Covid-19 FAQs

We know that you may have questions during these extraordinary times. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to provide more information during this time.

We will update this information regularly as the situation changes, and please do not hesitate to call us with questions.

Please click here for frequently asked questions pertaining to the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Q: Does Artman have any positive residents?

    Artman has had residents who have tested positive. We are prepared and have taken the steps to keep our residents safe throughout the community. It is important to note that we have taken these steps prior to requirements from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), The Department of Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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  • Q: Does Artman have staff members that have tested positive for COVID-19?

    Artman does not currently have positive cases among our staff. We are prepared if this were to occur and are adhering to the Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines for all staff members tested positive no matter their role.

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  • Q: What are the guidelines for healthcare workers to return to work after testing positive?

    An employee who tests positive will remain at home for minimum of 10 days from onset of symptoms with at least 24 hours fever free without fever reducing meds and symptom improvement. If asymptomatic Employee to remain home for 10 days from test.

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  • Q: When will visitors be allowed back in Artman?

    Visits may be scheduled through Appointment Plus.

    On March 12, 2021 the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced new visitation guidelines for personal care and assisted living communities. These new practices went into effect on Monday, March 15, 2021.

    Entering the Building

    Mattison and Skilled Nursing (Park Place, and Penllyn) Visitors:  Continue to enter at the staff/visitor entrance off Bethlehem Pike.  

    During the day Inspiring Today, Forest and Stonebridge visitors please use the Mt Pleasant Entrance.

    After 6:00 PM ALL visitors must use the Staff/Visitor entrance off Bethlehem Pike.

    All visitors, no matter the time must be screened before entering including temperature checks, health status questions and responding to questions related to potential exposure to COVID-19. A visitor may be denied access depending on the results of the screening.

    Here is what will not change:

    • All protocols for infection prevention and control MUST continue. This includes everyone wearing masks, social distancing (remaining at least 6 feet apart from everyone you encounter including the resident you are visiting).
    • Continue to enter at the staff/visitor entrance of the Bethlehem Pike.   All visitors must be screened before entering including temperature checks, health status questions and responding to questions related to potential exposure to COVID-19. A visitor may be denied access depending on the results of the screening.
    • Visitation outside is still the preferred location for visits for the protection of all residents, visitors and staff.
    • We are still responsible to ensure that at any given time there are not too many visitors in our community that would prevent good infection prevention and control protocols to be followed.
    • Visits may not occur during meal times which are:
      • Breakfast    7:30AM – 9:30AM
      • Lunch         11:30AM – 1:00PM
      • Dinner         4:30PM – 6:00PM
    • Eating is not permitted during your visit.
    • Please do not visit other residents.
    • Residents (including rehab) must be passed their 14 day quarantine period.

     

    Here is what is new per the CMS guideline:

    • All Long-term care residents living in Park Place and Penllyn may have visitors at any time. 
    • All Rehab residents, in lower level rehab, Park Place and Penllyn must be passed their 14 day quarantine before visitors are allowed in-person visits
    • Visitors should limit their movement in Artman to go directly to the resident room
    • A resident who is fully vaccinated can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitted mask and performing hand hygiene before and after. Regardless, visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff while visiting.
    • We cannot require that visitors be tested or be vaccinated for COVID-19.
    • WE DO STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ALL VISITORS TO GET VACCINATED AND TO CONSIDER WAITING UNTIL THEY ARE TWO WEEKS PAST THEIR LAST SHOT WHETHER THEY RECEIVED A ONE DOSE OR TWO DOSE VACCINE. This is what is being recommended for everyone but it is particularly important as we open up our communities that provide a home for so many older and often frail seniors.
    • IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO GET TESTED 2-3 DAYS PRIOR TO COMING FOR A VISIT.

     

    Visitation Guidelines:

    • Due to the anticipated volume of visitors we will no longer schedule visits for either inside or outdoors.
    • When you come to Artman to visit someone in Park Place or Penllyn you will be screened and you can then go directly to the room of the resident you will be visiting.
    • If you are visiting someone in a semi-private room please visit outside, in the parlor or living room
    • If the weather permits we request that you then escort the resident you are visiting to an outside visiting area.
    • In anticipation of increased demand we will be setting up additional outside visiting areas
    • We ask that after your visit you use the available supplies to wipe down any touched surface in the visiting area.
    • Visits will be limited to 45 minutes to an hour to allow for a maximum number of families and resident to use the outdoor spaces for visiting.

     

    Outbreaks:

    • If anyone in skilled nursing receives a COVID positive result we will begin outbreak testing and suspend all in-person visitation (with the exception of compassionate caregivers)  We will let you know  when visitation can start again.

    Other considerations:

    • Because we cannot require proof of testing or proof of vaccination you will potentially be encountering others who have not been vaccinated or tested.
    • There are instances where a resident may not have indoor visitation related to our county positivity rate and/or residents with COVID and/or in quarantine.

    We ask for your continued partnership in keeping our community safe by doing the following:

    • Wear a mask
    • Practice social distancing with everyone in the community
    • Wash your hands
    • Do not visit if you are not feeling well
    • Strongly consider getting vaccinated
    • Strongly consider getting a COVID test 2-3 days before visiting if you have not been vaccinated or are not two weeks past your last vaccination.

    Rehab

    The health and wellbeing of our residents is among our highest priorites. At this time, we are mandated by both the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Human Services (DHS)  to temporarily suspend in-person visitation. FaceTime and Zoom visits may be scheduled through Appointment Plus. 

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  • Q: Can I visit my family member as a Compassionate Caregiver?

