To Our Residents, Family Members, and Friends:
February 12, 2021
To our residents and family members:
Please view the updated information from the CDC in regards to vaccinated persons quarantine guidelines. Please make note of the highlighted area for healthcare facilities. We continue to be encouraged with the drop in COVID-19 cases, however our county’s community positivity rate remains at 16%. This rate must drop below 10% to enter into Phase 2 of reopening. This will allow for our residents to start back communal dinning and give more opportunities for activities. CMS still has not made any changes or given us any updates as it relates to reopening. The last updated guidance from CMS was August 2020. Thank you for your continued support and trust.
CDC-Public health recommendations for vaccinated persons
While mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy at preventing severe and symptomatic COVID-19, there is currently limited information on how much the vaccines might reduce transmission and how long protection lasts. In addition, the efficacy of the vaccines against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is not known. At this time, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.
However, vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria†:
- Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
- Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
- Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Although the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from vaccinated persons to others is still uncertain, vaccination has been demonstrated to prevent symptomatic COVID-19; symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission is thought to have a greater role in transmission than purely asymptomatic transmission. Additionally, individual and societal benefits of avoiding unnecessary quarantine may outweigh the potential but unknown risk of transmission, and facilitate the direction of public health resources to persons at highest risk for transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to others. This recommendation to waive quarantine for people with vaccine-derived immunity aligns with quarantine recommendations for those with natural immunity, which eases implementation.
Fully vaccinated persons who do not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, including SARS-CoV-2 testing, if indicated. In addition, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including all other SARS-CoV-2 testing recommendations and requirements, and state, territorial, tribal, and local travel recommendations or requirements. For additional considerations regarding quarantine or work restrictions for fully vaccinated healthcare personnel, patients, or residents in healthcare settings, please see section below.
These quarantine recommendations for vaccinated persons, including the criteria for timing since receipt of the last dose in the vaccination series, will be updated when more data become available and additional COVID-19 vaccines are authorized.
† CDC has not systematically evaluated the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturers that have not sought an EUA in the United States. For the purposes of these quarantine criteria, considerations for accepting a vaccination series that is not FDA-authorized include whether the vaccine product has received emergency approval from the World Health Organization or authorization from a national regulatory agency.
Vaccinated healthcare personnel, patients, and residents in healthcare settings
These criteria could also be applied when considering work restrictions for fully vaccinated healthcare personnel with higher-risk exposures, as a strategy to alleviate staffing shortages. Of note, exposed healthcare personnel would not be required to quarantine outside of work.
As an exception to the above guidance no longer requiring quarantine for fully vaccinated persons, vaccinated inpatients and residents in healthcare settings should continue to quarantine following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19; outpatients should be cared for using appropriate Transmission-Based Precautions. This exception is due to the unknown vaccine effectiveness in this population, the higher risk of severe disease and death, and challenges with social distancing in healthcare settings. Although not preferred, healthcare facilities could consider waiving quarantine for vaccinated patients and residents as a strategy to mitigate critical issues (e.g., lack of space, staff, or PPE to safely care for exposed patients or residents) when other options are unsuccessful or unavailable. These decisions could be made in consultation with public health officials and infection control experts.
CDC’s healthcare infection control guidance contains additional considerations regarding the need to protect healthcare personnel, patients, and residents while also alleviating any staffing shortages.
THE OAKS NURSING AND PERSONAL CARE HOME UPDATE: December 2, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to adversely affect each of us, but there is reason to be positive regarding the Covid 19 vaccine and its availability, safety, and effectiveness.
On December 2, the facility was notified by conference call that Georgia’s skilled nursing facilities will be among the first to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
The logistics of distributing the vaccine are in place, but there are questions as to whether the vaccine will be a singular or two step vaccination process as this depends on the manufacturer as well as the time between the injection of the vaccine and the body’s ability to develop antibodies to fight the virus.
The projected time of availability of the vaccine according to the Governor’s office is the second week of December.
As with any type of vaccine or preventative immunization process, there will need to be documentation signed and dated stating the resident or resident representative agrees for the vaccine to be administered.
It is our hope that 100% of the residents and staff of the facility will receive this potentially life saving vaccination.
The pandemic is not over, but at least there is hope that in the near future there will be some sense of “normalcy” in the life of our residents.
We will continue to keep you informed of the vaccination process as it is shared with us, but please be aware that once the vaccine is available in Georgia, we will need exact counts of those desiring to receive the vaccine and permission to administer the vaccine. Time will be of the essence and should someone choose not to receive the vaccine during the initial vaccination phase, the opportunity to receive the vaccine at a later date could be delayed for an extended period of time.
Regulatory agencies are developing a release for facilities to utilize to obtain permission to administer this vaccine. Once this release is available, we will contact you to have that documentation signed and dated as soon as possible.
Thank you for your continued support and for your understanding of the restrictions we must follow until the Covid 19 vaccination process is complete.
