Isabella Center COVID-19 Update

January 8, 2021

Dear Family Members:

We are writing today to ask you to please reconsider having your loved one vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. As I’m sure you’re aware, cases of COVID-19 are up dramatically, and seniors remain among the most vulnerable. In addition, the new more contagious strain of COVID-19 has also now been identified in New York State. Isabella, the Department of Health and CDC all feel strongly that vaccination is a critical step in protecting your loved one and all nursing home residents.

Approximately two weeks ago, CVS came to Isabella and administered the vaccine to more than half of our eligible residents. All were supervised closely post vaccination and none had an adverse reaction.  A large percentage of our staff was also vaccinated at that time, again without incident. During the three days following vaccination, our nursing staff continued to monitor residents for adverse reactions. The only side effect noted was mild discomfort at the injection site.

Some families have voiced concern that the vaccine was developed and tested too quickly. We want to assure you that the vaccines approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration underwent the same level of vigorous testing for safety and efficacy as other vaccines. They were tested in tens of thousands of people, including older adults. In addition, as of January 7, 2021, 17.5 million people have already been vaccinated worldwide, 6.25 million in the U.S.  The speed with which these vaccines were developed is a result of focused, collaborative work, performed by experts across the globe.

To help address any concerns you may still have, we have re-enclosed the Pfizer fact sheet including frequently asked questions and answers about the COVID-19 vaccine and its potential side effects. We encourage you to reach out to Deirdre Downes, Director of Social Work, at 212 342 9625 if you have questions.  She will address your concerns or connect you with the appropriate clinician.

The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff have been and remain our top priority. We are strongly encouraging all residents and staff to consent to vaccination, so that we can protect one another. As we’ve said often, we are all in this together.

If we haven’t already, we will be contacting you – to ask for consent – prior to the next CVS vaccination date at Isabella on Wednesday, January 13th. Please do not miss this opportunity to protect your loved one.

Best wishes to you and your family for a healthy and happy new year.

Sincerely,

Loyola Princivil- Barnett
Chief Operating Officer
Administrator of Record

8 de enero de 2021

Estimados familiares:

Le escribimos hoy para pedirle que reconsidere la posibilidad de vacunar a su ser querido contra el virus de la COVID-19. Como seguramente sabe, los casos de COVID-19 están aumentando significativamente y los adultos mayores permanecen entre los más vulnerables. Además, la nueva cepa más contagiosa de COVID-19 ahora también se ha identificado en el estado de New York. Isabella, el Departamento de Salud y los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) creen firmemente que la vacunación es un paso fundamental para proteger a su ser querido y a todos los residentes del asilo de ancianos.

Hace aproximadamente dos semanas, CVS llegó a Isabella y administró la vacuna a más de la mitad de nuestros residentes elegibles. Todos fueron supervisados de cerca después de la vacunación y ninguno tuvo una reacción adversa. Un gran porcentaje de nuestro personal también fue vacunado en ese momento, nuevamente, sin incidentes. Durante los tres días posteriores a la vacunación, nuestro personal de enfermería continuó monitoreando a los residentes para detectar reacciones adversas. El único efecto secundario observado fue una leve molestia en el lugar de la inyección.

Algunas familias han expresado su preocupación por el hecho de que la vacuna se desarrolló y se probó con demasiada rapidez. Queremos asegurarle que las vacunas que la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos de los EE. UU. aprobó para su uso se sometieron al mismo nivel de pruebas rigurosas de seguridad y eficacia que otras vacunas. Fueron probadas en decenas de miles de personas, incluidos adultos mayores. Además, desde el 7 de enero de 2021, ya se han vacunado 17.5 millones de personas en todo el mundo y 6.25 millones en los EE. UU. La velocidad con la que se desarrollaron estas vacunas es el resultado de un trabajo de colaboración concentrado, realizado por expertos de todo el mundo.

Para ayudar a abordar cualquier inquietud que pueda tener, hemos vuelto a adjuntar la hoja informativa de Pfizer, que incluye preguntas frecuentes y respuestas sobre la vacuna contra la COVID-19 y sus posibles efectos secundarios. Le recomendamos que, si tiene preguntas, se comunique con Deirdre Downes, directora de Trabajo Social, al 212 342 9625. Ella abordará sus inquietudes o lo pondrá en contacto con el médico correspondiente.

La seguridad y el bienestar de nuestros residentes y el personal han sido y siguen siendo nuestra principal prioridad. Recomendamos fuertemente a todos los residentes y al personal que den su consentimiento para la vacunación, para que podamos protegernos unos a otros. Como hemos dicho a menudo, estamos todos juntos en esto.

Si aún no lo hemos hecho, nos comunicaremos con usted para solicitar su consentimiento antes de la próxima fecha de vacunación de CVS en Isabella el miércoles 13 de enero. No se pierda esta oportunidad de proteger a su ser querido.

Les deseamos lo mejor a usted y a su familia para que tengan un año nuevo feliz y con salud.

Atentamente,

Loyola Princivil- Barnett
Gerente general de Operaciones
Administradora de Registros

FACT SHEET FOR RECIPIENTS AND CAREGIVERS

EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION (EUA) OF THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE TO PREVENT CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) IN INDIVIDUALS 16 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER

You are being offered the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2. This Fact Sheet contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which you may receive because there is currently a pandemic of COVID-19.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is a vaccine and may prevent you from getting COVID-19. There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Read this Fact Sheet for information about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Talk to the vaccination provider if you have questions. It is your choice to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a 2-dose series, 3 weeks apart, into the muscle. The Pfizer-BioN Tech COVID-19 Vaccine may not protect everyone.

This Fact Sheet may have been updated. For the most recent Fact Sheet, please see www.cvdvaccine.com.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GET THIS VACCINE?

WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19 disease is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. This type of coronavirus has not been seen before. You can get COVID-19 through contact with another person who has the virus. It is predominantly a respiratory illness that can affect other organs. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

WHAT IS THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is an unapproved vaccine that may prevent COVID-19. There is no FDA-approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
The FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

For more information on EUA, see the “What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?” section at the end of this Fact Sheet.

WHAT SHOULD YOU MENTION TO YOUR VACCINATION PROVIDER BEFORE YOU GET THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
 have any allergies
 have a fever
 have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
 are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
 are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
 are breastfeeding
 have received another COVID-19 vaccine

WHO SHOULD GET THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in individuals 16 years of age and older.

WHO SHOULD NOT GET THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
You should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine if you:
 had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
 had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine.

WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS IN THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis (2 hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

HOW IS THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE GIVEN?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will be given to you as an injection into the muscle. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine vaccination series is 2 doses given 3 weeks apart. If you receive one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, you should receive a second dose of this same vaccine 3 weeks later to complete the vaccination series.

HAS THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE BEEN USED BEFORE?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is an unapproved vaccine. In clinical trials, approximately 20,000 individuals 16 years of age and older have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
In an ongoing clinical trial, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19 following 2 doses given 3 weeks apart. The duration of protection against COVID-19 is currently unknown.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?

