COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

On March 13, visits to all skilled nursing centers – The Laurels included – were restricted by the federal government, with the exception of certain compassionate care circumstances such as an end-of-life situation. 


Governor DeWine announced that nursing homes in the state of Ohio would be permitted to host both indoor and outdoor visitation beginning October 12 so long as certain guidelines and standards could be met. These standards are outlined by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) in the Fifth Amended Director’s Order to Limit Access to Ohio’s Nursing Homes and Similar Facilities, with Exceptions.

After a self-assessment that was conducted by both our clinical and operational teams, we are pleased to announce that our facility is currently able to accommodate visits for immediate family members.

Certain guidelines have been established for these visits for the health and safety of our guests. For more information and to schedule a visit, please contact our facility.

Please know there is a possibility our visitation status will change! All nursing homes will be required to constantly assess and reassess visitation status. Our eligibility for hosting visits will be determined based on our ability to meet the standards outlined by ODH. We will review our status weekly and communicate changes on this site accordingly.

Coronavirus stock photo

Our Commitment

The Laurels is committed to effective communication during this unprecedented time in our history. We regularly apprise guests, families, and associates to changes in facility status and policy as needed and as deemed appropriate. This COVID-19 Resources page is an extension of these efforts and also serves as a means to update the communities we serve.

We have been humbled by the support we’ve received from the local community and we truly appreciate everyone’s continued cooperation and understanding.


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued "QSO-20-29-NH" on May 6, 2020, with the subject "Interim Final Rule Updating Requirements for Notification of Confirmed and Suspected COVID-19 Cases Among Residents and Staff in Nursing Homes." It is expected that on May 9, 2020, CMS will publish an interim final rule with a comment period.

In summary, the memorandum states: "In an effort to support surveillance of COVID-19 cases and increase transparency for residents, their representatives and families, CMS has established reporting for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases at §483.80(g3) as follows:

  • Inform residents, their representatives, and families of those residing in facilities by 5 p.m. the next calendar day following the occurrence of either a single confirmed infection of COVID-19, or three or more residents or staff with new-onset of respiratory symptoms occurring within 72 hours of each other. This information must:
    • Not include personally identifiable information.
    • Include information on mitigating actions implemented to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission, including if normal operations of the facility will be altered.
    • Include any cumulative updates for residents, their representatives, and families at least weekly or by 5 p.m. the next calendar day following the subsequent occurrence of either: each time a confirmed infection of COVID-19 is identified, or whenever three or more residents or staff with new onset of respiratory symptoms occur within 72 hours of each other.

CMS goes on to state: "We understand that state and local health departments may currently require nursing homes to report certain COVID-19 related information to them. A key difference between the state/local reporting and this new national reporting requirement is that reporting to state/local health departments allows them to understand the status of their local environment and intervene (e.g., direct staffing and supplies), whereas this national requirement provides standardized information to assist with national surveillance on the status of COVID-19 in all nursing homes."

The regulation states, "there are a variety of ways that facilities can meet this requirement… such as web postings. We do not expect facilities to make individual telephone calls to each resident's family or their responsible party to inform them that a resident in the facility has laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. However, we expect facilities to take reasonable efforts to make it easy for residents, their representatives, and families to obtain the information facilities are required to provide."

Our Reporting Notification Process

Our facility strives to continue its efforts for transparency in communications with all interested stakeholders. It is in this effort we are creating a place for residents, families and responsible parties and our associates to look to for updated facility-specific information.

Our communication will include information on mitigating actions we are taking to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission, which can be found on this resources page.

Our data will never include personally identifiable information. It will include information about our residents and staff for the following aspects of COVID-19 reporting:

  • New Onset of Respiratory Symptoms -- The number of staff/residents newly identified as exhibiting respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 as defined by the CDC on that day.
  • Confirmed Infection of COVID-19 -- The number of staff/residents with whom their first positive result was received utilizing an FDA-approved COVID-19 test kit on that day.
  • New Onset Respiratory Symptoms Over the Last 7 Days -- The cumulative number over the last 7 days of the new onset of respiratory symptoms for staff/residents.
  • Total of Confirmed Infections of COVID-19 -- The cumulative number of confirmed infections of COVID-19 for staff/residents currently at the facility as of today.
  • Recovered from Infection of COVID-19 -- Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications with progressive improvement or resolution of other symptoms since May 1, 2020.
  • Cumulative Confirmed Infections of COVID-19 -- The cumulative number of confirmed infections of COVID-19 for staff/residents since May 1, 2020 regardless of whether or not the infections are still active.

