First of all, I want to say thank you to all of our residents and family members. Thank you for your patience, your trust and your continued support. We have been continuously learning, implementing changes and modifying processes to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) expectations for management of Covid-19 in long term care facilities. This is an invisible enemy that has created anxiety, fear, and frustration. We have found ourselves in the most difficult situation, a tug of war over safety from the virus, and safety from the extreme toll these restrictions have put on our residents, family members, and team members. You have locked arms and partnered with us, and we will forever be grateful. I continue to be amazed by our teams. Their selfless dedication to our residents is inspiring and gives me so much hope and confidence, and has united us in an unbelievable way.

We are excited to share that the guidelines for long term care facilities to begin relaxing restrictions, including specific criteria a facility must meet in order to move forward. We are receiving questions about our plans to open up the campuses and are responding to many of those in this message. Please be aware that each campus may have differing levels of ability to open up which will be addressed by the specific campuses.

We are regulated by DHHS on our skilled care and assisted living campuses and they define the process by which we can move forward, and multiple factors will influence this process and timeline. All long-term care facilities are currently in Phase 1, with the ability to complete the following tasks and be eligible to move into Phase 2. We have been internally defining our processes for Phase 2, so we will be ready to go when we get approval from DHHS. We will be providing that information to the families and residents of the campus when we know a specific date that we can move forward.

First, the county a facility is in must be able to move forward with their directed health measures. Second, a facility must not have any positive Covid-19 residents or team members, and must have a plan to complete baseline testing of team members resulting in all negative results. Please be aware that a positive Covid-19 result amongst a resident or team member may require us to again restrict visitors and group activities, regardless of the phase we are in.

We look forward to the opportunity for nursing facilities and assisted living facilities to open up in phases. It has been a long several months and we are anxious to ease restrictions while keeping our residents and team members safe. We strive to keep communication transparent and prioritize clarity and responsiveness. We know this pandemic has caused us to try and communicate in different ways. We will be sending out a resident and family survey specific to the pandemic management and responsiveness, and we would greatly appreciate you feedback. It will specifically help us to modify and prioritize areas of focus and improvement moving forward. Please take the time to complete the survey and share your feedback with us.

We know everyone is anxious to move forward, as are we, but please be patient as we comply with the regulations that DHHS requires of us. As I said in the beginning, some of our campuses will be able to open up sooner than others, and those campuses will communicate those details. 

If you have questions, please contact the campus administration directly or send your questions to our COVID email: covid@nyehealthservices.com. You can also follow us on Facebook.