For more information and updates on COVID-19 virus Read More

To see a list of frequently asked questions please Click Here

Nicholasville | Nursing & Rehabilitation

Latest News

Latest News

COVID-19 Vaccine Access in Long-Term Care Settings

May 20, 2022

The federal government is committed to ensuring that residents and staff in long-term care (LTC) settings, such as nursing homes, assisted living, residential care communities, group homes and senior housing, have access to COVID-19 vaccines to receive primary series and booster shots. For additional examples of LTC settings, see COVID-19 Vaccine Access in Long-Term Care Settingsexternal icon.

The goal is to continue to protect those who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19—especially residents of LTC settings. All LTC settings that request assistance accessing COVID-19 vaccines for their residents and staff will receive the support they need.

Many LTC providers have already identified strategies and partnerships to obtain and administer COVID-19 vaccines for residents and staff. These include:

Long-term care providers are encouraged to consider the option that works best for their residents and staff when coordinating access to COVID-19 vaccines, either in the local community or on-site. Additional details on these options are available on the pages linked below.https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/long-term-care/pharmacy-partnerships/administrators-managers.htmlhttps://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/long-term-care/pharmacy-partnerships/jurisdictions.html

Additional Information COVID-19 Vaccination Recommendations

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people ages 5 years and older in the United States for the prevention of COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines currently approved or authorized by FDA are highly effective in preventing serious outcomes of COVID-19, including severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Efforts to maximize the proportion of people in the United States who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 remain critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.

CDC now recommends that certain people receive a COVID-19 booster shot. For more information, visit Who is Eligible For a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot?

In addition, COVID-19 vaccines may now be administered along with other vaccines. This includes simultaneous administration of the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines such as the flu vaccine on the same day, as well as coadministration within 14 days. For more information, see Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/long-term-care/pharmacy-partnerships.html.

National Nurses Week: The History of Florence Nightingale

May 12, 2022

During National Nurses Week, take time to celebrate the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale! Her endeavors to improve the aspect of healthcare has greatly shaped the quality of care by nurses in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Currently, there are nurses all around the world putting their lives on the line to help stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s clear that Florence Nightingale’s impact on healthcare also helped pave the way for modern-day nurses and healthcare professionals to follow suit.

“With nurses around the world on the front lines of a global pandemic, it’s a poignant time to reflect on how Nightingale’s legacy laid the groundwork for their heroic work in hospitals today.” Says Greta Westwood, CEO of the Florence Nightingale Foundation. “She never took no for an answer – anything was possible.”

Also known as “The Lady with the Lamp”, Florence Nightingale started her nursing career in London, and later became appointed as the head nurse of the 1854 Crimean War. Nightingale’s passion and determination set her apart from others and got her the famous nickname “Lady with the Lamp” for checking on her patients via lamplight during the war. Not only did she care for her patients’ health, but she also often wrote letters to soldiers’ loved ones on their behalf.

The “Angel of the Crimea” made it her goal to lower death rates by improving hygiene practices in hospitals. She created numerous patient services that improved each patient’s quality of care while admitted in the hospital. She oversaw “invalid’s kitchen” where she set out food plans for patients that had dietary requirements. She also secured a laundry area so patients could have clean bed sheets and towels.

After the Crimean War, Nightingale wrote a book called Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army to share her observations and experiences while tending wounded soldiers. In 1857, the War Office’s administrative department was completely reconstruction due to Nightingale’s book and her experiences during the Crimean War, reforming several military hospitals that were under very poor conditions. (History.com Editors 2009)

In August of 1910, Nightingale became ill and was battling with heart failure. She died a week later at her home in London, bringing her life to an end at 90 years old. (History.com Editors 2009) Two years after her death, the Florence Nightingale Medal was created by the International Committee of the Red Cross, dedicated to be given to exceptional nurses every 2 years. In 1965, International Nurses Day was also created, residing on Nightingale’s birthday to continue celebrating her accomplishments. (Alexander 2018)

Despite her unexpected death, her legacy continues to live on at the Florence Nightingale Museum, which is located at the exact same spot of the original Nightingale Training School for Nurses. The museum holds over 2,000 artifacts to memorialize the mother of modern nursing. (History.com Editors 2009)

Florence Nightingale’s legacy is important to note during significant time for nurses courageously fighting on the frontlines during the pandemic. Notes Westwood, “Florence would be so proud of what nurses have managed to achieve during the pandemic.” (Haynes 2020)

References:

https://time.com/5835150/florence-nightingale-legacy-nurses/

http://history.com/topics/womens-history/florence-nightingale-1https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/florence-nightingale

National Nurses Week 2022: Month Long Discounts and Freebies

May 10, 2022

We are preparing for an amazing celebration of National Nurses Week this year! Many companies are showing their gratitude for nurses and healthcare workers by offering awesome deals and freebies during Nurses Week and throughout the year. Whether you are a healthcare worker looking for a good deal or you’re shopping for a healthcare hero in your life, check out these great deals valid for the entire month of May for Nurses Week 2022!

Food & Drinks

  • Mrs. Fields – Take a look online at this sweet selection of cookies in the Heroes Collection of cookie tins, which honors healthcare workers.
  • Outback Steakhouse – Grab a hot meal and a big thank you! Show your industry identification to get 10% off your bill. The discount is not available via ordering online.
  • Texas de Brazil – Enjoy a night or lunch out with a delicious selection of steaks (salads too!) and save 15% with a valid badge or ID.

Retail

  • Amazon – Curl up with a selection of four free medical drama books, specially curated to celebrate nurses.
  • Adidas – Receive 30% off in-store and on the Adidas website, and 20% off at factory outlet stores, when you verify your status as a nurse with ID.me.
  • All Seasons Uniforms – Spruce up your closet with 20% off all medical apparel, such as scrubs, lab coats, and cleanroom clothing. Use discount code NURSE20.
  • ASICS – Medical professionals and first responders, including nurses, physicians, police officers, and firefighters, can enjoy 40% off ASICS products. When you verify your healthcare worker status using SheerID, you will receive a on-time-use promo code.
  • Brooklyn Bedding – Don’t snooze on this offer. Get 25% off and free shipping on your entire order of mattresses, pillows, sheets, and/or foundations. Verify your eligibility via ID.me during checkout.
  • Lenovo – Need to upgrade your technology? Take an extra 5% off products sitewide, excluding doorbuster deals and select clearance products. Verify your healthcare worker status with ID.me during checkout.
  • L.L. Bean – Enjoy 15% off one purchase after verifying your employment status through SheerID. This discount is valid on merchandise purchases are llbean.com, retail stores, or by phone.
  • Lululemon – Receive 15% off in-store or online purchases.
  • Nike – All medical professionals and first responders in the US are eligible for a 10% discount. Verify your profession as a nurse with SheerID to get a one-time-use promo code.
  • Purple – Take 10% off any order purchased at purple.com or Purple retail showrooms, after verifying employment status through SheerID. Click on the “Verify Eligibility” button to start the process. Once approved, you will receive a single-use promotional code to use at checkout.
  • Ring – Stay safe with a 20% discount savings on select Ring Doorbell products.
  • Rothy’s – Enjoy some cool comfort with 20% off a pair of washable shoes. Verify your nurse status and claim the savings at online checkout.
  • Under Armour – Take advantage of 20% off at UA.com and in UA Brand House stores. Choose the Military and First Responder Discount at checkout, and then verify your status as a nurse with ID.me.
  • Verizon – You and your loved ones can get a Start Unlimited plan (with unlimited talk, text, and data) from $30 per line with four lines. That’s an offer the whole family can enjoy!
  • Vineyard Vines – Save 15% on all apparel with a verified medical ID.

Travel

  • Budget – Available through the ID.me shop, Budget is offering a discount of up to 25% for nurses. Create an ID.me account or sign in to enjoy this offer.
  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car – Similar to the Budget discount, nurses, military members, and teachers can take up to 25% off their rental car costs with Enterprise. An ID.me account is required to access this discount.
  • National – Rounding out the trio of rental car companies’ offers for nurses through ID.me, National “lets you choose any car in the aisle and go” with up to 25% off.

In addition to this month’s discounts and freebies, Majestic Care is proud to partner with Panda Perks to give our Care Team members 24/7 access to discounts and perks on the brands you love! Give us a call to learn more.

Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions

May 9, 2022

Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection, known as post-COVID conditions (PCC) or long COVID.

People call post-COVID conditions by many names, including: long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection (PASC), long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Post-COVID conditions can include a wide range of ongoing health problems; these conditions can last weeks, months, or years.
  • Post-COVID conditions are found more often in people who had severe COVID-19 illness, but anyone who has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience post-COVID conditions, even people who had mild illness or no symptoms from COVID-19.
  • People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 and become infected may also be at higher risk of developing post-COVID conditions compared to people who were vaccinated and had breakthrough infections.
  • There is no single test for post-COVID conditions. While most people with post-COVID conditions have evidence of infection or COVID-19 illness, in some cases, a person with post-COVID conditions may not have tested positive for the virus or known they were infected.
  • CDC and partners are working to understand more about who experiences post-COVID conditions and why, including whether groups disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 are at higher risk.

ABOUT LONG COVID OR POST-COVID CONDITIONS

Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems that people experience after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Most people with COVID-19 get better within a few days to a few weeks after infection, so at least four weeks after infection is the start of when post-COVID conditions could first be identified. Anyone who was infected can experience post-COVID conditions. Most people with post-COVID conditions experienced symptoms days after their SARS CoV-2 infection when they knew they had COVID-19, but some people with post-COVID conditions did not notice when they first had an infection.

There is no test to diagnose post-COVID conditions, and people may have a wide variety of symptoms that could come from other health problems. This can make it difficult for healthcare providers to recognize post-COVID conditions. Your healthcare provider considers a diagnosis of post-COVID conditions based on your health history, including if you had a diagnosis of COVID-19 either by a positive test or by symptoms or exposure, as well as doing a health examination.

SYMPTOMS

People with post-COVID conditions can have a wide range of symptoms that can last more than four weeks or even months after infection. Sometimes the symptoms can even go away or come back again.