We expect to update our data according to the guidance which is by 5 p.m. the next calendar day following the occurrence of either a single confirmed infection of COVID-19, or three or more residents or staff with new-onset of respiratory symptoms occurring within 72 hours of each other. Further, we will include a cumulative update at least weekly.

Our Commitment

Our facility is committed to providing updated and current information for our residents, families and responsible parties and associates. To these important stakeholders, if at any time you have questions about the information you see on our website or would like to discuss it further, please reach out to the Administrator of this facility.

Last updated: October 16, 2020

Our facility's current visitation status is available on our COVID-19 Resources page. The clinical and operational teams at our facility complete a weekly self-assessment to determine our ability to accommodate these visits based on the criteria established by state and federal guidelines. We will communicate any changes to our visitation status on this website and to family via phone and email.

Visitors should in most cases be immediate family members (spouses/significant others, children, siblings, parents) of a resident. If a resident does not have immediate family in the area, visits with close friends or extended family will be considered. We ask that residents limit their visits to one per day whenever possible out of consideration for others and limited scheduling opportunities.

Our Weekly Facility Assessment

Our facility must be able to answer "TRUE" to the following questions prior to hosting visitation.

  • Our facility is considered low or medium risk according to positivity rates in the local community.
  • Our facility has had no new ONSET cases of COVID 19 in the last 14 days.
  • Our facility has sufficient staff to provide supervision of visitation and adequate screening of visitors.
  • Our facility has adequate levels of PPE to provide surgical masks or procedural masks to visitors and residents.
  • Our local hospital has capacity available.

Visitors - What to Know Prior to Arriving

  • Visitors must contact our facility to schedule an appointment.
    • Those who show up unannounced will NOT be permitted to enter.
  • If possible, we ask that visitors be tested for COVID-19 2-3 days prior to a visit.
    • COVID-19 test results should be brought to the facility. If a visitor has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis but no longer requires transmission-based precautions, a physician’s note on letterhead will be required in addition to the COVID-19 test results.

  • A maximum of TWO visitors per resident will be permitted.
    • Visitors must be 18 years or older.
    • Visitors must be able to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

VISITORS - What You Should Know Upon Arrival

  • Visitors must arrive 15 minutes prior to a scheduled visit.
    • If a visitor does not arrive 15 minutes prior to a visit, the visit will be rescheduled.
  • Visitors will be screened for temperature and signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
    • If a visitor has a temperature at or above 100 degrees and exhibits any symptoms of the virus, he or she will not be permitted to enter the facility.
  • Per the Fifth Amended Director’s Order from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), visitors must provide legal federal or state identification upon screening. A telephone number will also be required.
  • Visitors must complete required education and attestation prior to EVERY visit.

VISITORS - What to Expect During Your Visit

  • Visits may not exceed 30 minutes, per the most recent ODH order.
  • Visitors are required to wear a surgical mask at all times. The facility will provide visitors with a new surgical mask upon arrival.
    • Per a Sept. 17 memo from CMS, "Visitors who are unable to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention should not be permitted to visit or should be asked to leave."
  • Visitors must maintain a contact-free visit with a resident and strictly adhere to social distancing (keep at least six feet from the resident) at all times.
    • This is for the HEALTH and SAFETY of our residents. Failure to adhere will result in termination of the visit.
  • Visitors must use alcohol-based hand rub before and after visitation, and any time during the visit as deemed necessary.
  • Visitors must enter and exit through a specified area of the facility and follow a designated route to and from the visitation area.
  • Visits will NOT take place in resident rooms, but in a designated visitation area.
    • Visitors must stay in the designated visitation area at all times.
  • Poor behavior by visitors and disregard for state or Federal orders is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
    • Failure to adhere will result in termination of the visit
  • Restroom access will be restricted, unless an emergency arises.
    • This policy is in place to ease the burden on our facility’s housekeeping staff.
  • Food or drink is NOT permitted during a visit.
  • Pets are NOT permitted at this time.
  • To ensure smooth and timely functioning of the visitation process, please do not engage facility staff with your concerns during your visit. If you have questions about the established guidelines or protocols, please complete your visit and address these concerns in an email or telephone call to the facility administration following your visit.

RESIDENTS - Criteria for Visitation

  • A resident must have the ability to safely transition from his or her room to the designated visitation location with or without assistance.
  • For the health and safety of other residents, visitors, and facility staff, a resident must not be in isolation/quarantine at the time of the visit.
  • A resident must wear a surgical or procedural mask for the entirety of the visit, beginning at the time the resident exits his or her room.
  • A resident has the right to refuse to receive visitors and the facility staff must honor those wishes. If this occurs, facility staff will attempt to connect the resident with their visitors by offering a window visit, or a live video/phone call. The resident may still choose to decline.

