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.
Status of Restrictions
Mt. Carmel Rehabilitation & Nursing Center and Catholic Charities New Hampshire implemented stringent guidelines for visitors, vendors and all others who are not facility employees from the beginning of the pandemic, utilizing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). We also have done everything possible to establish and maintain adequate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) so that we do not extend the use of masks and gowns beyond manufacturer recommendations for normal wear. A more detailed breakdown of our protective and safety measures is below.
As businesses and other types of services begin to open up in the state, it may seem reasonable to start to lessen the restrictions at our nursing facilities and other activities as normal. However, as state officials have reported across the country, nursing home residents are extremely vulnerable and susceptible to contracting the virus and experiencing severe symptoms such as serious illness or death. For these reasons, we will continue to be extremely cautious and take a conservative approach.
The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) has adopted CMC Long-Term Care Facilities Reopening Guidance in a phased, country-based approach, which we will follow. While this remains an extremely fluid situation, we are hoping to ease more restrictions in the coming weeks as allowed and will keep you continually updated.
We will continue to monitor cases in the state and region, and follow guidelines from the CDC and CMS as we learn more about the transmission and spread of the virus. In conjunction with the state, we completed baseline testing and are now testing all staff and 10% of residents every 10 days. We also continue to test any resident or employee who displays symptoms that could be COVID-19 related. Testing results will be published weekly on this website.
COVID-19 Testing: Current Update
|Residents||For Week Ending June 26||Since March 1|
|# tested positive||3||37|
|# tested negative||59||313|
|# of pending test results||0||0|
|# hospitalized due to COVID-19||0||0|
|# treated in the facility due to COVID-19||2||37|
|# of deaths due to COVID-19||1||5|
|# with respiratory symptoms||0|
|Staff||For Week Ending June 26||Since March 1|
|# tested positive||0||18|
|# tested negative||117||432|
|# of pending test results||1||1|
|# with respiratory symptoms||0|
Our Commitment to Keeping Residents Safe
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mt. Carmel has been taking aggressive steps to safeguard our residents, staff and building from any potential exposure to COVID-19. We developed and continue to strictly adhere to a comprehensive pandemic plan that incorporates strict guidelines, protective measures and protocols from the CDC, CMS, World Health Organization, public health agencies and government agencies. This includes:
Safeguarding Our Residents
- We screen all residents during each shift (multiple times per day) for temperature, respiratory symptoms, GI systems, oxygen levels blood levels (pulse oximetry) and other areas that may indicate potential COVID-19 symptoms.
- Any resident(s) who tests positive, been exposed or displays symptoms will be moved to a private room in a separate part of the building, away from other residents, with full support, increased monitoring, dedicated staff and dedicated protective equipment. They will also be tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible. If a test comes back positive, we will continue to treat the resident under isolation for at least 14 days.
- We have temporarily suspended community gatherings – such as special events, group gatherings, meals in our dining area and other activities – to further reduce close contact between residents. We recognize that this can be difficult for residents and family members and we continue to find creative ways to conduct life enrichment activities using safe social distancing.
Safeguarding Our Staff
- Upon entering the building every day, all staff members are screened for temperature and possible COVID-19 symptoms. If any symptoms are observed, the staff member will not be allowed to enter the building and will be referred to for testing.
- Any full-time and part-time staff are being required to work at only Mt. Carmel during this period. Additionally, any agency staff – some who may regularly work at multiple facilities – are required to only work at Mt. Carmel for the time being.
- When outside of work, all staff is reminded to continually adhere to the state’s stay-at-home order and practice proper social distancing. We are also encouraging them to wear masks when they are not at work.
- If a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed, they must self-quarantine and self-monitor for 14 days, and will not be allowed into Mt. Carmel during that period of time under any circumstances.
- We are repeatedly educating staff on the latest developments and preventive measures related to COVID-19.
Safeguarding Our Building
- We are adhering to social distancing policies for staff and residents, at all times.
- We are temporarily prohibiting non-employees into the building. This includes all visitors, deliveries and service providers. To reduce the flow of staff into our building, some of our clinical providers are conducting care through telemedicine. Limited outdoor visits are available to family members (see below).
- There is universal masking for all staff across the entire facility. Residents are being required to wear masks when staff is caring for them or they are out of their rooms. Staff is also required to wear face shields, gowns and gloves when caring for a resident in one of our isolated rooms.
- We have worked hard to obtain adequate supplies of PPEs so that we do not have to reuse them for multiple days or make them our own. We will continue to do everything in our power to maintain a sufficient stock of PPE.
- We are continuing to clean and sanitize the building, including any exposed surfaces or common areas.
Even with the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 virus, no skilled nursing facility is completely immune to the threat. But we remain confident that the steps we have taken – and will continue to build upon – are the best line of defense against this unprecedented threat.
Restrictions on New Admissions
Mt. Carmel is open for new admissions. However, we are not accepting new residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 or display signs of respiratory illness.
All new admissions are pre-screened carefully before admission to Mt. Carmel, and once here, they are moved to a room in an isolated part of the building separate from other residents. The same applies for a resident who is returning from the hospital.
Our Commitment to Families
We know this is a difficult time for you. Please know that we are committed to working as hard as we can to protect your loved one and ensure they feel secure, happy and supported. Their health, safety and well-being are our priorities. We are blessed and honored with the opportunity to care for them during this difficult time.
We will maintain the highest level of transparency with you and provide further updates as warranted. We encourage families to contact us with any questions. (Please call 603-627-3811 or contact us here).
Mt. Carmel Rehabilitation & Nursing Center is excited to be offering non-contact, appointment-only outdoor visits between residents and family members. Visits are limited, structured and supervised, adhering to physical distancing and other strict guidelines to protect the health and safety of residents, staff and visitors. For more details, please click here.
To schedule an in-person visit, please contact Life Enrichment Services at 603-935-4607. Please note that not all day/times are available, but we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Virtual Visits & Messages
“Virtual visits” and window visits are also available to stay connected with our residents.
- We have tablets available for virtual visits with residents. To schedule a session with a loved one, please call 603-627-3811 or contact us here.
- You may also submit a personal message to a loved one by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, noting the resident name and your message!
- If you are interested in window visits, please call 603-627-3811 or contact us here
Recent Updates to Family Members
- 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
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.