Reading, PA — The Berks County Commissioners announced today that an additional three Berks Heim residents on our Essick Commons unit have tested positive for COVID-19.
Key measures were in place prior to the positive test.
As previously reported Berks Heim stopped taking visitors March 11, 2020. The facility instituted screening all employees and other approved individuals entering the building. These precautions include monitoring of temperatures, symptoms, and following recommended guidelines to restrict access as necessary based on CDC (Centers for Disease Control), CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health standards. All staff are wearing isolation/surgical masks which serve the purpose of protecting staff and residents from the wearer should he/she be asymptomatic while carrying the virus.
Residents always remain on their housing units and in their rooms as much as possible. All needed services continue to be provided to the residents. We continue to admit new residents to the facility only after an extensive review and approval process. New residents are admitted to a specific area to be quarantined for 14 days. We continue to follow Infection Control guidelines to maintain a safe and clean environment for the residents and staff of Berks Heim. We also have precautions in place for food preparation, delivery and service for the residents.
Actions taken to address residents testing positive for COVID-19
The residents who tested positive for COVID-19 were tested on April 20th at the request of the responsible party and results received on April 23rd confirmed a positive COVID-19 result. The residents reside on a unit where a previous positive result was reported. The families of the positive tested residents have been notified of the results and all family members of residents on this unit have been previously notified of a positive resident on the unit.
Additionally, employees and union leadership have been notified. Berks County and Berks Heim Management are committed to protecting the health of both our residents and our employees especially during this unprecedented health crisis.
Berks Heim will continue to provide the needed care to our residents per our Infection Control program and the guidance that has been provided daily by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), the Berks County Department of Emergency Services and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.