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Update from Administrator – September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020
Dear Families,

As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. Thank you for all your continued support during this difficult time. We are doing our best to keep our residents safe and happy. I am pleased to report that we continue to remain COVID-free for both our staff and residents. Per DPH guidelines, we have started to test our employees monthly, this will increase based on community spread and other factors.

As you know more than anyone, it has been a difficult few months as our center has battled with and against COVID-19. While the number of individuals stricken with the virus has decreased dramatically within the community, we know that it is possible that we will be dealing with another surge of positive cases in our community. We want to assure you that our entire team has been working diligently and proactively at planning for this possibility.

We are STRONGLY encouraging that all staff and residents receive an annual Influenza Vaccine, though we are following social distance guidelines, handwashing protocols, have hygiene recommendations and are wearing masks in our center. While the vaccine is not in the center yet, please consider completing a consent form, in advance to ensure that your loved one receives their vaccine.

I wanted to touch base on a few other points:
As you may have seen in the local media, the CT Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a new visitation order that among other things, added the ability to hold indoor “compassionate care visits” as defined by the order. Unfortunately, one or two media outlets misrepresented the order and reported that the nursing homes were now open to indoor visitation. This has caused confusion for many families. Our Nursing Home Association brought this to the attention of the DPH. They have requested that those media outlets issue corrections to their reporting. We are working to develop a new visitation plan and policy for our center that is thoughtful, safe, and compliant with the new revised visitation guidance from the DPH. We will be in touch with you as soon as we have finalized the plan. In the meantime, our current visitation policy remains in place and all scheduled visits will go on as planned.

I would like to clarify that the “compassionate care visit” is limited to two circumstances: end stage of life and a significant change of condition. It is only these specific “compassionate care visits” that can occur inside of the center. No other indoor visits will be allowed by the DPH at this time. Should a new case of COVID-19 be identified in the center, all inside visits, except end stage of life, will be temporarily put on hold.

I wanted to include a few quick points on our continued outdoor visits:
-Visits must be prescheduled to ensure the safety and health for you, the residents, and our staff. Scheduling also allows our team to ensure that your loved one is available and ready for your visit.
-Face coverings must always be worn and a social distance of 6 feet must stay between you and your loved one for the entirety of the visit.
-Alternative visits (Zoom) are still taking place. You can schedule a visit by calling 203-755-4870 ext. 160 or email us at recreation@abbottterracehc.com.

Other updates from our Recreation department include:
-Each nursing station has tablets available for our residents’ use.
-We have fresh airtime where residents can get some much-needed sunshine while supervised to ensure social distancing.
-As you know we had to postpone National Nursing Home Week in May. But we had the pleasure of celebrating and showing appreciation to our residents and staff. We did this by hosting an Athena Nursing Home Week from 8/9/2020 through 8/15/2020. We knew how much our residents have been affected by the social limits and how hard our staff have been working. If you have not already done so, please check our Face book page for pictures of our residents and staff from several of the special events which took place during our Carnival week.

We encourage any residents and family members to contact us with any questions or concerns.
We wish you all the best and continued good health

Sincerely,
Michael Fiore

September 16, 2020 Athena News