VA Bedford Healthcare System has moved the Community Living Centers (CLCs) back to Phase 1 of the Opening Up America Again plan due to the rise of positive COVID-19 diagnoses in the facility and surrounding communities, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) guidelines.
“The CLCs will remain at this highest level of vigilance until they meet all criteria to move to Phase 2, particularly, recording no new nursing home onset COVID cases for 21 days” said Kelley Saindon, Deputy Nurse Executive.
Saindon stated that actions implemented by VA Bedford in Phase 1 include, but are not limited to:
- Restricted entry of non-essential healthcare personnel.
- Communal dining limited (for COVID-19 negative or asymptomatic residents only), but residents may eat in the same room with social distancing (limited number of people at tables and spaced by at least 6 feet).
- Non-medically necessary trips outside the building should be avoided.
All in-person visitation has been suspended, as has “Fresh Air” for Veterans. However, unit recreation therapists are conducting daily activities with Veterans individually. Recreation therapists will also call Veterans’ families to set up individual virtual visitation sessions.
VA Bedford has taken additional infection control measures, such as deep cleaning on Dec. 2, 2020, by a commercial vendor, and increased cleaning frequency of elevators and high touch point surfaces. One hundred percent entry screening of all individuals entering VA Bedford facilities continues, as does the requirement for everyone to mask up.
“A strong infection prevention and control program is critical to protect both residents and healthcare personnel,” Saindon said.
Real-time, map-based data on COVID-19 case counts is available on VA’s Access to Care Website.
For more information about the reopening phases for nursing homes, visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/long-term-care.html.
Visit VA Bedford’s public website at https://www.bedford.va.gov for more information about our services and programs. Like and follow us on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VABedfordHCS and https://twitter.com/VABedfordHCS.