The health and safety of our residents, guests, and employees is our top priority. Our entire team has been working tirelessly throughout this pandemic to enhance the lives of those entrusted to our care.  We have no active cases of COVID for our assisted living or our skilled nursing facility.

We have updated our visitation guidance per the CMS on Nov. 12, 2021 for our skilled nursing facility.

The section below (visitation policies) entitled What We’re Doing provides a summary of our response over the past 18 months to this pandemic.

Update on Visitation Policies

This pandemic has been challenging for all of us, but no one has been more affected than residents of residential care facilities everywhere. Here at Oakland Heights, we have strived to provide engaging activities, outdoor visits, and extra one-on-one attention from our team over the past year. But nothing replaces the feeling of being able to sit beside your loved one, hug them and let them know in person how much you care.

We want you to return to visit as much as you want to be here. However, we do have to follow the rules and guidance of the CDC, CMS and DHHS. That’s a lot of regulatory organizations that impact our decision making.  Please know that we are following all of their direction we’ve been given and working to keep your loved ones safe.  Here is the overview of Oakland Height’s policies for visitation.  Please keep in mind the visitation procedures are different from our skilled nursing facility compared to our assisted living due to regulatory oversight.

Oakland Heights Assisted Living

DHHS is allowing indoor visitation if 75% of the facility’s team members and 90% of the residents are vaccinated, and if the facility is in Phase III of its re-opening plan.

If a facility has any confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents or employees, it will immediately move back to Phase I, and visitation will be paused for at least 14 days until there are no longer any active positive cases. (NOTE: Assisted Living communities that have achieved the 75%/90% threshold for vaccinations, are not restricted by the county’s positivity rate the way skilled nursing facilities are.)

Current status of Oakland Heights Assisted Living facility:

  • Visitors will be subject to screening at the front door.  They will be asked questions to determine if they have any symptoms, if they have traveled outside the country in the past 14 days, or if they have been exposed to anyone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. In addition, temperature will be taken and must be below 99.1 or the visit will have to be rescheduled.  Anyone visiting a non-vaccinated may be asked to complete a COVID-19 rapid test and that test must have a negative result in order to visit.
  • Visitors may only visit residents in their apartments and not in common areas.  Masks must be worn while in the facility and social distancing is highly recommended.  If your loved one is vaccinated and all parties visiting are vaccinated, you can take  your mask off while in the apartment.  Limits on visitation hours and number of visitors will be set by the facility Administrator.

Oakland Heights Skilled Nursing Facility – REVISED/UPDATED

November 15, 2021

Dear Resident, Families and Friends,

I am beyond excited to announce that CMS has revised their visitation guidance and you are now allowed to visit your loved ones at all times!  You must still screen before visiting and we now will be doing that at our main entrance (front door) going forward.  Please read the rest of this letter for additional information and we can’t wait to see you all SOON!

CMS noted that the reason for visitation restrictions during the COVID-19 PHE (Public Health Emergency) were to mitigate the opportunity for visitors to introduce COVID-19 into the nursing home.  Per 42 CFR 483.10(f)(4), a resident has the right to receive visitors of his or her choosing at the time of his or her choosing, and in a manner that does not impose on the right of another resident, such as a clinical or safety restriction.  In other words, while all residents have a right to visitation, fully open and unrestricted visitation posed a clinical health and safety risk to other residents during this PHE, and therefore, it was reasonable to place limits on visitation.  However, current nursing home COVID-19 data shows approximately 86% of residents (Oakland Heights is 98%) and 74% of staff (Oakland Heights is 84%) are fully vaccinated, and the number of new COVID-19 cases each week has been reduced.  For example, the average number of national resident COVID-19 weekly cases in January 2021 was approximately 20,000 per week, whereas the average number in September 2021 was approximately 5100 per week (approx. 80% reduction), demonstrating the effectiveness of the vaccines.

