To Our Valued Residents and Family Members:
In our effort to be transparent with all of our facilities’ residents, family members, team members, and communities, we are reporting daily our COVID-19 positive cases to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Please use the following link to get the updated information on facility COVID-19 Positive cases. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at the local facility or via our Contact website page. We appreciate your concern and assistance as we work with local and state resources to battle this global pandemic.
Important Notice Related to Visitation At Our Facilities
A State of Michigan sponsored workgroup has been established which includes important stakeholders to recommend the best way to begin to allow visitation to our facilities. We realize this has been a significant hardship for all of our families; please know we feel your pain and are eager to allow you back into our communities in the safest way possible. The workgroup is currently working to draft guidance to present to Governor Whitmer. The initial deadlines were extended to this week as the work was quickly recognized to be far more extensive than initially thought. There were simply far too many settings included in the Congregate Care Workgroup to develop any consistent guidance (criminal justice, shelters, etc). The sub-groups submitted initial draft recommendations to the larger workgroup on 6/8/2020. As we understand things, a draft is to be in Governor Whitmer’s office by Friday morning 6/12/2020. From there, her staff will review, clarify any questions, make adjustments and then release… I’m hoping by early next week 6/15/2020. This is a complex issue that we are taking seriously from a safety as well as social wellbeing of our residents’ perspective. We want as quickly as possible to allow safe visitation to all of our communities. Thanks so much for your patience and understanding.
The drafts have all been submitted to the Governor’s office, however early Friday (6/12/2020) there were two additional meetings scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Those two meetings are intended to review the drafts to finalize and converge into a larger document with the assistance of some of her staffers. We are confident the Governor will release before the EO restricting visitation expires on June 26th, but believe there may be another two week period after issue before visitation will begin to open up. Team WellBridge continues to monitor this situation and appreciates your care and concern.
The draft plans were handed over to representatives in the Governor’s office late Wednesday (6/17/2020). I believe there will be review / work done on them over the weekend, so I suspect we will be hearing some plans early next week. I believe we are getting closer to getting guidance from MDHHS on easing up the restrictions placed on our facilities to only essential personnel. Again, we appreciate your patience as we work through this challenging time.
We are still waiting on guidance to be distributed by MDHHS. Sources tell us that the Governor is close to issuing said guidance however is concerned about the recent increase in cases around the country. We expect and hope to see something by the 4th of July or perhaps sooner. We believe that when visitation will be allowed it will be done in a very controlled way with potential phases. Thanks again for your patience and understanding.
Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended an Executive Order that restricts visits to nursing homes and long term care facilities. Executive Order 2020-136 extends existing safety measures to maintain restrictions regarding entry to care facilities designed to protect vulnerable populations. The order is effective immediately and continues through July 24, 2020. Governor Whitmer also signed Executive Order 2020-135 which creates a bipartisan Michigan Nursing Homes Covid-19 Preparedness Task Force within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. We understand how difficult this has been on our residents, families, staff members, and the communities we serve. We will continue to participate in and comply with all Executive Orders pertaining visitation and all matters related to our operations. We appreciate your ongoing understanding.
Given the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), in conjunction with the Governor’s office, has decided to continue with the current guidance on visitation to our facilities and not loosen these restrictions. You can click the link above regarding temporary visitation for more information. We continue to monitor this very important matter and will continue to provide updates.
Last evening, July 23, 2020 Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-156, rescinding Executive Order 2020-136 and extending the restriction on visitor entry to health care facilities, residential care facilities, and congregate care facilities.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding with this very sensitive issue.
Gov. Whitmer extends visitation restrictions at nursing homes.
Issued late yesterday afternoon, LTC Executive Order 2020-191 allows for the implementation of communal dining and small group activities at our facilities. Our team members will be working to comply with this order. We are thankful for this action for our residents.
MDHHS Issues Emergency Orders Establishing Protections for Residents & Staff — On October 6, 2020, a number of additional Executive Orders have been established by the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. These executive orders aim to protect the safety of residents and staff in residential care facilities, as well as imposing more requirements to inform residents, families, the local community, and the government of any confirmed COVID-19 cases in the residential care facility. This order also continues to restrict visitation and outlines processes to ensure proper preventative measures are taken when visitations occur. You can read the full order here.
MDHHS updates visitation requirements for residential care facilities.
Visitation Guidance — Visitation can be conducted through different means based on facility’s structure and resident’s needs. Regardless of how visits are conducted, there are certain core principles and best practices that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Facilities must support and accommodate residents receiving visitors both indoors and outdoors unless otherwise specified. (read more)
Visitation Guidance — CMS released new guidance on March 10, 2021. This guidance aims to increase opportunities for visitation of loved ones in nursing homes as vaccination increases and COVID-19 decreases. Given the continued risk of COVID-19 transmission, CMS stressed the importance of continuing to follow the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention including, wearing a mask, washing our hands and watching our distance. We look forward to the increased opportunities for social interaction this new guidance provides to our residents and their loved ones. (read more)
Although the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) is lifting a number of restrictions on June 22nd, the current May 21, 2021 Requirements for Residential Care Facilities Order remains unchanged. Nursing facilities, along with homes for the aged (HFA), adult foster care (AFC), hospice and other assisted living facilities must still comply with the May 21st Orders.
Michael Perry, CEO
The WellBridge Group