Update from the Administrator 3-17-2021
Dear Rolling Hills Residents, family members and representatives,
I’m sure many of you have heard the good news that some restrictions on visits have been relaxed as vaccination rates have increased and COVID case counts have been declining! We started doing scheduled visits a few weeks ago and the response from families and residents has been heartwarming to see! We are opening up to more options for visits during times when our staff are available to provide screening and education to visitors.
Almost all residents have been fully vaccinated (95%) and we will continue to offer new residents an opportunity to receive a COVID vaccine. We have been fortunate to have no COVID positive residents or staff for several months.
I have included information about our visit process below. Scheduling in advance is still strongly advised and very much appreciated! Calling ahead helps us find times that will ensure visiting areas are available, the resident is able to receive visitors and staff can provide assistance in a timely fashion. Visitors are not allowed on any resident living areas at this time except in approved compassionate care situations. Not all residents are able to receive a vaccine or they may have weakened immune systems that limit the effectiveness of the vaccine. Thus limiting the number of people entering their living areas while still accommodating visits in our home helps balance safety and risk. Outdoor visits are also encouraged during nice weather. Regardless of the location of the visit, all visitors must be screened for illness prior to visiting, wear masks at all times, keep physically distant from other residents, staff and visitors and use good hand hygiene.
Here are a few key points about visits:
- Please schedule visits or call in advance whenever possible to help the process go more smoothly!
- Residents who are ill or are on quarantine will not be able to have visitors until they are well or the quarantine period has passed.
- We appreciate visitors informing us of their vaccination status as it gives us an extra measure of security for a safe visit, however, it is not required or a condition of visitation. Visitors are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated when it becomes available to them to help reduce the overall risk to our community and it protects those who are unable to be vaccinated.
- Two visitors per resident are allowed at a time. An exception may be requested for special circumstances and will be approved if it does not pose a safety risk for other residents, visitors or staff.
- Children are allowed to visit if they are able to follow safety guidance such as wearing a mask, staying in the visiting area and using hand sanitizer. Pets are also allowed if they are current on vaccines, on a leash and well behaved.
- Indoor visits will be held in the Rec Room and front lobby. Outside visits will be on the patio areas as the weather permits. Residents who have not been vaccinated may utilize the Plexiglas partition in the rec room for increased safety. Staff will be disinfecting all surfaces in between each visit.
- We are still focusing visits on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 -4:00. We will also accommodate visits at other days and times whenever possible.
- There are certain times of the day that are very busy for residents and staff who are assisting them. When possible, please try to avoid visits during mealtimes, early morning when residents are getting ready for the day and in the evening when residents are getting ready for bed.
- We want to ensure all residents have an opportunity for visits and indoor visiting space is limited. Please be thoughtful in your requests so we can accommodate all of our residents!
- Compassionate care visits are allowed in resident rooms with approval from the Administrator or Director of Nursing.
- All visitors and residents must wear face coverings or masks at all times. Please bring your own mask with you. If a visit requires additional protective equipment we will supply it.
- Food may be brought in with prior approval for visits utilizing the plexiglas area in the rec room. Eating and drinking requires masks to be off for a period of time so additional precautions and cleaning must occur after those visits and resident’s need for eating assistance varies. Please make the request when you are scheduling a visit.
- All visitors will be asked a series of health questions when you arrive for the visit. You will also need to provide contact information for each visitor to assist us if we need to contact you.
- PLEASE DO NOT VISIT IF YOU ARE NOT FEELING WELL, HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WITH COVID-19 IN THE PAST 14 DAYS OR HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID IN THE PAST 14 DAYS. Some symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, headaches, body aches, loss of taste or smell, vomiting and diarrhea. It is possible to have no symptoms and still be infected with the virus.
- Everyone must use hand sanitizer prior to and after visiting.
- Fully vaccinated residents may choose to have physical contact with a visitor as long as they are wearing a well-fitting mask and hand hygiene is performed before and after.
- Visitors must go directly to and from the designated visiting areas. Visitors are not allowed in resident living areas except in preapproved compassionate visits. This is important for the safety of all residents and staff.
- Visits may not be held if there is an outbreak in the facility that impacts more than one living area. We will resume visits as soon as we meet the criteria for the end of the outbreak. We are following the guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- If you develop symptoms or test positive within 14 days of your visit please contact us immediately.
- Doors to the facility will be locked when the office is closed. Please contact the unit directly if you arrive and the door is locked.
Please contact Kristi Schmitz at 608-269-8827 to schedule a visit during the week. Feel free to leave a message with your name, resident name, and contact information. Arrangements can also be made with Christine or Samantha from the Social Services department. You may email our team if you wish to schedule a visit at RHFamilyVisit@co.monroe.wi.us . We will get back to you as soon as possible, during regular business hours, to set up the visit. Unscheduled visits will be allowed, however, there may be a longer wait time for staff assistance and access to a visiting area.
The visitation policy will be revised as needed to include any additional guidance from state, federal and local health officials. In time we will progress to having visits in resident rooms again but for now we will take a cautious approach. The last thing we want is for another outbreak to stop residents and families from getting together!
Thank you for your patience, understanding and efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy!
As always, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Linda Smith NHA