COVID-19

Updated:  Thursday, July 29, 2021

Breaking News

As of July 6, we have an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Odd Fellows Home. All in-person visiting is on hold until 14 days have lapsed since our first round of testing with no positive results. That round of testing occurred on July 27. CMS defines an outbreak as one case among residents or staff. We have two staff members who have tested positive.

Walla Walla County is currently posting the highest rates of COVID-19 disease transmission in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, more than four times the Washington state average. With the elimination of most COVID-related restrictions in the general community, please continue to be cautious in your daily activities.

COVID-related restriction have been greatly relaxed in the community. These less restrictive freedoms specifically exclude Nursing Homes and Assisted Living facilities. Employees, residents, and visitors are still required to wear masks and follow social distancing practices at the Odd Fellows Home regardless of vaccination status. If you are unable or unwilling to wear a mask during the entirety of your visit, you will be asked to leave. Repeated offense will result in a visitation ban.

Governor Inslee issued a Proclamation on March 18 relaxing visitor restrictions in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. DSHS and DOH developed guidelines and regulations for us to follow. We began allowing visitors on March 29. Please review the following rules to ensure that we can safely open our doors to you, and continue to allow visitors.

  1. Regardless of vaccination status, outdoor visits are preferred and there is no limit to the number of visitors for an outdoor visit as long as social distancing requirements can be met.
  2. Unvaccinated residents may only visit with a vaccinated visitor; vaccinated residents may visit with an unvaccinated visitor; unvaccinated residents and unvaccinated guests may not visit indoors. 
  3. If the visitor and the resident intended to be visited are not vaccinated, please call to schedule an outdoor visit, window visit, or a virtual visit.  It is a violation of the Governor’s Proclamation for guests to visit a resident if both parties are unvaccinated.
  4. Well-fitting face masks are required for both visitor and resident at all times.  Well-fitting face masks are defined as covering both the mouth and nose with no gapping or drooping.
  5. Because masks are required throughout the visit, food and drink are not permitted.
  6. Hand hygiene is required before and after visits.
  7. All visitors will be screened for signs & symptoms of COVID-19, temperature check, and whether there has been close contact with a COVID positive person.  Entry will be denied to those that fail screening.
  8. Visitors must acknowledge they have reviewed the notice about unvaccinated visitors and that it is a violation of the Governor’s Proclamation to visit an unvaccinated resident if the visitor is also unvaccinated.
  9. Indoor visits:
    • Indoor visits can be accommodated Monday – Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm.
    • For residents in private rooms, indoor visits are limited to two persons, and should take place in the room.
    • For residents who share a room, visits will occur in the room as long as both residents are completely vaccinated, and the roommate agrees.  Residents with roommates are limited to one visitor at a time in order to comply with infection control guidelines.
    • Visits are allowed only for residents who have been fully vaccinated, or when the visitor has been fully vaccinated.
    • Fully vaccinated means that 14 days have passed since the final vaccine dose.
    • Visitor should go directly to the visiting area for their resident.
    • Because of Social Distancing concerns, we prefer that visitors use stairs rather than elevators.
    • Visitors should go directly to the designated visiting area, limiting movement through the facility.  Any questions for staff should be addressed by phone or email after the visit.
    • Indoor visits are limited to 45 minutes.

Your cooperation in maintaining infection control protocols, including handwashing, social distancing, and wearing masks is imperative.  If COVID-19 finds its way into the Odd Fellows Home, residents will be subjected to quarantine, and all visitation will cease for at least one month.

 

Update

At this time, we have 2 cases of COVID-19 among our staff. We are testing all our staff regularly.

We continue to screen all residents and all employees for signs and symptoms of this disease on a daily basis.  Employees with any symptoms, whether tested or not, are sent home for a 14-day quarantine period.

Obviously, those infected individuals who present no symptoms elude our screening efforts.

East Care Center

# of residents with confirmed COVID-190
# of residents with suspected COVID-190
# of residents with symptoms of COVID-190
3 or more residents or staff with new respiratory symptomsno

West Care Center

# of residents with confirmed COVID-190
# of residents with suspected COVID-190
# of residents with symptoms of COVID-190
3 or more residents or staff with new respiratory symptomsno

Assisted Living

# of residents with confirmed COVID-190
# of residents with suspected COVID-190
# of residents with symptoms of COVID-190
3 or more residents or staff with new respiratory symptomsno

Merriam Street Apartments

# of residents with confirmed COVID-190

Clinton Street Apartments

# of residents with confirmed COVID-190

Employees

# of employees with confirmed COVID-192
# of employees with suspected COVID-190
# of employees with symptoms of COVID-190

 

Vaccination

Why do I have to wear a mask after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • The vaccine prevents COVID-19 disease, severe disease, and death.
  • We do not know if the vaccine prevents asymptomatic infection.
  • Until we know that, we must assume that vaccinated people might get COVID-19 and unknowingly pass it on.
  • Masks and social distancing will still be required until we have more information.

