Strafford County Complex COVID-19 update August 2, 2021

Strafford County Community Transmission Rates

The Strafford County community transmission rate of COVID-19 has started to trend back up. Across NH and the Nation there has been increasing reports of fully vaccinated individuals testing positive. Health officials are reporting that vaccinated individuals have a less severe illness; however, little information is available on how contagious the virus is in vaccinated persons. The CDC is now reporting that fully vaccinated individuals should continue to practice social distancing and wearing a mask/face covering for source control.

7/30/2021, NH DHHS reports the current positivity rate for Strafford County is 3.0%.

Vaccinations

Vaccines are now available for all NH residents and individuals that work in NH. NH Vaccine information, and to register for a vaccine, can be found at www.vaccines.nh.gov. Strafford County travel policies (March 2021) currently reflect some of these changes. At this time Strafford County continues to take the overabundance of caution approach; current screening and mask use policies remain in effect.

Please be mindful that COVID-19 continues to be a threat to the health and well-being of everyone on this complex. Regardless of vaccination status please continue to monitor yourself and report any new symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19.

Riverside Rest Home:

Voluntary testing of employees was conducted on 7/30/2021; all tests were negative.

An increasing number of individuals have started reporting contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases in the community. RRH continues to take the abundance of caution approach regarding quarantines and testing of employees reporting close contact and exposure to COVID-19. At this time there are no active cases of COVID-19 amongst the residents or employees of RRH.

Masks: Vaccinated employees/visitors/vendors/volunteers = surgical/procedure mask

            Unvaccinated employees/visitors/vendors/volunteers = KN95.

Strafford County Department of Corrections:

The SCDOC continues to offer and administer vaccines to eligible employees and eligible housed individuals.

The SCDOC had 1 employee, with mild symptoms, test positive for COVID-19; this individual is fully vaccinated (individual that was initially reported in the 7/26/21 update). This person was immediately restricted from work. The DOC immediately performed a combination of PCR and Rapid Antigen tests on all employees and individuals housed, all initial results were negative. A round of response testing of the employees and individuals conducted on 7/29 and 7/30 were also all negative. No further positives have been identified.

The DOC will continue with one more round of response testing, later this week.  

Masks: KN95’s for all employees as a heightened level of protection/source control.

Court House Operations and Sheriff’s Department:

Operations within the court house continue to be free from any active COVID-19 cases.

Masks: Vaccinated = not required to mask, but encouraged

            Unvaccinated = encouraged to mask however not enforced.

Masking and vaccination status in the Court House Building is an honor system of those entering.

The Strafford County Complex remains vigilant at decreasing the risk of exposure to COVID-19, within all operations.

Best Wishes and Be Safe!

Brianna Haskins-Belanger, RN, BSN

Strafford County Employees

Policy regarding Travel during COVID-19 Pandemic

Effective 03/21/2021

This policy is to be instituted and maintained for the entirety of the COVID-19 Pandemic, unless updated.

Stafford County Complex Operations will impose quarantines and travel restrictions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all individuals on the complex.

Stafford County Complex Operations will impose quarantines and travel restrictions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all individuals on the complex. Due to the congregate settings that Strafford County Employees have business in, this policy is designed to ensure the safety of those under our care in accordance with State and CDC guidance and recommendations.

NH COVID-19 Employee Travel Guidance:

Employers should take the following steps in order to minimize the risk of an employee being exposed to COVID-19 and subsequently introducing the novel coronavirus into the workplace:

  • Do not allow non-essential international and domestic business travel, especially travel that involves larger group activities and interactions (e.g., conferences, meetings)
  • Discourage personal international travel
  • Discourage travel on cruise ships
  • Discourage people from attending larger group gatherings where unrelated individuals, or people who are not immediate close household contacts of each other, are gathering indoors and in close contact with one another.

NH has issued Employer Travel, Screening, and Exclusion Guidance that differs from the NH Travel Guidance. The NH Travel Guidance is intended for the general public not those employed in our places of business.

Travel:

When requesting time off for vacation, if an employee chooses to travel, the employee must disclose:

  • Mode of transportation:
    • Private Vehicle
    • Air (includes private planes, the risk is not necessarily just the destination or plane, the greater risk of potential exposure is the airport)
    • Cruise ship and/or Ferry
    • Public Bus or Van
  • Destination/areas of travel outside of New England (New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island).

