Our Response to COVID-19
For most of 2020, COVID-19 has posed a unique challenge to long-term care facilities nationwide. At the Holland Christian Home, we have implemented extensive infection prevention and control measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, we have adopted many new policies and practices in order to manage the pandemic and comply with new regulations. In particular, we are actively meeting the requirements given by the New Jersey Department of Health in Executive Directive No. 26-026. This directive governs all long-term care facilities in the state and outlines many important details regarding the management of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities like the Home.
Please see below for information regarding the Holland Christian Home’s ongoing response to COVID-19.
VIEW THE HOME’S OUTBREAK RESPONSE PLAN.
FOR URGENT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS PLEASE EMAIL FAMILYINFO@HCHNJ.ORG.
THE HOLLAND CHRISTIAN HOME IS CURRENTLY IN PHASE 2 OF RESUMING SERVICES, AS DEFINED IN NJ EXECUTIVE DIRECTIVE NO. 26-026.
BOTH RESIDENTIAL CARE AND MOUNTAIN VIEW NURSING UNIT ARE CURRENTLY COVID-FREE.
How is the Home managing the COVID-19 pandemic?
Since COVID-19 entered the first US long-term care facility in early March, the Home has been preparing for the virus. More than a month before our first case of COVID-19, our Emergency Management Team began responding. This interdisciplinary committee met at least once a week (and continues to meet twice per week), evaluating and implementing measures aimed at preventing and managing COVID-19.
Given the severity of the global pandemic, it is imperative that we work together with community leaders and industry allies. All along, we have been in constant communication with public health authorities and industry experts, including:
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH)
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- North Haledon & Passaic County Offices of Emergency Management (OEM)
- North Haledon Mayor’s Office
- New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)
- American Health Care Association (AHCA)
- LeadingAge (American Association of Homes & Services for the Aging)
You can view our Outbreak Response Plan above.
How is the Home communicating with residents and families?
During this challenging time, communication with residents, families and staff has been one of our highest priorities. Executive Director & Administrator Carlos G. Beato periodically sends an email update to members of our community. If you are a resident or a family member of a resident and would like to receive these updates, email email@example.com.
Additionally, residents are updated throughout the week via mail, verbal announcement, and TV announcements as needed.
Is the Home accepting visitors?
We have special visitation programs available for residents and their families. These include indoor visits by appointment, and window visits/outdoor visits that comply with NJDOH regulations (Executive Directive No. 20-017). These visits are scheduled in advance, and residents and visitors alike wear masks while together. If you are a resident or family member and would like to schedule an indoor visit, please call Nancy Nicely at (973) 427-4087, ext. 605. If you would like to schedule a window visit or outdoor visit, please call Director of Activities Lynn Ardese at (973) 427-4087, ext. 612.
How does the Home monitor symptoms?
All residents and staff of the Holland Christian Home who have not previously tested positive for COVID-19 are tested once per week.
Additionally, staff are screened before and after each shift for a variety of signs and symptoms as recommended by the CDC. Residents are screened daily and are closely monitored for any signs of new or unusual symptoms.
Vendors or other essential professionals, as well as all visitors, are similarly screened prior to entry.
Does the Home have enough PPE?
Since March, we have not stopped purchasing and storing additional PPE, including N95 masks, gowns, face shields, and gloves. We have at least two months’ worth of PPE available for staff at any given time. Additionally, an OSHA-compliant Respiratory Protection Program is being developed and implemented for the use of respiratory PPE.
Staff are routinely trained in proper PPE usage. All staff are required to understand how and when to use PPE.
If you would like to donate towards PPE, please contact the Holland Christian Home Foundation.
What about communal dining and resident activities?
Communal dining has restarted for lunch meals seven days a week. Residents who wish to participate are seated at least six feet apart from each other. All other meals continue to be delivered to residents via room service.
In-person activities continue to be provided daily in groups of 10 or less. Many activities, including exercise routines and devotionals filmed by our staff, also air on our in-house resident TV channel each day.
When residents are unable to visit with family or friends, our staff facilitates virtual visits through video-calling technology. No matter what, our team is always ready to provide personal service to every resident.
How is the Home sanitized?
Since March, we have increased our cleaning and housekeeping procedures. We have also bolstered our Environmental Services department with improvements such as the procurement of an Ozone Sanitizing System, a state-of-the-art piece of medical equipment used to disinfect rooms and PPE and protect against viruses.
What is the latest update from the Home?
As with any disease like COVID-19, circumstances can change rapidly. For the most recent updates from the Holland Christian Home, please see the below letters from Executive Director & Administrator Carlos G. Beato, LNHA, RN:
September 23, 2020
Dear Residents, Families and Staff,
Our first full week of Phase 2 is complete! What a blessing it has been to see family members back in the building and to hear so much laughter and joy in the halls.
Indoor visiting is going well. We are in our third day of communal dining at lunchtime, and hairdressing services continue each week. We thank the Lord for his blessings to us.
All of these improvements hang on our ability to stay healthy and keep viruses out. We all know what our responsibilities are in this regard. Masks. Six feet of social distance. Washing hands frequently. Let’s not let our guard down.
As we continue to maintain good health in the Home, we will also continue building a “new normal” – getting back to the habits we remember in ways that are appropriately cautious.
Some of you may be thrilled by these steps toward a new normal. Others of you might feel nervous about some of them. “By opening our doors, aren’t we letting the virus back in?”
These are the difficult balances that we constantly face. On the one hand, there are many regulations which make some decisions for us. For example, policies about how residents are seated for communal dining come from New Jersey, not the Holland Christian Home.
On the other hand, there are other judgments we must make for ourselves. The reality of this year and the challenges we have faced is that there are not always clear answers for every question that satisfy every possible concern.
Because of this, we appreciate your feedback and communication. For the foreseeable future, we will always be evolving and making changes as needed. As we go through this process, let’s remember to celebrate the good things (even while being vigilant and careful). There are always potential challenges on the horizon; it is so important for us all to enjoy the blessings we receive, no matter how small.
Drop-Offs for Residents
If you drop off items for residents, please be mindful that they are not able to be delivered right away. I recommend avoiding perishable items or items that need to be refrigerated. If you do choose to bring items like this for residents, they must be dropped off and labeled at the main entrance by no later than 3:00 PM on business days.
I want to thank each of you for making indoor visitation a success. Everyone has done a great job of making appointments and following the necessary guidelines.
As a reminder, you can make an appointment by calling Nancy Nicely in the Business Office at (973) 427-4087. If you leave a voicemail, kindly remember that your appointment has not been scheduled until you hear back from Nancy. Please schedule any appointments for the weekend before the end of Friday each week.
Outdoor visits or window visits should still be scheduled with Activities Director Lynn Ardese at (973) 427-4087, extension 612.
In the midst of the exciting changes in Phase Two, let’s remember that it is up to us to make sure we can keep this as our “new normal.” COVID-19 is a tricky virus. If we’re not careful, it can re-enter the Home at any time. New positive tests will be least likely if everyone – staff and residents and families alike – remembers to be cautious and always follow some simple principles in and out of the Home:
- Wear a mask whenever you are around other people.
- Keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and anyone around you.
- Wash your hands often, especially before eating and after returning to the building or to your room. Take advantage of the automatic hand sanitizers in the halls, and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
In order for the most timely responses, I encourage you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any urgent questions or concerns relating to COVID-19 and the Home. This email address is used by Administrator of Residential Services Carole Dykhouse, Executive Director of Clinical Services Mercy Martin, Human Resources & Education Coordinator Charlotte Vriesema and myself. We all receive emails sent to this address so that one of us can respond to you sooner – a helpful tool for when we are out of the building or unavailable during the day due to meetings.
Carlos G. Beato, LNHA, RN
Executive Director & Administrator
(973) 427-4087, ext. 626