New visitation guidance was issued to all New York State skilled nursing facilities by the Department of Health that we must bring to your attention. The changes and amendments are in response to the Omicron variant of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) which is rapidly spreading throughout our area and the state. The information is taken directly from the guidance we received and is not open to interpretation or subject to opinion, therefore it will be enforced effective immediately and until further notice.
First, proper-fitting paper masks (surgical are preferred) must be worn in the building at all times. Cloth masks, neck gaiters, or other fabric facial coverings can be worn OVER the paper masks if you would prefer but they are not a substitute. New paper masks will be available to you upon entry to the building. Please DO NOT bring your own mask into the building as we have no way to verify how old the mask is or whether the material has broken down due to extended use. If you or another visitor are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, a face shield will be provided to you and must be worn at all times inside the building, no exceptions.
Second (and we realize this may be a challenge for some) is that proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required to enter the building. We cannot administer tests for you in our facility at this time. You may test yourself prior to visitation two ways:
- A rapid test can be done within one day (24-hours) prior to your visit.
- A PCR test can be done at a doctor office, clinic, urgent care, or pharmacy
within two days (48-hours) prior to your visit.
- Daily visitors to the nursing home must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test every third day at a minimum.
You must provide proof of the type of test, date of test, and result of test upon admission through the LHRC Main Lobby. This information is most easily obtained by bringing in your document from a testing center or by sharing a photo of an at-home test with the information mentioned above written on a sheet of paper along with your signature. You must make sure the date is written on the testing device and the result must be clearly visible. Any line or discoloration (regardless of how faint) on the positive indicator is considered a positive test result and therefore you cannot enter our facility. The only exception allowed for these requirements are for time-sensitive end of life vigils.
If you cannot or will not provide this information prior to visitation, you will not be admitted into
We know the frustration you must have and that logistics will be a factor in this, but we also need to you to understand that our hands are tied with these requirements. Unfortunately, the community at-large has not been doing a great job protecting one another or the small, delicate healthcare ecosystem we have in Chautauqua County. We as healthcare providers must do all that we can to protect that ecosystem going forward.
Hospitals, nursing homes, adult care providers, doctor’s offices, transportation companies, home health services, etc. are all understaffed and are feeling the effects of COVID-19 day in and day out. All of our staffing levels have been affected by the Omicron variant as it spreads through our community. Please be respectful and mindful of this when you come to our facility. Sadly, there have been a handful of incidents in our main lobby where visitors felt like they were above the regulations and safeguards put in place to protect them, our staff, and most importantly: our residents. We want to avoid conflict as best we can and we need your help to achieve this.
The employees working in the nursing home will be required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot in the coming weeks to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect ourselves and those in our care. We encourage you to do the same. Over the last few months, our employees have continued to work through vaccine mandates, high rates of community spread, staffing concerns, and more, on top of trying to enjoy the holidays with their own families. Myself as well as our nursing home Administrator, Pam Nordin, continue to be blown away by the resilience and dedication of our staff. We’re proud of them and you should be too.
As a reminder, the 24/7 COVID-19 hotline (number below) remains available to find out the latest news on campus should these letters not make it to you in a timely manner. They are also available in our COVID-19 communication archive at www.lutheran-jamestown.org
Thank you for your patience and please remember to wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance, and get a COVID-19 vaccine if you’re able.
LHRC Residents Currently Testing Positive for COVID-19 – 8
Former COVID-19 Positive LHRC Residents Recovered – 12
LHRC Resident Deaths due related to COVID-19 – 1
LHRC Employees Currently Testing Positive for COVID-19 – 12
Former COVID-19 Positive LHRC Employees Recovered – 51
Pamela S. Nordin, RN, LNHA
President & CEO