COVID-19 weekly update letter 10/01/20

October 1, 2020

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, Governor Ivey announced new visitation guidelines in hospitals and nursing homes. While this is a positive move for all in Alabama, there are still restrictions and regulations that must be followed from CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Alabama Nursing Home Association via CMS and the CDC, states that we must have “14 days with no new facility onset of resident or staff COVID-19 cases and the facility must not be conducting outbreak testing.” At this time St. Martin’s is conducting outbreak testing and we are in a 14 day holding pattern in The Pines and Cottages until October 12th.  Between now and the 12th, should anyone test positive during routine testing, we will begin the 14-day window again and continue with Compassionate visits only. If no new cases arise we are prepared to begin indoor visits in designated visitation areas starting Monday, October 12th. An appointment must be made as visitation areas will be limited and all visitors will be screened at the door.

When St. Martin’s begins visitation for Pines and Cottages residents, scheduling software will be available for visitors to go on-line to schedule a visit. More information will be disseminated as we get closer. In the meantime, here are requirements:

The Alabama Nursing Home Association provided the following guidance to family members:

  • Do schedule an appointment to visit with your loved one
  • Do use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before, during and after your visit
  • Do wear a mask covering your mouth and nose during your entire visit in the facility
  • Do maintain social distance of at least six feet from staff and residents
  • Do keep out of areas that are not designated for visitation
  • Don’t remove your mask while in the facility
  • Don’t leave the designated visitation area
  • Don’t come to the facility without an appointment
  • Don’t come to the facility if you have any symptoms – coughing, sore throat, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell – even if you attribute these symptoms to some other cause (allergies or cold).

Woodside and Evergreen family members may schedule Chatterbox visits via the scheduling website: https://stmartinsinthepinesvisits.setmore.com. At this time, per regulation, Woodside and Evergreen residents are also able to leave the community.

Should you wish to drop supplies for a resident, you may continue to do so at the security gate. We suggest nonperishable items only to avoid spoilage. We will reevaluate the visitor policy over the next couple of weeks along with following State and County regulations. We want to assure everyone that we are doing everything possible to keep your loved ones safe at St. Martin’s in the Pines.

In addition to our weekly COVID Update letter, a phone line is available with a weekly recording of COVID information (including positive cases) within Skilled Nursing. The phone number is (205) 271-8944. We are still collecting email addresses to expedite correspondence. If you wish to receive updates by email, please send your email addresses to Debra Turner at HERE.

Thank you for your continued patience,

Carol M. Holzman
President & CEO