COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

NOTICE: Please note, all new admissions to The Gardens at Monroe are required to be quarantined/isolated for 14 days. We cannot allow any visitors to a resident during the isolation. This is an important step in keeping our residents and staff safe as we move forward. We thank you for your understanding.

July 2, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Loved Ones, 

As we continue to move slowly forward through this crisis/global pandemic it has been a virtual rollercoaster here at the Gardens. 

Two weeks ago we had the all-clear!  No COVID in the building.  We breathed a sigh of relief.  We were able to proceed with outdoor visits and got to see so many of you as you came to visit with your loved ones at our visitor stations.   We continued with our weekly testing of all residents and employees.  Unfortunately, we found a positive asymptomatic resident. 

We immediately isolated the resident and paused our visitor program.  We initiated more testing for the resident, hoping that the test was a false positive.  The subsequent test came back negative, so we tested again.  (A positive test, followed by two negative tests is considered a false positive)  We are still awaiting the results on the second test.  The resident has remained symptom free and will complete isolation this weekend. 

This week, we found another asymptomatic positive test.  This time it was an employee.  The employee was sent home to quarantine and we initiated subsequent testing.  We are expecting results for those tests soon.  The employee remains symptom free. 

So, as you can see this really has been a rollercoaster!  We remain vigilant and proactive.   Outdoor visits will restart soon.   We will continue to keep everyone up to date.

Thank you.  Hope to see you soon.

Chuck Erlanger
Administrator

June 25, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Loved Ones,

The Gardens at Monroe began outdoor visitation on Father’s Day Sunday, June 21. We were so happy to see so many of you reunite with your loved ones. Visitation will continue outside only until we get clearance from the Department of Health to move inside.

Please note visits are by appointment only. Availability of appointments may be limited. Initially, we were scheduling visits each afternoon. We have realized that an afternoon visit does not work for everyone, and have tried to set up varying times. Each day may be different, so please call to schedule you appointment. Due to the limitations of space and time we may not be able to accommodate your exact preference for appointment time. We ask your understanding as we try to accommodate everyone.

All visits are subject to cancelation due to weather. Visits will be limited to 2 visitors per person for a length of 30 minutes. We cannot accommodate children visiting at this time. No food or drink can be shared with the resident. If you bring gifts they must be left at the registration desk.

When arriving visitors should proceed to the rear parking area where we will have visitor tents setup. Please remain in your car until you are motioned over to the registration desk. Your temperature will be taken and you will be asked some questions. You must fill out a waiver form to visit. Visitors and residents must wear a mask during the duration of the visit. Visitors will not be allowed into the building for any reason. Please be courteous and adhere to your 30 minute allocated visit.

Please see the attached guidelines from The State of New Jersey.

Thank you. Hope to see you soon.

Chuck Erlanger
Administrator

The following guidelines will be strictly followed.
(Please note all guidelines are subject to change according to the Department of Health guidelines.)

NJ Visitor Policies at Long-Term Care Facilities

  • A resident who is suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 or quarantined for a COVID-19 exposure cannot have visitors. A resident who has tested positive is allowed visitation after they have met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation.
  • There will only be two visitors permitted at a time and the visitors must remain at least 6 feet away from the resident. Both visitors and residents must wear face coverings.
  • A staff member, wearing a surgical mask, must remain with the resident during the visit.
  • A designated area should be established for visitors to be screened that maintains social distancing and infection control standards. If the individual has any COVID-19 symptoms, they will not be permitted to visit with a resident.
  • Visitors are not allowed beyond the reception area of the facilities and restrooms will not be available to them.
  • When staff is transporting the resident outdoors, they cannot be moved through any space where either positive or suspected COVID patients are cohorted. A safe distance of 6 feet distance must be maintained between other residents and staff.
  • Long-term care facilities should communicate the visitor policy to residents, families, staff and others. They should receive informed consent from the resident and the visitor in writing that they are aware of the possible dangers of COVID-19 exposure and that they will comply with the facility’s policies during the visit. As part of the consent form, the visitor must agree to notify the facility if they test positive for the virus or have symptoms within 14 days of visiting.
June 19, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Loved Ones,

The Gardens at Monroe will begin outdoor visitation on Sunday, June 21 in accordance with Governor Murphy’s announcement this afternoon. Please note, you must have an appointment to visit with your loved one. Visit appointments will be available daily between 1pm and 3pm, weather permitting. Visits will be limited to 2 visitors per person for a length of 30 minutes. We will be keeping this schedule so that everyone has a chance to visit. Please understand that if the appointments are taken for a given day, you may have to choose to visit on another day. PLEASE call ahead. When arriving visitors should proceed to the rear parking area where we will have visitor tents setup. Visitors and residents must wear a mask during the duration of the visit. Visitors will not be allowed into the building for any reason. Please be courteous and adhere to your 30 minute allocated visit.