Post-COVID conditions may not affect everyone the same way. People with post-COVID conditions may experience health problems from different types and combinations of symptoms happening over different lengths of time. Most patients’ symptoms slowly improve with time. However, for some people, post-COVID conditions may last months, and potentially years, after COVID-19 illness and may sometimes result in disability.

People who experience post-COVID conditions most commonly report:

GENERAL SYMPTOMS

  • Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as “post-exertional malaise”)
  • Fever

RESPIRATORY AND HEART SYMPTOMS

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)

NEUROLOGICAL SYMPTOMS

  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
  • Pins-and-needles feelings
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety

DIGESTIVE SYMPTOMS

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

OTHER SYMPTOMS

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Changes in menstrual cycles

SYMPTOMS THAT ARE HARD TO EXPLAIN AND MANAGE

People with post-COVID conditions may develop or continue to have symptoms that are hard to explain and manage. Clinical evaluations and results of routine blood tests, chest x-rays, and electrocardiograms may be normal. The symptoms are similar to those reported by people with ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) and other poorly understood chronic illnesses that may occur after other infections. People with these unexplained symptoms may be misunderstood by their healthcare providers, which can result in a long time for them to get a diagnosis and receive appropriate care or treatment. Review these tips to help prepare for a healthcare provider appointment for post-COVID conditions.

HEALTH CONDITIONS

Some people, especially those who had severe COVID-19, experience multiorgan effects or autoimmune conditions with symptoms lasting weeks or months after COVID-19 illness. Multiorgan effects can involve many body systems, including the heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain. As a result of these effects, people who have had COVID-19 may be more likely to develop new health conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, or neurological conditions compared with people who have not had COVID-19.

PEOPLE EXPERIENCING ANY SEVERE ILLNESS MAY DEVELOP HEALTH PROBLEMS

PICS refers to the health effects that may begin when a person is in an intensive care unit (ICU), and which may persist after a person returns home. These effects can include muscle weakness, problems with thinking and judgment, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSDexternal icon involves long-term reactions to a very stressful event. For people who experience PICS following a COVID-19 diagnosis, it is difficult to determine whether these health problems are caused by a severe illness, the virus itself, or a combination of both.

PEOPLE MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP LONG COVID

Researchers are working to understand which people or groups of people are more likely to have post-COVID conditions, and why. Studies have shown that some groups of people may be affected more by post-COVID conditions. These are examples and not a comprehensive list of people or groups who might be more at risk than other groups for developing post-COVID conditions:

  • People who have experienced more severe COVID-19 illness, especially those who were hospitalized or needed intensive care.
  • People who had underlying health conditions prior to COVID-19.
  • People who did not get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • People who experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) during or after COVID-19 illness.
  • Some people affected by health inequities including people from racial or ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities.

HEALTH INEQUITIES MAY AFFECT POPULATIONS AT RISK FOR LONG COVID

Some people are at increased risk of getting sick from COVID-19 because of where they live or work, or because they can’t get health care. Health inequities may put some people from racial or ethnic minority groups and some people with disabilities at greater risk for developing post-COVID conditions. Scientists are researching some of those factors that may place these communities at higher risk of both getting infected or developing post-COVID conditions.

PREVENTING LONG COVID

Research suggests that people who are vaccinated but experience a breakthrough infection are less likely to report post-COVID conditions, compared to people who are unvaccinated.

Learn more about protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

LIVING WITH LONG COVID

However, people experiencing post-COVID conditions can seek care from a healthcare provider to come up with a personal medical management plan that can help improve their symptoms and quality of life. Review these tips to help prepare for a healthcare provider appointment for post-COVID conditions. In addition, there are many support groups being organized that can help patients and their caregivers.

Although post-COVID conditions appear to be less common in children and adolescents than in adults, long-term effects after COVID-19 do occur in children and adolescents.

CDC is working to:

  • Better identify the most frequent symptoms and diagnoses experienced by patients with post-COVID conditions.
  • Better understand how many people are affected by post-COVID conditions, and how often people who are infected with COVID-19 develop post-COVID conditions afterwards.
  • Better understand risk factors, including which groups might be more at risk, and if different groups experience different symptoms.
  • Help understand how post-COVID conditions limit or restrict people’s daily activity.
  • Help identify groups that have been more affected by post-COVID conditions, lack access to care and treatment for post-COVID conditions, or experience stigma.
  • Better understand the role vaccination plays in preventing post-COVID conditions.
  • Collaborate with professional medical groups to develop and offer clinical guidance and other educational materials for healthcare providers, patients, and the public.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/whats-new-all.html.

Success Story: David Stephens

May 9, 2022

Nicholasville Nursing and Rehabilitation is proud to recognize resident David Stephen’s Success Story!

Mr. Stephens arrived at Nicholasville Nursing and Rehabilitation in April after a lengthy hospital stay. When he arrived, he required two people to assist him with his bed mobility and sitting at the edge of his bed. He was able to overcome, not only weakness, but a few medical complications and is now able to do most things independently and is walking 50ft with a walker! We are so thrilled to share that Mr. Stephens has discharged back home to his family. We are so proud you, Mr. Stephens, you really worked hard to get to where you are! Congratulations to David and his Care Team on their success!

COVID-19 Treatments and Medications

May 2, 2022

For people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 infection, medications are available that can reduce your chances of severe illness and death. Other medications can help reduce symptoms and help you manage your illness.

Here’s what you need to know.

Treating COVID-19

If you test positive and are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, treatments are availableexternal iconexternal icon that can reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying from the disease. Medications to treat COVID-19 must be prescribed by a healthcare provider and started as soon as possible after diagnosis to be effective. Contact a healthcare provider right away to determine if you are eligible for treatment, even if your symptoms are mild right now.

Don’t delay: Treatment must be started within days after you first develop symptoms to be effective.

People who are more likely to get very sick include older adults (ages 50 years or more, with risk increasing with older age), people who are unvaccinated, and people with certain medical conditions, such as a weakened immune system. Being vaccinated makes you much less likely to get very sick. Still, some vaccinated people, especially those ages 65 years or older or who have other risk factors for severe disease, may benefit from treatment if they get COVID-19. A healthcare provider will help decide which treatment, if any, is right for you.

The FDA has issued emergency use authorizations (EUA) for certain antiviral medications and monoclonal antibodies to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in people who are more likely to get very sick.

  • Antiviral treatmentsexternal icon target specific parts of the virus to stop it from multiplying in the body, helping to prevent severe illness and death.
  • Monoclonal antibodiesexternal icon help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus. They may be more or less effective against different variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides COVID-19 Treatment Guidelinesexternal icon for healthcare providers to help them work with their patients and determine the best treatment options for them. Several options are available for treating COVID-19 at home or in an outpatient setting. They include:

  • Nirmatrelvir with ritonavir (Paxlovid)external icon is an investigational antiviral treatment used in adults and children ages 12 years and older. It is taken at home by mouth (orally). It should be started as soon as possible and must begin within 5 days of when your symptoms start.
  • Remdesivir (Veklury)external icon is an antiviral treatment used in adults and children. Treatment requires intravenous (IV) infusions at a healthcare facility for 3 consecutive days. It should be started as soon as possible and must begin within 7 days of when your symptoms start.
  • Bebtelovimabexternal icon is an investigational monoclonal antibody treatment used in adults and children ages 12 years and older. A healthcare provider gives bebtelovimab as a single IV injection. It should be started as soon as possible and must begin within 7 days of when your symptoms start.
  • Molnupiravir (Lagevrio)external icon is an investigational antiviral treatment used in adults ages 18 years and older. It is taken at home by mouth (orally). It should be started as soon as possible and must begin within 5 days of when your symptoms start.

Some treatments might have side effects or interact with other medications you are taking. To find out if medications to treat COVID-19 are right for you, you have options:

If you are hospitalized, your healthcare provider might use other types of treatments, depending on how sick you are. These could include medications to treat the virus, reduce an overactive immune response, or treat COVID-19 complications.

Managing COVID-19 Symptoms

Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home. If you are worried about your symptoms, the Coronavirus Self-Checker can assist in the decision to seek care. You can treat symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), to help you feel better. Learn more about what to do if you are sick.

Preventing COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States effectively protect people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying—especially people who are boosted. As with vaccines for other diseases, you are protected best when you stay up to date. CDC recommends that everyone who is eligible stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, including people with weakened immune systems.

Preventive Medications

The FDA has issued an EUA for tixagevimab plus cilgavimab (Evusheld)external icon, an investigational medicine used in adults and children ages 12 years and older. Evusheld consists of 2 monoclonal antibodies provided together to help prevent infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. A healthcare provider gives Evusheld as 2 separate consecutive intramuscular (IM) injections at a doctor’s office or healthcare facility. If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised or severely allergic to COVID-19 vaccines, you may be eligible for Evusheld. Talk to a healthcare provider to determine if this option is right for you.

The right medications for COVID-19 can help. People have been seriously harmed and even died after taking products not approved for use to treat or prevent COVID-19, even products approved or prescribed for other uses. Talk to a healthcare provider about taking medications to treat COVID-19.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/treatments-for-severe-illness.html

How CDC Determines the Level for COVID-19 Travel Health Notices

April 25, 2022


CDC uses Travel Health Notices (THNs) to alert travelers and other audiences to health threats around the world and advise on how to protect themselves.

On April 18, 2022, CDC updated its COVID-19 THN system. Level 4 will no longer be based on COVID-19 incidence or case count alone. It will be reserved for special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern, and healthcare infrastructure collapse. Levels 3, 2, and 1 will still be primarily determined by 28-day incidence or case counts as outlined below.

COVID-19 Travel Recommendations can be found in two places:

The 4-level system categorizes international destinations into the following levels:

Level 4: Special Circumstances / Do Not Travel

  • Do not travel to this destination.
  • If you must travel, make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before your trip.

Level 3: High Level Of COVID-19

  • Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to this destination.
  • If you are not up to date with your vaccines, avoid travel to this destination.
  • If you have a weakened immune system or are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, talk with your clinician about your risk and consider delaying travel to this destination.

Level 2: Moderate Level Of COVID-19

  • Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to this destination.
  • If you have a weakened immune system or are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, talk to your clinician about what additional precautions may be needed before, during, and after travel to this destination.

Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19

  • Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to this destination.

Level Unknown: Unknown Level of COVID-19

  • Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to this destination.
  • If you are not up to date with your vaccines, avoid travel to this destination.
  • If you have a weakened immune system or are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, talk with your clinician about your risk, and consider delaying travel to this destination.

Travel Health Notice Thresholds

CDC reviews case data reported to the World Health Organizationexternal icon to determine a destination’s COVID-19 THN level.

Level 4 Travel Health Notices

Level 4 will be reserved for special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern, and healthcare infrastructure collapse. Other factors that may be considered include information such as vaccination rate and hospitalization rate. CDC works with country authorities through CDC country or regional offices to gather additional data as appropriate.

Level 1-3 Travel Health Notices are determined as follows:

Primary criteria for destinations with populations over 100,000

  1. Incidence rate (cumulative new cases over the past 28 days per 100,000 population)
  2. New case trajectory (Have daily new cases increased, decreased, or remained stable over the past 28 days?)

Primary criteria for destinations with populations of 100,000 or less

  1. COVID-19 case counts* (cumulative new cases over past 28 days)
  2. New case trajectory (Have daily new cases increased, decreased, or remained stable over the past 28 days?)

*CDC does not count identified imported cases (i.e., cases in travelers who were exposed in another country) against a destination’s total.

Secondary Criteria for Determining Travel Health Notice Levels

Reported case counts and incidence rates depend on testing capacity. CDC assesses testing capacity using two secondary criteria metrics: population testing rate and test-to-case ratio. The population testing rate is the number of tests conducted per 100,000 people over 28 days. The test-to-case ratio is the number of tests conducted for each case reported during the same 28-day period. Testing data are obtained from multiple sources, including Our World in Dataexternal iconFoundation for Innovative Diagnosticsexternal icon, and country ministries of health.

Travel Health Notice levels 1 through 3 for destinations with a population more than 100,000 people. Levels are based on combined 1) incidence rate (primary criteria) and 2) testing data (secondary criteria)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Infographic-COVID1.png

*Incidence rate is the primary criteria for destinations with a population more than 100,000 people. Testing data are the secondary criteria and that data includes both the testing rate (column 1) and test-to-case ratio (column 2). The resulting THN levels are shown in rows 3–11 of columns 3–5.

Travel Health Notice levels 1 through 3 for destinations with a population of 100,000 people or fewer. Levels are based on combined 1) case count (primary criteria) and 2) testing data (secondary criteria) *

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Infographic-COVID2.png

*Case count is the primary criteria for destinations with a population fewer than or equal to 100,000 people. Testing data are the secondary criteria and that data includes both the testing rate (column 1) and test-to-case ratio (column 2). The resulting THN levels are shown in rows 3–11 of columns 3–5.

Population testing rates of more than 1,500 tests per 100,000 people over 28 days are considered sufficient to provide an accurate representation of COVID-19 in the destination. Rates less than or equal to 1,500 tests per 100,000 people over 28 days may signify concerns that testing is insufficient and may not provide an accurate representation of the incidence rate in the destination. The cutoffs for evaluating population testing ratesexternal icon have been adapted from the WHO guidelines.

The WHO determined a test-to-case ratio greater than or equal to 10 as the minimum indicator of sufficient surveillance capacity. A test-to-case ratio of less than 10 tests per case might indicate restrictive testing, or that only symptomatic people are being tested and undercounting the incidence rate (primary criteria). The preferred level is a test-to-case ratio of more than 30. The cutoffs for evaluating test-to-case ratios pdf icon[PDF – 18 pages]external icon have been adapted from the WHO guidelines.

When both the population testing rates and test-to-case ratios are high, CDC has confidence in a destination’s reported incidence. If either the population testing rate or test-to-case ratio is low, CDC has less confidence that the reported incidence accurately depicts the COVID-19 situation in the destination. In this situation, CDC adjusts a destination’s THN level as shown in the tables above. Countries with low incidence and testing rates are classified as unknown as well as countries that report data infrequently.

Level Unknown Travel Health Notices are determined as follows:

If a destination has insufficient data to make a THN level determination, its THN level is designated as “unknown”. Insufficient data means that the destination does not provide data or that the provided data are non-representative of the COVID-19 situation in the destination, making an accurate THN level determination difficult. This situation includes destinations with low COVID-19 incidence and low reported COVID-19 testing levels.

Raising a Travel Health Notice

CDC raises a destination’s THN level when the incidence rate (or case count) and testing metrics meet the THN threshold for a higher level and remain at that level for 14 consecutive days. The THN level may be raised before 14 days if there is a large increase in COVID-19 cases reported.

Lowering a Travel Health Notice

CDC lowers a destination’s THN level when the incidence rate (or case count) and testing metrics meet the THN threshold for a lower level and remain at that level for 28 consecutive days. Vaccination coverage rates and case trajectory will be considered when determining if the THN level can be lowered before 28 days.

For more information, visit How CDC Determines the Level for COVID-19 Travel Health Notices | CDC

Success Story: Margaret Day

April 21, 2022

Nicholasville Nursing and Rehabilitation is excited to share resident Margaret Day’s Success Story!

Margaret is a 71 year old female who was admitted to our community following a lengthy hospital stay for multiple falls and overall deconditioning at home. Margaret is blind, however, she is able to care for herself independently in her home, as her husband has fully remodeled the home to meet her needs.  She was eager to participate in therapy and regain her strength and balance so she could return home to her husband. Margaret was able to participate in Occupational and Physical Therapy daily with a focus on regaining independence in walking, and activities of daily living, as she wants to remain as independent as possible. After 3 weeks of intensive therapy, Margaret was able to ambulate over 100 feet with limited assist, as well as complete her activities of daily living. She was happy to be discharged home with her husband knowing she can take care of herself. Congratulations to Margaret and her Care Team on their success!

Testing Strategies for COVID-19

April 18, 2022

Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing is intended to identify current infection in individuals and should be performed on anyone that has signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and/or following recent known or suspected exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Examples of diagnostic testing include:

  • Testing anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • Testing vaccinated and unvaccinated people who were exposed to someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19

Screening Testing

Screening tests are intended to identify people with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic and do not have known, suspected, or reported exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Screening helps to identify unknown cases so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission.

Examples of screening include testing:

  • Employees in a workplace setting
  • Students, faculty, and staff in a school setting
  • A person before or after travel
  • Someone at home who does not have symptoms associated with COVID-19 and no known exposures to someone with COVID-19

Public Health Surveillance Testing

Public health surveillance is the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health-related data essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice. See CDC’s Introduction to Public Health Surveillance.

Public health surveillance testing is intended to monitor community- or population-level outbreaks of disease, or to characterize the incidence and prevalence of disease. Surveillance testing is performed on de-identified specimens, and thus, results are not linked to individual people. Public health surveillance testing results cannot be used for individual decision-making.

Public health surveillance testing may sample a certain percentage of a specific population to monitor for increasing or decreasing prevalence, or to determine the population effect from community interventions such as social distancing. An example of public health surveillance testing is when a state public health department develops a plan to randomly select and sample a percentage of all people in a city on a rolling basis to assess local infection rates and trends.

Regulatory Requirements for Diagnostic, Screening, and Public Health Surveillance Testing

Any laboratory or testing site that performs diagnostic or screening testing must have a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate and meet all applicable CLIA requirements. For more information, see the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CLIA websiteexternal icon. Tests used for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic or screening testing must have received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or be offered under the policies in FDA’s Policy for COVID-19 Testsexternal icon.

Tests used for SARS-CoV-2 public health surveillance on de-identified human specimens do not need to meet FDA and CLIA requirements for diagnostic and screening testing.

Reporting Diagnostic, Screening, and Public Health Surveillance Testing Results

Both diagnostic and screening testing results should be reported to the people whose specimens were tested and/or to their healthcare providers.

In addition, laboratories that perform diagnostic and screening testing must report positive diagnostic and screening test results to the local, state, tribal, or territory health department in accordance with Public Law 116-136, § 18115(a), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. As of April 4, 2022, laboratories are no longer required to report negative results for non-NAAT tests (rapid or antigen test results). The Department of Health and Human Services published guidance on COVID-19 Pandemic Response, Laboratory Data Reporting: CARES Act Section 18115pdf iconexternal icon that specifies what data, in addition to test results, laboratories and testing sites should collect and electronically report.

Public health surveillance testing results cannot be reported directly to the people whose specimens have been tested and are not reported to their healthcare providers. Public health surveillance testing results (test results that are de-identified) can be reported in aggregate to local, state, tribal, or territory health departments upon request. Results from testing that is performed outside of a CLIA-certified facility or without an FDA-authorized test can only be reported to a health department if those results are used strictly for public health surveillance purposes, and not used for individual decision making.

Summary of Testing for COVID-19

 DiagnosticScreeningPublic Health Surveillance
SymptomaticYesNoN/A
Unvaccinated or vaccinated with known or suspected exposureYesNoN/A
Unvaccinated and Asymptomatic without Known or Reported Suspected ExposureNoYesN/A
Characterize Incidence and Prevalence in the CommunityN/AN/AYes
Testing of Personally Identifiable SpecimensYesYesNo
Results may be Returned to IndividualsYesYesNo
Results Returned in Aggregate to Requesting InstitutionNoNoYes
Results Reported to State Public Health DepartmentsYesYesIf requested
Testing can be Performed in CLIA-Certified LaboratoryYesYesYes
Testing can be Performed in a Non-CLIA-Certified LaboratoryNoNoYes
Test System Must be FDA Authorized or be Offered under the Policies in FDA’s GuidanceYesYesNo

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/resources/sars-cov2-testing-strategies.html

COVID-19 Orders, Laws, and Regulations

April 11, 2022

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help our country cope during the pandemic, CDC has occasionally issued legally binding orders and regulations.

People must wear face masks in indoor areas of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and indoors at U.S. transportation hubs, including airports.

Air passengers, 2 years or older, traveling to the United States from another country must present a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding their flights. Regardless of vaccination status, passengers ages 2 or older are required to present a negative COVID-19 viral test result from a sample taken no more than 1 day before travel. Alternatively, passengers may present documentation showing that they tested positive for COVID-19 on a sample taken within the past 90 days and have been cleared to travel (documentation of recovery).

CDC issued an Order to implement the President’s direction on safe resumption of global travel during the COVID-19 pandemic and provided guidance to airlines, other aircraft operators, and passengers in Technical Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions.

All non-U.S.-citizen, non-immigrants, with limited exceptions, traveling to the United States by air must be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination.

CDC issued an Order on October 25, 2021 requiring airlines and other aircraft operators to collect contact information for passengers before they board a flight to the United States from a foreign country. The purpose of collecting this information is to identify and locate passengers who may have been exposed to a person with a communicable disease for public health follow-up. Airlines will retain the information for 30 days and transmit the information to CDC upon request for contact tracing and public health follow-up to keep people safe.

Following a public health determination, the CDC Director is terminating the Order under 42 U.S.C. §§ 265, 268 and 42 C.F.R. § 71.40 suspending the right to introduce certain persons into the United States. The implementation of the termination of the Order will be on May 23, 2022.

CDC considered multiple factors in its public health assessment and finds that, at this time, the available COVID-19 mitigation tools, as well as the fact that 97% of the U.S. population lives in a county identified as having “low” COVID-19 Community Level, will sufficiently mitigate the COVID-19 risk for U.S. communities and make an order under 42 U.S.C. §§ 265, 268 and 42 C.F.R. § 71.40 no longer necessary. This Termination will be implemented on May 23, 2022, to enable the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement appropriate COVID-19 mitigation protocols, such as scaling up a program to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to migrants, and prepare for full resumption of regular migration processing under Title 8 authorities.

The initial CDC Order Suspending Introduction of Certain Persons from Countries where a Communicable Disease Exists was issued on 3/20/2020 pdf icon[2.1 MB, 43 pages], extended on 4/22/2020external icon and extended and amended on 5/19/2020 pdf icon[136 KB, 12 pages]. The Order was replaced with the Order Suspending the Right to Introduce Certain Persons from Countries Where a Quarantinable Communicable Disease Exists on 10/16/2020external icon and replaced again on 8/2/2021 pdf icon[296 KB, 24 pages]. This Order and accompanying public health determination terminate all previous orders.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, CDC issued an order suspending the right to introduce certain noncitizens attempting to enter the U.S. from Canada or Mexico (regardless of country of origin) at or between ports of entry. CDC has terminated the Order with respect to unaccompanied noncitizen children.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cdcresponse/laws-regulations.html.

Success Story: Charles Goldsberry

April 6, 2022

Nicholasville Nursing & Rehabilitation is proud to recognize resident Charles Goldberry’s Success Story!

Mr. Goldsberry was admitted in October, 2021 to Nicholasville Nursing and Rehabilitation from another nursing facility to be closer to family. When he arrived, he was using a wheelchair for all mobility and was on a modified diet due to issues with swallowing. He required a lot of help with his activities of daily living and desired to be independent again. Mr. Goldsberry’s ultimate goal was to return home with his family because he felt he was too young to spend the rest of his life in a nursing facility. He worked hard with physical, occupational and speech therapy to address his deficits and regain his independence. Today, Mr. Goldsberry is now able to walk with a quad cane and is completing all his activities of daily living independently. He is on a regular diet and is planning on discharging home with his sister in the next few weeks. Congratulations to Charles and his Care Team on their success!

CDC Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Booster Shots

April 6, 2022

On October 21, 2021, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation for a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations. The FDA’s authorization and CDC’s recommendation for use are important steps forward as we work to stay ahead of the virus and keep Americans safe.

For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

For the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Millions of people are newly eligible to receive a booster shot and will benefit from additional protection. However, today’s action should not distract from the critical work of ensuring that unvaccinated people take the first step and get an initial COVID-19 vaccine. More than 65 million American remain unvaccinated, leaving themselves- and their children, families, loved ones, and communities- vulnerable.

Available data right now show that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.

The following is attributable to Dr. Walensky:

“These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19. The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe- as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given. An, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant.”

To learn more, visit https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p1021-covid-booster.html

Post-COVID Conditions

March 29, 2022



Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions. Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Even people who did not have COVID-19 symptoms in the days or weeks after they were infected can have post-COVID conditions. These conditions can present as different types and combinations of health problems for different lengths of time.

These post-COVID conditions may also be known as long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID, or chronic COVID. CDC and experts around the world are working to learn more about short- and long-term health effects associated with COVID-19, who gets them, and why.

Types of Post-COVID Conditions

New or Ongoing Symptoms

Some people experience a range of new or ongoing symptoms that can last weeks or months after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Unlike some of the other types of post-COVID conditions that tend only to occur in people who have had severe illness, these symptoms can happen to anyone who has had COVID-19, even if the illness was mild, or if they had no initial symptoms. People commonly report experiencing different combinations of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exertional malaise)
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”
  • Cough
  • Chest or stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Fast-beating or pound heart (also known as heart palpitations)
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Pins-and-needles feeling
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep problems
  • Fever
  • Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
  • Rash
  • Mood changes
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Changes in menstrual period cycles

Multiorgan Effects of COVID-19

Some people who had severe illness with COVID-19 experience multiorgan effects or autoimmune conditions over a longer time with symptoms lasting weeks or months after COVID-19 illness. Multiorgan effects can affect many, if not all, body systems, including heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain functions. Autoimmune conditions happen when you immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (swelling) or tissue damage in the affected parts of the body.

While it is very rare, some people, mostly children, experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) during or immediately after a COVID-19 infection. MIS is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed. MIS can lead to post-COVID conditions if a person continues to experience multiorgan effects or other symptoms.

Effects of COVID-19 Illness or Hospitalization

Hospitalizations and severe illness for lung-related diseases, including COVID-19, can cause health effects like severe weakness and exhaustion during the recovery period.

Effects of hospitalization can also include post-intensive care syndrome (PICS), which refers to health effects that begin when a person is in intensive care unit (ICU) and can remain after a person returns home. These effects can include severe weakness, problems with thinking and judgement, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD involves long-term reactions to a very stressful event.

Some symptoms that can occur after hospitalization are similar to some of the symptoms that people with initially mild or no symptoms may experience many weeks after COVID-19. It can be difficult to know whether they are caused by the effects of hospitalization, the long-term effects of the virus, or a combination of both. These conditions might also be complicated by other effects related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including mental health effects from isolation, negative economic situations, and lack of access to healthcare for managing underlying conditions. These factors have affected both people who have experienced COVID-19 and those who have not.

Prevention

The best way to prevent post-COVID conditions is to prevent COVID-19 illness. For people who are eligible, getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as you can is the best way to prevent getting COVID-19 and can also help protect those around you.

Stopping a pandemic takes all the tools in our toolbox:

  • Get vaccinated and stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Know when to wear a well-fitted mask to help protect yourself and others.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Test to prevent spread to others.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
  • Wash you hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

If you are NOT yet fully vaccinated, prevent long-term complications by protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

Although media articles have reported that some people with post-COVID conditions say their symptoms improved after being vaccinated, studies are needed to determine the effects of vaccination on post-COVID symptoms.

What CDC is Doing

CDC continues to work to identify how common post-COVID conditions are, who is most likely to get them, and why some symptoms eventually improve for some people and may last longer for other people. Rapid and multi-year studies are underway to further investigate post-COVID conditions in more detail. These studies will help us better understand post-COVID conditions and how to treat patients with these longer-term effects.

For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects/index.html.

FAQs about Medical Consent and Booster Doses for Long-term Care Residents

March 18, 2022

A resource for Providers Participating in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program, Long-term Care Residents & Their Families

In response to inquiries about medical consent surrounding the administration of a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to residents in long-term care (LTC) settings at least five months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed the following responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

These FAQs are intended to clarify that medical consent is not required by federal law for COVID-19 vaccination in the United States.

Providers enrolled in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program, including those administering vaccines to residents in LTC settings, are required by the CDC Provider Agreement to follow applicable state and territorial laws on medical consent. Providers should consult their legal counsel on such requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is medical consent required for LTC residents to receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine?

Medical consent is not required by federal law for COVID-19 vaccination in the United States.

COVID-19 vaccine providers should consult with their own legal counsel for state or territorial requirements related to consent; compliance with all applicable state and territorial laws is required under the CDC Provider Agreement.

The COVID-19 Provider Agreement contains the following requirements:

  • Before administering a COVID-19 vaccine with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), the provider must provide the approved EUA fact sheet (or Vaccine Information Sheet, as applicable) to each vaccine recipient, the adult caregiver accompanying the recipient (as applicable), or other legal representative (as applicable). The fact sheet/information sheet explains risks and benefits of the particular COVID-19 vaccine and what to expect but is not a consent document.

Is consent required for the booster shot if consent was previously given for the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series?

Explaining the risks and benefits of any treatment to a patient – in a way that they understand – is the standard of care.

Providers should consult with their legal counsel to determine whether previous medical consent obtained from a resident or their representative is legally sufficient under the applicable laws of the state or territory for purposes of administration of a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Is consent for a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine required if the vaccine is being administered by a different provider?

Providers should consult with their legal counsel to determine whether consent for the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series previously obtained from an LTC resident or their guardian by a different provider is sufficient, or if consent should be obtained prior to administration of the booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, in accordance with any applicable laws of the state or territory.

Does CDC have a consent form that should be used to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

No. Since applicable medical consent laws are a matter of state, tribal, or territorial law, providers are advised to consult with their legal counsel to assure compliance with the scope of those consent laws.

A written form is not needed if state law allows for oral consent and the organization/provider does not otherwise require it.

Your COVID-19 Vaccination

March 15, 2022
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
  • Everyone 5 years and older is now eligible to get a free COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Learn about different vaccines available.
  • Search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you.

Find a COVID-19 Vaccine

How do I get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

When You Get the Vaccine

What are the possible side effects?

Do I need a booster shot?

Register for v-safe

Vaccine Information for Specific Groups of People

What if I’m at risk for severe illness?

Can my child get vaccinated?

What if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/your-vaccination.html.

Families and COVID-19

March 4, 2022

As more people are getting vaccinated and resuming activities they did before the pandemic, parents and caregivers are making hard decisions on how to protect their families. Not everyone is able to get vaccinated, so you may be confused about how to keep your family safe, especially if your family has vaccinated and unvaccinated members. Below are some things to consider when planning outings with your family.

What is Your Family’s Vaccination Status?

  • Everyone 5 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19.
  • People who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and children under 5 years old who are not able to get a COVID-19 vaccine should continue taking steps to prevent getting sick.
  • Everyone ages 2 years and older should properly wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public in areas where the COVID-19 Community Level is high, regardless of vaccination status.
  • In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors.
  • If you are sick and need to be around others, or are caring for someone who has COVID-19, wear a mask.
  • If the COVID-19 Community Level where you live is
    • Low
      • Wear a mask based on your personal preference, informed by your personal level of risk.
    • Medium
      • If you are at risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about wearing masks indoors in public.
      • If you live with or will gather with someone at risk for severe illness, wear a mask when indoors with them.
    • High
      • If you are 2 or older, wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status or individual risk (including in K-12 schools and other community settings).
  • If you are at risk for severe illness, wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection.

Do You Have Family Member with Medical Conditions or a Weakened Immune System?

  • People with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. They should talk to their healthcare provider about what precautions may be needed.
  • If you are at increased risk for severe illness, or live with or spend time with someone at higher risk, speak to your healthcare provider about wearing a mask at medium COVID-19 Community Levels.

Where is Your Family Going?

  • Outdoor activities and settings are safer than indoor ones.
  • Avoid places that are poorly ventilated.
  • If someone in your family is younger than 2 years old or cannot wear a mask, limit visits with people who are not vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown and keep distance between your child and other people in public.

Regardless of which safer activities your family chooses, remember to protects yourself and others.

What are the Number of COVID-19 Cases and Vaccinated People in Your Community or the Community You are Visiting?

  • Use CDC Data Tracker to learn about the situation in your community.
  • If your community has a high number of COVID-19 cases or a low number of vaccinated people, consider choosing safer activities.

How to Talk to People Who Care for or Spend Time with Your Family Member

Learn how to talk to professional caregivers, extended family members, family friends, teachers, or other people your loved one spends time with about how to keep your loved one safe from COVID-19.

  • Check that your child’s school, childcare program, your family member’s adult care program, or other caregivers are taking the necessary steps to protect your loved ones in their care.
  • Tell them to encourage your family member to weak a mask indoors in public during times when the COVID-19 Community Level is high.
    • Caregivers can help model mask-wearing for children who are too young to get vaccinated.
  • Let caregivers know, as appropriate, if your loved one or someone they live with has an underlying medical condition or a weakened immune system.
  • Pack an extra mask in your child’s backpack. If your child is old enough, ask if your child can bring hand sanitizer from home to use when they cannot wash their hands with soap and water.

Helping Your Family Member Cope

As families participate in more activities, children or other family members may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting sick with COVID-19. They may feel anxious about going to school, childcare, or normal activities like grocery shopping or gatherings. Parents, family members, and other trusted adults can help your loved one make sense of what they hear.

  • Make yourself available to listen and talk. Let your family member know they can come to you when they have questions.
  • Reassure your child or family member that they are safe.
  • Let them know it is okay if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  • Answer questions honestly and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your family members can understand.
  • Teach children and other family members everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.
    • Parents and caregivers can help by modeling these behaviors themselves.
  • Discuss with your family member any actions or routines that may be taken at school, childcare, adult care, or other activities to help protect them and others.
  • Take steps to protect you and your family’s mental health.
    • Try to keep up with regular routines.
    • Find safe ways to keep your family connected with friends and other family members.
    • Teach your family healthy coping skills by modeling them yourself. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well.

Success Story: Gary Helton

March 4, 2022

Nicholasville Nursing & Rehabilitation is proud to spotlight resident Gary Helton’s Success Story!

Gary has been on a 13 month journey to recovery with us here at Nicholasville Nursing & Rehab. His ultimate goal was to build enough strength to successfully discharge back home to his wife. Gary worked hard with our Care Team, practicing with walking and working on daily exercises. We are so happy to announce that Gary has indeed completed his goal of discharging home back to his wife. Congratulations to Gary and his Care Team on their success! Gary, we are so proud of you and how far you have come. We wish you the best of luck!

COVID-19 & People with Certain Medical Conditions

March 2, 2022

If you test positive for COVID-19 and have one or more health conditions that increase your risk of becoming very sick, treatment may be available. Contact a health professional right away after a positive test to determine if you may be eligible, even if your symptoms are mild right now. Don’t delay: Treatment must be started within the first few days to be effective.

What You Need to Know

  • A person with any of the medical conditions listed below is more likely to get very sick with COVID-19.
  • Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines (getting primary series and booster) and following preventive measures for COVID-19 are important. This is especially important if you are older or have severe health conditions or more than one health condition, including those on the list below.
  • Approved and authorized COVID-19 vaccines (primary series and booster) are safe and effective.
  • Some immunocompromised people, or people with weakened immune systems, may be eligible for a COVID-19 additional primary shot.
  • The list below does not include all possible conditions that put you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you have a condition not included on this list, talk to your healthcare professional about how best to manage your condition and protect yourself from COVID-19.

Overview

Based on current evidence, a person with any of the conditions listed below is more likely to get very sick with COVID-19. This means that a person with one or more of these conditions and who gets very sick with COVID-19 more likely to:

  • Be hospitalized
  • Need intensive care
  • Require a ventilator to help them breathe
  • Die

In addition:

Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines (getting primary series and booster) and following preventive measures for COVID-19 are important. This is especially important if you are older or have severe health conditions or more than one health condition, including those on this list. Learn more about how CDC develops COVID-19 vaccination recommendations. If you have a medical condition, learn more about Actions You Can Take.

Medical Conditions

  • The conditions on this list are in alphabetical order. They are not in order of risk.
  • CDC completed a review for each medical condition on this list. This was done to ensure that these conditions met criteria for inclusion on this list. CDC conducts ongoing reviews of additional underlying conditions. If other medical conditions have enough evidence, they might be added to this list.
  • Because we are learning more about COVID-19 every day, this list does not include all medical conditions that place a person at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Rare medical conditions, including many conditions that mostly affect children, may not be included on the list below. We will update the list as we learn more.
  • A person with a condition that is not listed may still be at greater risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 than other people who do not have the condition. It is important that you talk with your healthcare professional about your risk.

Cancer

Having cancer can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Treatments for many types of cancer can weaken your body’s ability to fight off disease. At this time, based on available studies, having a history of cancer may increase your risk.

Get more information:

Chronic Kidney Disease

Having chronic kidney disease of any stage can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Chronic Liver Disease

Having chronic liver disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic liver disease can include alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, and cirrhosis (or scarring of the liver).

Get more information:

Chronic Lung Diseases

Having a chronic lung disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic lung diseases can include:

  • Asthma, if it’s moderate to severe
  • Bronchiectasis (thickening of the lungs’ airways)
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (chronic lung disease affecting newborns)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Having damaged or scarred lung tissue known as interstitial lung disease (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs)
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)

Get more information:

Cystic Fibrosis

Having cystic fibrosis, with or without lung or other solid organ transplant (like kidney, liver, intestines, heart, and pancreas) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Dementia or Other Neurological Conditions

Having neurological conditions, such as dementia, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Diabetes (Type 1 or 2)

Having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Disabilities

People with some types of disabilities may be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 because of underlying medical conditions, living in congregate settings, or systemic health and social inequities, including:

Get more information:

Heart Conditions

Having heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

HIV Infection

Having HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Immunocompromised State (Weakened Immune System)

Some people are immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. For example, people on chemotherapy or who have had solid organ transplant, like a kidney transplant or heart transplant. Being immunocompromised can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. For example, some people inherit problems with their immune system. Once example is called Primary immunodeficiency. Other people have to use certain types of medicines for a long time, like corticosteroids, that weaken their immune system. Such long-term uses can lead to secondary or acquired immunodeficiency.

People who are immunocompromised or are taking medicines that weaken their immune system may not be protected even if they are up to date on their vaccines. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for people who are not vaccinated, including wearing a well-fitting mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare professionals.

After completing the primary series, some moderately or severely immunocompromised people should get an additional primary shot.

Everyone 12 years and older, including immunocompromised people, should get a booster shot. If you are eligible for an additional primary shot, you should get this dose first before you get a booster shot.

Get more information:

Mental Health Conditions

Having mood disorders, including depression, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Overweight and Obesity

Overweight, obesity, or severe obesity, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. The risk of severe COVID-19 illness increases sharply with higher BMI.

Get more information:

Physical Inactivity

People who do little or no physical activity, or exercise, are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 than those who are physically active. Being physically active (or exercising regularly) is important to being healthy. Get more information on physical activity and health, physical activity recommendations, how to become more active, and how to create activity-friendly communities:

Pregnancy

Pregnant and recently pregnant people (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy) are most likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people.

Get more information:

Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia

Having hemoglobin blood disorders like sick cell disease (SCD) or thalassemia can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Smoking, Current or Former

Being a current or former cigarette smoker can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don’t start again. If you’ve never smoked, don’t smart.

Get more information:

Solid Organ or Blood Stem Cell Transplant

Having a solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, which includes marrow transplants, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Stroke or Cerebrovascular Disease

Having cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Substance Use Disorders

Having a substance use disorder (such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Tuberculosis

Having tuberculosis can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Get more information:

Actions You Can Take

It is important to protect yourself and others by taking preventive measures against COVID-19:

  • Stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines
  • Wear a well-fitting mask
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • Test to prevent the spread to others
  • Wash your hands often
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Monitor your health daily

Seek Care When Needed

  • Call your healthcare professionals if you have any concerns about your medical conditions or if you get sick and think that you may have COVID-19. Discuss steps you can take to manage your health and risks. If you need emergency help, call 911 right away.
  • Do not delay getting care for your medical condition because of COVID-19. Emergency departments, urgent care, clinics, and your healthcare professionals have infection prevention plans to help protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html

Success Story: Lynn Noe

February 28, 2022

Nicholasville Nursing & Rehabilitation is proud to recognize resident Lynn Noe’s Success Story!

Ms. Lynn Noe arrived to Nicholasville Nursing and Rehabilitation five years ago, and she could not even sit up in a wheelchair at the time. With the help of our amazing Therapy team and lots of hard work, Lynn can now stand on her one leg and also care for herself more independently. She is doing so well, she is discharging to an Assisted Living facility any day now! She is very proud and very excited about this transition. Congratulations to Lynn and her Care Team on their success!

COVID-19 Antigen Testing in Long-Term Care Facilities

February 18, 2022

Summary of Changes

This document is intended to assist long-term care facility (LTCF) providers and state and local public health departments with interpretation of and response to results of antigen tests used to diagnose new SARS-CoV-2 infections in the following circumstances:

  • Testing of symptomatic residents and healthcare personnel (HCP),
  • Testing of asymptomatic residents and HCP in facilities as part of a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak response or following close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and
  • Testing of asymptomatic HCP as part of expanded screening testing in facilities without a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.

Information on the role of testing in determining the length of work restriction  for HCP with SARS-CoV-2 infection or exposure to SARS-CoV-2 is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html.

Information on the role of testing in mitigating staff shortages is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html

Testing Symptomatic Residents or HCP

  • If an antigen test is positive, confirmatory testing is generally not necessary.  The symptomatic individual should be classified as having SARS-CoV-2 infection.
    • If the resident or healthcare worker is the first positive case of SARS-CoV-2 within the facility (i.e., an index case), an outbreak response might be indicated.
  • If an antigen test is negative, confirmatory testing1 with a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) should be performed as soon as possible (within 1 to 2 days of the antigen test).  Residents should be kept on Transmission-Based Precautions and HCP should remain excluded from work until NAAT results return.
    • If the confirmatory NAAT is negative:
      • If not in an outbreak facility and no known close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection, residents and HCP may be treated as not SARS-CoV-2 infected or exposed; further management will depend on the suspected etiology of their symptoms.
  • If the confirmatory NAAT is positive:
    • If the resident or healthcare worker is the first positive case of SARS-CoV-2 within the facility (i.e., an index case), an outbreak response might be indicated.

Some antigen platforms have higher sensitivity when testing people soon after symptom onset (e.g., within 5 days). Clinical discretion may be used when determining if people who test negative should be retested with NAAT. Confirmatory testing may not be necessary if the individual has a low likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Factors that might indicate a lower likelihood of infection include: low to moderate levels of community transmission, no known or suspected close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and/or the person is up to date with COVID-19 vaccination.

Asymptomatic residents or HCP in LTCF tested as part of an outbreak response or following close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection

  • If an antigen test is positive, confirmatory NAAT should generally be performed2.
    • Residents should be placed on Transmission-based Precautions in a single room or, if single rooms are not available, remain in their current room pending results of confirmatory testing. They should not be transferred to a COVID-19 unit or placed in another shared room with new roommates. HCP should be excluded from work.
  • If an antigen test is negative OR if the antigen test is positive but the confirmatory NAAT (performed within 1 to 2 days of the antigen test) is negative:
    • Residents and HCP may be treated as not SARS-CoV-2 infected; however, because of their potential exposure (in an outbreak facility or have had close contact) residents and HCP should be managed as described in current guidance for long-term care infection control and HCP return to work.
  • Note: In general, asymptomatic people who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past 3 months should not be tested for SARS-CoV-2.

In situations where the pre-test probability is higher (e.g., facility with a large outbreak, a person who is a close contact of someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection and is not up to date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses), the antigen positive test might not require confirmation and the individual should be treated as infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Asymptomatic HCP as part of expanded screening testing in LTCF without an outbreak 

  • If an antigen test is positive, perform confirmatory NAAT as soon as possible (within 1 to 2 days of the antigen test). Asymptomatic HCP who are antigen test positive should be excluded from work but initiation of an outbreak response, including facility-wide testing, can be delayed until confirmatory test results are available.
    • If the confirmatory NAAT is negative, the antigen test should be considered a false positive and the HCP may return to work.
  • If an antigen test is negative, allow HCP to continue to work following all routine recommended infection control practices.

Note: In general, asymptomatic HCP who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past 3 months should not be tested for SARS-CoV-2.

For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/nursing-homes-antigen-testing.html.

Handwashing

February 11, 2022

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use the cleanest water possible, for example, from an improved source. *If soap and water are not available use an alcohol-based hand rub that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Handwashing Solution

Make a Handwashing Solution

Remember, only use chlorine-based handwashing solutions when soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub are not available.

Making Handwashing Solution from 5% Liquid Bleach

Use the MILD chlorine water to wash hands. Make new mild chlorine water every day.

  1. Mix 14 tablespoons (1 Cup plus ¾ Cup) of 5% bleach into 20 liters (5 gallons plus 4½ Cups) of clear water. Stir well.
    Label plastic bucket for handwashing only / MILD 05%. Do not drink or use for cooking.
  2. Make sure the bucket is covered. Use the MILD chlorine water to wash hands.

Making Handwashing Solution from HTH Chlorine Powder

Use the MILD chlorine water to wash hands. Make new mild chlorine water every day.

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of HTH chlorine powder into 20 liters (5 gallons plus 4½ Cups) of water every day. Stir well. Label plastic bucket for handwashing only /MILD 05%. Do not drink or use for cooking.
  2. Stir well and wait 30 minutes.
  3. Use the MILD chlorine water to wash hands.

To learn more, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/global-covid-19/handwashing.html

Self-Testing

February 4, 2022

What You Need to Know

  • Testing is critically important to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 self-tests can be taken at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results.
  • Self-tests (also referred to as at-home tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests) are one of many risk-reduction measures, along with vaccinationmasking, and physical distancing, that protect you and others by reducing the chances of spreading  COVID-19.
  • Free self-tests can be ordered at COVIDtests.gov.
  • You can use COVID-19 self-tests regardless of vaccination status or whether or not you have symptoms.
  • Consider using a COVID-19 self-test before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household. This is especially important before gathering with individuals at risk of severe diseaseolder individuals, those who are immunocompromised, or unvaccinated people, including children who cannot get vaccinated yet.
  • To obtain accurate results, follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for performing the self-test.
  • If you test positive, you should isolate and wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around others, inform your healthcare provider, and inform any close contacts. If you are a healthcare provider, follow CDC guidance for healthcare providers.
  • A negative self-test result means that the test did not detect the virus that causes but it does not rule out a COVID-19 infection. A single negative self-test result may not reliable, especially if you have symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • If your result is negative, repeating the self-test within a few days, with at least 24 hours between tests, will increase the confidence that you are not infected with the virus causing COVID-19.

What is a Self-Test?

Self-tests for COVID-19 are those that can be performed on yourself at home or anywhere. Sometimes a self-test is also called a “home test,” an “at-home test,” or an “over-the-counter (OTC) test.” Self-testing offers fast results. Self-tests are one of several options for testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 and may be more convenient than laboratory-based tests and point-of-care tests.

Visit FDA’s website for a list of authorized tests. Some self-tests may have age limitations for self-collection or collection by an adult for a child.

As of January 2022, self-tests are used to detect current infection. No self-tests are available to detect antibodies to the virus, which would suggest previous infection.

When to Consider Self-Testing

Self-tests may be used if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact or potentially in close contact with an individual with COVID-19.

Even if you don’t have symptoms and have not been in close contact with an individual with COVID-19, using a self-test before gathering indoors with others can give you information about the risk of spreading COVID-19. This is especially important before gathering with individuals at risk of severe diseaseolder individuals,  those who are immunocompromised, or unvaccinated people, including children who cannot get vaccinated yet.

Specifically, the best timing when using a self-test is:

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, use a self-test immediately
  • If you were a close contact of someone with COVID-19, self-test after at least 5 days, plus a second test in 1 or 2 days if your first test is negative (See Serial Testing, below)
  • If you are testing before a gathering, test immediately before the gathering (or as close in time to the event as possible)

How to Get a Self-Test

Self-tests can be purchased online or in pharmacies and retail stores. Private health insurance will reimburse the cost of purchasing self-tests.

Self-tests can be purchased online or in pharmacies and retail stores. They are also available at no cost through some local health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), or by ordering at COVIDtests.gov

For a list of authorized self-tests, see FDA EUA Testsexternal icon. Some tests may have age limitations for self-collection or collection by an adult for a child. If you are unable to obtain a self-test, but have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed, stay away from others as much as possible and follow CDC recommendations for What to Do If You Are Sick. You may also consider visiting a community testing site. Call your local health department for additional testing options.

How to Use a Self-Test

Read the complete manufacturer’s instructions for use before using the test. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about the test or your results.

Prepare to Collect a Specimen

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Open the box and follow the instructions included with the COVID-19 self-test to collect your own nasal specimen.
  • If you do not collect the specimens as directed, your test results may be incorrect.

Collect a Specimen and Perform the Self-Test

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly and perform the steps in the order that they are listed. The manufacturer may also provide other resources, such as quick reference guides or instructional videos, to help you perform the test correctly.

Most COVID-19 self-tests require the collection of a nasal specimen (see the Additional Print Resources section below).

Once collected, use the specimen as described in the instructions to complete the self-test.

If Your Test Result is Positive

You should isolate according to CDC recommendations  and wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around other people. Report your positive result to your healthcare provider. It is particularly important to seek medical care and possible treatment if you have an underlying medical condition that increases your risks from COVID-19. If your illness becomes severe, seek medical attention. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately. To avoid spreading the virus to others, follow CDC recommendations.

Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. A person with COVID-19 can begin spreading the virus starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before they have any symptoms or test positive. By informing your close contacts that they may have been exposed, you are helping to protect everyone.

If you think your positive test result may be incorrect, contact a healthcare provider to determine whether additional testing is necessary.

If Your Test Result is Negative

A negative test result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not detected in your specimen, and you may have a lower risk of transmitting the disease to others. If you took the test while you had symptoms and followed all instructions carefully, a negative result means your current illness may not be COVID-19, though it does not rule out COVID-19 infection.

It is also possible for a test to give a negative result in some people who have COVID-19. This is called a false negative. You could also test negative if the specimen was collected too early in your infection. In this case, you could test positive later during your illness. You should consider serial testing (see below).

Even if you receive a negative result, you should continue to practice preventative measures, such as being up to date on your COVID-19 vaccination, wearing a mask indoors, and physical distancing to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

If Your Result Shows Invalid or Error

Sometimes invalid results or an error can occur on the self-test device. Invalid results or an error can occur for many reasons. Your specimen may not have been collected correctly, or the test may have malfunctioned.

Invalid test results are rare but can occur. If the self-test shows an invalid result or a test error, the test did not work properly. If this happens, a new test is needed to get an accurate result. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions in the package insert and contact the manufacturer for assistance, consider taking another self-test, or contact a healthcare provider for additional help.

Serial Testing (Repeat Testing)

Serial testing is when a person tests multiple times for COVID-19, or on a routine basis, such as every few days. Some self-tests are designed to be used in a series. By testing more frequently, you may be able to detect COVID-19 more quickly and could reduce the spread of infection. Some self-tests include instructions for performing serial testing, including the number of days between tests, and may include more than one test in the package.

If your self-test is negative, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for serial testing, if applicable. Manufacturer’s instructions are included in the test box and are also available on the FDA website. The instructions may recommend you test again within 2 or 3 days. Contact a healthcare provider if you have any questions about your test results or serial testing. You may also use the COVID-19 Viral Testing Tool to help you determine the next steps after testing.

If you think your negative test result may be incorrect, contact a healthcare provider to determine whether additional testing is necessary.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/self-testing.html

Preparing for Your COVID-19 Vaccine

January 28, 2022

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick even if you have had COVID-19. Vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal. This information will help you prepare for your COVID-19 vaccination.

Learn more about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines and how they work.

Learn more about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccination.

Plan and Prepare for Your COVID-19 Vaccination

Who should Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

  • COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone ages 5 years and older
  • Moderately or severely immunocompromised people who are ages 5 years and older and received a Pfizer-BioNTech primary vaccine series or ages 18 years and older received a Moderna primary vaccine series should receive an additional primary dose of the same vaccine at least 28 days after their second one
  • Everyone ages 12 years and older who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should get a booster shot. Learn more about booster shots

Get Vaccinated Even If You Had COVID-19 and Think You Have Natural Immunity

You should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you already had COVID-19.

Getting sick with COVID-19 offers some protection from future illness with COVID-19, sometimes called “natural immunity”. The level of protection people get from having COVID-19 may vary depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection, and their age; and no currently available test can reliably determine if you are protected after a COVID-19 infection.

All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are effective at preventing COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine gives most people a high level of protection against COVID-19, even in people who have already been sick with COVID-19.

Emerging evidence shows that getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection to your immune system. One study showed that, for people who already had COVID-19, those who do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more than 2 times as likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get fully vaccinated after their recovery.

People Who Should Wait to Get Vaccination

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma while sick with COVID-19, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. If you received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma after you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 to prevent you from getting sick, you should wait 30 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare professional if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you or your child have a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children, consider delaying vaccination until you have recovered from being sick and for 90 days after the date of diagnosis of MIS-A or MIS-C. Learn more about the clinical considerations for people with a history of MIS-A or MIS-C.

Considerations for Taking Medication before Getting Vaccinated

For most people, it is not recommended to avoid, discontinue, or delay medications that you are routinely taking for prevention or treatment of other medical conditions around the time of COVID-19 vaccination.

If you are taking medications that suppress the immune system, you should talk to your healthcare provider about what is currently known and not known about the effectiveness of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Ask about the best timing for receiving a vaccine. Learn about COVID-19 vaccines for moderately to severely immunocompromised people.

Most people who take medication can get a COVID-19 vaccine. Taking one of the following medications is not, on its own, a reason to avoid getting your COVID-19 vaccination:

  • Over-the-counter medications (non-prescription)
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (naproxen, ibproufen, aspirin, etc.)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.)
  • Biologics or biologic response modifiers that treat autoimmune diseases
  • Chemotherapy or other cancer treatment medications
  • Antiviral medication
  • Antibiotics
  • Statins
  • Blood pressure medications/antihypertensives (amlodipine, lisinopril, etc.)
  • Diuretics
  • Thyroid medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Metformin
  • Diabetic medications
  • Insulin
  • Steroids (prednisone, etc.)

This is not a complete list. It is meant to provide some examples of common medications. Taking any of these medications will not make COVID-19 vaccination harmful or dangerous.

If you have questions about medications that you are taking, talk to your healthcare professional or vaccination providers.

For more information, please visit

visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/prepare-for-vaccination.html.

Staying Up to Date with Your Vaccinations

January 21, 2022

COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, getting hospitalized, and even dying. As with vaccines for other diseases, people who are up to date are optimally protected. CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older get their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines, and receive a booster dose when eligible.

When Are You Up to Date?

You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines when you have followed the current recommendations listed below. The recommendations will be different depending on your age, your health status, and when you first got vaccinated.

Many people who are immunocompromised may need an additional dose as part of their primary vaccine series.

Note that booster shots are not recommended for everyone at this time.

Pfizer-BioNTechModernaJohnson & Johnson’s Janssen
Primary Series
2 doses
Given 3 weeks (21 days) apart
Primary Series
2 doses
Given 4 weeks (28 days) apart
Primary Series
1 dose
Fully Vaccinated
2 weeks after final dose in primary series
Fully Vaccinated
2 weeks after final dose in primary series
Fully Vaccinated
2 weeks after 1st dose
Booster Dose
Everyone ages 12+ should get a booster dose at least 5 months after the last dose in their primary series
– Teens 12-17 should only get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine booster
– Everyone 18+ should get a booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines)
Booster Dose
Everyone ages 18+ should get a booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) at least 5 months after the last dose in their primary series
Booster Dose
Everyone ages 18+ should get a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) at least 2 months after the first dose of J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. You may get J&J/Janssen in some situations.
When Boosted
A person is considered “boosted” and up to date right after getting their booster dose.
When Boosted
A person is considered “boosted” and up to date right after getting their booster dose.
When Boosted
A person is considered “boosted” and up to date right after getting their booster dose.

If you have a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose or if you have a known (diagnosed) allergy to a COVID-19 vaccine ingredient, you should not get that vaccine. If you have been instructed not to get one type of COVID-19 vaccine, you may still be able to get another type.

CDC has updated its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines with a preference for mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) vaccines. Learn more about the updated guidance of the use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine.

The primary series of these vaccinations include a third dose for people ages 18 years and older with moderate to severe immunocompromise. This third dose occurs 28 days after the second dose in the primary series.

You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 4-week interval as possible. You should not get the second dose early.

To learn more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html.

Contact Tracing

January 17, 2022

Contact tracing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helps protect you, your family, and your community.

Contact Tracing Slows The Spread Of COVID-19

Contact tracing helps protect you, your family, and your community by:

  • Helping people diagnosed with COVID-19 get referrals for services and resources they may need to safely isolate.
  • Notifying people who have come into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and helping them determine what steps to take, depending on their vaccination status and history of prior infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Follow-up may include testing, quarantine, and wearing a well-fitted mask.
  • Discussions with public health workers are confidential. This means that your personal and medical information will be kept private and only shared with those who may need to know, like your healthcare provider.

If You Come Into Close Contact With Someone With COVID-19

  • A public health worker, other professional, or the person you came into close contact with may tell you that you are a close contact and have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Follow recommendations for quarantine, testing, and wearing a well-fitted mask. Quarantine recommendations vary based on up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination status or history of prior COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested immediately and isolate from others. If your test result is positive, follow recommendations to isolate.
  • If you need help, health department staff can provide information about the best time to get a vaccine and resources for COVID-19 testing in your area.

If You Are Waiting For A COVID-19 Test Result Or Diagnosed With COVID-19

If you are waiting for COVID-19 test resultsIf you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms
Stay away from othersQuarantine:
– Stay away from others while waiting for your COVID-19 test result, especially people who are more likely to get sick from COVID-19, if possible.
– If you have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, follow recommendations to quarantine and wear a well-fitted mask. Quarantine recommendations vary based on up-to-date vaccination status or history of prior COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days.
Isolate:
– Stay at home away from others (isolate), except to get medical care.
– Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
Stay in a separate room, away from other household members, if possible.
– Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
– Avoid contact with other household members and pets.
– Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
– Follow recommendations for isolation.
Think about your close contactsWhile you wait for your COVID-19 test result, think about anyone you have come into close contact with starting 2 days before your symptoms began (or two days before you test if you do not have symptoms). This information can help with contact tracing efforts and help slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community. Use this resource to help you think of people you may have been around while you may have had COVID-19.Tell your close contacts that you have COVID-19 right away so they can follow recommendations to quarantine, get tested, and wear a well-fitted mask, depending on their vaccination and booster status or history of prior infection.
– An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 2 days before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. People who have COVID-19 don’t always have obvious symptoms.
– A person is still considered a close contact even if they were wearing a mask while they were less than six feet from someone with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
– You can call, text, or email your contacts. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.
– If you would like to stay anonymous, there is also an online tool that allows you to tell your contacts by sending out emails or text notifications anonymously.