How long does vaccine immunity to COVID-19 last?

  • We don’t know.  COVID-19 is a brand-new human disease, we will need more time to determine how long vaccine responses last.

How will viral mutations affect COVID-19 vaccines?

  • We don’t know.  Scientists are actively tracking this.  Viral mutation is always possible, so scientists factored this in when creating the vaccines.
  • Flattening the curve and reducing infections also reduces the possibility of viral mutation.

How does the COVID-19 vaccination work?

  • As with any vaccine, the goal of a COVID-19 vaccine is to expose the body to an antigen that will not cause disease, but will provoke an immune response that can block or kill the virus if a person becomes infected. Vaccines contain either the whole virus or a component. After receiving a vaccine, a person develops an immunity to that disease without having to get the disease. The immunity varies based on the type of vaccine received. Some vaccines last a year (like the flu vaccine) and others last longer (like the polio vaccine). Current science suggests that the COVID-19 vaccine will be more like the flu vaccine requiring annual dosing, but research will be required to fully answer this question.

Vaccination Stats

Odd Fellows Home Data

Care Centers92.9%
Assisted Living91.5%
Clinton & Merriam Apartments91.5%
Odd Fellows Home Employees86.3%

Comparative Data

Washington LTC Residents79.9%
Washington LTC Employees66.5%
Walla Walla County57.4%
Washington57.3%
United States49.1%

Posters & Information

New Admissions

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Odd Fellows Home is taking extra precautions to prevent potential exposure to our residents.  Any resident admitted to our skilled nursing facility from the hospital or the community who is not fully vaccinated will be admitted under quarantine for 14 days regardless of the presence of any symptoms. Fully vaccinated means that at least 14 days have passed since the final vaccine dose.

Testing

We routinely test staff for COVID-19.

What We Are Doing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a number of steps that we have implemented to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our building. However, we need your help in battling COVID-19.

These restrictions are in place to protect our residents from unnecessary contact with people who may have had contact with COVID-19.  Twenty percent of residents residing in Long Term Care facilities who have contracted this disease have died.  We implore you to do your part to not add to that statistic.

Preventive measures and changes that the Odd Fellows Home has implemented:

  1. Limited access to the facility; all exterior doors are locked 24/7.
  2. Visitors are allowed under the limitations set by the Governor’s Proclamation.
  3. All large group activities are cancelled.
  4. All large group dining has been stopped.
  5. All employees are screened for signs & symptoms of COVID-19 prior to work.
  6. All residents are screened for signs & symptoms of COVID-19 on a daily basis.
  7. Temporary satellite employee break rooms have been created to accommodate appropriate distancing.
  8. A separately staffed quarantine unit has been set up for newly admitted residents and residents returning from the hospital who are not fully vaccinated, and for residents who have or are presumed to have COVID-19.
  9. All staff wear masks.
  10. All residents wear masks when they are out of their rooms.
  11. All residents wear masks while receiving care.
  12. Staff in the quarantine unit wear full PPE.

If you are not local, you can learn about COVID-19 in the Walla  Walla area.  The Walla Walla County Health Department provides updated information at its website.

The health, safety, and care of your loved one is our priority.  Thank you for your support as we navigate this unprecedented situation.

Outdoor Visits

There are a few rules for Outdoor Visits:

  1. Outdoor visits are always preferred and are the only in-person mode of visiting for residents and visitors who are not fully vaccinated.
  2. Visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to the visit.
  3. Masking, Social Distancing, and hand hygiene are mandatory.
  4. Because masking is mandatory, food and drink are not permitted during outdoor visits.
  5. All visits will take place outdoors in a designated Visiting Area.
  6. There is no presumption of privacy for an outdoor visit.
  7. Due to risk of exposure, holding hands, hugging, kissing, or other physical contact are not allowed during visits for residents and visitors who are not fully vaccinated.
  8. Residents in quarantine are ineligible for outdoor visits.
  9. Violation of social distancing and masking, and hygiene requirements will result in the family being banned from Outdoor Visits.  In addition, violations of social distancing and masking will result in a 14-day quarantine period for the resident.