The following guidelines will be strictly followed:

NJ Visitor Policies at Long-Term Care Facilities

  • A resident who is suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 or quarantined for a COVID-19 exposure cannot have visitors. A resident who has tested positive is allowed visitation after they have met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation.
  • There will only be two visitors permitted at a time and the visitors must remain at least 6 feet away from the resident. Both visitors and residents must wear face coverings.
  • A staff member, wearing a surgical mask, must remain with the resident during the visit.
  • A designated area should be established for visitors to be screened that maintains social distancing and infection control standards. If the individual has any COVID-19 symptoms, they will not be permitted to visit with a resident.
  • Visitors are not allowed beyond the reception area of the facilities and restrooms will not be available to them.
  • When staff are transporting the resident outdoors, they cannot be moved through any space where either positive or suspected COVID patients are cohorted. A safe distance of 6 feet distance must be maintained between other residents and staff.
  • Long-term care facilities should communicate the visitor policy to residents, families, staff and others. They should receive informed consent from the resident and the visitor in writing that they are aware of the possible dangers of COVID-19 exposure and that they will comply with the facility’s policies during the visit. As part of the consent form, the visitor must agree to notify the facility if they test positive for the virus or have symptoms within 14 days of visiting.

Please note all guidelines are subject to change according to the Department of Health guidelines.

We look forward to seeing you all again.

Chuck Erlanger,
Administrator

June 16, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Friends of The Gardens at Monroe,

As we continue to test all staff and residents of The Gardens on a weekly basis according to current CDC and State of NJ guidelines we are happy to let you know that our most recent round of testing has shown all negative results.  In other words, we have no new positive cases, residents or employees.  As previously explained, we will continue weekly testing until the building is COVID free for 14 days. 

Visitation continues to be restricted at this time, according to CDC guidelines. We continue to offer video visits.  We encourage you to please call our activities department to arrange a video appointment. 

As of today, June 16, 2020, the following is the current numbers related to COVID-19:

44 Residents have tested positive.  37 – Symptomatic   7 – Asymptomatic
29 Residents have completed treatment and are recovered
15 Residents have died 

23 Employees tested positive.  22 – Symptomatic   1- Asymptomatic
 0 Employees have died.

Please understand that we cannot share certain information that may violate a resident’s or staff member’s right to privacy.  We continue to follow all safety protocols outlined in previous letters.  Thank you for your continued support.  

Please feel free to reach out with any questions, 

Chuck Erlanger, Administrator

June 10, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Friends of The Gardens at Monroe,

We continue to test all staff and residents of The Gardens on a weekly basis according to current CDC and State of NJ guidelines.  This week’s test revealed one positive asymptomatic resident. The resident has been moved to an isolation unit.  We will continue weekly testing until the building is COVID free for 14 days. 

Visitation continues to be restricted at this time, according to CDC guidelines. We continue to offer video visits.  We encourage you to please call our activities department to arrange a video appointment. 

As of today, June 10, 2020, the following is the current numbers related to COVID-19:

 44 Residents have tested positive.  37 – Symptomatic   7 – Asymptomatic
23 Residents have completed treatment and are recovered
15 Residents have died

23 Employees tested positive.  22 – Symptomatic   1- Asymptomatic
 0 Employees have died.

Please understand that we cannot share certain information that may violate a resident’s or staff member’s right to privacy.  We continue to follow all safety protocols outlined in previous letters.  Thank you for your continued support.  

Please feel free to reach out with any questions, 

Chuck Erlanger, Administrator

June 5, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Friends of The Gardens at Monroe,

It is with mixed feelings that I write today’s updates.