Vacation without use of public transportation within New England:

  • The employee does not have to disclose the location or purpose of travel.
    • The employee will indicate they do not intend to leave New England or use Public Modes of Transportation.

Vacation with public modes of transportation and/or travel outside of New England:

  • If you plan on traveling by public modes of transportation or outside of New England, you will not be permitted entry to the building(s), until the 10-day self-quarantine, upon return, has been completed.
  • If travel is planned please coordinate with your department head for approval.
    • Your department head will determine if the department can operate without you for your time of travel AND the 10 days after travel.
    • If approved by your department head, you will be eligible to use your accrued time for the self-quarantine time required (10 days).
      • Continue to monitor self for symptoms for 14 days after return from travel.
    • If approved by your department head but you do not have enough accrued time:
      • You are eligible to self-quarantine without pay, without jeopardizing your position, and without disciplinary action.
      • If you have insurance through the county, the county will cover your insurance premium during this time once accrued time is exhausted.
      • You will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result prior to your return.
    • The COVID-19 test must be on day 6-7 of quarantine, this must be a PCR based test, antigen tests are not accepted for this purpose.
      • An employee without symptoms may return to work on day 7 with a negative PCR test result; test conducted on day 6-7 after return.
    • Inform your supervisor of your date of return. You may coordinate testing with Brianna Haskins-Belanger or you may have testing conducted elsewhere. Any costs associated with testing elsewhere will not be covered by the employer.

Considerations for supervisors:

Considerations will be made for employees traveling for hardships, such as bereavement.

Exceptions to Quarantine Requirements:

The following people do NOT need to quarantine after domestic travel outside of New England:

  • Persons who are 14 days beyond the second dose of their Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Persons who are 14 days beyond their single dose of Janssen (Jonson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Persons who are within 90 days of a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection that was diagnosed by PCR or antigen testing and was symptomatic during their COVID-19 infection.
    • If a person had a previous infection that was more than 90 days prior and has not been fully vaccinated, they are still subject to quarantine.

Those exempted from quarantine must:

  • Monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 daily, for 14 days.
    • If symptoms develop, must immediately notify supervisor and be excluded from work. See employee exclusion and return to work criteria.
  • Practice social distancing
  • Avoid social and other group gatherings
  • Wear a face mask when around other people (PPE requirements as identified per facility issued information)
  • Practice good hand hygiene

NOTE: Regardless of prior infection or vaccination status, any person with new or unexplained symptoms of COVID-19 still need to isolate and seek testing.

Consistent with all guidance regarding COVID-19, employees who have symptoms are to notify their supervisor immediately and stay/go home. When exposed to COVID-19 or diagnosed with COVID-19, employees must stay home. Exceptions can be made for asymptomatic exposed employees who are NOT diagnosed with COVID-19, these individuals could return to work only with approval from public health officials and their employer after certain protections have been put in place.

  • If you have had exposure to COVID-19 notify your supervisor for further instruction. Your supervisor may contact Brianna Haskins-Belanger with any questions or concerns.
  • NOTE: workers caring for COVID-19 individuals while wearing appropriate PPE should answer “no” when asked during screening if they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

General Information:

The risk of exposure and inadvertently bringing the virus into any of the County’s buildings, continues to be a threat. Please remember that your actions outside of work could potentially expose you, your family, your co-workers and their families, as well as those that reside within our buildings to the SARS-Coronavirus-2 causing COVID-19. We have extensive exposure to each other and those that live in our buildings. Bringing the virus in the building could be potentially devastating, as we work in congregate living facilities and/or are exposed to those that live in these congregate settings.

Screening will continue in each building; please see screening questions.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish in the last 72 hours.
    • Fever is only present in 40-60% of COVID-19 cases. The absence of a fever does not rule out COVID-19.
    • There is varying guidance regarding the temperature that indicates a fever. Published information indicates any temperature from 99.6°F to 100.6°F or higher constitutes a fever. Please use your best judgement when looking at a temperature. At this time all employees should have a general idea of their baseline temperature. Even if the thermometer does not show a fever, this does not mean the person does not have a fever. Chills, cold sweats, headache, shivering, etc. can all indicate a fever is present, even if the thermometer suggests otherwise.
  • Respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath;
  • General body symptoms such as muscle aches, chills, and severe fatigue;
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, and
  • Changes in a person’s sense of taste or smell.

Prior to entering any building:

All employees are required to truthfully answer the screening questions (either verbally asked or posted questions). If there is reasonable proof that the individual was not truthful regarding risk factors or answering screening questions, prior to entering, the employee will be subject to disciplinary actions. Disciplinary actions, up to and including termination of employment, will be enforced as a result of the employee jeopardizing the health, safety, and welfare of the individuals in the building(s).

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19. (2021, February 18). After you Travel. After You Travel _ CDC.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19. (2021, March 18). Recommendations for Quarantine Duration in Correctional and Detention Facilities. Recommendations for Quarantine Duration in Correctional and Detention Facilities _ CDC.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19. (2021, February 16). Travel During COVID-19. Travel During COVID-19 _ CDC.pdf

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services. (2021, January 11). Official NH DHHS Health Alert. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak, Update #33, COVID-19 Vaccination Allocation Plan Update Quarantine Guidance Update. HAN-COVID-19-Update-33-Vaccination Allocation Plan Update & Quarantine Guidance Update (nh.gov)

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, Division of Public Health Services. (2021, March 16). NH COVID-19 Employer Travel, Screening, and Exclusion Guidance. NH COVID-19 Employer Travel, Screening, and Exclusion Guidance

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, Division of Public Health Services. (2021, March 16). New Hampshire COVID-19 Travel Guidance. NH COVID-19 Travel Guidance

Strafford County

Employee Exclusion and Return to Work Criteria

Updated 3/21/2021

This policy is to be instituted and maintained for the entirety of the COVID-19 Pandemic, unless updated.

 

Changes are identified in Orange Text.

Information Specific to Riverside Rest Home only is identified in Green Text.

This policy has been established in accordance with the NH COVID-19 Employee Guidance and Crisis Staffing for LTCs/ALFs and Recommendations for Quarantine Duration in Correctional and Detention Facilities. This information is compiled from multiple sources for best practices regarding quarantine for congregate settings.

 

POLICY:

Employee(s) with any new or unexplained COVID-19 symptoms (even if only mild symptoms), those who report unprotected close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed with COVID-19, and those with confirmed COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter the facility. Employees will be excluded from work and will only be permitted to return upon completion of the criteria outlined in this policy.

PURPOSE:

Due to the complexity and high transmission rate of COVID-19, it is necessary to implement a process for employee exclusion and criteria to return to work after illness or exposure.

DEFINITIONS: see page #3.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

While a test-based strategy is no longer recommended, with an increase in vaccinations, there are instances a test-based strategy could be considered for some employees to return to work during quarantine.

Regardless of vaccination status, an exposed individual can develop illness within this 14-day period, and testing before may be falsely negative.

Regardless of vaccination status; the following individuals will be restricted from entering the building:

  • Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19
    • should stay home and be evaluated for COVID-19 testing
  • Individuals with a household contact that has a positive COVID-19 test.

Employee with unexplained COVID-19 Signs or Symptoms/Respiratory illness:

  • Employee must immediately notify his/her supervisor of symptom onset; on duty employee is to leave the facility, off duty the employee is to call their supervisor to notify them of symptom onset.
    • If on duty when symptoms develop, Supervisor to gather information from employee including but not limited to:
      • Individuals, equipment, and locations the person came in contact with. This list is to be provided to the individual identified within the specific organization. Infection Control Nurse and/or Director of Resident Services.
    • Employee’s supervisor to notify the Director of Nurses, Infection Control Nurse, and Director of Resident Services.
    • Employee is to be instructed to contact their healthcare provider to be tested for COVID-19 and must self-isolate at home. Employees are expected to be tested.
      • If the employee’s healthcare provider declines to test the employee, notify the Director of Resident Services to allow for the employee to be tested by RRH. Employee to notify their supervisor to assist with coordination of testing on the complex.
    • Employee will be added to the Infection Control Line List.
      • The employee infection control line list is to be maintained by the Infection Control Nurse.
    • Employee will be removed from the work schedule until cleared to return to work by the individual identified within the specific organization. Infection Control Nurse and/or Director of Resident Services.
    • Employee is to monitor their own temperature twice a day as well as monitoring for any symptoms/changes to symptoms. The employee is to report symptoms and temperature to the Infection Control Nurse at least every 3rd
      • Employee will be asked to disclose if any fever reducing medications are utilized during the time of illness.

 

Employee with unprotected exposure to COVID-19 (unvaccinated employees and vaccinated employees when exposure is a household contact):

  • Employee is to be excluded from work for 10 days after last exposure.
  • Employee is encouraged to participate in the routine facility COVID-19 testing. Employees, contractors, vendors, etc. are required to participate in RRH testing per the COVID-19 testing policy. Mandatory testing is in accordance with the regulations imposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Employee is to monitor their own temperature daily as well as monitoring for any symptoms. The employee is to report temperature and any changes or development of symptoms to the Infection Control Nurse at least every 3rd

Note: EMPLOYEE wearing recommended PPE with close contact to COVID-19, is NOT considered exposure.

 

Exceptions to unprotected exposure to COVID-19 Quarantine Requirements:

The following people do NOT need to quarantine after close contact to a person (outside of household contacts) with COVID-19:

  • Persons who are 14 days beyond the second dose of their Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Persons who are 14 days beyond their single dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Persons who are within 90 days of a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection that was diagnosed by PCR or antigen testing and was symptomatic during their COVID-19 infection.
    • If a person had a previous infection that was more than 90 days prior and has not been fully vaccinated, they are still subject to quarantine.

Those exempted from quarantine must:

  • Monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 daily, for 14 days.
    • If symptoms develop, must immediately notify supervisor and be excluded from work. See employee exclusion and return to work criteria.
  • Practice social distancing
  • Avoid social and other group gatherings
  • Wear a face mask when around other people (PPE requirements as identified per facility issued information)
  • Practice good hand hygiene

Test out of Quarantine to mitigate staffing shortages for Crisis Staffing. Vaccinated employees:

  • The COVID-19 test must be on day 6-7 of quarantine, this must be a PCR based test, antigen tests are not accepted for this purpose. 
    • An employee without symptoms may return to work on day 7 with a negative PCR test result; test conducted on day 6-7 after return.

 

Employee with asymptomatic confirmed COVID-19 test:

  • Employees testing positive for COVID-19 are not permitted to work, regardless of lack of symptoms, until satisfying NH Public Health Department Criteria for Return to Work.
    • Utilize the symptom-based strategy for return to work. In place of symptom onset utilizing date of positive test (the day the test was performed, not the day the test was reported).
  • Employee must notify her/his supervisor of positive test result as soon as possible.
  • Supervisor shall notify the Director of Nursing, Infection Control Nurse, and Director of Resident Services.

 

Symptom-based strategy for determining when an employee can return to work:

 

Employee with mild to moderate illness who is not severely immunocompromised and/or COVID-19 is confirmed:    

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.
  • Note: Employee who is not severely immunocompromised and were asymptomatic throughout their infection may return to work when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test.

Employee with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised and/or COVID-19 is confirmed:

  • At least 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.
  • Note: EMPLOYEE who are severely immunocompromised but who were asymptomatic throughout their infection may return to work when at least 20 days have passed since the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test.

If COVID-19 is not confirmed with testing or the employee refuses testing:

  • Test results will be kept in the employee personnel file.
  • If employee refuses testing education regarding testing will be provided to the employee. Documentation will be retained in the employee personnel file with education provided and refusal to test. (Employee and individual providing education, will sign documentation).
  • The employee will be restricted from the facility utilizing the symptom-based strategy. The date symptoms first started is considered day zero (0).

 

 

DEFINITIONS:

Employee(s) - for the purpose of this policy the term “employee(s)” also refers to vendors, volunteers, contractors, etc. that physical work at Riverside Rest Home (such as hospice, consulting providers, etc.). This does not apply to staff working solely off site.

Healthcare Personnel (HCP) – refers to all paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious maters, including body substances (e.g., blood, tissue, and specific body fluids); contaminated medical supplies, devices, and equipment; contaminated environmental surfaces; or contaminated air. These HCP may include, but are limited to, emergency medical service personnel, nurses, nursing assistants, physicians, technicians, therapists, phlebotomists, pharmacists, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the health care facility, and person (e.g., clerical, dietary, environmental serves, laundry, security, maintenance, engineering and facilities management, administrative, billing, and volunteer personnel) not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted among from HCP and patients.

Severely immunocompromised – those who are:    

  • Receiving chemotherapy for hematopoietic malignancies
  • Immunosuppressed following solid-organ transplant, or during conditioning and 12 months following hematopoietic stem cell transplant
  • Taking biologic therapy (rituximab, IL-17, IL-6, or TNF inhibitors)
  • Receiving at least 20 mg or 2mg/kg body weight of prednisone (or equivalent) per day for 14 or more days
  • Immunosuppressed because of severe inherited or acquired immunodeficiencies (e.g., agammaglobulinemia or HIV infection with CD4 count less than 200).

Mild Illness – Individuals who have any of the various signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, malaise, headache, muscle pain) without shortness of breath, dyspnea, or abnormal chest imaging.

Moderate Illness – Individuals who have evidence of lower respiratory disease by clinical assessment or imaging and a saturation of oxygen (SpO2) ≥94% on room air*.

Severe Illness – Individuals who have respiratory frequency >30 breaths per minute, SpO2 <94% on room air*, ratio of arterial partial pressure of oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2) <300mmHg, or lung infiltrates >50%. This severity of illness will require acute medical monitoring by a medical professional.

Critical Illness: Individuals who have respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19. (2021, March 18). Recommendations for Quarantine Duration in Correctional and Detention Facilities. Recommendations for Quarantine Duration in Correctional and Detention Facilities _ CDC.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19. (2021, February 16). Return to Work Criteria for Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Interim Guidance). Return-to-Work Criteria for Healthcare Workers | CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19. (2021, March 10). Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination. Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19. (2021, March 10). Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages. Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages | CDC

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, Division of Public Health Services. (2020, July 27). Criteria for Return to Work and Crisis Staffing in Long Term Care Facilities. https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/documents/covid-crisis-staffing-ltcf-alf.pdf.

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, Division of Public Health Services. (2021, March 16). NH COVID-19 Employer Travel, Screening, and Exclusion Guidance. NH COVID-19 Employer Travel, Screening, and Exclusion Guidance

 

Strafford County Employees

Policy and Procedure

Initial Mask Protocol 3/27/2020

Mask On during COVID-19 pandemic updated 4/27/2020

This policy is to be instituted and maintained for the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic, unless updated.

DEPARTMENT: ALL

For the purpose of this policy Strafford County Complex buildings are identified as the House of Corrections, Court House, Riverside Rest Home, and Hyder Building.

POLICY: All individuals entering buildings on the Strafford County Complex will be masked with, at minimum, a re-usable cloth face covering. The person is to remain masked while in the building and within 6 feet of others.

Employees entering the building will be offered the use of a procedure/surgical mask. The employee entering will be afforded the opportunity to choose between the use of a re-usable cloth mask or a disposable procedure/surgical mask.

Non-employees entering the building will be offered the use of a re-usable cloth mask.

Regardless the type of mask chosen, one mask will be provided for the entirety of the shift/time spent in the building. If during the time in the building the mask becomes soiled, wet, or damaged, a new mask will be provided.

INTENT/PURPOSE: The use of face coverings during all time spent in the building is to help prevent and minimize pre-symptomatic transmission of COVID-19 to others (i.e. source control).

These face coverings (masks) are not intended to protect the wearer; they are intended to minimize the risk of transmission.

PROCEDURE: PROCEDURE:
1. All individuals entering the building will be screened; once screened and entry into the building is granted, they will be offered the use of a mask:
a. Employees: procedure/surgical mask or cloth face covering (mask).
b. Non-employees: cloth face covering
2. One mask will be given per shift/duration of time in the building (up to 12 hours).
3. If any mask becomes soiled, damaged, or wet they may be provided a new mask.
4. The procedure/surgical mask must be discarded when soiled, damaged, wet, and at the end of the shift.
5. If a cloth mask is chosen it must:
a. Fit appropriately over the nose and mouth.
b. Appropriate fit also means that the mask does not require touching or adjustment once donned.
c. Employees must have the ability to wash their own mask between shifts/use.
6. Non-employees are to remove their mask and place it in the bin provided when exiting. These masks will be laundered on the complex.

GENERAL INFORMATION: GENERAL INFORMATION:
• N95/KN95 masks/respirators are to be reserved for individuals interacting with a person suspected of or positive with COVID-19.
• A room on precautions requires the use of a different mask; do not take the daily use mask in those rooms.
• These masks are not to be used when interacting with someone suspected of or who is positive for COVID-19.
• If required to use a different mask, place this mask inside of a paper bag clearly labeled with your name and place it in a safe location.
• Wash or sanitize hands prior to donning the mask and after doffing of any mask.
• Do not touch, reach inside, or rub the mask.
• Once donned properly, only touch the mask by the straps.
• The face covering should cover both the nose and mouth of the wearer.
• Remove any mask by only touching the straps/bands.
• Do no lay the mask down on a table, chair, cart, etc.
• The mask is to be worn when you are within 6 feet of others.
• DO NOT share masks that have not been washed between uses.
• DO NOT allow this mask to provide you with a false sense of safety. Proper social distancing (when possible) and proper hand hygiene remain the best defense as decreasing the transmission of COVID-19.

 

 

April 21, 2020

 

We at Strafford County are committed to the safety of those that live, work, and those that have interactions with the public across all our departments. We instituted cloth masks for all employees as well as vendors that enter the Nursing Home and House of Corrections on 3/27/20. On 4/03/20 the Sheriff’s Department also instituted the use of cloth masks to be worn when interacting with the public. With great support from the community we were able to obtain enough masks to ensure that all people who enter the facilities have a cloth mask to wear to assist in decreasing the spread of COVID-19, especially from those that have not yet shown symptoms or symptoms that have not yet been identified.

We have not seen a positive case of COVID-19 in the HOC or Nursing Home. If a case is suspected we have the appropriate PPE available to ensure the safety of the individuals residing in the buildings as well as the staff. We are actively screening all people prior to entry into any facility on the Strafford County complex as well as active screening for those that reside within the buildings. We have been vigilant in keeping people out of the building that have or report any symptoms.

Across all buildings we have developed policies to ensure anyone exposed or directly affected are notified immediately, as well as the resident representatives. In order to offer full disclosure to the public, and to alleviate the concerns for the unknown from families and staff, we are pledging to immediately release numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 of our staff, residents and/or detainees/inmates. The information will not include specific names, but will include general methods of treatment and the status of the resident and/or detainee/inmate.

We understand the importance of the psychosocial wellbeing of all individuals during this difficult time; we have taken steps to expanded telehealth as well as video visits for both the HOC and Nursing Home.

At the nursing home we have also welcomed donations of pictures and cards to be provided to our residents to brighten their day; we have also developed a method to ensure that loved ones may deliver/drop off things such as flowers, balloons, cards, etc. Our staff is committed to taking extra steps to ensure that items are sanitized prior to delivery to the resident, to decrease the risk of viral transmission into the facility from the community.

At this time we remain closed to visitors and non-essential business, across the complex. As a commitment to keep everyone informed, and to ensure transparency, we have started a COVID-19 specific section on the Strafford County website. This will be updated at least weekly and more often if the status changes within the building(s).

This information can be found at: https://www.co.strafford.nh.us/covid-19-information

We are truly grateful to everyone in the community that has supported, and continues to support our efforts to keep everyone safe during this unprecedented time.

Best Wishes and stay safe!

Raymond Bower, Administrator

Brianna Haskins-Belanger, RN, BSN, Director of Resident Services

STRAFFORD COUNTY

COMMISSIONERS

WILLIAM A. GRIMES

Justice & Administration Building,

259 County Farm Road, Suite 204, Dover, New Hampshire 03820

PRESS RELEASE

April 3, 2020

Over the last several days, Governor Chris Sununu and State Epidemiologist, Dr. Benjamin Chan, Department of Health and Human Services, have advised the media/press of clusters of COVID-19 showing up in group living facilities. The Governor and Dr. Chan refused to name the facilities, indicating that it is the individual facility’s obligation to do so.

In Strafford County, we have taken great measures to protect our nursing home residents, detainees/inmates at the House of Corrections, and our employees. These measures include following all Federal and State recommended infection precautions and consist of employee screening prior to entering the work place, the use of masks and other preventative gear (PPE) beyond the basic recommendations, and good hand sanitizing. To date, we have had no cases of COVID-19 for Riverside Rest Home residents or House of Corrections detainees/inmates.

In order to offer full disclosure to the public, and to alleviate the concerns for the unknown from families and staff, we are pledging to immediately release numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 of our residents and/or detainees/inmates. The information will not include specific names, but will include general methods of treatment and the status of the resident and/or detainee/inmate.

Please remember to keep all employees who are working hard to keep you and those they serve safe during these challenging times in your thoughts and prayers.

We are in this together and we will get through this together.

                                                       Strafford County Commissioners

                                                          George Maglaras, Chairman

                                                          Robert J. Watson

                                                          Deanna S. Rollo, Clerk