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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates

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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