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NOVEL CORONAVIRUS 2019 (COVID 19) UPDATE:

Download the latest Family Update as a PDF.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

All PMMA communities signed up for the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. All 15 PMMA communities, which offer skilled nursing and assisted living services, were eligible to participate and signed up through either Walgreen’s or CVS.

The pharmacy partners will begin contacting campuses in mid-December to schedule three vaccine clinics at each location. Clinic dates are subject to change based on the availability of the vaccine. CVS and Walgreens anticipate scheduling the first round of clinics at the end of December, with subsequent clinics scheduled in January and February.

PMMA strongly encourages all eligible residents and employees to carefully consider what these vaccinations will mean for themselves and our PMMA communities. As front-line providers of senior care services, our employees are among those at the greatest risk of COVID-19 infection, and our residents are at the greatest risk of serious illness or death if they are infected.

In preparation for these clinics, PMMA communities are already working to ensure all the required consent forms and physician’s orders are in place.

Kansas is expecting to receive 75,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of December. Missouri expects to receive 300,000 doses of the vaccine in the same time frame. Both states have identified frontline health care workers and skilled nursing and assisted living residents as high priority to receive the vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine requires a two-step process consisting of two shots to get the most protection from the virus. The first shot starts the process of building immunity protection within the body, with a second dose required a few weeks later to provide the maximum amount of protection available.

Click to download an FAQ about COVID-19 Vaccines.

Community Visitation

PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) president and CEO, Bruce Shogren issued a letter November 16 strongly urging residents to shelter in place and remain on campus this holiday season.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), small inside gatherings of people who are not wearing masks and socially distancing has been a significant contributing factor in recent COVID-19 outbreaks. The CDC is warning everyone that even small holiday gatherings could be a potential source for spreading the COVID-19 virus. The CDC issued guidance stating “the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate only with people living in your household.” For our residents, this means remaining on your PMMA campus.

As you discuss your upcoming holiday plans, we encourage you to follow the advice of health officials, infectious disease experts and the CDC. If you make the decision to attend an in-person gathering, please follow the CDC guidelines for small gatherings. These guidelines are available at the websites below:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

Check the CDC website, as well as the local and state health departments, for the most current guidance. It is likely to be updated as we move through the holiday season.

PMMA’s Family Letter RE: Holiday Gatherings

CMS and state guidelines allow communities to establish protocols and reasonable limitations around visitation. View our Visitor Information Card. Outdoor visitation is preferred whenever possible. Reasonable limitations include requiring visitors to schedule visits in advance, limiting the number of visitors each resident may have at one time to 2 people, limiting the total number of visits that may be scheduled during a time period, and screening visitors for entry to the community. Screening includes answering a questionnaire about recent travel, health status and exposure risk, and taking and logging temperatures before they are allowed entry into the community.

Resident safety always comes first. Based on the recommendations from the CDC and CMS, outdoor visitation will be preferred as long as weather permits. Outdoor visitation provides the best ventilation and opportunity to maintain safe social distances during visitation. It also provides the most locations for residents and families to meet together.

Please be vigilant in self-monitoring for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Visit the CDC website and check your symptoms with the online Self-Checker available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.

When you visit our communities, you are expected to adhere to safety practices and take necessary precautions to protect our residents and employees.

You should:

  • Schedule your visit in advance with the community’s designated contact.
  • Be respectful of visitor limitations (2 visitors per resident per day) and time limitations. Time limits are set to allow as many opportunities as possible for residents to visit with their family and friends. It also provides opportunity for the community to complete cleaning protocols between visits.
  • Provide proof of negative COVID-19 test within 2-3 days in advance of your visit, if required. (Indoor visits when county positivity rates are between 5% and 10%.)
  • Answer screening questions honestly.
  • Have your temperature taken at entry to the community.
  • Adhere to safety measures, including wearing the provided face mask over nose and mouth at all times, washing or sanitizing hands before and after a visit, and maintain physical distance. Hugging, kissing and handshaking is prohibited to protect residents and employees.
  • Follow all instructions given for movement within the community.
  • Report immediately to the community if experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or any positive COVID-19 test results occurring within 14 days of visiting any community

COVID-19 Prevention Practices

Our campus screens employees at the beginning of their shifts upon entering the community and before the employees have had any direct contact with residents. These screening measures include taking staff temperatures and asking a set of questions about their health status and COVID-19 exposure risks and review a list of COVID-19 symptoms.

Employees who have a fever or report feeling unwell are not allowed to work and are asked to get tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of the disease. These measures continue to be updated as guidance changes.  We encourage all staff members to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as these are continually updated. 

Employees who test positive remain in isolation until cleared to work by the health department. We follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when an employee may return to work. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic employees may return to work when at least 72 hours have passed since resolution of the employee’s fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and the employee’s symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Asymptomatic positive employees will quarantine for at least 10 days. Upon the employee’s return to work, we follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has mandated surveillance testing of our staff. Surveillance testing requires all employees, agency employees, volunteers, hospice, lab and therapy providers at our campus to be tested on a frequency determined by our county’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate. Based on our county positivity rate for COVID-19 tests, our campus is testing staff once a week.

Residents who tested positive are placed in COVID-19 isolation and cared for by designated staff members. We follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when the residents may come out of isolation. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic residents may come out of isolation when at least 72 hours have passed since resolution of the resident’s fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and the resident’s symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. If asymptomatic, the residents will remain in isolation for at least 10 days. Designated team members are following doctor’s orders for treatment protocols and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infection prevention protocols.

We continue to stay current with preventive measures in accordance with the CMS/CDC guidelines and best practices. We strongly encourage all residents to shelter in place and adhere to the precautions we provided.

Follow these basic safety precautions to protect yourself and others and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask or cloth face covering. Maintain adequate social distance between yourself and others who do not live with you. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel. Residents should limit trips off campus, and family members are encouraged to avoid crowds.  

Please be vigilant in self-monitoring for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Visit the CDC website and check your symptoms with the online Self-Checker available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.