THE OAKS NURSING AND PERSONAL CARE HOME UPDATE: 9/29/2020
The Oaks Nursing and Personal Care Home is excited to announce that we will be entering into Phase 2 of CMS and DPH’s guidance for reopening phases beginning Monday, October 5th. This move into Phase 2 is due to the recent drop in Macon County’s COVID-19 positivity rate. During Phase 2, The Oaks will be able to provide more options for scheduled visiting including both indoor and outdoor visits, while still practicing social distancing.
Phase 2 can only be maintained if we met the following criteria:
- Macon County Community Positivity Rate remains below 10%
- No staff members or resident test positive for COVID-19 during this period
- Community Hospitals have adequate bed capacity
The Administrative Order for Long-term Care facilities reopening includes more detailed information; however, the above information does provide a brief explanation of the information that affects moving into the next phases. Please continue to monitor positivity rate for Macon county and surrounding counties: https://data.cms.gov/stories/s/q5r5-gjyu
The facility staff sincerely appreciates your patience and willingness to comply with these new regulations during this pandemic. Please understand we will be carefully shifting into Phase 2 and visiting schedules may be limited to ensure all residents and families have the option to visit with their loved ones. Thank you for your continued support!
Spencer Windham, Administrator
Facility Specific COVID-19 information is updated daily and can be found at the address below:
We thank you for your continued prayers and support.
The Oaks cannot thank you enough for your support, prayers and trust in providing quality care for your loved ones during this time. We recognize this virus has taken a toll on the ability of family, friends, and residents to share time together and we are working diligently in providing more options for safe and meaningful alternatives for connecting with your loved ones. We continue to be blessed to have no resident positive for COVID-19. Without the family’s support this would undoubtedly not be possible.
In our continued efforts to keep our staff, families and residents informed, we notified everyone on May 1st of the first staff member testing positive for COVID-19 in our community. As previously communicated, our staff is required to wear N-95 respirator masks with a surgical mask cover at all times to protect our residents and staff throughout each day. Other additional inflectional control practices such as enhanced cleaning with additional hospital grade cleaning products, use of National Guard deep clean, disinfecting fogging practices with the use of bio solutions, as well as added PPE use for contact precaution practices are all continuing to be utilize to help us fight this virus successfully.
The Oaks Nursing and Personal Care Homes and Macon County Health Department have partnered in our efforts to perform weekly testing for staff members regardless of signs or symptoms as more testing comes available. We are encouraging all staff members to be tested as we send individuals on a weekly basis with the hopes to have all staff tested within a 30-day period.
Again, we cannot thank you enough for the continued support as we recognize this time has been very difficult for each resident and resident family member. If you would like additional specific information regarding The Oaks and other Georgia facility’s daily reporting of COVID-19 cases including staff and residents we ask you use the following link for our daily updates: http://dch.georgia.gov/announcement/2020-05-12/long-term-care-facility-covid-19-report.
Please do not hesitate to contact the facility if in any way we can assist with your ability to communicate with your loved ones.
Spencer Windham, Administrator
At this time, we request that family and friends limit visiting the facility. Out of an abundance of caution, we are limiting all visitors to our facility unless absolutely necessary. We are posting signs on our entryway doors to notify visitors of this policy and actively screening individuals, including staff, who need to come into the building.
We understand that connecting with your loved ones is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider communicating with them. These may include telephone, email, text, video chat or social media.
Please make sure we have your most current, emergency contact information. We want to make sure we efficiently communicate with you should there be any new developments.
Please also avoid shaking hands and hugs with any individual. If you are experiencing a cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, and/or shortness of breath, please do not approach our campus. Our facility is following the recommendations of the CDC on prevention steps, including following strict hand washing procedures, and in many circumstances, wearing gowns and gloves when interacting with residents. We also are staying up to date with the CDC recommendations as they may continue to change. In addition, our facility is in close contact with the local and state health department, and we are following their guidance.
We thank you in advance for your understanding
Spencer Windham, Administrator
Please see the following steps The Oaks Nursing Home is taking in preparation for a potential COVID-19 Infections. We appreciate you cooperation in keeping our residents safe from this infectious disease at this time. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call The Oaks Nursing Home directly:
- We are encouraging all family members and loved ones to limit visits to our facility at this time.
- We have posters for Visitation Protocols and proper Hand Washing Techniques displayed throughout the facility.
- Visitation is not permitted for any individuals with COVID-19 or Influenza symptoms. The facility will work with family members to communicate with residents.
- We are regular communication with our Pharmacy and Medical Supply partners regarding pharmaceutical and medical supplies. Couriers have been educated to use single locations for deliveries.
- Communication is ongoing with our vendors and contractors regarding our processes and protocols.
- Facilities will ensure adequate PPE equipment for all staff is available.
- Mandatory education sessions with CDC, AHCA, GHCA and CMS have taken place and will be ongoing for all staff.
