May 26th News from the Administrator
Dear Family and Friends:
To resident family members and representatives,
I am happy to report that all Rolling Hills and The Meadows residents tested negative for COVID-19!
All staff tests have also been negative so far. We received about 96% of the test results back but are still waiting for results on 9 individuals. It has been slow going getting results back from the lab, no doubt because of a high level of testing happening around the state at nursing homes and community test sites!
I will inform you if we have any residents or staff test positive in the future. We will continue to conduct testing on any residents or staff who show possible symptoms of COVID-19. We will also do periodic testing for all staff and residents to monitor for people who may be carrying the virus without showing signs of illness. We have not received guidelines from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) on how often to repeat the testing, however, we will initiate additional testing if the rate of infections in our local community rises or if we have a known exposure to a staff or resident. Rolling Hills will follow any guidance or directives put out by the Monroe County Health Department, CMS or WI DHS so this may change week to week.
We will continue our strategies to reduce the risk of exposing our residents to the virus and implement immediate action should we get a known case of COVID-19 in the facility. We will still be following best practice guidelines for infection prevention as published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), both of which currently state that facilities should restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situations. These federal guidelines drive the decisions made for long-term care providers like us, which are intended to help protect the safety and well-being of those we are entrusted to provide care to. These are not decisions we take lightly, and in the case of CMS regulations, these are not decisions we can legally deviate from as a Medicare/Medicaid certified facility.
We realize the stress this puts on you and your loved ones and truly do empathize with this situation. We also want to stress our dedication in providing compassionate care and keeping your loved one safe. We look forward to welcoming you back with open arms when we are able to do so without jeopardizing the safety of our residents.
We continue to work with public health officials and regulators to determine what, if any, changes can be made to visitation policies. We very much look forward to easing restrictions and making safe visits available as soon as possible! In the meantime, please do not come to visit unless you are doing a window visit. Even outside visits are not allowed at this time.
Please be sure to call or set up a video visit to stay in touch. I will inform you of any changes in visitation policy or testing results as soon as possible.
Finally, on behalf of our staff and other residents, we want to thank you for your continued support and understanding during these difficult times. Nearly all Americans are having to make sacrifices during this pandemic; your sacrifices, and the sacrifices being made by our residents are a reflection of your love and commitment to the safety of your loved ones, and the rest of the residents here at Rolling Hills.
Linda Smith NHA