REMEMBER, this is a stressful time! Everyone is doing their best to manage. Please be mindful of our residents, associates and other visitors to the building. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Our facility is taking appropriate measures, consistent with the guidelines and directives from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), for the prevention and control of Coronavirus (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a viral infection that is caused by a distinct Coronavirus. The incubation period is two to fourteen (2-14) days, with the average being four (4) to five (5) days. This virus may be mild, moderate, or severe, and can be potentially life threatening.

This facility endeavors to follow CDC and CMS guidance and to collaborate with State and Local health departments in its mitigating actions as we work through the necessary response to this unprecedented pandemic together.

Visitation and Family Communications Efforts

As of March 13, 2020, visits to all skilled nursing centers – ours included – have been restricted by the federal government, with the exception of certain compassionate care circumstances such as an end-of-life situation. We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and cooperation. 

The facility has taken measures to provide virtual visits with loved ones, virtual family council meetings, and an enhanced facility website for increased communications during this period of restricted visits.

Screening Efforts

All associates, essential health care vendors and emergent visitors will be screened and documented as directed by CDC and CMS guidance.

Our staff is monitoring residents daily for change in condition, including the presence of elevated temperatures and respiratory illness in our facility. Any residents showing signs consistent with the virus are monitored each shift or more frequently as needed.

Staff are being screened for elevated temperature and respiratory illness prior to and after each shift, and we are requiring staff to stay home if they are sick or display symptoms of the virus.

Mitigating Actions Implemented to Prevent or Reduce the Risk of Transmission

The facility has several measures in place to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission, including, but not all-inclusive, as follows:

  • Taking temperature readings for all associates, residents, and essential visitors per CDC guidelines.
  • Monitoring for CDC-recognized symptoms including respiratory symptoms which may include cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing.
  • Suspending non-essential group outings.
  • Limiting communal dining as needed.
  • Reviewing resident activities on a case-by-case basis to safely provide socialization and engagement opportunities.
  • Applying social distancing of six feet for any required group engagement. 
  • Consideration to room placement for a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, per CDC guidance.
  • Source control for residents to include wearing a facemask or cloth covering per CDC guidance.
  • The use of PPE according to CDC guidelines.
  • Environmental/cleaning standard facility procedures followed per regulation and guidance.

Reminding those in our facility that they must:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Observe "social distancing" whenever possible.
  • Use of a mask as indicated or appropriate.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when sick or when a loved one is sick.
  • Cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash hands.

Last updated: May 28, 2020

How has The Laurels worked to stop the potential spread of COVID-19?

  • Our facility has been implementing and acting on guidance from external agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Department of Health and Human Services at the state and local level since February 28, 2020.
  • We have restricted visitors from entering our facility since the national advisement in mid-March, ceased group activities within the building, and have continually monitored residents and screened staff members and essential external personnel for symptoms according to CDC guidance.
  • We are continually monitoring ALL residents for CDC-recognized symptoms and changes in conditions.

What happens if a resident tests positive for COVID-19?

  • Residents who have tested positive receive supportive care in an appropriate care setting per CDC guidance. If additional treatment for a resident is required, we will transfer to the local hospital and communicate with loved ones accordingly.

Will the facility update me on the status of my loved one during visitation restrictions?

  • If you have a loved one who has tested positive, we will communicate with you regularly and keep you apprised of any changes to his or her health. You are also welcome to call or email the facility at any time.
  • If you have a loved one who has NOT tested positive, we will contact you if he or she is suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19.

How can I stay in contact with my loved one during visitation restrictions?

  • You can send non-urgent messages – photos, updates, letters – to A member of our staff checks this email daily and will relay your message to your loved one.
  • We also encourage you to contact our facility to set up FaceTime, Zoom and Skype sessions with your loved one.

Why hasn't the facility tested my loved one for COVID-19?

  • The attending physician, in conjunction with the county health department, is given ultimate decision authority by CDC and makes the decision on who and who not to test. It is not a decision made by administrative staff at the facility.
  • It is important that we share our belief that skilled nursing facilities should be a higher priority for testing; that is, "universal testing" of both residents and staff to truly know the extent of COVID-19 in our community and throughout the state. Testing only those who are symptomatic, as we understand now, is not enough as many people who have the virus can spread it without showing symptoms (asymptomatic).

