During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mt. Carmel Rehabilitation & Nursing Center continues to take every measure possible to protect the safety, health and well-being of our residents and staff. On this page, you find timely updates, current COVID-19 testing data, information on our comprehensive response plan, and resources for family members to stay connected with loved ones.
Adapting to COVID-19
We understand that the past year has been extremely difficult for our residents, families and our staff. The restrictions put into place last March for nursing homes were necessary and did indeed save lives. But the cost has been very high. Residents have suffered from being separated from their loved ones and feeling isolated, without the benefit of socialization with their families and with friends inside the nursing homes. Families have suffered by being separated from their loved ones in the nursing home for a long period of time. Staff has also suffered by seeing the residents they love and care for navigating the many challenges the pandemic has brought us. We have tried to provide as much family involvement as possible while following the safety requirements given to us by the state and the federal government.
We got creative. We offered window visits, virtual visits with computer tablets, outdoor visits when weather permitted, and parades where families and friends could drive by, hold up signs, and wave to their loved ones who sat outside watching. We used social media to share many photos of residents holding signs conveying greetings to their families. We did Zoom meetings and weekly letters to keep you informed about what was going on inside the facility. The list goes on, but none of these things replaced in-person visits between our residents, their families and even their pets. As family members, you are a very important part of our community. We have missed seeing and interacting with you too.
Updated Visitor Policy
For many months we have been allowed to offer compassionate visits in special situations. Still, we know this wasn’t enough. Recently we have had many visitation restrictions lifted by the state and federal government and are happy to share that indoor visitation is back! As with most things these days, visits will look different than in the past for the time being. Below is a summary of the changes to visitation provided to us by the state and federal government and some FAQ’s regarding visitation. Please contact the Administrator, Social Worker or DNS if you have any concerns, questions or if you feel the guidelines are not being carried out as they should be.
If your concerns are not adequately addressed, you can also call the Catholic Charities NH Healthcare Services Department at 603-663-0253. You also have the option to contact the Ombudsman, at 603-271-4375, at any time to discuss your concerns.
- Visits will still need to be scheduled in advance with the facility . We are limiting visitation to two visitors at a time.
- A proper surgical mask must be worn at all times. We will provide one if you don’t have one when you arrive.
- Additional protective equipment may be needed, depending on circumstances at that time, such as a gown or face shield.
- Children are able to visit as long as they are able to keep a mask on. Babies or infants may be allowed, but we ask that you notify the facility ahead of time if you are planning to bring a small child.
- Pets are allowed if they are leashed or in a carrier at all times. Please notify the facility when you schedule your appointment if you plan to bring a pet. There are some pet screening questions we will need you to answer.
- We offer visiting outside when weather permits or inside in a visiting area. You may choose to visit in your loved one’s room; however, if your loved one shares a room, their roommate must be consent to the room visit. If the roommate does not want the visit in the room, we will respect their choice and arrange to visit in another location.
- Social distancing must be maintained at all times with one exception. If the resident you are visiting has been fully vaccinated, the resident may choose to have personal contact such as hugs, hand-holding, etc.
- You may bring in food for your loved one, but unfortunately, it may not be eaten during the visit as this would mean masks would need to be removed.
- We ask that you maintain good infection prevention practices while you are visiting, such as wearing the protective equipment we may provide and washing your hands before, during and after the visit. A staff member will explain any additional measures needed when you arrive and will answer any questions you may have.
- We have the ability to provide you with a rapid COVID-19 test should you agree to be tested. This is optional, but it is another way to help keep you, our residents and our staff members safe.
- We will continue to ask health and travel screening questions and take your temperature when you book your scheduled visit and again when you arrive.
- We ask that you let us know if you experience any symptoms associated with COVID-19 within two days of your visit. This will help us to put appropriate infection prevention measures in place.
Nursing Home Visitation FAQs
Here is a link to the state of New Hampshire FAQ’s for nursing home visitation. These may help answer some questions or give you an idea of what questions to ask the facility about your visit. Of note: you will see a paragraph about “essential support visitors,” which outlines specific privileges for an individual designated to be the resident essential support visitor. Catholic Charities NH does not have such a designation at this time because the Centers for Medicare Medicaid (CMS) does not allow a designated family member to come in and provide care. CMS is the agency that regulates and inspects us, so we follow their guidelines. Sometimes the state and federal government have different rules, and we understand this can be very confusing and frustrating. We can provide as many compassionate care visits as can be accommodated, in lieu of essential support visitation.
