COVID-19 Updates

Message from Eric Ghaul, CEO

For questions please contact Eric Ghaul or Pat Polchak at 732-849-0400

Update August 3, 2020

We want to extend our sincere appreciation to our residents, staff, families, partners, and friends as we continue to navigate this challenging year.  We experienced no positive COVID-19 results in the month of July for residents or employees and have been blessed to work with everyone to produce an exceptional record during this pandemic.  Please visit the COVID-19 dashboard at www.nj.gov  for updates and comparisons to other communities.

We continue to find creative ways to serve our residents during this time.  We are safely providing more programs each day in every level of care.  Our team is committed to offering more choice and additional ways for our residents to socialize and enjoy life.  Our purpose is creating new stories and exciting chapters ahead.

During July, we began outdoor visitation for all levels of care in our community.  It has been great to see families reconnect with their loved ones.  It makes a positive impact when we visit with each other.  In healthcare, our team has been determined to provide meaningful activities for our residents.  During a visit to our Memory Care Unit, I saw various engaging activities in small settings both inside and outside.  We are so grateful for the commitment of our staff each day.

For Independent Living, we expanded menu choices and service options including a farmer’s market where residents can select favorite fruits and vegetables to take back to their apartment.  Our activities also expanded to include fitness classes, lifetime learning, brain games, shuffleboard, Wii bowling, outdoor entertainment, and much more.  In August, more activities will be added, including outdoor dining.

We continue to follow all precautions related to COVID-19 and take direction from Governor Murphy.  We have been blessed and continue to pray for the health of our community and country as we me forward.

Update June 24, 2020

In accordance with New Jersey Department of Health Executive Directive No.20-017 both Hamilton Place and Georgetown Commons are able to begin outdoor visits with residents.  Currently a schedule of Monday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 am to 11:30 am is available for scheduling half hour visits.

Call Pam Mozart at 732-849-2029 for Hamilton Place and Reception on Georgetown at 732-849-0473 to schedule. Please consider the continued risk of the spread of Covid-19 to our vulnerable residents when considering a visit. Visitor and resident consents are required in addition to the following guidelines:

Outside Visitation Guidelines – The Pines at Whiting (Hamilton and Georgetown), effective as of 6/25/20

Designated Space

The designated visiting space is in the front garden area of the main Healthcare entrance.

Six feet has been designated with an “X” on the pavement.

Only two residents may entertain visitors in the area at a time

Visitor Screening

Every visitor must be subject to a Covid-19 screening with questions and temperature check

An Informed Consent document must be signed by the Resident Representative/Resident and the Visitor

The Visitor agrees to inform the facility at 732-849-2036 if they test positive for Covid-19 or have symptoms of Covid-19 within 14 days of their visit

Visit Protocols

You must wear a face mask during the visit/Resident will also wear a face mask.

Remain in your car until your visit time then come to interior lobby and use bell if a staff member is not present.

In the lobby, complete the Waiver/Consent Form and have temperature taken (100 or greater will be turned away)

Wait in the designated space outside until your resident arrives.

A staff member must remain during the visitation

No more than two (2) visitors at a time

Visitors must remain 6 feet from the resident and attending staff member

No food is permitted

Conditions for Visit

Visits are dependent on available staff that day, weather conditions and health of the resident.

 

 

Independent Living Update June 18, 2020

There are currently no active cases of COVID-19 at our community.

The Pines has truly been blessed with an exceptional record during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our staff, residents, and families have worked together in a way that makes us proud.  We appreciate all of the sacrifices made by everyone during this challenging time.

As we begin to lift restrictions, it is also a time to be more vigilant and careful than ever so that we are all safe and protected.  Many others states have seen an increase in positive COVID-19 cases during this process.  It is important to remember that seniors are at the most risk for health issues if contracting the virus.  We all want to get back to a more normal life and cooperating with our community guidance is the most successful way to reach our goal.

While our recent correspondence has been focused on easing restrictions, we also want to remind you of critical policies that are still in place:

  • Independent Living Visitation is permitted outside with social distancing. We do not allow visitors inside the building.  This includes residents letting families in through porches and side entrance doors.
  • Masks should be worn at all times inside common areas of the community. Complimentary replacement masks are available at the front desk.
  • Social distancing should be practiced indoors at all times. This includes activities such as fitness classes, arts and crafts, and use of the computer.  Certain activities including card games are prohibited.

In addition to your life, COVID-19 can impact the lives of others.  Your commitment to staying safe inside and outside of our community can help control the spread of this terrible virus.  Thank you for all that you have done to contribute to our success.  Let’s keep up the great work.

 

May 27, 2020

We have recently learned that one additional employee has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number to seven employees during this pandemic.  Five employees have recovered and returned to work.  This individual is currently under quarantine in accordance with the procedures and protocols established by the CDC and the Ocean County Department of Health.  We cannot comment on the specifics around their condition, but can confirm that we are working in close coordination with state and local health officials to follow the protocols in-place to minimize the spread of the virus.

We continue to have in place employee screening before starting and ending their shift to mitigate risk of exposure.  In Healthcare we screen resident each shift for signs and symptoms.  Please contact Patricia Polchak, Healthcare Administrator at 732-849-2036 with questions.  This update serves as written notification of required reporting.