    The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services have released guidance that includes information on Compassionate Caregiver visitation.  Here is some important information for you that is included in the guidance:

    Compassionate Care visitation is allowed in limited situations per CMS FAQs on Nursing Home Visitation. Care can be provided by Compassionate Caregivers if there are two or more documented “significant changes” in a resident’s condition. A significant change is defined in 42 CFR & 483.20(b)(2)(ii) as: A major decline or improvement in a resident’s status that: 1) will not normally resolve itself without intervention by staff or by implementing standard disease-related clinical interventions; the decline is considered “self-limiting…”, 2) impacts more than one area of the resident’s health status; and 3) requires interdisciplinary review and/or revision of the care plan.

    Artman will contact the family of residents who may qualify to receive Compassionate Caregiver visitation to discuss options. If you feel that your family member living at Artman qualifies to receive Compassionate Caregiver visitation and would like to designate a Compassionate Caregiver for a skilled nursing resident please contact Jen Mackaman, director of nursing, at jenm@artmanhome.org, and for personal care residents please contact Henry Ebner, personal care administrator, at henrye@artmanhome.org. Our clinical team will determine if Compassionate Caregiver visitation is appropriate based on the guidelines we have received.

    Please be aware that the CMS FAQs state that they do not believe these visits should be routine and they should be allowed on a limited basis as an exception to restricting visitation.

    We ask that you carefully consider your request as we all continue to partner in keeping COVID outbreaks controlled in our communities. Please remember that it only takes one positive case in a staff person or a resident to send us back to pre-opening plans that will limit dining, activities and visitation for all. We’ve been fortunate since this pandemic started in March, and we are all working to keep Artman a safe and healthy place to live and work.  

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  • Q: Do I Need to be tested for COVID-19 before I visit as a compassionate caregiver?

    Yes Compassionate Caregivers are required to be tested according to the Department of Health and Department  of Human Services guidelines.  These guidelines are based on Montgomery’s County positivity rate (using CDC numbers) and are as follows:

    Positivity Rate Personal Care Skilled Nursing
    <5% Every 4 -6 weeks Every 4 weeks
    5% - <10% Every 30 days Once a week
    >10% Once a week Twice a week

    The test must be a PCR test – not a Rapid Test. A written copy of your negative test result must be submitted to Artman before your visit.

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  • Q: What confirmation do you need for negative test result?

    A copy of the test result.

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  • Q: Can I bring a package to my loved one?

    Families wishing to drop off and pick-up will to go to the Mt Pleasant entrance. When you arrive, please call 2100, to speak with our receptionist, let them know what you need and they will contact the appropriate staff member.  There will be rack/cart inside the double doors – one to drop off and one to pick-up.  The door coming directly into Artman at the Mt Pleasant entrance will be locked.

    Families of rehab residents may drop-off packages at the Rehab entrance. To reach this entrance use the Bethlehem pike entrance and follow the driveway down the hill. There is a table located in the vestibule.

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  • Q: How is Artman’s staffing?

    Artman’s staffing remains strong.

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  • Q: What plans have been implemented to engage residents during isolation?

    We have been able to provide a variety of activities/events to engage our residents.  Group activities and games are now either individualized or community-wide via our overhead paging system.  Bingo and jeopardy involve staff and residents working together.  Packets of “Brain Games” are distributed weekly.  Happy Hour, book mobiles, happen from a rolling cart. Surprise snacks, such as SDKs (social distancing kisses) ice cream sandwiches with inspirational snacks are spontaneously distributed. The Ambler community has provided us with a variety of cards and artwork.  Some of our residents actually have become pen pals through this program. Residents have become participants in the “Rainbow” project.  Rainbows are hung in windows to be part of a local children’s community scavenger hunt.

    Even though we are not able to gather for worship residents are being given prayer and reflective bulletins.  These have been well-received especially during the holidays.  Our pastor along with our community life staff are available for support, individualized activities and face time visits with family.

    Any additional in-room leisure activity supplies are available for all.  If we don’t have it – we’ll get it.

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  • Q: If my loved one becomes ill—are you still sending residents to the hospital?

    Although it is always our goal is to treat in place, if hospitalization is absolutely necessary we will transfer a resident.  

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  • Q: Is Artman still allowing admissions?

    Artman is accepting new admissions for residents. New residents must test negative for COVID-19 prior to moving. The safety of our residents is among our highest priorities and a second test is administered on the move-in day. We are asking new residents to quarantine within their apartment home until the results of the second results are received. After receiving a negative test result the new resident may join community activities and dining.

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  • Q: Will you be testing all residents and staff?

    On a daily basis we will continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).

    Based on the mandate from the Pennsylvania Department of Health that went into effect on June 9th we are testing all skilled nursing residents and staff. We are also following the mandate, which was announced on June 26th, to test all personal care residents and staff.

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  • Q: Are you doing antibody testing?

    We are not doing antibody testing. There are many studies being conducted and to date there have been no reliable results for antibody testing. We will continue to follow CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines for testing.

     

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  • Q: Was the number of cases reported from the Pennsylvania Department of Health accurate?

    We continue to track the case of coronavirus among our staff and residents, and regularly share up-to-date information with residents and family members. A recent report from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has shown inconsistencies that are not in-line with the actual number of cases within our community. We have reached out to DOH to share accurate information.

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  • Q: Where can I make requests to take a resident out for an outing? What is the process?

    Requests for outings can go to Jen Mackaman for Skilled Nursing at jenm@artmanhome.org or Henry Ebner at henrye@artmanhome.org for Personal Care. We will need information surrounding the outing such as where it will take place, how many people will be involved, will social distancing be maintained etc. We will then make the determination of whether or not a quarantine will be needed upon return to the community. A memo of understanding will need to be signed when taking a resident out of the building for any reason.

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  • Q: Where can I find information on the COVID-19 vaccine?