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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are some of the daily processes and protocols helping to curb the spread of the virus that my loved one should know about?

  • Meal Delivery: We deliver all residents’ meals in 1 delivery per day. Delivery takes place between 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. and we drop off a hot dinner meal for that evening, and a cold continental breakfast and boxed lunch for the following day. Residents receive their weekly menu and staff will call each resident daily to take their order. Residents can place orders for the entire week if they choose. Residents can also place orders for items from the corner market.
  • Packages and Prescriptions are delivered daily. They are wiped down with bleach wipes. All staff have on gloves and face masks when delivering them to residents. We leave packages at the door and then ring the doorbell to limit face-to-face interactions.
  • Mail Delivery: We let mail sit for 24 hours and deliver it to residents’ doors twice a week. Our staff wear gloves and face masks when making the deliveries. They leave the mail at residents’ doors and then ring the doorbell to limit face-to-face interactions.
  • Garbage Pickup: We pick up garbage daily by 10 a.m. We ask residents to put their trash out in the morning and not to leave it out overnight.

Q: What plans are in place to protect my loved one from the spread of COVID-19 in your community?

  • Before the COVID-19 virus was reported in the US, we enacted our emergency preparedness plan and established a task force of individuals across our company.
  • We follow CDC guidelines and go beyond, for instance ALL staff – maintenance through administration, not just direct care personnel – are wearing face masks anytime they are in our Crane’s Mill community. Staff wash their hands frequently and use universal precautions with all those that do not have symptoms of COVID-19. When a resident is suspected of being positive or is presumed positive by testing, Staff wear gowns and face shields when entering rooms and in close proximity to infected residents.
  • All of our staff is screened before every shift and reminded often to self-monitor for symptoms while at Crane’s Mill and at home.

Q: How will you know if my loved one contracts COVID-19?

  • All Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living residents are being tested weekly, and we began testing our Independent Living residents the week of June 10.
  • Our staff continues to monitor the residents in Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living and is reminding our Independent Living residents to self-monitor. We have no medical role in our Independent Living residence. We’ve advised all residents to notify us if they are not feeling well. Average Incubation is 2-14 days with documented incubation after contact being as long as 37 days according to some studies and the CDC.
  • With a personal phone call, we would notify the designated contact person if a resident shows any signs of illness and are recommending testing.

Q: How are you monitoring all residents, including those in Independent Living?

  • All Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living residents are being tested weekly for the virus. We also continue to assess and monitor their vital signs (Pulse Ox, BP and temperature) at least two-three times every day.
  • On June 10, we began testing all Independent Living residents. We have no medical role in Independent Living, but we continually remind these residents to self-monitor for symptoms and to only engage in essential interactions.
  • Regardless, we know many people do not show symptoms at all, or do not show symptoms for a length of time. We consider each staff member and resident a possible carrier of COVID-19; testing does not change our precautionary actions. For instance, all staff members are required to wear face masks anywhere in our community, including administrative offices and maintenance areas.

Q: When we get our updates, Crane’s Mill makes reference to the greater community. What does that mean?

  • As you know, we are required to take new admissions and cannot discriminate based upon COVID status. We are admitting residents from the hospitals, Hospice, individual homes, as well as residents from other levels of care. When we use the term “greater community”, it means that the individual was not already a resident in the skilled nursing unit and came into the skilled nursing community as COVID positive.

Q: Why are we not getting updated reports on COVID positive cases in Independent Living?

  • All medical information is confidential and cannot be released by Crane’s Mill for any reason due to HIPAA and privacy rules. According to guidelines, we report all positive cases to the Board of Health, but  must respect people’s right to privacy and cannot disclose to the community.
  • There is no requirement for an Independent Living resident to report the status of their health to us; therefore the number of positive cases may not be correct as Independent Living residents, like those living in an apartment house or home in your community, do not report it to their neighbors or their landlord. Since each resident is in a separate apartment or cottage with independent ventilation systems there is no risk to others if the infected residents self isolates and does not exit their living quarters. For safety, before any of our staff enters the apartment or cottage, the resident is interviewed as to their COVID status.
  • We do not manage the health care of our Independent Living residents as Independent Living is not a licensed health care facility. We request that our Independent Living residents report any COVID status to us, but we cannot get this information from the hospital or their private physicians. Many residents have different physicians that they continue to see and they don’t always provide us with updates. It would be irresponsible to provide numbers that may be inaccurate.