- Admission screening with increased and heightened guidance on COVID-19 will be utilized during this time.
- Updates are being provided to facilities on current state of the COVID-19 outbreak and best practices.
- We are strictly enforcing Employee Illness and Return to Work policies.
- No entry into the facility for visitors 18 years of age or under.
- Entry is limited to one single entry point for all staff and visitors at each facility.
- Visits such as social visits and outside groups, schools, church, etc. will be greatly limited.
- Volunteer service will be greatly limited and those with direct resident contact will be restricted.
- We will be actively screening all individuals entering the facility.
- This screening process will ask individuals for respiratory symptoms and their travel within the last 14 days.
- This screening will apply to everyone: Employees, Family Members, Visitors, Volunteers and Contractors.
- Visiting hours will be reduced to the following: 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p m. to allow for closer screening of visitors.
- Visiting will be limited to specific locations of the building.
- All individuals entering the building will wash their hands at entry. This includes all employees, visitors, contractors, etc.
- Hand washing and hand sanitizing stations will be set up inside the facility at the single point of entry and strategically throughout the facility.
- Resident activities that involve residents outside of the building to public places will be greatly limited or canceled.
- Residents and employees who display any respiratory symptoms will not be permitted in group activates within the facility.
- Community meals will be limited to specific pick-up times and locations outside the building
- Non emergency/routine doctor’s appointments will be limited or cancelled.
- Isolation and contact precautions reviewed with all resident and staff.
- Mail and package delivery drop off limited to one area of building.
- Implementation of PHASE 2 which will trigger more strict guidelines limiting facility entry if COVID- 19 is present in our community or within a 30 mile radius.
Reason We are Restricting Individuals from Entering our Building
The current COVID-19 outbreak situation means that it is critical that we take every precaution possible. We must prevent this virus from entering our center. Protecting our residents’ health and safety is our top priority.
The CDC has done a careful review of the death rate in the elderly, especially those with dementia or chronic diseases. Experts are recommending we take action to limit individuals from entering our building and to ensure sick employees stay home.
Early data shows that
- The mortality rate for people over 80 in the general population is 15% in China.
- The World Health Organization report estimates the mortality rate at 21.9% for those over 80.
- At the nursing home in Washington state, there have been 50 residents who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. As of March 9, 2020, 19 of those have died. This is a high death rate.
There is a risk that people who appear healthy will enter nursing homes and infect residents. Studies of past viral epidemics where recommending prevention was delayed were not effective. These studies show that the sooner we limit interactions with each other and wash your hands frequently virus spreads more slowly.
These facts have led many to recommend severe limitations on visitors. This describes why we have taken this action now.
We hope this explains to you why we are asking people to limit their visits. This may prevent you from physically seeing your family member or friend. Our residents’ health and safety are our top concern. We are committed to doing everything we can to protect them.
Please feel free to contact The Oaks Nursing Home, Inc. with any questions. Please make sure we have your latest contact information. Thank you for supporting these efforts.
Welcome to The Oaks
The Oaks Nursing and Personal Care Homes are designed to serve a wide range of resident needs. The Oaks is primarily known for our skilled nursing center. This facility, established in 1956, is one of Georgia's oldest owner operated nursing homes. It has been granted the highest rating of 5 Stars by CMS and enjoys one of the State's best long-term compliance records as related to state and federal guidelines. The fact that The Oaks is family owned and operated provides the personal attention each resident deserves.
U.S. News and World Report Magazine named The Oaks Nursing Home as a top nursing facility in the United States and as one of the top ten nursing facilities in the state of Georgia. To be rated by U.S. News, a facility must receive an overal star rating from CMS (Centers for Medicare/Medicaid) and accept residents covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or both. Nearly 16,000 nursing facilities in the United States were evaluated on three elements or domains for over a 12 month period. These elements included state-conducted health inspections or surveys, nurse staffing, and medical quality measures. To qualify for the U.S. News Best Nursing Home List, a facility must earn an minimum overall rating of four and a half stars. The Oaks Nursing Home earned an noverall five star rating and was ranked in the top 10 nursing homes in Georgia. U.S. News and World Report ranked nursing homes as an aid to help families find good facilities, because roughly 1.4 million individuals in the United States will need some type of nursing home care within the next year. These ratings can be found on the U.S. News and World Report website (http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes/area/ga) where The Oaks Nursing Home will display a badge recognizing this Top Facility status.
In addition to skilled nursing care, The Oaks features a personal care home. This facility is designed for residents who need assistance with daily living activities but who do not require 24-hour nursing care. The Oaks Personal Care Home features private rooms decorated to provide a warm, home-like setting.
Another level of retirement living offered at The Oaks is supportive care independent living. These spacious apartments are designed for residents who desire independent living in a safe, secure environment.
For more information on The Oaks' levels of living, please click on the tabs to the left or call us to schedule a tour. Regardless of the level of care needed, The Oaks has an environment designed for you!