SUBJECT: Administrator Update
Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,
We are currently testing employees and residents twice a week per DHEC guidance. Our results from 10/27/2020 have returned and two staff members tested positive along with one resident testing positive for COVID-19. We have notified all individuals that have tested positive along with the resident’s family representative. We have currently entered into a quarantine period on both Unit 1 and Unit 2 until additional test results are received from our laboratory partners at ThrivePoint Medical. The staff immediately implemented our infection control protocols as we focus on containment combined with continual monitoring and surveillance. We continue to pray for and offer support in all ways possible for those affected by COVID-19 at the moment.
DHEC issued a memorandum on 10/20/2020 which defines Compassionate Care Visits which have been implemented at our facility (Please see the attached policy). Any and all forms of visitation should be scheduled through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.
York County has seen 6,777 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 166,344 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,645 confirmed deaths.
It is extremely important that we all continue to do our part to help with stopping the spread of COVID-19. This virus is extremely contagious and potentially fatal.
*Please don’t forget our Item Drop-off service. Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest! Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only) Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely. NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.
*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:
1. Wearing a mask
2. Social distancing
3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs
*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:
Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:
OFFICE: (803) 326-3114
Efren Z. Whitehead Jr.
Compassionate Care Visits Policy
ATTENTION: Situations may arise which warrant visit (s) outside of the normal schedule. When such situations arise, they will be handled on a case by case basis in consultation with the Administrator or his designee taking into consideration the specific resident situation. Case by case considerations will be made taking appropriate staffing on duty both in skills, education, experience, and numbers of staff available along with the overall health of the facility and residents.
Compassionate Care Visits Policy
BACKGROUND: On 10/09/2020 DHEC released new guidance which described facilities ability to offer indoor and outdoor visitation. On 10/20/2020 DHEC released a memorandum which described Health Care facilities establishing a policy addressing compassionate care visits. “Compassionate Care Visits” are referenced in the 10/09/2020 correspondence previously submitted by DHEC.
We are in a position to offer compassionate care visits in accordance with DHEC guidelines and will continue to follow DHEC guidance as we receive new updates. The following information explains the parameters that you will need to follow while enjoying a Compassionate Care Visits with your loved one and is subject to change based on updates from DHEC.
STEP 1: Please schedule a time to visit your loved one with the Life Enrichment Department at
OFFICE: (803) 326-3141
NOTE: Compassionate Care Visits will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the following times:
10:00 AM 11:00AM 2:00 PM
NOTE: Timeslots may be adjusted based on scheduling conflicts. Appointments will be staggered for all visitors to allow time for sanitizing and restocking between sessions as necessary.
NOTE: A visit may be scheduled 1 time a week per family representative. Depending on the specific situation, this may be altered on a case by case basis as determined by the interdisciplinary team.
STEP 2: Report to the facility 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to complete the check in process/screening.
NOTE: Alcohol based hand rub must be utilized during check in and at check out.
NOTE: Copies of COVID-19 results must be presented within the specified dates aligning with DHEC guidance if applicable.
STEP 3: You will be directed to the designated area for your scheduled visit by a staff member.
NOTE: The designated are for a Compassionate Care Visit is the Chapel. Depending on the situation the location may be altered on a case by case basis as determined by the interdisciplinary team.
STEP 4: Compassionate Care Visits will last for a duration of 30 minutes.
STEP 5: Proceed to the front entrance for check out.
ATTENTION: Situations that would warrant a compassionate care visit include but are not limited to: a significant change in condition of a resident, newly admitted resident facing traumatic experience due to the changes in environment and people, family who meet the needs of the resident (including religious leaders), support for a resident that has recently lost a friend or family member (heartache).
- A mask or cloth covering must be utilized by both the resident and visitors for the duration of the visit. At no point in time should the mask be altered or removed. The mask should cover your nose and mouth at all times.
- Please remain social distanced for the duration of the visit which is 6 feet or greater (Markers will help you identify the spacing requirements).
- Visitors are not permitted to have any physical contact with residents including hugging, kissing, holding hands, or any other physical contact.
- A maximum of 2 visitors are permitted to visit a resident at one time.
TO: Community Residential Care Facilities Nursing Homes
FROM: DHEC Healthcare Quality
SUBJECT: Compassionate Care Visits
The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) strongly recommends that licensed community residential care facilities and nursing homes in South Carolina establish a policy addressing compassionate care visits for each facility. This policy should adhere to both DHEC’s Guidelines for Outdoor and Indoor Visitation and CMS’s guidance for reopening nursing homes.
The policy should clearly outline:
• What situations are included in a compassionate care visit;
• How often will a visitor in a compassionate care situation be allowed to visit;
• The length of time for a compassionate care visit;
• How the compassionate care visit will take place;
• Alternate ways to conduct a visit if a resident has a roommate; and
• If a designated area of the facility will be used for compassionate care visits.
Compassionate care visits by family, religious leaders, or other persons who meet the needs of the resident are permitted regardless of the facility’s visitation status.
CMS’s Nursing Home Visitation FAQs clarifies that it is imperative for facilities to know that, while end-of-life situations were used as examples of compassionate care situations in previous CMS memoranda, the term “compassionate care situations” does not exclusively refer to end-of-life situations. An example of an eligible compassionate care visit that is not an end-of-life situation is if a resident who was living with family before recently being admitted to a nursing home is facing a traumatic experience due to the changes in environment and people. According to CMS, allowing a visit from a family member in this situation would be consistent with the intent of the term “compassionate care situations.” Similarly, allowing someone to visit a resident whose loved one recently passed away would also be consistent with the intent of these situations.
We encourage facilities to consult with residents and their families to help determine if a visit should be conducted for compassionate care as there are a myriad of situations that can constitute a compassionate care visit. Also, while CMS acknowledges that compassionate care situations may extend past end-of-life situations, it is still recommended that these visits should not be routine and should be allowed on a limited basis as an exception to restricting visitation.
DHEC, in adherence with CMS guidance, also reminds facilities and visitors that all actions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 should be taken when these visits are allowed.
Infection control and prevention actions should be integrated into the policy, such as:
• Screening all visitors for symptoms of COVID-19;
• Practicing social distancing;
• Performing hand hygiene (e.g., use alcohol-based hand rub upon entry); and
• Having both residents and visitors wear a cloth face covering or facemask for the duration of the visit.
Community residential care facilities and nursing homes can also create a safe space within each facility specifically reserved for compassionate care visits and may consider setting up appointment times to ensure control of the number of visitors at any given time. Additionally, facilities should continue to limit the number of visitors allowed in the building at the same time and limit the number of individuals visiting with any one resident (e.g., two visitors for one resident visit). The compassionate care visit policy for each facility should clearly define what situations are eligible for such visits and what measures both staff and visitors are expected to take to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
Facilities can contact email@example.com with questions about compassionate care visits.