Q. Are you testing all residents and staff for COVID-19?

  • We are currently testing all residents in our Skilled Nursing and Assisting Living units to include those with no symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently provided new guidance that expands testing for those in these living situations, even for people without symptoms. As the medical profession learns more about this new virus, there is a greater understanding of the percentage of people who have mild, non-classic, or no symptoms, but still test positive, which is why we want to be sure to carefully monitor our residents and their health.
  • Based on said CDC guidance, New Jersey State Executive Directive No. 20-013 was released on May 12, 2020, stating Covid-19 testing is required at licensed long-term care facilities, assisted living residences, comprehensive personal care homes, residential health care facilities, and dementia care homes. The order requires a specific testing plan for all residents, direct care workers, and non-direct care workers within the long-term care facilities.

Q: Are you testing staff members? Will we be notified if staff members who provide care to my loved one test positive for COVID-19?

  • We are required by the Department of Health to test staff weekly.
  • While we cannot provide details about staff health, we will report any confirmed COVID-19 cases – residents or staff – to the state Department of Health and Board of Health, as required. Details of staff interaction are monitored internally to help us respond and report accordingly.

Q: I am concerned about staffing levels. Does the community have appropriate staff coverage?

  • We are required to report regularly to the state DOH what our staffing levels are, and the state uses those reports to monitor long-term care facilities. It should not be assumed that any staff member who is on leave is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for the virus. Many have child care, family or health issues completely unrelated to current events.
  • Crane’s Mill is vigilantly monitoring the wellness of our residents and staff, and we are not only following, but exceeding guidelines set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Knowing the number of COVID-19 cases will not change our actions nor our recommendations for how residents or families should respond.

Q: Are positive and presumptive positive residents all in one location, away from other residents?

  • All Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living residents have been kept apart from one another as part of our vigilance to stop the spread of this virus.
  • Residents who have tested positive in the Health Center are being treated very carefully by staff and have been moved into a designated wing. These residents are in isolation, and we have created negative air pressure rooms for removing all particles of the virus from the room. Staff wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) when entering a room. This includes a gown, gloves, mask, face shield. The PPE is removed before entering into another area of the facility.
  • A resident in Independent Living who is presumed positive or symptomatic would remain quarantined in his or her apartment. We ask that the resident or family notify the Executive Director and provide names of any person the resident has come in contact with in the prior 14 days. If symptoms require medical treatment, that resident would be transferred to our Health Center, or in the case of a more sudden change, to a hospital.

Q: When will Crane’s Mill open to visitors?

  • We currently have a limited, outdoor visitation program. Reservations are required. Please call 973-276-6700 or email cranesmill@lsmnj.org for details.

Q: What if my mom/dad falls or needs help?

  • Independent Living residents can, like always, use their pendant to call for help. We will always have someone respond, but it won’t always be a nurse due to strict guidelines we’ve put in place to keep staff within their designated areas. This is an added precaution we are taking to prevent the spread of the virus. If residents experience a medical emergency, they should call 911, or we will call once we respond to their alert.

Q: Why are COVID-positive patients coming into the community from hospitals?

  • The Governor recently signed an order that gives us no choice in denying admission to people who are COVID-positive. Some patients are being released from hospitals to free up beds for more seriously ill people, and we cannot refuse them legally. Because of that, we expect to see more cases in our Skilled Nursing unit. We have designated a wing there for COVID-positive patients. In that area and all others (with the exception of Independent Living where we do not have that authorization), we are keeping residents in their individual rooms and staff is using the appropriate personal protective equipment during interactions to contain the spread of this virus.

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