Side effects that have been reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine include:
 injection site pain
 tiredness
 headache
 muscle pain
 chills
 joint pain
 fever
 injection site swelling
 injection site redness
 nausea
 feeling unwell
 swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)

There is a remote chance that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:
 Difficulty breathing
 Swelling of your face and throat
 A fast heartbeat
 A bad rash all over your body
 Dizziness and weakness

These may not be all the possible side effects of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19. Vaccine is still being studied in clinical trials.

WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT SIDE EFFECTS?
If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call 9-1-1, or go to the nearest hospital. Call the vaccination provider or your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away. Report vaccine side effects to FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The VAERS toll-free number is 1-800-822-7967 or report online to https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html. Please include “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA” in the first line of box #18 of the report form.

In addition, you can report side effects to Pfizer Inc. at the contact information provided below.

Website Fax number Telephone number
www.pfizersafetyreporting.com 1-866-635-8337 1-800-438-1985

WHAT IF I DECIDE NOT TO GET THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
It is your choice to receive or not receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Should you decide not to receive it, it will not change your standard medical care.

ARE OTHER CHOICES AVAILABLE FOR PREVENTING COVID-19 BESIDES PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
Currently, there is no approved alternative vaccine available for prevention of COVID-19. FDA may allow the emergency use of other vaccines to prevent COVID-19.

CAN I RECEIVE THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE WITH OTHER VACCINES?
There is no information on the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine with other vaccines.

WHAT IF I AM PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING?
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss your options with your healthcare provider.

WILL THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE GIVE ME COVID-19?
No. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and cannot give you COVID-19.

KEEP YOUR VACCINATION CARD
When you get your first dose, you will get a vaccination card to show you when to return for your second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Remember to bring your card when you return.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
If you have questions, visit the website or call the telephone number provided below.

Global website Telephone number
www.cvdvaccine.com
1-877-829-2619
(1-877-VAX-CO19)

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?
 Ask the vaccination provider.
 Visit CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
 Visit FDA at https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcmlegal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/emergency-use-authorization.
 Contact your local or state public health department.

WHERE WILL MY VACCINATION INFORMATION BE RECORDED?
The vaccination provider may include your vaccination information in your state/local jurisdiction’s Immunization Information System (IIS) or other designated system. This will ensure that you receive the same vaccine when you return for the second dose. For more information about IISs visit: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/iis/about.html.

WHAT IS THE COUNTERMEASURES INJURY COMPENSATION PROGRAM?
The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) is a federal program that may help pay for costs of medical care and other specific expenses of certain people who have been seriously injured by certain medicines or vaccines, including this vaccine. Generally, a claim must be submitted to the CICP within one (1) year from the date of receiving the vaccine. To learn more about this program, visit www.hrsa.gov/cicp/ or call 1-855-266-2427.

WHAT IS AN EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION (EUA)?
The United States FDA has made the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine available under an emergency access mechanism called an EUA. The EUA is supported by a Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) declaration that circumstances exist to justify the emergency use of drugs and biological products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has not undergone the same type of review as an FDA-approved or cleared product. FDA may issue an EUA when certain criteria are met, which includes that there are no adequate, approved, available alternatives. In addition, the FDA decision is based on the totality of scientific evidence available showing that the product may be effective to prevent COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known  and potential risks of the product. All of these criteria must be met to allow for the product to be used in the treatment of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 EUA declaration justifying emergency use of these products, unless terminated or revoked (after which the products may no longer be used).

Manufactured by
Pfizer Inc., New York, NY 10017
Manufactured for
BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH
An der Goldgrube 12
55131 Mainz, Germany
LAB-1451-1.0
Revised: December 2020

December 17, 2020

Great news. CVS notified us today that they are planning to be onsite at Isabella on Wednesday, December 23rd to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to all our residents. As noted in my earlier letter, vaccination is a two-dose process. The second dose will be administered in approximately 3 weeks. Consent is required.

This afternoon, we started calling every family to obtain consent for your loved one to be vaccinated. To support your decision making, Pfizer has provided the below fact sheet about the vaccine that will be administered. This has also been sent to your home.

Isabella supports the CDC and Department of Health in strongly recommending that your loved one be vaccinated for their safety. Research demonstrates that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for most people.

If you have any questions about having your loved one vaccinated, please call Deirdre Downes, Director of Social Work, at (212) 342-9625. In the event your question requires input from our Medical Director, she will be able to facilitate that discussion.

17 de diciembre de 2020

¡Tenemos excelentes noticias! Hoy CVS nos notificó que planean estar en Isabella el miércoles 23 de diciembre para administrar la vacuna contra la COVID-19 a todos nuestros residentes. Como señalé en mi carta anterior, la vacunación es un proceso que requiere dos dosis. La segunda dosis se administrará en aproximadamente 3 semanas.Se requiere el consentimiento.

Esta tarde, comenzamos a llamar a todas las familias para que otorguen su consentimiento para que su ser querido reciba la vacuna. Para apoyar su toma de decisiones, Pfizer ha puesto a disposición la hoja informativa de abajo sobre la vacuna que se administrará. Además, se la enviamos a su hogar.

Isabella apoya a los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) y al Departamento de Salud en recomendar fuertemente que su ser querido reciba la vacuna por su seguridad. La investigación demuestra que los beneficios de la vacuna superan ampliamente los riesgos para la mayoría de las personas.

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre la vacunación de su ser querido, llame a Deirdre Downes, directora de Trabajo Social, al (212) 342-9625. En caso de que su pregunta requiera la participación de nuestro director médico, ella podrá facilitar esa conversación.

December 10, 2020

Dear Family/Friends:

As promised in our last letter, following is a status update on the COVID-19 vaccination program.  As you know, our elected officials have prioritized nursing homes. As a result, Isabella residents and staff will be among the first to be vaccinated. The purpose of this letter is to provide you with the latest information we have on the process. Because of the scale and unprecedented nature of this project, details are evolving rapidly and could change.

What We know

The federal government is overseeing a centralized system to order, distribute, and track COVID -19 vaccines. This is being done through a platform called The Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program which will provide complete oversight of all stages of the vaccination program. Our clinical staff will work directly with CVS Pharmacy to vaccinate both staff and residents.

CVS Pharmacy will be scheduling a set of dates when they will be on site to vaccinate our residents and staff against this virus. While we do not currently know when they will come to Isabella, the current plan is for CVS to begin administering the vaccine at long-term facilities before the end of December. The COVID-19 vaccination process requires two doses, with the second vaccination administered approximately three weeks after the first.

What’s Next

A member of the Isabella staff will be reaching out to you soon to discuss the process for giving consent for your loved one to be vaccinated. We will also keep you informed should there be new information about the vaccine, timing or process as well as letting you know the actual dates CVS will be coming to the Isabella campus.

The Importance of Vaccination

The Centers for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to make nursing homes a top priority for immunization because of the importance of protecting both residents and staff. We strongly encourage to follow their lead and provide consent for your loved one to be vaccinated. This is an important step in protecting all nursing home residents and stopping the spread of this virus.

Questions and Answers

We realize that you may have questions about the vaccine, its safety and how it works. Please read the Q&As prepared by AMDA/The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.  You can also visit the cdc.gov website for additional information.

We remain vigilant in practicing strict infection control guidelines and in testing our residents and staff regularly.  We are now asking for your help in working together to keep us all safe by being vaccinated.

If you have any questions or need assistance in obtaining information, please call Deirdre Downes, Director of Social Work, at (212) 342-9625.

Sincerely,

Loyola Princivil- Barnett

Chief Operating Officer
Administrator of Record

10 de diciembre de 2020

Estimados familiares/amigos:

Como prometimos en nuestra última carta, se incluye aquí una actualización de estado sobre el programa de vacunación contra la COVID-19. Como saben, nuestros funcionarios electos han priorizado a los asilos de ancianos. En consecuencia, los residentes y el personal de Isabella estarán entre los primeros en recibir la vacuna. El propósito de esta carta es proporcionarles la información más reciente que tenemos sobre el proceso. Dadas la magnitud y la naturaleza sin precedentes de este proyecto, los detalles evolucionan rápidamente y podrían modificarse.

Qué sabemos

El gobierno federal está a cargo de la supervisión de un sistema centralizado que permite pedir, distribuir y rastrear las vacunas contra la COVID-19. Esto se realiza a través de una plataforma llamada The Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program, que proporcionará la supervisión completa de todas las etapas del programa de vacunación. Nuestro personal clínico trabajará directamente con CVS Pharmacy para vacunar al personal y a los residentes.

CVS Pharmacy programará una serie de fechas en las que estarán en el sitio para vacunar a nuestros residentes y personal contra este virus. Si bien todavía desconocemos cuándo visitarán Isabella, el plan actual consiste en que CVS comience a administrar la vacuna en los centros de atención a largo plazo antes del final del mes de diciembre. El proceso de vacunación contra la COVID-19 requiere dos dosis; la administración de la segunda vacuna es aproximadamente tres semanas después de la primera.

Siguiente paso

Un miembro del personal de Isabella se comunicará con usted pronto para hablar sobre el proceso para que otorgue su consentimiento y que su ser querido reciba la vacuna. Además, le proporcionaremos información en el caso de que haya nuevos datos disponibles sobre la vacuna, sobre el calendario o el proceso, así como también le haremos saber las fechas reales en las que CVS visitará el campus de Isabella.

La importancia de la vacunación

El Comité Asesor sobre Prácticas de Inmunización de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades votó por priorizar principalmente a los asilos de ancianos para la vacunación dada la importancia de proteger a los residentes y al personal. Recomendamos especialmente que sigan este consejo y proporcionen su consentimiento para que su ser querido reciba la vacuna. Este es un paso

importante para proteger a todos los residentes de los asilos de ancianos e impedir la propagación de este virus.

Preguntas y respuestas

Reconocemos que posiblemente tenga dudas sobre la vacuna, su seguridad y cómo funciona. Por favor lea las preguntas y respuestas preparadas por The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA). También puede visitar el sitio web cdc.gov para obtener información adicional.

Seguimos atentos a poner en práctica estrictas pautas para el control de infecciones y realizando pruebas periódicas a nuestros residentes y personal. Solicitamos su colaboración para trabajar juntos en mantenernos seguros a todos a través de la vacuna.

Si tiene alguna pregunta o necesita ayuda para obtener información, llame a Deirdre Downes, directora de Trabajo Social, al (212) 342-9625.

Atentamente,

Loyola Princivil- Barnett

Gerente general de operaciones
Administradora de Registrosar dapibus leo.

December 3, 2020

Dear Family Members:

I am writing to you today to share important information and guidelines governing off campus visits during the upcoming holidays. It is our goal to ensure that all residents at Isabella have a joyful and festive holiday season. At the same time, it is equally important that we maintain good safety practices to protect your loved one, and all our residents, during these increasingly difficult times.

I know that, in past years, many of you, have taken your family member home for the day or overnight to celebrate the holidays. Since we are in the middle of a pandemic that is currently escalating, several weeks ago I sent an inquiry to the Department of Health (DOH) requesting guidance about residents leaving Isabella to attend family gatherings and for overnight visits. We did not receive new guidelines until Wednesday, November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving.  In addition, once we received these new guidelines, we immediately reached out to DOH that Wednesday and then again on Thanksgiving, for further clarification.

The following information comes directly from our regulatory bodies:

The New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) strongly recommend against residents leaving the nursing home for home, family visitation or other social outings during the holiday season. If a resident does leave the facility for a social outing, DOH has set the following requirements which must be met prior to the individual returning to Isabella:

  • The resident/family must show proof that the resident tested negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours prior to their return
  • Upon return, the resident will be quarantined for 14 days on a separate specialized unit or section of a unit
  • The resident will be tested for COVID-19 at least three times during the 14-day quarantine

We realize these requirements are very strict. That’s because it is the clear intent of the attached DOH guidelines to discourage residents from leaving the nursing home. This is based on advice from the Centers for Disease Control and the New York State Department of Health that individuals, at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, avoid in-person gatherings with individuals who do not live under their same roof.

On a related subject, some of you may have read that nursing home residents and staff will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We are pleased that elected officials are prioritizing nursing homes and we are staying on top of the latest developments. We will provide further clarification and details, once they are available.

As mentioned earlier, cases of COVID-19 are spiking. In fact, our zip code is among the hardest hit. Today, after months of having no residents with COVID, one of our residents did test positive. We are pleased to report that they are doing well. As a result, however, per DOH guidelines we have temporarily discontinued window visits. All residents will continue to be monitored closely, appropriate infection control protocols are in place and you will be notified as soon as window visits can be resumed.

Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy new year.

Loyola Princivil- Barnett
Chief Operating Officer
Administrator of Record

03 de diciembre de 2020

Estimados familiares:

Les escribo hoy para compartir información importante y pautas que rigen las visitas fuera de los asilos de ancianos durante las próximas fiestas. Es nuestro objetivo garantizar que todos los residentes de Isabella tengan una temporada de fiestas llena de alegría y felicidad. Al mismo tiempo, es de igual importancia que conservemos buenas prácticas de seguridad para proteger a su ser querido, y a todos nuestros residentes, durante estos tiempos cada vez más difíciles.

Sé que, en los últimos años, muchos de ustedes han llevado a su familiar a su hogar para pasar el día o la noche para celebrar las fiestas. Debido a que estamos en el medio de una pandemia que actualmente se está intensificando, hace varias semanas envié una consulta al Departamento de Salud (DOH) para solicitar directrices con respecto a las salidas de los residentes de Isabella para asistir a reuniones familiares y para visitas de un día para otro. No habíamos recibido nuevas pautas hasta el miércoles 25 de noviembre, el día anterior al Día de Acción de Gracias. Además, una vez que recibimos estas nuevas pautas, nos comunicamos inmediatamente con el DOH ese miércoles, y nuevamente el Día de Acción de Gracias, para obtener aclaraciones adicionales.

La siguiente información proviene directamente de nuestros órganos regulatorios:

El Departamento de Salud del Estado de New York y los Centros de Servicios de Medicare y Medicaid (CMS) recomiendan enérgicamente que los residentes no dejen los asilos de ancianos para ir a sus hogares, realizar visitas familiares o realizar otras salidas sociales durante la temporada de fiestas. Si el residente deja el centro para realizar una salida social, el DOH ha establecido los siguientes requisitos que deben cumplirse antes de que la persona regrese a Isabella:

  • El residente/familiar debe demostrar evidencia de que el residente tuvo resultados negativos para la COVID-19 dentro de las 24 horas anteriores a su regreso.
  • Tras su regreso, el residente permanecerá en cuarentena durante 14 días en una unidad especial o sección de una unidad separada.
  • Se le hará al residente una prueba de COVID-19 al menos tres veces durante la cuarentena de 14 días.

Entendemos que estos requisitos son muy estrictos. Esto se debe a que la clara intención de las pautas adjuntas del DOH es desalentar la salida de los residentes de los asilos de ancianos. Esto se basa en la recomendación de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades y el Departamento de Salud del Estado de New York de que las personas con mayor riesgo de padecer enfermedades graves a causa de la COVID-19 eviten reuniones en persona con individuos que no viven bajo el mismo techo.

En relación con el mismo tema, es posible que algunos de ustedes hayan leído que los residentes y el personal de los asilos de ancianos serán los primeros en recibir la vacuna contra la COVID-19.

Nos complace ver que los funcionarios electos les den prioridad a los asilos de ancianos y nos mantendremos al tanto de las últimas novedades. Brindaremos aclaraciones y detalles adicionales una vez que estén disponibles.

Como se mencionó anteriormente, los casos de COVID-19 están aumentando. De hecho, nuestro código postal se encuentra entre los más afectados. Hoy, después de meses de no tener residentes con COVID, uno de nuestros residentes dio positivo en la prueba. Nos complace informar que está haciendo bien. Sin embargo, como resultado, según las pautas del DOH, hemos descontinuado temporalmente las visitas a la ventana. Todos los residentes continuarán siendo monitoreados de cerca, ya esta implementado los protocolos de control de infecciones adecuados y se le notificará tan pronto como se puedan reanudar las visitas a la ventana.

Les deseamos una temporada de fiestas llena de alegría, y un feliz y saludable Año Nuevo.

Loyola Princivil- Barnett
Gerente general de Operaciones
Administradora de Registros

DATE: November 24, 2020

TO: Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities

Health Advisory: Holiday Guidance for Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities

Please distribute immediately to:
Administrators, Infection Preventionists, Medical Directors, Nursing Directors, Risk Managers, and Public Affairs Personnel.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and efforts to support New York State’s (NYS) response to COVID-19. New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) wants to ensure that the health, safety, and quality of life of nursing home residents is maintained this holiday season. During the holiday season, residents and families may want to spend more time together. Facilities must continue to ensure that all visitors adhere to all visitation guidelines and facility policies and strictly adhere to infection prevention and control measures such as social distancing and face covering requirements.

Additionally:

  • Facilities are encouraged to find creative and innovative ways to celebrate the holidays without having parties, including staff parties, or social gatherings that could increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Examples may include virtual visitation, virtual parties, seasonal music, in-room holiday book and movie options, and festive
  • NYSDOH and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommend against residents leaving nursing homes for home or family visitation or other social outings during the holiday season. Data has shown that small family gatherings contribute to COVID-19 spread. The CDC and NYSDOH recommend that individuals at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 avoid in-person gatherings with individuals with whom they do not
  • Please refer to the September 17, 2020 Revised Skilled Nursing Facility Visitation which can be found at https://health.ny.gov/facilities/nursing/docs/2020-09-pdf.
  • NYSDOH recommends that facilities promote and increase virtual communications during the holiday
  • Nursing home and adult care facility staff should educate the families who are contemplating taking a resident out of a facility for the holidays, as well as the residents about the risks of leaving the facility and the alternative virtual communication options available.
  • If a resident leaves for home or family visitation or for a social outing, the following requirements must be met for the resident’s return to the facility for the safety of other residents and staff:
  • If a resident leaves for home or family visitation or for a social outing, the following requirements must be met for the resident’s return to the facility for the safety of other residents and staff:
    • Nursing home and Adult Care Facility staff should remind residents to follow all recommended infection prevention and control measures outside the facility, including:
      • Limiting close contact with others (maintaining physical distancing of six feet or more), avoiding large gatherings and keeping gatherings as small as possible, and use of technology to engage with others remotely
      • Wear facemasks or cloth face covering to the extent possible
      • Performing frequent hand hygiene
      • Avoiding sharing of communal food or drinks
    • Residents who leave a facility must:
      • Quarantine or minimize contact to the extent safely possible prior to their return to the
      • Be quarantined on transmission-based precautions upon return to the facility for 14
      • Test negative immediately (within 24 hours) prior to return to the
      • Be tested at least three times during the 14-day quarantine period at the facility, including on the first day (upon return) and the last day that a resident must be quarantined.
    • Facilities must:
      • Develop a plan for the return of residents leaving for home or family visits for social outings. The plan should include a cohorting plan for returning residents, estimating the space, staff, and PPE
      • Notify families taking residents out of the facility that residents will not be permitted to return until they present a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result within the preceding 24
      • Certify as required by Executive Order 202.77, and Executive Order 202.30 that they have the ability to implement transmission-based precautions for such residents for fourteen days upon return in compliance with NYSDOH guidance and CMS
      • Require the leaving resident and a family or friend to attest in writing that they:
    • Are aware of the risks involved with taking the resident out of the facility;
    • Will follow masking, social distancing, and hand hygiene practices pursuant to CDC and DOH directives;
    • Will notify the facility if the resident becomes ill within one week of leaving the facility;
    • Will notify the facility if anyone with whom the resident socialized tests positive for COVID-19 or influenza or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza within 14 days of the resident’s return to the facility;
    • Will communicate with the facility about a return date for the resident to the facility in accordance with the facility’s policy; and
    • Will quarantine or minimize contact (or assist the resident to do so) to the extent safely possible prior to return to a nursing
  • Screen and increase monitoring for signs and symptoms of illness upon resident return.
  • Test residents for COVID-19 and influenza if the resident develops signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or influenza or if the resident had a confirmed or possible exposure to COVID-19 or influenza while outside a nursing home or adult care facility.

Questions regarding this advisory should be emailed to [email protected]. or [email protected] Thank you for your ongoing commitment to resident health and safety during this Public Health Emergency.

November 23, 2020

Dear Family/Friends:

I am writing to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving and to let you know the steps we are taking to ensure that your loved one has a joyful, celebratory and safe holiday.

Franz Goedgedrag, our Director of Dining Services, has planned special holiday menus, while our therapeutic recreation and social work staff have created special events complete with holiday decorations. Our residents will enjoy a range of festivities including music, arts and crafts and special surprise activities.

Throughout the pandemic, the recreation team has reinvented and modified “traditional” activities that support wellness, engagement and relaxation while aligning with regulatory guidance and safety protocols. Our weekly calendar is filled with exciting virtual adventures where residents can take trips to exotic islands, tour famous parks and visit the world’s finest attractions. We are also showing a range of concerts, Broadway shows, and Netflix’s latest movies. Every morning, residents are greeted with a live announcement on their TV screens, from our recreation staff, called Wake-up with Isabella! During these announcements, residents enjoy updates such as: daily horoscopes, fun facts, birthday shout outs, Word from the Wise (advice from our wiser residents) and Lift Your Spirits (a daily bible reading). This is supplemented with strolling activities such as karaoke, pop-up trivia, the leisure cart, doorway dance parties and much more bring joy and laughter throughout the Isabella community.

The leadership and staff at Isabella remain committed to bringing holiday cheer to your loved one and to keeping them connected with you and your family. This includes continuing window visits, video chats and phone calls.  Please call Jessica Garcia, Director of Therapeutic Recreation at 212-342-9407 to schedule a window visit or video chat.

Also, for your safety, the safety of your family and our community, please remember to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order limiting at-home gatherings to 10 persons or fewer. This COVID control measure is intended to minimize outbreaks of COVID as a result of Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations. We realize that many people have lost patience with being separated from their loved ones…and might think it’s safe if the people they are gathering with are all family. Sadly, this is not the case. We encourage you to celebrate Thanksgiving with people currently living under your own roof, limit large gatherings and remember to social distance if non-household members are attending.

As I’m sure you’re aware, cases of COVID-19 are rising significantly and we need to be more vigilant than ever. Isabella remains committed to keeping your loved one safe. While we understand the emotional toll separation during the pandemic has had on you and your loved one, Isabella will continue to follow state and federal guidelines for infection control, which includes strictly enforcing safety protocols as COVID rates rise. We are all encouraged by the potential availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Until that time, extra safety precautions and vigilance are essential.

If you have any questions or need assistance in obtaining information, please call Deirdre Downes, Director of Social Work, at 212-342-9625. Remember, your team at Isabella is always here for you and your loved one.

Best wishes to you and your family.

Loyola Princivil-Barnett
Chief Operating Officer
Administrator of Record

23 de noviembre de 2020

Estimados familiares/amigos:

Escribo para desearles un feliz Día de Acción de Gracias a usted y a su familia, y para comunicarle las medidas que estamos tomando para garantizar que su ser querido disfrute de un día festivo alegre, seguro y de celebración.

Franz Goedgedrag, nuestro director de Servicios de Comidas, ha planificado menús festivos especiales y nuestro personal de recreación terapéutica y trabajo social ha preparado eventos especiales completos con decoraciones festiva. Nuestros residentes disfrutarán de una variedad de festejos, que incluirán música, arte y manualidades, y actividades especiales de sorpresa.

Durante toda la pandemia, el equipo de recreación ha reinventado y modificado las actividades “tradicionales” que promueven el bienestar, la participación y la relajación, adaptándose a las pautas reglamentarias y los protocolos de seguridad. Nuestro calendario semanal está repleto de aventuras virtuales emocionantes en las que nuestros residentes pueden emprender viajes a islas exóticas, recorrer parques famosos y visitar las mejores atracciones del mundo. También presentamos una variedad de conciertos, espectáculos de Broadway y las películas más recientes de Netflix. Todas las mañanas, nuestro personal de recreación saluda a los residentes con un anuncio en vivo llamado ¡A despertarse con Isabella! a través de la pantalla de sus televisores. En estos anuncios los residentes disfrutan de las últimas actualizaciones, como el horóscopo diario, datos interesantes, anuncios de cumpleaños, consejos de los residentes más sabios (Word from the Wise) y una lectura diaria de la biblia (Lift Your Spirits). Estas actividades se complementan con actividades itinerantes, como karaoke, trivias sorpresa, la carreta del ocio, fiestas de baile en la entrada y muchas actividades más que llenan de alegría y risas a toda la comunidad de Isabella.

Los líderes y el personal de Isabella tienen el compromiso de brindarle a su ser querido la alegría del día festivo y de mantenerlo conectado con usted y su familia. Esto incluye continuar con las visitas a través de la ventana, las videollamadas y las llamadas telefónicas.   Comuníquense con Jessica Garcia, directora de Recreación Terapéutica, llamando al 212-342-9407 para programar una visita a través de la ventana o una videollamada.

Además, por su seguridad, la de su familia y la de nuestra comunidad, recuerde cumplir con la orden ejecutiva del gobernador, que limita las reuniones en el hogar a un máximo de 10 personas. Esta medida de control para la COVID-19 tiene el fin de minimizar los brotes de COVID-19 como resultado del Día de Acción de Gracias y otras celebraciones festivas. Comprendemos que muchas personas hayan perdido la paciencia tras estar separados de sus seres queridos y que puedan pensar que reunirse solo con miembros de su familia es seguro. Lamentablemente, no es así. Le recomendamos celebrar el Día de Acción de Gracias con las personas con las que vive actualmente, limitar las reuniones numerosas y que recuerde mantener el distanciamiento social si acuden personas que no sean del grupo familiar.

Como seguramente sabe, los casos de COVID-19 están aumentando significativamente y debemos tener más cuidado que nunca. Isabella sostiene el compromiso de mantener a su ser querido a salvo. Si bien comprendemos el daño emocional que la separación durante la pandemia les produjo a usted y a su ser querido, Isabella continuará cumpliendo las pautas estatales y federales para el control de las infecciones, lo que incluye aplicar de manera estricta los protocolos de seguridad ante el aumento de casos de COVID-19. La posible disponibilidad de una vacuna segura y efectiva es alentadora para todos. Hasta ese momento, las medidas de seguridad y los cuidados adicionales son fundamentales.

Si tiene alguna pregunta o necesita ayuda para obtener información, llame a Deirdre Downes, directora de Trabajo Social, al 212-342-9625. Recuerde que su equipo de Isabella siempre está disponible para usted y para su ser querido.

Les deseamos lo mejor a usted y a su familia.

Loyola Princivil- Barnett
Gerente general de Operaciones
Administradora de Registros

September 18, 2020

Dear Families:

On September 15, 2020, the New York State Department of Health (“DOH”) issued revised guidance to nursing homes regarding the resumption of limited visitation. As we shared with you in our last communication, DOH requires a nursing home to be in full compliance with numerous conditions in order resume limited visitation. DOH has also changed one condition and added an additional requirement for visitors themselves. These new and changed conditions are:

  1. The nursing home must have had no new onset of COVID-19 cases among either residents or staff for 14 days; and
  2. All visitors must produce a verified negative COVID-19 test result within 7 days of each visit.

Isabella has submitted its visitation plan to DOH and is on track to begin limited outdoor visitation on Tuesday, September 22. Please understand that this date may change should any resident or staff member test positive. Outdoor visitation will be conducted 7 days a week in the garden area in 30-minute blocks. In the event of inclement weather, visitation may be moved to the auditorium. Visitation in resident rooms is still strictly prohibited by DOH except in very limited circumstances.

Here are some general guidelines of what to expect once limited outdoor visitation begins:

  • Each resident may have up to two visitors. If a visitor is under 18, they must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older.
  • Visitors must show a negative COVID-19 test performed in the last 7 days and must fill out a form with their name, home address, phone number, and email at each visit.
  • Visitors will also be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and will need to answer screening questions at each visit.
  • Only visitors who produce a verified negative test result performed in the past 7 days, and exhibit no COVID-19 signs or symptoms, and pass the screening questions, will be allowed to visit.
  • Visitors must wear a face covering and must demonstrate appropriate hand hygiene. Isabella will provide masks for visitors who do not have one, and hand sanitizer will be made available.
  • During each 30-minute visitation block, we will accommodate the number of residents, visitors, and staff who can safely fit in the garden area (or the auditorium, during inclement weather) while maintaining social distancing requirements.

Please call (212) 342-9407 to schedule your visit.

Please note, we are updating our files and would like to know if you prefer to receive updates regarding the pandemic via phone call or email? If you prefer emails, please contact Kathy Fuentes in the social work office at 212 342 9451 to provide your email address. You may also email Kathy Fuentes at [email protected]

We look forward to welcoming you back to Isabella and being a part of your family’s reunion.

Sincerely,

Loyola Princivil-Barnett
Chief Operating Officer
Administrator of Record

September 18, 2020

Dear Families:

On September 15, 2020, the New York State Department of Health (“DOH”) issued revised guidance to nursing homes regarding the resumption of limited visitation. As we shared with you in our last communication, DOH requires a nursing home to be in full compliance with numerous conditions in order resume limited visitation. DOH has also changed one condition and added an additional requirement for visitors themselves. These new and changed conditions are:

  1. The nursing home must have had no new onset of COVID-19 cases among either residents or staff for 14 days; and
  2. All visitors must produce a verified negative COVID-19 test result within 7 days of each visit.

Isabella has submitted its visitation plan to DOH and is on track to begin limited outdoor visitation on Tuesday, September 22. Please understand that this date may change should any resident or staff member test positive. Outdoor visitation will be conducted 7 days a week in the garden area in 30-minute blocks. In the event of inclement weather, visitation may be moved to the auditorium. Visitation in resident rooms is still strictly prohibited by DOH except in very limited circumstances.

Here are some general guidelines of what to expect once limited outdoor visitation begins:

  • Each resident may have up to two visitors. If a visitor is under 18, they must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older.
  • Visitors must show a negative COVID-19 test performed in the last 7 days and must fill out a form with their name, home address, phone number, and email at each visit.
  • Visitors will also be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and will need to answer screening questions at each visit.
  • Only visitors who produce a verified negative test result performed in the past 7 days, and exhibit no COVID-19 signs or symptoms, and pass the screening questions, will be allowed to visit.
  • Visitors must wear a face covering and must demonstrate appropriate hand hygiene. Isabella will provide masks for visitors who do not have one, and hand sanitizer will be made available.
  • During each 30-minute visitation block, we will accommodate the number of residents, visitors, and staff who can safely fit in the garden area (or the auditorium, during inclement weather) while maintaining social distancing requirements.

Please call (212) 342-9407 to schedule your visit.

Please note, we are updating our files and would like to know if you prefer to receive updates regarding the pandemic via phone call or email? If you prefer emails, please contact Kathy Fuentes in the social work office at 212 342 9451 to provide your email address. You may also email Kathy Fuentes at [email protected]

We look forward to welcoming you back to Isabella and being a part of your family’s reunion.

Sincerely,

Loyola Princivil-Barnett
Chief Operating Officer
Administrator of Record

18 de septiembre de 2020

Estimadas familias:

El 15 de septiembre de 2020, el Departamento de Salud (Department of Health, DOH) del estado de Nueva York publicó una guía revisada para asilos de ancianos con respecto a la reanudación de visitas limitadas. Como le comentamos en nuestra última carta, el DOH exige que los asilos de ancianos cumplan con numerosas condiciones para poder reanudar las visitas limitadas. El DOH también ha cambiado una de las condiciones y ha añadido un requisito adicional para los visitantes. Estas condiciones nuevas y modificadas son las siguientes:

  1. El asilo de ancianos no debe haber tenido una nueva aparición de casos de COVID-19 entre los residentes o el personal durante 14 días.
  2. Todos los visitantes deben presentar un resultado negativo de la prueba de COVID-19 verificado dentro de los 7 días de cada visita.

Isabella ha presentado su plan de visitas al DOH y está a punto de dar inicio a las visitas limitadas al aire libre el martes 22 de septiembre. Esperamos que comprenda que esta fecha puede cambiar si cualquier residente o miembro del personal tiene un resultado positivo. Las visitas al aire libre se realizarán siete dias a la semana en el área del jardín en bloques de 30 minutos. En caso de mal tiempo, las visitas pueden ser trasladadas al auditorio. Las visitas a las habitaciones de los residentes siguen estando estrictamente prohibidas por el DOH, excepto en circunstancias muy limitadas.

Las siguientes son algunas pautas generales de lo que se puede esperar una vez que empiecen las visitas limitadas al aire libre:

  • Cada residente puede recibir hasta dos visitantes. Si un visitante es menor de 18 años, debe estar acompañado por un adulto mayor de 18 años.
  • Los visitantes deben mostrar una prueba de COVID-19 con resultado negativo realizada en los últimos 7 días y deben completar un formulario con su nombre, dirección, número de teléfono y correo electrónico en cada visita.
  • Los visitantes también serán examinados para detectar signos y síntomas de COVID-19 y deberán responder una serie de preguntas en cada visita.
  • Solo se permitirá la visita a los visitantes que presenten una prueba con resultado negativo verificado en los últimos 7 días y que no muestren signos o síntomas de COVID-19 y pasen las preguntas de detección.
  • Los visitantes deben usar una mascarilla y deben demostrar una buena higiene de las manos. Isabella les dará mascarillas a los visitantes que no tengan, y habrá un desinfectante para manos a su disposición.
  • Durante cada bloque de visitas de 30 minutos, acomodaremos el número de residentes, visitantes y personal que pueda permanecer de forma segura en el área del jardín (o en el auditorio, cuando haya mal tiempo) mientras se mantienen los requisitos de distanciamiento social.

Llame al (212) 342-9407 para programar su visita.

Tenga en cuenta que estamos actualizando nuestros archivos y nos gustaría saber si prefiere recibir actualizaciones sobre la pandemia por teléfono o por correo electrónico. Si prefiere recibir correos electrónicos, comuníquese con Kathy Fuentes en la oficina de trabajo social al 212 342 9451 para darle su dirección de correo electrónico. También puede escribir a Kathy Fuentes a [email protected]

Esperamos con ansias poder volver a darle la bienvenida a Isabella pronto y ser parte de la reunión de su familia.

Atentamente,

Loyola Princivil-Barnett
Gerente general de Operaciones
Administradora de Registros

August 14, 2020

Dear Families:

On July 10, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced the resumption of limited visitation at nursing homes located in Phase 3 regions, which includes New York City. In order to permit visitation, the DOH guidance requires that numerous conditions be met, including being in full compliance with all state and federal requirements; having protocols to separate residents into cohorts of positive, negative, and unknown cases; having no staffing shortages; having access to adequate testing; and the absence of any new onset of COVID-19 among staff or residents for a period of twenty-eight (28) consecutive days.

While Isabella Geriatric Center meets all but one of these conditions, we are unable to open our doors to visitors because, like most nursing homes, we have not yet reached the required 28-days with no new onset of COVID-19 among staff or residents. It has been four weeks since Isabella has had any residents who are positive for COVID-19. As per DOH guidelines, all residents who are suspected, by a physician, of being COVID-positive are being tested. In addition, out of an abundance of caution, and because many people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, Isabella will be proactively conducting facility-wide testing of all residents which will be completed within the next two weeks. Unfortunately, we did have a staff member who recently tested positive. As a reminder, all staff are tested weekly for COVID-19 in accordance with current state guidelines. Any staff member who tests positive is immediately removed from duty and placed on home quarantine for at least 14 days. Staff members must test negative for COVID-19 before they may return to work. Isabella will continue to follow state and federal guidelines for infection control.

As we work toward meeting all requirements, we would like to give you a preview about the upcoming visitation guidelines. Once Isabella meets the 28-day threshold for no new onset of COVID-19 among staff or residents, we will be able to welcome families back to the facility for outdoor visitation. Outdoor visitations will need to be scheduled and each resident may have two visitors over the age of 18; however, only a small percentage of our resident population will be able to have visitors on any given day. All visitors will be screened and must provide information for contact tracing. They must also wear masks and follow other social distancing requirements that will be put in place during visits.

We understand you are eager to visit your loved ones, and we thank you for your continued patience and cooperation. You will be informed as soon as we are able to safely begin outdoor visitation. In the meantime, we are happy to continue facilitating window visits and video calls. Please contact 212-342-9407 to schedule a window visit or a video call.

We look forward to providing more updates and answering any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Loyola Princivil-Barnett
Chief Operating Officer
Administrator of Record

14 de agosto de 2020

Estimados familiares:

El 10 de julio, el Departamento de Salud (DOH) del estado de New York anunció la reanudación de las visitas limitadas en los asilos de ancianos ubicados en regiones en fase 3, lo que incluye la ciudad de New York. Para permitir las visitas, las pautas del DOH exigen que se cumplan numerosas condiciones, lo que incluye cumplir plenamente todos los requisitos estatales y federales; establecer protocolos de separación de residentes por cohortes de casos positivos, negativos y desconocidos; no tener falta de personal; contar con acceso a pruebas adecuadas y no registrar ninguna aparición nueva de COVID-19 entre los miembros del personal o los residentes durante un período de veintiocho (28) días consecutivos.

Si bien Isabella Geriatric Center cumple todas estas condiciones a excepción de una, no podemos abrir nuestras puertas a los visitantes porque, como es el caso de la mayor parte de los asilos de ancianos, aún no hemos alcanzado los 28 días requeridos sin apariciones nuevas de COVID-19 entre los empleados o los residentes. Han pasado cuatro semanas desde que Isabella tuvo residentes con un resultado positivo para COVID-19. En virtud de las pautas del DOH, se les realizan pruebas a todos los residentes que un médico considere casos sospechosos de COVID. Además, por mayor precaución y debido a que muchas personas con COVID-19 son asintomáticas, Isabella realizará pruebas de todos los residentes en el asilo de forma proactiva que se completarán dentro de las próximas dos semanas. Desafortunadamente, un empleado recibió un resultado positivo recientemente. Les recordamos que todos los empleados se someten a pruebas semanales para la COVID-19, según las pautas estatales actuales. Cualquier empleado que reciba un resultado positivo es inmediatamente removido del trabajo y hace cuarentena en su domicilio durante al menos 14 días. Los empleados deben recibir un resultado negativo para COVID-19 antes de que puedan volver al trabajo. Isabella continuará cumpliendo las pautas estatales y federales para el control de las infecciones.

Mientras trabajamos para seguir todas las normativas, nos gustaría anticiparles las próximas pautas para las visitas. Una vez que Isabella haya alcanzado los 28 días sin casos nuevos de COVID-19 entre los empleados o los residentes, con gusto recibiremos nuevamente a los familiares en Isabella para visitas al aire libre. Las visitas al aire libre deberán ser programadas y cada residente podrá recibir dos visitantes mayores de 18 años; sin embargo, solo un porcentaje pequeño de nuestra población de residentes podrá recibir visitantes el mismo día. Se harán pruebas de detección a todos los visitantes, y se les pedirá que provean información para el rastreo de contactos. También deberán utilizar mascarillas y cumplir otros requisitos de distanciamiento social que se establecerán durante las visitas.

Entendemos que están ansiosos por visitar a sus seres queridos y les agradecemos por sus continuas paciencia y cooperación. Les informaremos tan pronto como podamos comenzar con las visitas al aire libre de forma segura. Mientras tanto, nos complace continuar ofreciendo visitas a través de la ventana y videollamadas. Comuníquense al 212-342-9407 para programar una visita a través de la ventana o una videollamada.

Esperamos brindarles más actualizaciones y responder las preguntas que puedan tener.

Atentamente,

Loyola Princivil-Barnett
Directora de Operaciones
Administradora de Registros

Dear Family Member or Designated Representative,

It has been two months since CMS and the Department of Health had all nursing homes in New York City close their doors to visitors. We realize this has taken an emotional toll on you and on your loved one. We would like to let you know what we’re doing to support you both during this health crisis and ways in which we are increasing our communication efforts:

  • A Hotline has been set up so that you can call and check on how your loved one is doing. Our nurses on the floors are happy to speak with families but are often in resident’s rooms providing care and are not able to answer the phone. So, we have added a Hotline that will be available for you to call 7 days a week from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. This phone line will be answered by a bilingual member of the Isabella team. If they cannot answer your question, someone who can will call you back that day. For HIPAA privacy reasons, only individuals authorized in your loved one’s medical record may be given information.
  • Video calls with residents continue to be available. If you have not done so already, please download the application, WhatsApp, then contact us to schedule an appointment for your video call.
  • The Daily Update Line provides information about COVID-19 related activity at Isabella the prior day.
    Based on new CMS guidelines, effective May 8th, the outbound recording will now be updated by
    5:00pm each day. Feel free to share this number with family and friends.

Isabella is here for you and your loved one and is doing all that we can to help ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and staff in the face of this unprecedented crisis. This includes following state and federal guidelines for infection control.

Please reach out to the social work department if you have misplaced the phone numbers for the Hotline, scheduling video calls or the Daily Update Line.  Also, please let us know if you have any concerns, questions or suggestions by calling 212-342-9625.

Sincerely,

Loyola Princivil-Barnett
Chief Operating Officer
Administrator of Record

Updated May 1, 2020

The following statement is in response to recent allegations made / media coverage about Isabella.

Our hearts are with all the patients and families that have been impacted by this terrible virus. COVID-19 is a tragedy that literally targets residents of nursing homes: the frail, elderly and people with multiple medical conditions who all live together under one roof. COVID-19 was in New York City long before anyone knew it. Isabella, a 705-bed not-for profit facility, has been, and continues to, follow state and federal guidelines for infection control. Unfortunately, Isabella, like all other nursing homes in New York City, initially had limited access to widespread and consistent in-house testing to quickly diagnose our residents and staff.  Sadly, while we have always had daily health screenings of staff, this hampered our ability to identify those who were infected and asymptomatic, despite our efforts to swiftly separate anyone who presented symptoms.

Fortunately, nursing homes in New York City, including Isabella, are now getting more access to testing. Our community is in a tragic situation, and our heartfelt thanks goes out to our staff who come in every day to take care of residents despite the personal risks. They are heroes. Together, we will continue to fight this virus tirelessly and do everything we can to protect our residents and people.

Here are the facts:

(1) Isabella has truthfully and accurately reported data to the Department of Health. From the beginning of this pandemic, Isabella has reported truthful and accurate data requested by the Department of Health. We have shared daily the number of confirmed and presumed positive cases at both the residence and hospital, including deaths.

(2) Isabella follows New York State Department of Health infection control and reporting guidelines. As of April 29, Isabella has had 20 confirmed COVID-19-positive deaths in the nursing home, 26 confirmed COVID-19-positive deaths of residents that were hospitalized, 40 suspected COVID-19-related deaths in the residence and 12 suspected COVID-19-related deaths of residents that were hospitalized.

(3) Isabella secured PPE to protect our staff and residents. Like every other health organization in March, we were concerned about having enough PPE for our employees, which is why we repeatedly appealed to—and worked with—city, state and federal officials, private resources and vendors to secure and purchase as much as PPE as possible. Although we faced initial challenges with securing enough PPE, for example, Isabella spared no expense or effort to ensure our staff had—and continues to have—the PPE they need. Put bluntly, at no time has our staff been unprotected.

(4) Isabella is proactive to have appropriate staff to care for our residents. When we experienced staff shortages, we hired staff from outside agencies.

(5) Isabella is committed to testing. Like most nursing homes across New York City, we have been frustrated by the lack of testing. While we did test where possible, widespread and consistent testing was not available. Fortunately, nursing homes in New York City, including Isabella, are now getting more access to testing.

(6) Residents’ families are part of our community. We have kept family members informed of their loved one’s changing condition. When we believe their loved one is nearing death, we do reach out to a resident’s primary contact and ask if they would like to say goodbye in person or via phone or an app. In-person goodbye visits were never interrupted and continue to happen.

(7) Isabella cares for our residents at all stages above anything else. Our commitment to caring for our residents with compassion, dignity and respect continues after the person has passed. We are thankful that we had the foresight to order the refrigerator truck because funeral homes across New York City, overwhelmed by widespread COVID-19 losses, are not picking up the deceased for days when historically, they picked up in hours. The tents were put up out of respect for the decedents and the community. We are not embarrassed that we are doing the right thing.

(8) Isabella is dedicated to keeping our residents safe as our local, national and global communities continue to fight this pandemic. The leadership and staff of Isabella are committed to doing whatever we can to keep our vulnerable residents safe in the midst of this horrific health crisis. Every life lost is one too many.

La siguiente declaración es en respuesta a las recientes acusaciones/coberturas de los medios sobre Isabella.

Nuestros corazones están con todos los residentes y todas las familias que han sido afectados por este terrible virus. La COVID-19 es una tragedia que apunta literalmente a los residentes de los hogares de convalecencia: las personas débiles de la tercera edad y aquellas con varias afecciones médicas que viven todas juntas bajo un mismo techo. La COVID-19 estaba presente en la ciudad de New York mucho antes de que lo supiéramos. Isabella, un centro sin fines de lucro con 705 camas, ha cumplido y continúa cumpliendo con las pautas estatales y federales para el control de las infecciones. Desafortunadamente, como todos los demás hogares de convalecencia en la ciudad de New York, en un principio, Isabella tenía acceso limitado a las pruebas extensas y constantes en el establecimiento para diagnosticar de forma rápida a nuestros residentes y personal. Por desgracia, si bien siempre hemos realizado pruebas de detección diarias a nuestro personal, esto dificultó nuestra capacidad para identificar a aquellos que estaban infectados y asintomáticos, a pesar de nuestros esfuerzos por separar rápidamente a cualquiera que presentara síntomas.

Por suerte, los hogares de convalecencia de la ciudad de New York, incluido Isabella, ahora tienen más acceso a pruebas. Nuestra comunidad se encuentra en una situación trágica y le damos un sincero agradecimiento a nuestro personal que asiste todos los días para cuidar a los residentes a pesar de los riesgos personales. Ellos son héroes. Juntos, seguiremos luchando de manera incansable contra este virus y haremos todo lo que podamos para proteger a nuestros residentes y nuestra gente.

Estos son los hechos:

(1) Isabella ha informado con sinceridad y precisión los datos al Departamento de Salud. Desde el comienzo de esta pandemia, Isabella ha informado con sinceridad y precisión los datos solicitados por el Departamento de Salud. Hemos compartido a diario el número de casos confirmados y presuntos casos positivos tanto en la residencia como en el hospital, incluidas las muertes.

(2) Isabella cumple con las pautas de control e informe de las infecciones del Departamento de Salud del estado de New York. Desde el 29 de abril, Isabella tuvo 20 muertes confirmadas de casos positivos de COVID-19 en el hogar de convalecencia, 26 muertes confirmadas de casos positivos de COVID-19 de residentes que estaban hospitalizados, 40 muertes presuntas relacionadas con la COVID-19 en la residencia y 12 muertes presuntas relacionadas con la COVID-19 de residentes que estaban hospitalizados.

(3) Isabella garantizó equipos de protección personal (PPE) para nuestro personal y residentes. Como cualquier otra organización de salud en marzo, nos preocupaba no tener los suficientes PPE para nuestros empleados; por esta razón, apelamos en repetidas ocasiones a los funcionarios municipales, estatales y federales, los recursos privados y los vendedores, y trabajamos con ellos, para garantizar y comprar la mayor cantidad posible de PPE. Si bien nos enfrentamos a desafíos iniciales para garantizar los suficientes PPE, por ejemplo, Isabella no escatimó gastos ni esfuerzos para asegurar que nuestro personal tuviera, y siga teniendo, el PPE que necesita. Dicho sin rodeos, en ningún momento nuestro personal estuvo desprotegido.

(4) Isabella es proactiva cuando se trata de contar con el personal adecuado para cuidar de nuestros residentes. Cuando hubo escasez de personal experimentado, contratamos empleados de agencias externas.

(5) Isabella está comprometida con la realización de pruebas. Al igual que la mayoría de los hogares de convalecencia de la ciudad de New York, hemos sentido frustración por la falta de pruebas. Si bien realizamos pruebas cuando fue posible, las evaluaciones extensas y constantes no estaban disponibles. Por suerte, los hogares de convalecencia de la ciudad de New York, incluido Isabella, ahora tienen más acceso a pruebas.

(6) Las familias de los residentes forman parte de nuestra comunidad. Los familiares siempre han estado informados sobre la condición cambiante de sus seres queridos. Cuando creemos que sus seres queridos se encuentran próximos a morir, nos comunicamos con el contacto primario del residente y le preguntamos si le gustaría despedirse personalmente, por teléfono o por una aplicación. Las visitas de despedida en persona nunca se suspendieron y continuaron teniendo lugar.

(7) Isabella cuida de nuestros residentes en todas las etapas por encima de cualquier otra cosa. Nuestro compromiso con el cuidado compasivo, digno y respetuoso de nuestros residentes continúa después de que la persona ha fallecido. Estamos agradecidos por haber previsto pedir el camión refrigerador ya que las funerarias en la ciudad de New York, desbordadas por las pérdidas a causa de la propagación de la COVID-19, no recogen a los fallecidos durante días, cuando históricamente lo hacían en horas. Las tiendas se montaron como muestra de respeto a los fallecidos y la comunidad. No nos avergüenza hacer lo correcto.

(8) Isabella se compromete a mantener a salvo a nuestros residentes mientras nuestras comunidades locales, nacionales y mundiales continúan luchando contra esta pandemia. La dirección y el personal de Isabella nos comprometemos a hacer todo lo que podamos para mantener a salvo a nuestros residentes indefensos en medio de esta terrible crisis sanitaria. Cada pérdida es una tragedia.

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