COVID-19 Brief Update 05/27/2020
All individuals on the county complex continue to work diligently to decrease the risk of transmission of COVID-19 into any building. As the state starts to open various businesses and recreational areas, we would like to remind everyone that we remain CLOSED to visitors and all non-essential personnel. We continue to screen all individuals that are required to be in the buildings; we remain “Mask On” when within 6 feet of others. We continue to remind all employees that we care for high risk populations and we continue to encourage social distancing and safe behaviors when not at work.
Testing: Like many others across the nation, we are limited in our availability for testing however we do have access to testing for someone who may become symptomatic. We have been provided the opportunity to test our residents in the nursing home to establish a baseline as part of the NH initiative for testing Long Term Care facilities. Other testing is reserved for those that are symptomatic.
The Employee Testing Initiative was conducted on May 13th and May 14th. The Nursing Home Resident testing initiative was conducted on May 18th.
Testing initiative results:
Strafford County Complex Employees tested: 404
Invalid: 2 (required a retest due to insufficient specimen to process for testing)
Positive: 1 (asymptomatic positive at the House of Corrections, contact tracing shows no inmate contact)
Residents at Riverside Rest Home tested: 180
Invalid: 1 (insufficient specimen to process for testing, does not require retest due to the overwhelming resident
and employee results that have been negative)
We value the support and encouragement from everyone in the community.
Best wishes and stay safe!
Brianna Haskins-Belanger, RN, BSN
*Future updates will include compiled numbers from previous and continued testing as well as the above information regarding the testing initiatives.
COVID-19 testing efforts update 5/15/2020
ConvenientMD staff was on the complex Wednesday May 13th and Thursday May 14th, they were able to test 400 employees. Those tests are now pending and we are awaiting the results; once provided to us we will make those result numbers public. We will receive completed results about a week after testing.
In accordance with the New Hampshire State testing initiative and expanse, especially in long term care facilities, Riverside Rest Home has been provided test kits to be able to test all the residents in the nursing home. We plan to start testing the resident’s on Monday May 18th and Tuesday May 19th; these tests will take about a week to process. We are testing as part of the state’s efforts to increase testing, NOT due to any concern of exposure in the nursing home. If you have a loved one in the nursing home and have concerns regarding that individual being tested, please contact your loved one’s social worker. We will notify those required if there are any positive results from this testing.
We remain closed to visitors in all buildings on the complex. Those essential to operations continue to be screened prior to entering and are required to wear a mask while in the building.
We are grateful for all the support that has been provided to us from those in the community.
Best wishes and stay safe!
Brianna Haskins-Belanger, RN, BSN
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.
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.
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
WILLIAM A. GRIMES
Justice & Administration Building,
259 County Farm Road, Suite 204, Dover, New Hampshire 03820
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