As of Nov. 5, Gardenside visitation is now limited to closed window visits or virtual visits only, because of a positive COVID-19 test at Gardenside.
“We are required by CMS regulations not to allow any face-to-face visitation at this time,” said Deb Sutton RN, BS, NHA. “Safety of our residents and staff remains our first priority. We are increasing our testing protocols and taking every measure necessary.”
Residents and staff will be tested more frequently until all results are negative for at least 14 days for all residents and staff, Sutton said. Residents will be asked to remain in their rooms, including for meals during this time. Group activities will be cancelled.
JCH&L works closely with Public Health Solutions district health department, and complies with state and federal guidelines.
Families who wish to see their loved ones may come to visit through closed windows only. Virtual visits are also available through Skype or Facebook Messenger. If families would like a staff member to take their loved one a telephone for conversation for a closed window visit or schedule a Skype or Facebook visit, families can all Gardenside staff at 402-729-5220 to make arrangements.
Anyone with questions about the Gardenside requirements should contact Sutton at 402-729-6843.
This change in visitation comes as Public Health Solutions district health department reports cases in our district rising rapidly, and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reports cases statewide rising rapidly. Public Health Solutions reported on Friday, Nov. 6, that Gage County’s risk dial is in the red, and Jefferson County’s is higher in the orange risk zone. Jefferson County’s positivity rate was reported at 25.4 percent, up from 8.2 percent last week. Public Health Solutions hit an all-time high of positive cases being reported on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
“We urge area residents to wear masks, get flu shots, and avoid the 3 C’s: crowded places, close contacts and confined spaces. Avoid gathering in groups where you can’t maintain 6 feet of distance and when you are with people outside of your household. Avoid enclosed spaces with poor ventilation,” Sutton said.
Local, district and state numbers of positive cases can be found online at dhhs.ne.gov, and go to View Covid-19 Dashboard. District data and a dashboard can also be found on the Public Health Solutions site at phsneb.org, and go to Click to View the Full Dashboard.
JCH&L continues to offer TestNebraska COVID-19 testing free. It is offered every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in front of Cedarwood Assisted Living. Additional dates have also been added as county numbers have continued to rise. Testing is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Friday, Nov. 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Testing is free and is offered through state’s TestNebraska program. The sample is collected outdoors. It is recommended that those interested sign up on line at TestNebraska.com.
JCH&L Fairbury Clinic continues to see clinic patients who have respiratory symptoms outside of clinic space, in order to keep the clinic safe for all patients. Clinic patients who report respiratory symptoms will be seen at a location at the health center. They will be directed when their appointment is made. The clinic also continues to offer Virtual Visits.
Flu shots are still available by appointment at both the Fairbury and Plymouth clinics. As the annual flu season approaches, it is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older get an influenza vaccination, in order to try to limit the possibilities of having a surge of influenza along with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state’s larger hospitals, the most likely to care for more seriously ill patients, are seeing a surge in patients and hospitalizations for COVID-19, according to their reports. That could mean that Critical Access Hospitals like JCH&L may begin to have more trouble transferring patients who need levels of care which can’t be provided locally, said Erin Starr, RN, BSN, JCH&L Chief Nursing Officer.
Masks or face coverings are a particularly important tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19, because COVID-19 is spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets which are produced when people cough, sneeze or talk, according to the Centers for Disease Control. When used in conjunction with social distancing, masks are an extra layer of protection that trap these respiratory droplets and prevent them from traveling into the air and exposing others.
Masks should completely cover their mouth and nose; have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric; and fit snugly against the side of the face so there are not gaps. Avoid masks that that have exhalation valves or vents.