It’s noted above that staff vaccination rates remain lower than resident vaccination rates.  Therefore, there is still concern about transmission of the virus from unvaccinated staff to residents or the possibility of an unvaccinated visitors to resident as well.  For Oakland Heights, additional measures have been taken, like CMS establishing a staff vaccination requirement to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect residents.  On November 4, 2021, CMS issued a regulation requiring that ALL nursing home staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a requirement.  By January 4, 2022, all Oakland Heights employees will be required to have received their 2nd dose of the vaccine.  CMS will continue to monitor vaccination and infection rates, including the effects of COVID-19 variants on nursing home residents, which have recently caused the number of cases to slightly increase.  However, at this time, continued restrictions on resident visitor rights are no longer necessary.

Indoor Visitation – effective immediately

Oakland Heights will allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents per the new guidance handed down by CMS.  While previously acceptable during the PHE, Oakland Heights will no longer limit the frequency and length of visits for residents, the number of visitors, or require advance scheduling of visits.

Although there is no limit on the number of visitors that a resident can have at one time, visits should be conducted in a manner that adheres to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and does not increase risk to other residents.  Physical distancing should still be maintained during times of visitation and visitors must go directly to and from residents’ rooms; Oakland Heights will limit visitor movement throughout the facility.  You will not be allowed to walk around different halls or congregate in the common areas of the facility (including lobby, nurses station, dining room., etc.).  We will also avoid large gatherings (parties, events) where large number of visitors are in the same space at the same time and physical distancing cannot be maintained.

If a resident’s roommate is unvaccinated or immunocompromised (regardless of vaccination status), visits should not be conducted in the resident’s room.  If the county COVID-19 community level of transmission is substantial to high, all residents and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, should wear face coverings or masks and physically distance, at all times.  In areas of low to moderate transmission, the safest practice is for residents and visitors to wear face coverings or masks and physically distance, particularly if either of them is at increased risk for severe disease or are unvaccinated.  If the resident and ALL their visitors are fully vaccinated and the resident is not moderately or severely immunocompromised, you may choose not to wear face coverings or masks and have physical contact.  Visitors should ALWAYS wear face coverings or masks when around other residents or healthcare personnel, regardless of vaccination status.

Indoor Visitation during an Outbreak Investigation

An outbreak investigation is initiated when a new nursing home onset of COVID-19 occurs (resident or staff).  To swiftly detect cases, we will follow CMS regulations and guidance for COVID-19 testing, including routine unvaccinated staff testing, testing of individuals with symptoms, and outbreak testing.

While it is safer for visitors not to enter Oakland Heights during an outbreak investigation, we will still allow visitors in the facility per the new CMS guidance.  Oakland Heights will make visitors aware of the potential risk of visiting during an outbreak and adhere to the core principles of infection prevention.  If residents or their representative would like to have a visit during an outbreak investigation, you should wear face coverings or masks during visits, regardless of vaccination status, and visits should ideally occur in the resident’s room.

CMS strongly encourages all visitors to become vaccinated and Oakland Heights will continue to educate and encourage our visitors to become vaccinated while also understanding it is your right to refuse to do so.  We may ask about your vaccination status, however, visitors are not required to be tested or vaccinated (or show proof of such) as a condition of visitation.  If you decline to disclose your vaccination status, Oakland Heights will require you to wear a face covering or mask at all times.

Compassionate Care Visits

Compassionate care visits are allowed at all times.  Previously during the Public Health Emergency (PHE), there were some scenarios where residents should only have compassionate care visits.  However, visitation is now allowed at all times for all residents with the new CMS guidance.  As stated above, we acknowledge that there are still risks associated with visitation and COVID-19.  However, the risks are reduced by adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention.  Furthermore, we remind all representatives that residents have the right to make choices about aspects of his or her life in the facility that are significant to the resident.  Visitors, residents, or their representatives will be made aware of the potential risk of visiting and necessary precautions related to COVID-19 in order to visit the resident.  However, if a visitor, resident, or their representative is aware of the risks associated with visitation, and the visit occurs in a manner that does not place other residents at risk (e.g., in the resident’s room), the resident will be allowed to receive visitors as he/she chooses.