Does The Laurels have PPE?

  • You probably have heard about PPE shortages in the news. PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. Early on, PPE was in drastic shortages. We have been fortunate that our company has been able to secure PPE, though we have had to wait for what has seemed like a very long time to receive our supplies. With conservative practices in place as identified by CDC, we have PPE. Of course, it never feels like enough, but we have what we need today.
  • That being said, we are in support of the goal to make skilled nursing facilities a higher priority for PPE. In lieu of PPE, items like homemade masks, aprons, lab coats, open-back gowns, coveralls, and ponchos – to name a few – can be used as alternatives to provide some level of protection, with CDC guidance and recommendations. We continue to accept donations of these items in the event future PPE shortages arise.

Why are skilled nursing facilities like The Laurels continually in the news?

  • Unfortunately, much of what you hear about skilled nursing facilities (or "nursing homes") in the media today is negative. By and large, news outlets are not familiar with our health care setting or the services we provide, and it is reflected in how they report and cover our facilities. Rest assured, our team is full of caring and compassionate individuals who are working day and night to care for our residents and that is our priority.
  • We encourage you to follow us on Facebook to see the many positive things happening in our facilities that often go unreported. Our employees remain committed to "exceeding expectations" even in an unprecedented time like this. Please feel free to leave a positive comment of encouragement or even share the positive vibes.

How can I stay informed of what is happening at the facility?

  • Please be sure your contact information, including email address, is current. If you need to make changes or confirm your information, please call the facility.
  • Periodically visit the facility website to see if there has been new information posted.
  • Watch for opportunities to attend virtual gatherings, such as care plan meetings, family council meetings or other activities, some of which may be held by platforms such as Zoom.
  • Schedule a window visit or virtual visit with your loved one. Our staff will be happy to assist you.

Last updated: May 28, 2020

At The Laurels, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well being of our guests and our dedicated associates who care for them. We are doing everything in our power to keep your loved ones safe and healthy during this crisis.

Connect with Your Loved One!

  • You can send non-urgent messages – photos, updates, letters – to A member of our staff checks this email daily and will relay your message to your loved one.
  • We also encourage you to contact our facility to set up FaceTime, Zoom and Skype sessions with your loved one.

LETTER - From CEO M Qazi - 3-15-2020

LETTER - Laurel to Hospital Partners Clarification of Admit Re-Admit Protocol - 4-7-2020

LETTER -- The Laurels of Steubenville -- Familly Communication -- April 19, 2020

LETTER - The Laurels - Family Communications - 5-8-2020

LETTER - Family Communication - Ohio Outdoor Visitation & Gov Order - 7-1-2020

Additional Resources

#CareNotCOVID - Share a message of support to our nursing home and assisted living residents

How to Protect Yourself and Others

Medicare Scam Alert - CMS warning to Medicare beneficiaries

Thank our "Health Care Heroes"!

  • Our associates have been working extremely hard under extraordinarily stressful circumstances. We are so proud of these individuals and the community should be as well. Phone calls, social media messages and words of thanks are welcomed and encouraged.

You might also consider:

  • Coordination of a vehicle parade, clap-in or clap-out.
    • These are very popular efforts currently taken by those offering support from the sidelines. If you would like to spearhead one of these events for the facility, please contact the Administrator who will provide you with some tips.
  • Writing a heart-felt letter of appreciation.
    • There's no better way to share your appreciation than to drop a card or write a note to facility staff. If you're so inclined and like to write, consider a favorable letter to the editor of your local newspaper or a post worthy of sharing. Positivity is contagious and we appreciate every effort in sharing positivity with our staff and residents.


Donations don't have to be big to be meaningful! Please consider a donation to our facility, a healthcare worker you know, your local hospital, public health department or other skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.

We will accept:

  • Donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is approved by the CDC:
    • N95 or K95 Masks
    • Isolation Gowns
    • Face Shields
    • Goggles
    • Gloves
  • Donations of PPE alternatives in the event of shortages:
    • Homemade masks
    • Disposable laboratory coats
    • Reuseable (washable) patient gowns
    • Reuseable (washable) laboratory coats
    • Disposable aprons
    • Long sleeve aprons
    • Open back gowns
    • Protective coveralls
    • Sleeve covers
    • Shoe Covers/Head Covers
  • Donations of food for lunch, dinner or snacks for our healthcare workers
    • It is recommended that food donations be prepared from a known restaurant and provided in a sealed container through a contact-less interaction.

Last updated: May 8, 2020

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