First, the good news.  As of this morning, June 5, 2020, all of the residents that were being treated for COVID-19 at The Gardens as of last week are officially recovered.  Through the course of this pandemic 43 of our residents tested positive.  Of those 43 cases 28 have fully recovered.  We have not had a new positive case in 10 days. 

The sad news is that, unfortunately, we had another resident death related to COVID-19.  A long-term care resident that was being cared for at the hospital passed away this week.  We send our deepest condolences to the family of this resident, along with the other 14 residents that we lost to this pandemic. 

According to current CDC and State of NJ guidelines, the staff and resident of The Gardens will continue to be tested on a weekly basis until the building is COVID free for 14 days.  All symptomatic resident and/or staff will be tested immediately and quarantined until they receive a negative test result.  If any new positive cases resident cases are identified the resident will be moved to an isolation unit.  Any positive staff will be home on quarantine.  If a resident has been exposed to a staff member who tests positive, they too will be tested and quarantined.   

Visitation continues to be restricted at this time, according to CDC guidelines. Some socially distanced activities and dining will be permitted as we reach the 14-day COVID free guidelines set by the State of NJ.  We continue to offer video visits, please call our activities department to arrange a video appointment. 

Please understand that we cannot share certain information that may violate a resident’s or staff member’s right to privacy.  We continue to follow all safety protocols outlined in previous letters.  Thank you for your continued support.  

Please feel free to reach out with any questions, 

Chuck Erlanger, Administrator

May 27, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Friends of The Gardens at Monroe,

As we begin to see a glimmer of hope that the curve is flattening and the most challenging days of the current pandemic will soon be behind us, we want to acknowledge our sadness and offer our condolences to all of the families and friends that have lost loved ones due to COVID-19. Every single loss is heartbreaking. We too, feel great loss and grief.

However all of the news in not bad news, many of our residents have recovered and still more continue to recover. We hope that you have had a moment to view our short video of Rose. (You can find it in the May 22nd letter below) Rose is 106 years old. With the support and care of the dedicated staff at the Gardens, Rose beat COVID. Her success is shared with her, and her family’s, full permission. We are happy to celebrate all of our recoveries, residents and staff.

In the interest of transparency and in an effort to keep families and staff well informed about the COVID19 status at The Gardens at Monroe, we will continue to post regular updates. 

As of last week The Gardens began testing all staff and residents for COVID-19. Any resident who tested positive has been moved to an isolation bed. Any staff that tested positive has been placed on 14 day quarantine. Testing will continue on an ongoing basis according to Department of Health and CDC guidelines.

As of today, May 27, 2020, the following is the current numbers related to COVID-19:

Residents who have tested positive – 43
Symptomatic – 37
Asymptomatic – 6

Residents who have died – 14 (no change since last update)
Residents who have completed treatment and are recovered – 20

Employees who have tested positive – 23
Symptomatic – 22
Asymptomatic – 1
Employees who have died – 0

Please understand that we cannot share certain information that may violate a resident’s or staff member’s right to privacy.

We continue to follow all safety protocols outlined in previous letters.
Thank you for your continued support.  

Please feel free to reach out with any questions, 

Chuck Erlanger, Administrator

May 22, 2020 Letter

Rose Beats COVID

Dear Families and Friends of The Gardens at Monroe,

In the interest of transparency and in an effort to keep families and staff well informed about the COVID19 status at The Gardens at Monroe, we will continue to post regular updates. 

As of today, May 20, 2020, the following is the current numbers related to COVID-19:

Residents who have tested positive -40
Residents who have died – 14
Residents who have completed treatment and are recovered – 17

Employees who have tested positive – 21
Employees who have died – 0

Please understand that we cannot share certain information that may violate a resident’s or staff member’s right to privacy.

We continue to follow all safety protocols outlined in previous letters.

Thank you for your continued support.   Please feel free to reach out with any questions, 

Chuck Erlanger, Administrator

May 20, 2020 Letter

As you know, as of late last week The Gardens began testing all residents regardless of symptoms.  Today’s new numbers reflect cases that were identified due to that testing.  We found 2 asymptomatic/ positive residents as a result of our universal testing.  These residents have been moved to the isolation unit and are being monitored closely. 

As of today, May 20, 2020, the following is the current numbers related to COVID-19:

Residents who have tested positive – 39
Residents who have died – 14
Residents who have completed treatment and are recovered – 15

Employees who have tested positive – 21
Employees who have died – 0

Please understand that we cannot share certain information that may violate a resident’s or staff member’s right to privacy.

We continue to follow all safety protocols outlined in previous letters.

Thank you for your continued support.   Please feel free to reach out with any questions, 

Chuck Erlanger, Administrator

May 13, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Friends of The Gardens at Monroe,

As the scope of the current pandemic continues to become clearer, we continue to update our policies and procedures to follow changing Department of Health recommendations and to ensure that we meet all best practices to keep our residents and staff safe and healthy. 

Testing of vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities is essential to control the spread of COVID-19 and to identify asymptomatic but positive residents and/or staff.  The need for testing health care providers and support staff in all long-term facilities has become apparent because they may be unknowingly contributing to the spread of COVID-19.

To limit exposure and reduce the spread of COVID-19 the Department of Health has determined that all long-term care facilities in New Jersey will test all staff and residents for the virus by May 26, 2020.   The Gardens will begin this testing this week. 

To date, The Gardens has only been testing symptomatic residents.  We will now also test residents with no symptoms.  If your loved one has positive test results (indicating that they DO have the virus) you will be notified and they will be moved to the COVID-19 isolation unit.  Staff that tests positive will follow all CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation. 

Additionally, individuals who test negative will be retested within 3-7 days to detect those with newly developed infection, and further retesting in according with CDC guidance.

The test results will be used to strengthen infection control and prevention strategies.

As always, we thank you for your continued support and understanding.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. 

Chuck Erlanger, LNHA
The Gardens at Monroe Healthcare and Rehabilitation

May 12, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Friends of The Gardens at Monroe,

In the interest of transparency and in an effort to keep families and staff well informed about the COVID19 status at The Gardens at Monroe, we will continue to post regular updates.  As of today, May 12, 2020, the following is the status of the numbers related to COVID-19 are:

Residents who have tested positive -36
Residents who have died – 14
Residents being cared for at The Gardens – 17
Residents currently in the hospital – 0
Residents who have completed treatment and are recovered – 5

Employees who have tested positive – 21
Employees who have died – 0
Employees who have completed treatment and are recovered – 16
Employees in the hospital – 1

Please understand that we cannot share certain information that may violate a resident’s or staff member’s right to privacy.

We continue to follow all safety protocols outlined in previous letters.

Thank you for your continued support.   Please feel free to reach out with any questions, 

Chuck Erlanger, Administrator

May 8, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Friends of The Gardens,

In the interest of transparency and in an effort to keep families and staff well informed about the COVID19 status at The Gardens at Monroe, we will continue to post regular updates.

As of today, the numbers related to COVID-19 are:

Residents who have tested positive – 35
Residents who have passed – 12
Residents being cared for at The Gardens – 18
Residents currently in the hospital – 0
Residents who have completed treatment and are recovered – 5

Employees who have tested positive – 21
Employees who have passed – 0
Employees who have completed treatment and are recovered – 15
Employees in the hospital – 1

Please understand that we cannot share certain information that may violate a resident’s or staff member’s right to privacy.

We continue to follow all safety protocols outlined in previous letters.

Thank you for your continued support.

May 1, 2020 Letter

As of today, the numbers related to COVID-19 are:

Residents who have tested positive -29
Residents who have expired – 9
Residents being cared for at The Gardens – 18
Residents in the hospital – 2
Residents who have completed treatment and are recovered – 5

Employees who have tested positive – 18
Employees who have expired – 0
Employees who have completed treatment and are recovered – 13
Employees in the hospital – 3

Please understand that we cannot share certain information that may violate a resident’s or staff member’s right to privacy.

We continue to follow all safety protocols outlined in our last letter.

Thank you for your continued support.

April 30, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Friends,

We want to send a quick update letting you all know that due to current staffing levels we are temporarily moving residents from the Monroe Unit to the long-term care units on Princeton and Palmer.  These moves will allow us to better utilize staff and ensure that our residents continue to receive the highest level of care.  All families whose loved ones are moving have been contacted directly. 

Thank you for your continued support.