Communal Activities, Dining and Resident Outings

While adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention, communal activities and dining may occur.  Crafts, movies, exercise and bingo are all activities that can be facilitated with alterations to adhere to the guidelines for preventing transmission.  The safest approach is for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face covering or mask while in communal areas of the facility.  Oakland Heights will permit residents to leave the facility as they choose.  Should a resident choose to leave, the facility is reminding the resident and any individual accompanying the resident to follow all recommended infection prevention practices including wearing a face covering or mask, physical distancing, and hand hygiene and encourage those around them to do the same.  Oakland Heights will do the following actions upon returning to the facility:

  • Screen residents upon return for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If the resident of family member reports possible close contact to an individual with COVID-19 while outside of the nursing home, test the resident for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status. Place the resident on quarantine if the resident has not been fully vaccinated.
  • If the resident develops signs or symptoms of COVID-19 after the outing, test the resident for COVID-19 and place the resident on Transmission-Based-Precautions, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Oakland Heights may also opt to test unvaccinated residents without signs and symptoms if they leave the nursing home frequently or for a prolonged length of time, such as over 24 hours.
  • Oakland Heights might consider quarantining unvaccinated residents who leave the facility if, based on an assessment of risk, uncertainty exists about their adherence or the adherence of those around them to recommend infection prevention measures.

I wanted to let you know that you can now get COVID-19 updates regarding current status and visitation procedures on our website:  www.oaklandhgts.com  I will use our website to provide up to date information going forward.  If you do not have access to our website, please contact me directly and I will make sure to continue sending updates via mail.  We have also updated our email addresses.  You can check our website for that information as well.  My email:  admin@oakhgts.com

Please feel free to call me with any concerns you may have.  I can be reached in the office at 402-685-5683 Monday through Friday or via email any time at admin@oakhgts.com

Best Regards,
David Deemer

Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention

  • Visitors who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19, or currently meet the criteria for quarantine, should not enter the facility. Oakland Heights will screen all who enter for these visitation exclusions.
  • Hand Hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)
  • Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose) and physical distancing at least six feet between people, in accordance with CDC guidance
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit
  • Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care if applicable)
  • Resident and staff testing conducted as required at 42 CFR 483.30(h)

What We’re Doing

As we work toward preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re following best practices to limit exposure to our residents and employees. As cases are suspected or confirmed, we will notify anyone who was potentially affected through direct or indirect contact, as well as the local or state health department.  We have enacted several restrictions in our facilities based on the recommendations of the U.S. Government and American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living. We thank you for your cooperation in support of these restrictions as we work together for safety and prevention.

  • Oakland Heights employees have been trained and educated on increasing the frequency of cleaning common surfaces. In addition, we have a process for screening all staff to help ensure they are not at risk of infection.
  • As a precautionary measure, our employees are wearing personal protective equipment in all service lines, including our administrative offices. We are following the process outlined by the CDC for Isolation Zones based on potential exposure or risk associated with new admissions to our facilities, including red, yellow, green and transition zones.
  • Internal group activities are being conducted with safety in mind, including social distancing and wearing of masks by residents per guidance.  External resident outings have been suspended until further notice.  Congregate dining is occurring with appropriate safety measures in place, such as plexiglass dividers and socially distanced seating. However, the specifics for each location may change based on criteria from the Health Department related to the phases of re-opening. For the latest information about which phase your loved one’s facility is currently in, please contact the administrative team at Oakland Heights.  402-685-5683.
  • Residents have the option to be examined by telehealth.
  • Leadership is meeting daily to assess the ongoing situation and determine if any additional actions are required.

If you have any further questions, please email us at admin@oakhgts.com or call the facility and ask for Christina (Director of Nursing) or Paige (Assistant Director of Nursing).

This page was last updated on September 1, 2021.