Updates for May 2020

MAY 26, 2020


Thermal Scanning TechnologyWe are always looking for new, better ways to do things at The Maplewood.

Screening requirements associated with COVID-19 include checking each employee for fever upon entering the facility for work each day. We also require that everyone be wearing a mask. Initially, we assigned screening duties to members of our staff, locating them at the employee entrance to take temperatures and ensure that each person had a mask on.

Now, we’ve installed a new thermal scanning technology that offers no contact screening to check for elevated temperature and that the person entering is wearing a mask. The device detects faces and temperatures as each employee comes through the staff entry door. If the person is not wearing their mask, they will hear a reminder to “please wear your mask”. If a fever of over 100 degrees is detected, an alert will sound, lights will flash and designated administrative staff will receive an email notification. Should this occur, the employee will immediately see to the nurse manager to receive additional screening and instructions. The camera also captures a thermal image plus a photo, so we can identify each person (see an example of a thermal image in the 13 WHAM News video screenshot below).

We see several benefits in using this new technology. It eliminates the need for a staff member to be in close contact with each person entering to take temperatures and removes human error. Since it detects temperatures in 1 second, there is no wait time, so when multiple staff are entering during a shift change, they are not lining up near each other to wait for a temperature check. It also provides us with concrete documentation of all staff entering the building with time stamps, thermal images and photos.

We see possibilities for adding to the use of this technology at the Maplewood as we move closer to a time when we can reopen to visitors with precautions in place.

To learn more, check out this video of an interview with 13 WHAM News about how thermal scanning cameras are a future possibility for many businesses.

MAY 19, 2020


On May 10, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed an executive order requiring periodic testing of all personnel in nursing homes and adult care facilities. The executive order was rolled out to the facilities on May 11th and facilities had until May 15th to determine how they were going to attempt compliance with the twice a week testing mandate.

As I write this update, Maplewood personnel are continuing the scheduling and testing process. We have informed the State that our testing began on May 15th and by Friday, May 22nd, all Maplewood employees will have been tested.

As the executive order for mandatory testing was rolled out last week, the labs immediately became overwhelmed. The Wadsworth lab in Albany and the ACM lab in Rochester stopped accepting COVID samples until they could catch up. Rochester Regional Health System presented documented factual evidence to the Governor’s office that implies that twice a week testing for all nursing home employees is not realistic given current lab capacity. As time moves on and capacity improves, there is the expectation that this will get better. As a facility we are doing our best to comply with regulatory dictates given the issues with current testing and capacity processes.

We have been implementing many strict precautionary measures all along and we feel confident that these tactics have been effective in protecting residents and staff. As I’ve mentioned in previous updates, some of our protocols include that all staff adhere to the following procedures upon coming to work each day:

  • Enter through a single staff entrance and thoroughly wash hands before entering the building
  • Receive screening and temperature testing
  • Wear masks throughout their shifts. The only exception is while they are eating in the employee breakroom, and even then, staff is social distancing among each other.

As always, the safety of our residents and staff continues to be our top priority.