Chuck Erlanger, Administrator

April 28, 2020 Letter

Dear Families and Friends,

We are writing today to update you regarding the COVID19 status at The Gardens at Monroe. Please know that we are continuing to do everything we can to protect our residents and staff .

The state requirement for reporting the incidence of the virus in a longterm care facility continues to evolve and we are working with, and reporting to, local and state departments of health in a daily basis.

We would like to share as much information as possible with our families and staff, so that you can be informed about the measures that we are taking for the protection of our residents and staff. Please understand that we cannot share certain information that may violate a resident’s or staff member’s right to privacy.

We continue to follow all safety protocols outlined in our last letter.

As of today, the total number of residents at The Gardens at Monroe who have tested positive for the coronavirus is 19.

Here is the status of these residents.

  • 8 Residents have passed away.
  • 1 resident is being treated in the hospital.
  • 10 residents are currently being cared for in the facility.

The total number of employees at The Gardens at Monroe who have tested positive for the coronavirus is 14. There have not been any COVID related staff deaths.

We currently have 0 residents awaiting test results.
We currently have 3 staff members awaiting test results.

We know this is a difficult time for everyone. We will continue to adhere to the applicable guidelines of federal, state and local health authorities and fight for the health and safety of our residents and staff as our number one priority.

We also understand that you have questions and concerns. Please understand that during this period most of our resources are being directed to patient/resident care. We are committed to providing you with specific personal information about your loved one in a timely manner. We will call the person designated as the emergency contact for each resident with any directly related information, such as new symptoms or change in status. We respectfully ask that the emergency contact disseminate the information to all concerned family members. While we would like to have the time to speak to each family member individually, it is very difficult to take multiple phone calls while providing care.

We will continue to post updates regularly. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Sincerely, 

Chuck Erlanger
Administrator

April 22, 2020 Letter

Dear Families,

This letter is to provide you with an update on the status of (COVID-19) cases at The Gardens at Monroe.  As of today, The Gardens at Monroe has 9 active resident cases of COVID-19.  Out of an abundance of precaution, we are testing all residents with any symptoms of fever or respiratory illness.  We are finding that a good percentage of the tests that we do are coming back negative.    Nine members of our staff have tested positive.  These staff members are at home recuperating and will return to work as they are cleared by a physician.  We continue to work closely with the local and state health departments to address this ongoing situation and reduce the risk of illness among other residents.  We are aware that the recently released information by the State of New Jersey reflects different numbers.  We are working with them to better understand the report and have it reflect the correct numbers.  We assure you that we are being completely transparent and available to answer any questions that you may have. 

To reduce the further spread of COVID-19, our team maintains the following actions that were implemented beginning March 11, 2020:

  • Barring visitation except for licensed contracted caregivers and end-of-life care, while encouraging and supporting calls and video conferences with family and friends.
  • Canceling group activities and providing resident meals in their rooms.
  • Limiting movement in the facility, with residents remaining in their rooms or if they need to leave their room, providing a facemask for them to wear.
  • Checking for fever or other symptoms of illness among all residents and staff at least daily; if any illness is identified, we inform the Health Department and discuss whether testing for COVID-19 is needed.
  • COVID- 19 positive patients are isolated in a separate unit with a dedicated care staff.
  • All staff members are wearing facemasks continuously when they are in the building. When staff enters resident rooms, they use additional personal protective equipment, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Therapists are only delivering services in resident rooms with all equipment dedicated to an individual resident.
  • Cleaning and disinfection across the facility has been increased and high-touch surfaces are being disinfected frequently.
  • Educating staff and residents about personal behaviors that reduce the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19. These include covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue, frequent handwashing, keeping from touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth, and social distancing – staying 6 feet away from others.

The Gardens at Monroe leadership and staff will continue to collaborate with the Health Department and follow all CDC guidelines to ensure that effective infection prevention measures are implemented and maintained.  Our staff continues to show up every day to care for your loved ones, our residents,

We know this is a difficult time for your family and are committed to providing you with information so you can stay up-to-date on the situation and the efforts being made to ensure resident safety. We also advise you to stay connected through our website at www.thegardensatmonroe.com  which will be updated regularly.

If you have additional questions that were not addressed we encourage you to contact us at 609-448-7036.

Sincerely, 

Chuck Erlanger
Administrator