News

Edenwald COVID-19 Update 5/26/20

LATEST UPDATE: May 26, 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Edenwald,

We have had no change in the COVID impact for the campus as we approach the milestone of 100,000 deaths in the US (some estimate under counted by 30,000 people).

Location Tested (+)
Stroh Hall 0
Eden Place 0
Hoerichs Hall 0
Southerly Place 0
Independent Living 1
Total 1
Department Tested (+)
Dietary 0
Nursing 1
Environmental Services 2
Maintenance 0
Activities 0
Security 0
Nursing Administration 0
Administration 0
Total 3

I was Manager on Duty on Saturday and I was very discouraged to be witness of many residents and their families visiting outside, not abiding by social distancing and most not wearing masks (though I observed residents maintained being masked, thank you for that!).  So, you were considerate of not infecting others by wearing your mask.  The visitors on the other hand, were the exposure risk to the community, and did not consider that by not observing all guidance, they could potentially bring the virus in to a senior living community.

I cannot personally ensure your safety.  You have to proactively participate and follow the guidance provided by health professionals.  Please, do as I request.  The outcome of doing otherwise will be something you and your family members will not want to live with.

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May 23, 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Edenwald,

We learned late yesterday that we have a member of the nursing staff who tested positive for COVID-19, following an exposure outside of Edenwald.  This individual was not exhibiting signs or symptoms and was properly utilizing Personal Protective Equipment.  Nonetheless, there was exposure over several days in a contained area of the campus.  This individual has not been on campus since May 14th.  Everyone potentially impacted has been contacted and testing will occur, as you know, beginning on May 28th.  At this time, we have no one else exhibiting signs or symptoms.

Location Tested (+)
Stroh Hall 0
Eden Place 0
Hoerichs Hall 0
Southerly Place 0
Independent Living 1
Total 1
Department Tested (+)
Dietary 0
Nursing 1
Environmental Services 2
Maintenance 0
Activities 0
Security 0
Nursing Administration 0
Administration 0
Total 3

We continue to work with the Department of Health (DOH) on a daily basis and continue to plan for the upcoming testing.  Our goal remains to get every resident and staff person tested across the entire campus.  We should have a better idea if the DOH is prepared to do that by Tuesday, May 26th.

In the meantime, it has occurred to me that anyone who has a private duty aide, knowing that drive through testing is available in the community at large, should request that they get tested and do so every two weeks going forward and, as their ‘employer’, to request that they share those results with you.

We will have a process in place to appropriately re-test both staff and residents after this initial go around and knowing what is going on with private duty aides more definitively moving forward will be helpful and will give you and your families a greater sense of comfort.

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May 21, 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Edenwald,

This morning the County Executive held a press conference announcing several changes to his Executive Order.  I am including the text from the press release below.  My impression is that the city continues to keep the original restrictions in place.

As you know, I hope to open some of our amenities with the goal of having you remain safely within Edenwald and not venturing out to access services.  So please be patient as I work with our salon provider, PS Salons, in opening the Tower location.  We have been in discussions over the last month and they have what I feel is a solid plan.  We just need to implement.  More information will follow.

I want to point out, as I highlighted and bolded within the text of the press release, ‘Older and more vulnerable residents are strongly advised to continue staying home as much as possible.’

Olszewski Announces New Reopening Steps while Maintaining Public Health Measures to Minimize Spread of COVID-19

Following progress in major indicators, Baltimore County continues efforts to reopen businesses 

TOWSON, MD —  Following progress in major indicators including expanded testing and increased access to personal protective equipment for nursing homes, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced new actions to reopen key portions of Baltimore County’s economy while maintaining public health measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

“With significant progress in expanding testing and PPE, I’m confident that Baltimore County is ready to take these next steps, and do so in a safe manner that protects the health of our residents,” Olszewski said. “While these steps are important, we’re not out of the woods yet, and I urge all residents to continue practicing social distancing to limit the spread of this virus.”

County Executive Olszewski will issue an executive order stating that effective Friday, May 22, at 9 a.m., Baltimore County will take the following actions:

·     Retail stores may reopen for in-store retail with a maximum capacity of 10, including staff. This applies to all retail establishments outside of those considered essential under the state’s previous orders. Curbside pickup and delivery is strongly encouraged, and all public health precautions should remain in place. Shopping malls must continue to stay closed except for retail establishments that be accessed from the outside.

·     Barber shops and hair salons may reopen with a maximum capacity of 10, including staff. They may operate by appointment only and with appropriate health and safety guidelines. Other personal services establishments must remain closed until further notice.

County Executive Olszewski also clarified that the restrictions that were in place on all religious institutions in the state prior to last week remain in place in Baltimore County. That means that the restriction on gatherings of more than 10 remain to place, either indoors or outdoors. Religious institutions may hold drive-through or drive-in services, as some have done.

Baltimore County’s prohibition on indoor and outdoor gatherings or events of 10 or more people at all locations and venues remains in place.

Residents and visitors to Baltimore County should strive to stay at home unless they are traveling to work or medical appointments, shopping for groceries or other retail goods, or traveling to outdoor recreational opportunities. Older and more vulnerable residents are strongly advised to continue staying home as much as possible.

Residents and visitors should practice safe physical distancing and wear masks in public, and frequently wash their hands and sanitize high-touch areas.

Regardless of what the orders state, as I have said before, we will continue all other restrictions and precautions at Edenwald.  The pandemic continues and there is still great risk to every resident of our community.

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May 19, 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Edenwald,

Today we received additional clarification on what will be occurring with COVID-19 testing at Edenwald.

