Update from Administrator – January 20, 2022
Dear Evergreen Families,
As you may have heard by now, effective Saturday, January 22, all visitors and essential support personnel of Connecticut nursing homes must provide either proof of their COVID-19 vaccine or show evidence of having a negative COVID-19 test (PCR within 72 hrs. -or- Antigen/rapid within 48 hours).
Through Executive Order 14F from Governor Lamont, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) implemented this visitor vaccine mandate due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in our state. As a result of this strict guidance, we ask that all visitors be patient with our support staff as they navigate this new screening practice. We also ask that you continue to be mindful of our infection control measures that we have been updating throughout this pandemic – they are as follows:
Executive Order 14F requires, visitors and essential support personal
will need to do one of the following prior to visiting:
- Provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and if eligible, have received the COVID-19 booster
- Provide paper or electronic proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from either
- A rapid antigen test completed within the previous 48 hours
- A PCR test completed within the past 72 hours
- Take a rapid test at the nursing home in a form and manner as directed by DPH (self-test kits to be provided by DPH and visitor is to do themselves. Should wait outside facility until results are available) Results to be shown to facility prior to entry
The order takes effect on Saturday, January 22, 2022.
- The order requires nursing homes to deny entrance to any visitor that tests positive for COVID-19 or who refuses to take a rapid antigen test. The order further provides, according to guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, that a nursing home cannot deny entrance to any visitor who is willing to take a rapid antigen test but is unable to do so because the nursing home is not able to provide a rapid antigen test.
- The Connecticut Department of Public Health plans on distributing 50,000 rapid antigen tests to all nursing homes. These are to be used exclusively to facilitate safe visitation. Distribution will begin on Friday, January 21, 2022.
- All visitors must free of symptoms relating to COVID-19, including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle/body aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, sore throat, congestion/runny nose, nausea/vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
- If a visitor has had a recent positive viral test for COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19, or currently meet the criteria for quarantine, THEY CANNOT enter our facilitiy
- It is imperative that all visitors use proper hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is recommended) upon arrival at our facilities.
- All visitors must wear their masks and face sheilds at all times in the facility, regardless of vaccination status.
- Visitors must maintain physical distancing of at least six feet – in accordance with CDC guidance.
- If a visitor gives permission, the facility may keep a copy of their vaccination card on file.
- Visitors must be denied entrance if they have tested positive within the past 10 days. Can resume visitation after completion of the isolation period as long as symptoms have improved.
- Unvaccinated Visitors must be denied entrance if they have had a direct exposure for 14 days, unless they have been COVID positive within the last 90 days.
- When entering our center, all visitors must review the instructional signage and visitor education on COVID- 19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face shield & mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene).
Our center reserves the right to deny entry for those who do not comply with the above noted safety measures and protocols. Your compliance is vital to keeping our staff and residents safe – and we thank you for your continued assistance and understanding during these uncertain times.
Christine M. McKinney