Please continue to follow these precautions as well as Governor Northam’s stay at home order.
We appreciate the outpouring of support through volunteers in our community who are making cloth facemasks for use by VMRC employees. We have received several bulk contributions already as have other health care providers in our community. Thank you for serving with us to keep everyone safe!
Posted 5 p.m. April 1, 2020
To contain COVID-19, VMRC implements infection control practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
- A new protocol for the use of face masks established by the CMS went into effect March 31. Based on the new guidelines for Supportive Living areas, staff who work closely with residents to provide resident care or in food preparation and serving are required to wear face masks at all times throughout their shifts.
- Gloves are worn by staff when providing resident care and by Dining staff in the preparation and serving of food.
- Gowns and goggles are worn according to recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
We will continue to provide updates as we respond to guidance from these agencies and the Virginia Department of Health.
Posted 8:15 a.m. April 1, 2020
VMRC was notified March 31 that an employee who works in Assisted Living Dining has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The employee notified VMRC officials after the employee’s personal physician made the diagnosis of a positive test result.
The employee under VMRC protocol was not symptomatic at work and took appropriate action when she had symptoms by contacting her physician. The employee and VMRC are following recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for the employee to isolate at home. The employee has not worked at VMRC since March 21.
“We are working closely with officials from the Virginia Department of Health in response to this situation and responding to their guidance regarding next steps,” said VMRC spokesperson Maureen Pearson.
All VMRC staff undergo daily health screenings including recorded temperature readings prior to work. Residents in long term care and assisted living, and patients in short-term rehab are monitored daily for cough, shortness of breath and fever. These protocols have been in place since mid-March.
VMRC has been following the CDC and CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) guidelines for infection control and prevention, including enhanced sanitization of community spaces, modifying services to promote social distancing, restricting visitors and implementing best transmission based precautions.
“We will continue to focus on the health and well-being of our community, and our team continues to work diligently to ensure that we are following all of the recommended infection control protocols,” said Pearson.
Posted 9:40 a.m. March 30, 2020
Thank you for your support during this pandemic. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to enforce measures for the health and well-being of our residents and employees. Staff and essential personnel are screened daily for any symptoms before entering, and we continue to emphasize heightened hygiene practices.
We have offered a temporary telecommuting policy for employees under guidance from their supervisors. Employees working on campus are strongly advised to limit face-to-face interactions, maintain a social distance of six feet and conduct meetings via technology.
VMRC's response to any recommendations by health agencies and governing officials will be found on this page.
Posted 10 a.m. March 23, 2020
VMRC's COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet daily.
We have completely closed Outpatient Therapy through the VMRC Wellness Center.
The restrictions VMRC has implemented as they pertain to containing the coronavirus will remain in place until further notice.
Posted 3:35 p.m. March 20, 2020
In VMRC’s continued effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 to our campus,VMRC is implementing Governor Ralph Northam’s recommendation to shelter in place by stressing to independent living residents to stay in their homes.
We take very seriously the recommendations from state officials, the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health and CMS during this pandemic.
Effective Saturday at 1 p.m., our internal connected Main Street will be closed to residents except for access to Park View Federal Credit Union’s ATM and our Main Street Store. The only exception will be for VMRC residents who have an appointment at the Main Street health clinic which remains open 8 a.m.- noon Mondays for VMRC residents only.
The Main Street Café will close 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, until further notice. Dining Services will offer delivery options for breakfast foods from the Café, and they will continue delivering meals from Park Place Dining and Hartman Dining.
Because VMRC has an extensive campus with multiple communities, beginning Saturday, VMRC residents living in the Park Village homes are asked to refrain from visiting Main Street and from entering any of VMRC’s buildings on its campus. They are encouraged to connect with friends by phone, FaceTime or email.
Under recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health, we are emphasizing to all residents and staff social distancing of at least six feet. This practice along with good hand hygiene are the best ways to lessen the impact of this pandemic.
We appreciate your understanding of these changes that are for the health and safety of VMRC residents and staff.
Posted 4:30 p.m. March 13, 2020
With the confirmed case of the Coronavirus 2019 in the city of Harrisonburg, VMRC is updating its visitation policy.
Visitors are RESTRICTED in Crestwood Assisted Living, Transitional Care and Woodland Park.
We are LIMITING visitation to residents in Heritage Haven, Park Gables, Park Place and Park Village to situations essential for residents' care and well-being.
Visitors will not be permitted in dining venues, the Park Gables Gallery or other areas of VMRC's campus.
The VMRC Wellness Center will be closed March 14 - March 31. Outpatient Therapy will continue to see patients using a strict screening process.
We will continue to monitor recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health, the CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for updates to our response.
Posted 6:30 p.m. March 11, 2020
VMRC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Response
The health and well-being of our residents and employees is our greatest concern. We are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to minimize risk to VMRC’s residents and staff.
VMRC is limiting visitors to Crestwood Assisted Living, Transitional Care and to the Woodland Park homes. Limiting visitors means that visitation is allowed only in certain situations such as end of life or when essential for residents' emotional well-being and care. We understand that visiting loved ones is important. Please consider video chats, social media, email, text or telephone. Let us know how we can facilitate communication.
We are discouraging visitors to Heritage Haven, Park Gables, Park Place and Park Village.
We are taking these steps to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our campus.
If you are considering a visit, please review these questions below:
- Are you currently or have you in the last 14 days had any signs of a respiratory infection such as temperature of 100 or greater, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
- Have you or a family member recently in the last 14 days had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19?
- Have you or a family member had contact with someone under investigation for COVID-19?
- Have you traveled to/from countries or communities that have had confirmed diagnosed cases of COVID-19?
If you answer 'yes' to any of the questions, please postpone your visit to our campus for at least 14 days.
We appreciate your help as we implement practices to keep our campus healthy.
Resources and guidelines: