No COVID cases reported at area nursing homes

Nursing homes in Warren County are reporting COVID-free conditions.

“The Rouse Home received all negative results from the fifth round of universal COVID-19 testing that was conducted on Sept. 10,” Marketing Director Kelsey Angove said.

“The safety of our residents and our employees remains our top priority,” according to a release from Guardian Healthcare — regarding Kinzua Healthcare and Rehabilitation. “Our sites continue to follow all CDC, CMS, and DOH guidance for health care facilities. Kinzua Healthcare & Rehabilitation reports zero COVID-19 cases among patients and employees at this time.”

“Warren Manor has completed mass testing for its employees based on the new requirements released from CMS on county COVID data,” Regional Director of Business Development Kerstin Wyman said. “All results were reported back to the care community as negative.”

All those negative tests include more people than they did when the rule first went into effect.

Since July, nursing homes have had to conduct state-mandated, universal COVID testing.

“Universal” meant every resident and every member of the staff was tested.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) definitions have expanded.

“CMS has defined an employee as the facility employees, consultants, contractors, volunteers, and caregivers who provide care and services to residents on behalf of the care community as well as students from affiliated academic institutions,” Wyman said. “This will include but not limited to therapy staff, beautician, barber, hospice staff, lab/x-ray Technicians, respiratory therapist, physicians, physician extenders, ancillary service providers and agency staff. All new hires also will be tested for COVID-19 upon hire unless employee provides proof of previous positive test result and has recovered (meets return to work criteria) and the positive test was within the last three months.”

“Warren Manor has met all requirements of testing our employees,” she said.

The frequency of testing has new triggers, too.

“This round of employee testing is currently based on the new requirements released from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid after they released county coronavirus data that requires nursing homes to test workers as part of an overall effort to identify asymptomatic staff who could be infected or spread disease in the facilities,” Wyman said. “If the county rate is below 5 percent, staff should be tested once a month. If the rate is between 5 and 10 percent, staff should be tested once a week. And if the positivity rate is over 10 percent, staff are tested twice a week, according to the guidance.”

“Once these levels are identified by the state, as a facility we begin testing at these levels immediately,” she said.

“At all HCF Care Communities the health and safety of our residents and staff is our top concern and priority. We continue to follow all guidelines set forth for nursing homes by the CDC, State and Department of Health,” Wyman said. “We want to assure those we serve and their loved ones, that our organization has well established infection control protocols, the proper personal protective equipment on hand, and we are experienced in dealing with communicable diseases, like the flu and pneumonia virus, that cause respiratory symptoms like this COVID-19.”


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