Indoor Visits

On March 13, 2020 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services implemented a COVID mandate to all nursing and long-term care settings regarding visitor restrictions. The new requirements state that all facilities should restrict visitation for ALL visitors and non-essential healthcare personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, which includes Hospice or end of life situations. On November 17, 2020, these policies were updated with changes being added due to new mandates put in place by Washington State DOH & DSHS. The state regulations have been revised again on February 1, 2021, again on March 19, 2021, and yet again on April 30, 2021.  The following guidelines must be strictly followed under our Compassionate Care Policy:

  • Indoor visits are allowed for visitors or residents who are fully vaccinated.
  • Compassionate Care Visits are intended for those resident who have COVID-19, or are in quarantine or isolation.
    • Limited to resident’s room only.
    • Do not stop to engage with residents or staff members.
    • Physical contact with residents is not allowed; no hugging or touching
    • Limited to two visitors at a time
  • Do not visit if you are not feeling well or have had any symptoms of COVID 19. You will be screened prior to each visit and will not be allowed to visit if any presumptive signs of COVID-19 are present.
  • Do not visit if you have had exposure to someone that has a cough, cold, or symptoms of COVID 19 until they receive a negative COVID test result or have had 14 full days from exposure.
  • Do not visit if you have engaged in activities outside of State of Washington’s current mandates, including out of state travel and household activities that are currently discouraged.
  • A properly fitting face mask must be worn at all times. Do not take the mask off while in your loved one’s room, NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Hand washing is required FREQUENTLY during visits. You will also need to complete a handwashing in-service with our nursing staff.

Please understand our residents are the most AT-RISK POPULATION.  If you do not follow the above guidelines you place your loved one and our facility at risk. If your loved one becomes positive, there is exposure to our staff that also increases exposure risk to our 300+ residents in the Odd Fellows Home.  If any of these guidelines are not followed, we have the right to revoke your visiting privileges.

We are asking difficult things of you during these very difficult times. While COVID 19 often is a mild disease with the general population, this is not the case in nursing homes. Facilities locally have had huge outbreaks and several deaths.  Please help our facility to not become part of these statistics.

Virtual Visits

We encourage families to communicate with their loved ones via FaceTime or Google Duo.  Our Activities Staff can help residents with this technology.  Please contact Lisa to help facilitate a virtual visit!

FaceTime  is a free video communication program from Apple for iPhone or iPad users.

GoogleDuo is a free video communication program for anyone with a GMail account.  Download at the App Store or Play Store.

Window Visits are set up so that you can visit with a resident through an intercom system. We have infrared heaters installed to try to make these visits as comfortable as possible for our families.

Of course, you are welcome to bring goodies or a “care package” to your loved one.  Just ring the doorbell at the main entrance from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, and we will meet you at the door to deliver your package!

Please remember, it’s not just your family member that you are sharing things with.  If you introduce the virus, 300+ people are now at risk.  Please help us keep everyone safe and respect the restrictions.  They apply to us all.

Family Outings

We are committed to keeping our residents safe and we need your help. The virus causing COVID-19 can cause outbreaks in long-term care facilities.  All of our residents are in the high-risk group for COVID-19 and may have medical conditions putting them at a very high risk of becoming sick, or even severely ill, with COVID-19. For the safety of your loved one and our community, we encourage you to consult with the facility or agency staff before taking trips into the community. Though masking and distancing recommendations have been relaxed for the general public, we recommend residents of long-term care facilities maintain core infection prevention practices during visits outside of the facility.

When taking trips into the community, residents should:

  • Wear a face covering or face mask at all times.
  • Clean hands frequently, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet from others as much as possible while in the community. The safest approach, particularly if either party has not been fully vaccinated, is for residents and their visitors to maintain physical distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between people).
  • If the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with others in the community while wearing well-fitting source control.

Friends and family members accompanying residents should:

  • Wear a face covering or face mask at all times.
  • Clean hands frequently, using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
  • Be aware of potential risks of taking trips into the community, including a potentially increased risk of COVID-19 for your friend or family member as well as a potential risk of introducing COVID-19 into the facility.
  • Keep a log of activities to allow for contract tracing if cases are identified.

The Odd Fellows Home should:

  • Provide the resident with any items needed to follow infection prevention recommendations.
  • Educate clients, residents, and friends and family of appropriate precautions as listed above.
  • Continue daily symptom screening of the resident on their return to the facility

Assisted Living News

Kari has been keeping our Assisted Living community updated with a weekly newsletter. Here are the back issues: