Strafford County Complex COVID-19 update November 26, 2021

Vaccinations

Strafford County Administration is forever grateful for all those who have worked with us during this pandemic and for so many years prior. The hard work and dedication of each individual on this complex has not gone unnoticed. Vaccination has been encouraged over this past year. However, the belief that the choice to vaccinate should be the individuals, has been one strongly held at Strafford County.

Due to Federal Regulations and Presidential Orders, Strafford County has been required to issue a Mandatory Vaccination Policy for all Employees, Vendors, Contractors, Sub-contractors, Volunteers, Students, etc. This does not mandate residents, clients, visitors, or inmates/detainees to be vaccinated. Although not mandatory for those individuals, Strafford County continues to highly encourage persons who enter any building to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

We recognize that mandating the vaccine has caused frustration, discouragement, and a feeling of being unappreciated from those that have dedicated themselves to Strafford County. This has been felt not only by those not vaccinated, but by those vaccinated as well. Strafford County Employees are known for being dedicated, tough, and caring. This is not only directed to those entrusted in our care, this is directed toward each other. Over the years, many start as strangers but become friends and family on this complex. Administration has been just as discouraged by this vaccine mandate as each individual. It has been a strong determination to always make each person feel appreciated, it is recognized that the mandate has done the opposite. While we would prefer to allow vaccination to be each individuals choice; that decision is no longer one made by the County Commissioners or Administrator. To continue to operate each department, operation, service, and building, the mandatory vaccination policy was required.

Regardless of vaccination status, we appreciate each and every one of the people that have dedicated themselves to the complex and each other!

Commissioners

George Maglaras

Bob Watson

Deanna Rollo

Administrator

      Raymond Bower

Local pharmacies continue to offer all 3 US FDA approved and authorized vaccines. We encourage employees to schedule their vaccinations through the pharmacy as this allows for more flexible scheduling. If you are unable to schedule an appointment, please notify your supervisors so they may contact the appropriate individuals to assist you with vaccination.

Vaccination Rates:

RRH Employees: 83%

RRH Residents: 93%

SCDOC Employees: 71%

SCDOC Housed Population: The medical department continues to work diligently to offer vaccination to all individuals entering the custody. Due to the frequent change in the population, a percentage is not stated at this time.

Reminder

The holidays are here, along with cold and flu season. Please use extra caution when gathering with others. Monitor yourself and those around you for symptoms, perform hand hygiene thoroughly and frequently, and keep your distance from those that are sick if possible. All of NH is seeing an increase in COVID-19, Influenza, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Often all of these respiratory illnesses start with mild allergy or mild cold symptoms; the only way to determine which virus is the culprit is through testing. Please stay home when you are sick. 

They say “Sharing is caring.” When it comes to germs we prefer you don’t share, that’s how we know you care!

Strafford County Community Transmission Rates

Recent information has shown potential data relay discrepancies to the State of NH Health Department. NH DHHS has directed individuals to view the information available on the CDC COVID Data Tracker webpage.

Per the CDC COVID Data Tracker, last updated 11/23/2021:

Current Level of Strafford County Community Transmission: HIGH

This level is based on the test positivity percentage and Rate of new cases per 100k population, whichever is higher.

Criteria

Low

Moderate

Substantial

High

Strafford County

Percentage of positive NAATs (PCRs for the purpose of information we provide and lab we utilize) in past 7 days*

<5%

5%-7.99%

8-9.99%

≥10.0%

10.29%

New cases per 100k persons in the past 7 days*

<10

10-49.99

50-99.99

≥100

466.96

                *Current 7-days is Wed 11/17 – Tues 11/23 for case rate and Mon 11/15 – Sun 11/21 for percent positivity.

Reference: CDC COVID Data Tracker

Riverside Rest Home:

Weekly response/outbreak testing has not identified any new positive residents. Weekly testing has identified 2 new positive employees, both individuals remain at home on isolation.

1 employee was kept from work due to a member in the household testing positive. The employee was kept from work, did not work during their identified infectious period.

1 employee did work during the 48 hours prior to symptom development and positive test. Unvaccinated close contacts have been kept from work and will continue their quarantine. This employee did not have contact with any of the previously positive employees during their infectious period. It is likely this employee acquired the infection in the community. The residents and close contacts have all had a negative PCR test. These tests were completed 2-3 days after contact, we will continue to monitor these individuals for symptoms and will proceed with another PCR test next week.

1 employee tested at home after symptom development and has tested positive. This employee did work 48 hours prior to symptom development. Close contacts were notified. This person did not work on a resident unit.

Although no residents have been newly positive since September, the facility does remain in outbreak status with NH DHHS Public Health Department. Although risk of transmission to residents is minimal, it cannot be ruled out.

Masks and eye protection continue to be required.

At this time 1 resident unit has been identified as at risk for possible transmission (Unit 4). All other resident units have been through 2 rounds of negative PCR tests.

As the facility has gone through many rounds of negative resident testing and the risk of transmission is only identified on 1 unit, RRH will alter testing in accordance with CMS regulations and will move to a targeted approach to testing. Unit 4 residents, employees identified as close contact, and unvaccinated staff will be required to test. All other employees may volunteer to test.

CMS has recently updated regulations for visitation and other facility movement and activities. Although changes were made to the regulation, RRH must ensure certain procedures are in place for infection prevention measures. RRH is working to get these processes in place, once completed updated information related to transfers, admissions, visitation, communal dining, group activities, outings, etc. will be distributed. Thank you for your patience while we work to open, while keeping everyone that lives and works here safe.

Information in this table reflects cases since 9/14/2021

RRH COVID-19 Cases

Recovered

Active Cases

Passed/Deaths

Total

Employees

Fully Vacc: 15

Not Vacc: 9

Fully Vaccinated: 3 (1 did not work during infectious period)

Not fully vaccinated: 0

0

27

Residents

7

0

1*

1**

9

All fully vacc.

*One resident who tested positive sadly passed; this resident has been battling failing health and was receiving hospice services prior to the COVID-19 diagnosis. A medical provider review revealed, COVID-19 was not a contributing factor to this person’s passing.

**Sadly, a fully vaccinated resident that did receive monoclonal antibody therapy for treatment of COVID-19 has passed. COVID-19 is not the primary cause for this resident’s passing. However, COVID-19 is listed as a likely contributing factor. This resident did complete the isolation period for COVID-19 prior to passing.

Strafford County Department of Corrections:

Since the last update SCDOC has identified employee and inmate/detainee positive individuals. The SCDOC will continue weekly testing of the facility.

Employees:

These individuals’ developed symptoms and subsequently tested positive. They were restricted from work when symptoms developed. Positive employees have been instructed to isolate and remain out of work.

Inmates/Detainees:

Facility testing has continued with both PCR and Antigen testing which has identified new positive cases amongst the housed population. At this time positive cases are on 1 unit, those that require medical monitoring are in negative pressure cells in the medical department.

Positive individuals have been separated from close contacts, who are currently negative, within the confines of this unit.

DOC administration continues to collect information related to the new cases, as well as notify those identified as close contact.

Facility PCR testing of all housed individuals and employees will continue.

SCDOC requires KN95 masks to be worn by all personnel throughout the building.

Additional cleaning, sanitizing and PPE has been supplied and is to be utilized in the identified areas.

Information in this table reflects cases since 9/20/2021

SCDOC COVID-19 Cases

Recovered

Active Cases

Passed/Deaths

Total

Employees

9

4

0

13

Inmates/Detainees

30

9

0

39

Court House Operations and Sheriff’s Department:

On 11/21 an employee, of one of the operations within the court house, reported symptoms and a positive COVID-19 test. This person did not work during the 48 hours prior to symptom development. No close contacts were identified in the building.

There are no other cases of COVID-19, in the remainder of operations, at this time.

Employee COVID-19 cases since 8/9/2021:

Active: 1

Recovered: 2

Total: 3

Court House Mask Requirements:

The New Hampshire Judicial Branch has updated the courthouse mask notice:

Use of Facemask is Strongly Encouraged inside the Courthouse!

            This does not differentiate between vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals.

All buildings continue to ask that you do not enter the building if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days, or have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

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.

Best Wishes and Be Safe!

Brianna Haskins-Belanger, RN, BSN

 

Strafford County Employees

Policy regarding Travel during COVID-19 Pandemic

Effective 11/16/2021

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. 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.

All Travelers

  • Monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 daily, for 14 days.
    • If symptoms develop, must immediately notify supervisor and be excluded from work.
  • 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

POLICY

Travel:

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

  • If mode of transportation is by Cruise ship and/or Ferry
  • Destination, areas of travel, Internationally.

Domestic Travel, within the United States or to a U.S. territory alone, does not require disclosure (unless otherwise required by your operational leader or operation specific policy(s)).

Domestic Travel outside of New England, by public modes of transportation

Does not require quarantine. All employees (regardless of vaccination status) are required to follow the information for All Travelers.

Does require surveillance testing for those with business inside a congregate setting e.g., RRH, HOC, Transitional Housing, etc. Testing to be coordinated with the HOC Medical Department or Brianna Haskins-Belanger.

Fully Vaccinated

  • Rapid Antigen Test at the Start of the 1st shift after return.
  • PCR or Antigen Test at the Start of shift 7th – 10th day after return. Dependent on employee work schedule.

Not Fully Vaccinated

  • Rapid Antigen Test at the Start of the 1st shift after return, and every other shift, through day 10 of return from travel.
    • Employee may request a PCR after day 5 of return.

International and/or Cruise Ship Travel, regardless of vaccination status:

  • If you plan to travel by Cruise Ship and/or Internationally, you will not be permitted entry to the building(s) until the 7-10-day self-quarantine upon return, has been completed.
  • If travel is planned, please coordinate with your department head for approval to account for required quarantine.
    • Your department head will determine if the department can operate without you for your time of travel AND the required quarantine.
    • If approved by your department head, you will be eligible to use your accrued time for the self-quarantine time required (7-10 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 collected on day 6-7 of quarantine, this must be a PCR based test. Antigen tests are not accepted for this purpose (most commonly referred to as rapid tests or at home tests).
      • 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 HOC Medical Staff, Brianna Haskins-Belanger, or RRH testing team.
        • You may have testing conducted elsewhere. Any costs associated with testing elsewhere will not be covered by the employer.

Note: 7-10 days is listed to account for differing turnaround times for PCR test results.

Considerations for supervisors:

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

NOTE: Regardless of prior infection or vaccination status, any person with new or unexplained symptoms of COVID-19 still need to isolate, notify their supervisor immediately, stay/go home, and seek testing.

  • 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-CoV-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.

Entry into Building(s)

Screening will continue in each 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).

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