We all look forward to the day when our home will be open to you again without these restrictive measures, and you can choose to visit at your convenience without an appointment, just like we did before COVID-19.
Millions of people have now been vaccinated throughout the country. The government recognizes that this is a huge step in the right direction, and hopefully, we are on track to control this pandemic in the coming months if we continue to keep many of the measures in place that have been successful in moving us toward this goal. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we sincerely hope that you are enjoying your in-person visits with your loved ones again, as much as they are enjoying being with you.
COVID-19 Testing: Current Update
|Residents||Week Ending April 16, 2021||Since March 01, 2020|
|# tested positive||0||49|
|# tested negative||0||2438|
|# of pending test results||0||0|
|# hospitalized due to COVID-19||0||1|
|# treated in the facility due to COVID-19||0||48|
|# of deaths due to COVID-19||0||8|
|# with respiratory symptoms||0||–|
|Staff||Week Ending April 16, 2021||Since March 01, 2020|
|# tested positive||0||34|
|# tested negative||143||7358|
|# of pending test results||0||0|
|# with respiratory symptoms||0||–|
Recent Updates to Family Members
- January 08, 2021
- January 15, 2021
- January 21, 2021
- January 29, 2021
- February 01, 2021
- February 03, 2021
- February 05, 2021
- February 07, 2021
- February 11, 2021
- February 12, 2021
- February 14, 2021
- February 18, 2021
- February 19, 2021
- March 05, 2021
- March 12, 2021
- March 19, 2021
- March 24, 2021
- March 26, 2021
- April 2, 2021
- April 9, 2021
- April 16, 2021
- May 07, 2020
- May 13, 2020
- May 19, 2020
- May 22, 2020
- May 24, 2020
- May 27, 2020
- May 28, 2020
- May 29, 2020
- May 31, 2020
- June 02, 2020
- June 05, 2020
- June 09, 2020
- June 12, 2020
- June 18, 2020
- June 26, 2020
- June 29, 2020
- July 03, 2020
- July 14, 2020
- July 17, 2020
- July 24, 2020
- August 07, 2020
- August 14, 2020
- August 24, 2020
- August 28, 2020
- September 04, 2020
- September 14, 2020
- September 18, 2020
- September 22, 2020
- September 25, 2020
- October 02, 2020
- October 09, 2020
- October 23, 2020
- October 30, 2020
- November 06, 2020
- November 13, 2020
- November 20, 2020
- November 25, 2020
- December 04, 2020
- December 05, 2020
- December 10, 2020
- December 13, 2020
- December 17, 2020
- December 31, 2020
In recent weeks, the CDC has expanded the list of symptoms of COVID-19. While this list is not inclusive and guidance continues to evolve, an updated published list of symptoms and timeframes are as follows:
- Fever is not a reliable indicator. If present, it may manifest only with mild elevations in temperature.
- COVID-19 may begin with various types of cough without fever, sore throat, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, body aches, back pain and fatigue.
- It can also present with severe body aches and exhaustion.
- A reliable early hint is loss of the sense of smell in the first days of disease onset.
- In serious COVID-19, shortness of breath is a critical differentiator from other common illnesses.
- Almost no one develops shortness of breath, a cardinal sign of the illness, in the first day or two of disease onset.
- Shortness of breath can appear four or more days after onset of other symptoms.
- The first days after shortness of breath begins are a critical period that requires close and frequent monitoring of patients by telemedicine visits or in-person exams.
- The most critical variable to monitor is how the shortness of breath changes over time. Oxygen saturation levels can also be a valuable clue. Blood oxygen levels can drop precipitously with exertion, even in previously healthy people.
- A small number of people may never develop shortness of breath. Instead, they may have other symptoms of low oxygen levels, including dizziness or falling.
- Anxiety is common among patients with viral symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, and anxiety can also induce shortness of breath.