Though there was an initial recommendation to test the entire community, for what we can only assume is an effort to conserve tests, they will only be completing tests for nursing care and assisted living residents and all of the staff associated with those areas.

  • The National Guard will drop of testing supplies the morning of Thursday, May 28th.
  • They will provide training to our staff, who will then complete the testing.
  • The tests will be returned to the Department of Health and processed through their contracted laboratories.
  • They would like us to complete all the testing within five (5) days, we will endeavor to do so within 48-72 hours.
  • We should have results within 48 hours of the tests being run.

We are going to continue to push to do the entire community but, given the overall national shortage on tests, I could see where we won’t be successful, given what is going on at other communities.

Of course, we will continue to be transparent in our communication and will work with the Department of Health in providing proper notification and follow-up.

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May 14, 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Edenwald,

We learned yesterday that we had another staff member in nursing who tested positive after an exposure working at another community.  We removed that person from our schedule as soon as we were made aware that they had an exposure.  This person was on property briefly on May 8th.  They did not have any signs or symptoms while on property and they were properly masked and gloved.

As before, this was reported to the Baltimore County Department of Health.  We have been directed to not include this person in our ‘numbers’ as they are being counted at the other community.  We also anticipate the other person listed below in nursing to be removed from our numbers as well since there was never any exposure at Edenwald and they are also being counted in another facilities numbers.

Location Tested (+)
Stroh Hall 0
Eden Place 0
Hoerichs Hall 0
Southerly Place 0
Independent Living 1
Total 1
Department Tested (+)
Dietary 0
Nursing 1
Environmental Services 2
Maintenance 0
Activities 0
Security 0
Nursing Administration 0
Administration 0
Total 3

As you probably know, the Governor eased some of the restrictions applied through the Stay at Home Order effective 5:00 pm on Friday, May 15th.  As the Governor begins to implement the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery, he has been very clear that the crisis continues and the risks continue, particularly for high-risk populations.  The Maryland Strong plan has three phases and high-risk populations are advised to stay their current course until we enter Phase 3 of the plan.

The Governor, through his action, acknowledged that each community across the state of Maryland is different and is being impacted by COVID differently.  I agree and feel strongly we should be taking in to consideration our immediate community (Baltimore County and City) and what is happening around us before we take actions that could be catastrophic for Edenwald.  So, as of now, we are waiting to hear the directives from County Executive Johnny O and Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young and we are not altering any of our strategies at Edenwald.  We have planned and are prepared to open some in-house amenities and we will communicate more about that once we get a better sense of what the County and City are intending to do.

I do appreciate that as restrictions are lessened, people will want to go about their lives, and visit with family and friends.  I to want to do that very thing.  Unfortunately, with a high-risk population, which all of our residents are, and staff that works with a high-risk population, we all have an added responsibility and burden to maintain our course so that we can insure that our residents, friends, neighbors and staff are not subject to any unnecessary exposure and continue to be healthy.

I know this is a burden and a big ask when you feel you have already been through so much but I’m asking anyway because it is what we must do at this time.

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May 8, 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Edenwald,

The new guidance by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) requires that we provide a cumulative report to Residents, Staff and Family Members at least weekly.  To do this I am going to provide a simplified version of our ‘line report’ which we have been completing and supplying daily to public health officials since the pandemic began, this is the report I utilized during my April Town Hall Meeting presentation.  I am doing this to meet the mandated requirement.  Please be aware it does not reflect us today but how we have looked over the entire span of the pandemic.  I’ve decided not to include the total number of tests completed, since I’m not sure it’s relevant but will assess this going forward.

Location Tested (+)
Stroh Hall 0
Eden Place 0
Hoerichs Hall 0
Southerly Place 0
Independent Living 1
Total 1
Department Tested (+)
Dietary 0
Nursing 1
Environmental Services 2
Maintenance 0
Activities 0
Security 0
Nursing Administration 0
Administration 0
Total 3

 

As you know, the state also began publishing data on COVID-19 cases in nursing homes on its website, https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/hcf-resources. The data is reported by county and facility and includes a cumulative total of positive cases for all residents and staff.  As I pointed out in a previous communication, the data on the website for Edenwald currently includes our one IL resident.  We have alerted them that this was not a nursing home resident but they have not changed the data, as of yet.

There has also been further clarification regarding the Governor’s Executive Order that all Maryland nursing homes and assisted living communities begin universal COVID-19 testing of all residents and staff.  We do not believe, at this time, that it will involve the testing of Independent Living Residents.  The MDH confirmed that the National Guard will be working with the state to supply the tests for each facility and that they will be contacting us to confirm the delivery and actual testing procedures. Our impression is that they will be prioritizing those communities showing high numbers of COVID impact.  To date we have no indication when universal testing will begin to occur at Edenwald.  As you know, we have already been testing symptomatic residents and staff and have found relatively small numbers of positive cases as I have previously reported.

The new universal testing requirement will also include individuals who are not exhibiting any signs or symptoms. Based on findings reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, it is expected that 25 – 50% of asymptomatic individuals will test positive for COVID-19.  With that said, we cannot predict what universal testing will show at Edenwald.  Our approach to date has been to assume everyone within the community has the potential of spreading the infection, so I do not anticipate changing our approach based on testing, though it could impact staffing levels.  We will update you as soon as we know more.

I want to wish all of our mothers a safe and happy Mother’s Day.  With my own mom residing in a Nursing Home in rural Pennsylvania several hours away, I can appreciate how you and your families are feeling, the pain of that distance and an inability to see someone you love in person.  At Edenwald we planned a special surprise we hope will brighten your day and make sure you know that you are being thought of and loved, not only by your own family but by your Edenwald family.