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COVID-19 Information and Updates

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:

  1. wear a facemask or covering in public
  2. maintain at least six feet of physical distancing
  3. stay home as much as possible
  4. 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 ‚Äčin 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:

  1. wear a facemask or covering in public
  2. maintain at least six feet of physical distancing
  3. stay home as much as possible
  4. 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.

What’s the Evidence for Wearing Masks?

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.

Resource links:

Video instructions at https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/patients-visitors/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/how-you-can-help/

https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/documents/covid-19/Hand-Sewn-Face-Masks-instructions.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

 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:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

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:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/

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