 

May 19, 2020

We have recently learned that one additional employee has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number to six employees during this pandemic.  Five employees have recovered and returned to work.  This individual is currently under quarantine in accordance with the procedures and protocols established by the CDC and the Ocean County Department of Health.  We cannot comment on the specifics around their condition, but can confirm that we are working in close coordination with state and local health officials to follow the protocols in-place to minimize the spread of the virus.  We can tell you that this individual does not work directly with residents in healthcare.

We continue to have in place employee screening before starting and ending their shift to mitigate risk of exposure.  In Healthcare we screen resident each shift for signs and symptoms.  Please contact Patricia Polchak, Healthcare Administrator at 732-849-2036 with questions.  This update serves as written notification of required reporting.

 

May 15, 2020

This week we worked with RJWBarnabas Health to complete COVID-19 testing on all residents in skilled nursing and assisted living as well as all staff who perform work in those areas.  Our team worked hard to administer the tests and we are waiting for the results.  There has been no change to the total number of COVID-19 positive tests within our community.  Five employees, one resident in skilled nursing, and one resident in independent living have tested positive during the pandemic.  We will continue to provide weekly updates.

Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.  We appreciate your kind words and support.

 

April 27, 2020

During this unprecedented, challenging time it is important to take a moment to recognize all of the things for which we are grateful. Our staff, residents, families, vendors, and community partners have done so much to support The Pines and we want everyone to know how much they are appreciated. We thank our residents for their patience, cooperation, and support. I have heard from many who have expressed their appreciation for all we are doing to connect with them and keep them safe. Our residents are awesome and we love coming to work to serve them and our mission. We also want to thank our outstanding staff. Throughout this pandemic, they have shown complete dedication and have gone above and beyond to perform their duties. They are true heroes and continue to respond to changing conditions with compassion and grace. When you restrict visitation and isolate residents, it is not exactly what families of our residents envisioned when their loved ones came to The Pines. During this time, families have been very supportive and encouraging. They have been on the telephone with us asking questions, dropping off supplies, and sending cards. We are so grateful for all of their acts of love and kindness. We are here for our residents and their families too! The word vendor does not accurately describe the relationship we have with the people that bring us the goods and services we need to serve our community. We have depended on them like no other time and they have come through for us. They have been in constant communication and have helped us navigate through some confusing and complex issues. When soap, sanitizer, toilet paper and other staples were in short supply, our vendors worked diligently to provide us with these items. We also want to recognize the outstanding support we have received from our community partners. We extend a heartfelt thank you to Mayor Palmer of Manchester Township for his strong leadership and to the members and staff of the Police and Fire Departments, EMS, and Emergency Management for the services they provide to us every day. We are so thankful to be able to provide personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves to our residents and staff through a generous donation from the Ocean County Sheriffs Office. Leading Age New Jersey and Delaware has done tireless work to provide guidance and communicate all of the numerous changes from state and federal agencies. We could not navigate this situation without their expertise. On behalf of our Board of Directors, we truly thank you for all you have done for our community. We are blessed to work with you.

April 25, 2020

We have recently learned that one Independent Living resident has tested positive for COVID-19.  The individual is currently in the hospital.  We cannot comment on the specifics around his/her condition, but can confirm that we are working in close coordination with state and local health officials to follow the appropriate protocols to minimize the spread of the virus.  Because of all of the precautions currently in place, the exposure to other residents within our community is considered low according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We also want to inform you that extra protocols will be required for any resident who tests positive and continues to reside in Independent Living.  This includes complete isolation, including private trash pickup and laundry services.  All meals will be provided in disposable containers.

April 23, 2020

We have recently learned that three additional employees have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number to five employees during this pandemic.  These individuals are currently under quarantine in accordance with the procedures and protocols established by the CDC and the Ocean County Department of Health.  We cannot comment on the specifics around their condition, but can confirm that we are working in close coordination with state and local health officials to follow the protocols in-place to minimize the spread of the virus.  We can tell you that none of these individuals work directly with residents of Independent Living, or with dining services.

April 9, 2020

As you know, COVID-19 continues to affect a growing number of people in the U.S. and around the world.  This is a time of great uncertainty and we appreciate your patience as we navigate the situation together.

We have learned that two of our employees have tested positive for COVID-19. These individuals are currently under quarantine in accordance with the procedures and protocols established by the CDC and the Ocean County Department of Health.  We cannot comment on the specifics around their condition, but can confirm that we are working in close coordination with state and local health officials to follow the protocols in-place to minimize the spread of the virus, which includes communication efforts.  We can tell you that neither of these individuals work directly with residents, or with dining services.

In recent weeks, our team has taken numerous steps to protect our residents, their loved ones and our employees.  All employees receive a health screening prior to entering the community.  We encourage everyone to continue monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and take the appropriate steps to contain the spread of the virus.

We understand that this situation is constantly evolving and is generating ongoing questions from residents and their loved ones.  We welcome the opportunity to work together to address these questions as they arise.  Please feel free to reach out to me to discuss via email (eghaul@thepinesatwhiting.org) or telephone (732-849-0400).

We are committed to keeping our residents, visitors, and families updated as we go forward.  We know we share the same goal of serving our community and together, we will continue to deliver our services to individuals who need us.

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