Answer The Call

If a public health worker from the health department calls you, answer the call to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community.

  • Discussions with public health workers are confidential. This means that your personal and medical information will be kept private and only shared with those who may need to know, like your healthcare provider.
  • Your name will not be shared with those you came in contact with, even if they ask. The public health worker will only notify people you were in close contact with that they might have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Public health workers may be able to connect you with other supportive services that can help you isolate or quarantine.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/contact-tracing.html.

Clinical Care Quick Reference for COVID-19

January 7, 2022

This quick reference highlights key COVID-19 Clinical Care information for healthcare providers and provides selected links to full guidance and research for easier CDC web navigation.

Caring for Patients

  • Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nasal congestion or rhinorrhea, vomiting or diarrhea, and skin rashes.
  • Some patients with COVID-19 may progress or dyspnea and severe disease about one week after symptom onset.
  • Clinicians who wish to consider the use of therapeutics or other available investigational therapies should review the COVID-19 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Treatment Guidelines.

Ending Isolation

  • For most people with a current laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, isolation and precautions can be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and after resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.
  • For adults who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of their first positive viral test.
  • Some severely immunocompromised persons with COVID-19 may remain infectious beyond 20 days after their symptoms began and require additional SARS-CoV-2 testing and consultation with infection disease specialists to determine the appropriate duration of isolation and precautions.

Reinfection

  • Confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection requires confirmation of initial infection and virus detection at two distinct time periods with genetic sequencing data that support reinfection.
  • A toolkit and criteria have been developed to support state and local health departments investigations of suspended cases of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection.

People at Increased Risk of Severe Illness

  • People of any with underlying medical conditions on CDC’s evidence-based list can be more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.
  • Older adults are at highest risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • The risk of severe COVID-19 increases as the number of underlying medical conditions increases in a person.
  • Long-standing systemic health and social inequalities have put various groups of people at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.
  • CDC highlights key findings from a large cross-sectional that examined risk factors and comorbidities associated with severe outcomes of COVID-19.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS)

  • Multisystem inflammatory syndrome is a rare but serious complication associated with COVID-19 in which multiple organ systems become inflamed.
  • MIS can affect children and adolescents (MIS-C) and adults (MIS-A).
  • The MIS-C healthcare provider page provides information on clinical presentation, case definition of MIS-C, case report form (CRF), and more resources about MIS-C.
  • CDC has developed a MIS-A case definition for healthcare providers.

Post-COVID Conditions

  • Post-COVID conditions describe a range of new, returning, or ongoing health issues that persist four or more weeks after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, sometimes after initial symptom recovery.
  • New or ongoing symptoms can occur in people who have varying degrees of illness during acute infection, including patients who had mild or asymptomatic infections.
  • Medical and research communities are still learning about post-acute symptoms and clinical findings.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-care-quick-reference.html.

Success Story: Mary Mason

January 6, 2022

Nicholasville Nursing & Rehabilitation is thrilled to spotlight resident Mary Mason’s Success Story!

Ms. Mary Mason was admitted to Nicholasville Nursing and Rehabilitation in August 2021 with a non-weight bearing right ankle fracture. She remained non-weight bearing for over 2 months while her fracture healed, and has been working with our therapy team during this time to increase her overall strength. It is our pleasure to announce that Ms. Mason will discharge home this week! She can now perform functional transfers with supervision and activities of daily living with limited assist in preparation for going home with her family. Great job, Mary! You have worked so hard! Congratulations to Mary and her care team on their success!

Potential Rapid Increase of Omicron Variant Infections in the United States

December 30, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the potential for a rapid increase in infections of the new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the Omicron variant, in the United States. Plausible scenarios include steep epidemic trajectories that would require expedient public health action to prevent severe impacts on the health of individuals and the healthcare system. The CDC Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analysis developed this finding as a synthesis of scenario models conducted by U.S. government, academic, and international partners. The models assess the range of plausible scenarios for the epidemic trajectory based on what is currently known about the Omicron variant. Recent case data of the Omicron variant from South Africa, Botswana, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere are consistent with the faster scenarios that were modeled.

Findings

Infections with the recently identified Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are exponentially increasing in multiple countries. Increases in infections are most likely due to a combination of two factors: increased transmissibility and the ability of the variant to evade immunity conferred by past infection or vaccination (i.e., immune evasion). Though the precise contribution of each of the two factors remains unknown, a substantial degree of immune evasion is likely as has been demonstrated in early vitro studies.

CDC has collaborated with partners to model scenarios of the epidemic trajectory in the U.S. that simultaneously consider transmissibility and immune evasion. Results from scenario analysis indicate that current increases in Omicron cases are likely to lead to a national surge in the coming weeks with peak daily numbers of new infections that could exceed previous peaks; these scenarios may be realized as soon as January. In scenarios with lower immune evasion, a surge is still likely, but the peak could be lower and begin as late as April 2022. Projected large surges in cases indicate surges of hospital demand even if the severity is reduced, because of the large number of anticipated cases occurring in a short period of time.

Background

Since its identification in November 2021, the Omicron variant has been reported in South Africa, Botswana, and numerous countries where it is driving rapid epidemic growth. In the U.S., the variant has been found in the majority U.S. states. The Omicron variant is increasing in the percent of circulating SARS-CoV-2 viruses in the United States. S-gene Target Failure (STGF) is a market for identifying Omicron cases. Preliminary analysis of SGTF data from testing completed through a national chain of pharmacies also observes regional increases in this proxy measure of the Omicron variant. Modeling of both genomic surveillance and SGTF data predict that Omicron will become the most common variant nationally by December 25, 2021, with some regions exceeding this threshold earlier. Furthermore, multiple large clusters of Omicron variant cases have demonstrated the rapid spread of the virus. Upcoming holiday gatherings may further accelerate these trends.

The rapid growth rate in Omicron infections is believed to result from a combination of increased transmissibility and the ability to evade immunity conferred by past infection or vaccination (i.e., immune evasion). Data from laboratory experiments and epidemiologic investigations suggest a greater role for immune evasion than increased transmissibility; immunity conferred by prior infection or vaccination is likely to be reduced compared with Delta, but not completely overcome. Data also shows that vaccinated people who either receive a booster dose or who were also previously infected are likely to have stronger protection against Omicron.

The clinical severity profile of Omicron infection will strongly influence its impact on future U.S. hospitalizations and deaths. At present, early data suggest Omicron infection might be less severe than infection with prior variants; however, reliable data on clinical severity remains limited. Even if the proportion of infections associated with severe outcomes is lower than with previous variants, given the likely increase in number of infections, the absolute numbers of people with severe outcomes could be substantial. In addition, demand for ambulatory care, supportive care for treatment of mild cases, and infection control requirements, quarantining/isolation of exposed/infected workforce could also stress the healthcare system. These stresses likely will be in addition to the ongoing Delta variant infections and rising burden of illness caused by other respiratory pathogens, such as influenza, which have begun circulating at greater frequencies.

Analytic Approach

The modeled scenarios of the epidemic trajectory in the U.S. consider varying degrees of transmissibility and immune evasion: high transmissibility and low transmissibility together with high immune evasion and low immune evasion. Modeled scenarios with faster relative growth rates (of Omicron as compared to Delta) indicate that a large surge of infections could begin in the U.S. in early January 2022 and that the peak daily number of new infections could exceed previous peaks. With low immune evasion, the surge could be lower and occur as late as April 2022. Multiple modeling groups in the United States, as well as those from other countries’ public health agencies, have identified similar trends.

Recent case data of the Omicron variant from the United Kingdom and elsewhere are consistent with the faster growth scenarios which increase the plausibility of faster growth scenarios.

Scenario*Inherent transmissibility relative to DeltaImmune escape relative to all prior strains
Faster growth (Higher transmission**. Mid escape)1.5x43%
Slower growth (Higher transmission. Low escape)1.5x10%
Faster growth (Unchanged transmission. High escape)1.0x85%
Slower growth (Lower transmission. Mid escape)0.8x50%

*Parameters were chosen to span a range of apparent growth rate advantages for Omicron over Delta of ~2-3.5x in an environment where 75% of the population has immunity to infection due to vaccination or prior infection. **Relative to Delta

For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/forecasting/mathematical-modeling-outbreak.html.

Domestic Travel During COVID-19

December 23, 2021

What You Need to Know

  • Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated.
  • Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling. State, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place.
  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).
  • Do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, or if you test positive for COVID-19.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, get tested both before and after your trip.

Before You Travel

Make sure to plan ahead:

  • Check the current COVID-19 situation at your destination.
  • Make sure you understand and follow all state, local, and territorial travel restrictions, including mask wearing, proof of vaccination, testing, or quarantine requirements.
    • For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or territorial and local health department’s website where you are, along your route, and where you are going.
  • If traveling by air, check if your airline requires any testing, vaccination, or other documents.
  • Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel.

Do NOT Travel If…

  • You have been exposed to COVID-19 unless you are fully vaccinated or revered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • You are sick.
  • You tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation (even if you are fully vaccinated).
  • You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. If you test comes back positive while you are at your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return until it’s safe for you to end isolation. Your travel companions may need to self-quaranti

During Travel

Masks: Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and train stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like an open deck area of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).

Protect Yourself and Others: Follow all state and local health recommendations and requirements at your destination, including wearing a mask and staying 6 feet (2 meters) apart from others. Travelers 2 years of age or older should wear masks in indoor public places if they are not fully vaccinated, if they are fully vaccinated and in an area with substantial or high COVID-19 transmission, or if they are fully vaccinated and with weakened immune systems.

  • If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 years or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places.
  • In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
    • In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).

After Travel

  • ALL Travelers
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
    • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.
  • If you are NOT Fully Vaccinated
    • Self-quarantine and get tested after travel:
      • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after returning from travel.
        • Check for COVID-19 testing locations near you.
      • Stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if you test negative at 3-5 days.
      • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

If Your Test is Positive

Isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected. Learn what to do and when it is safe to be around others.

If you Recently Recovered from COVID-19

You do NOT need to get tested or self-quarantine if you recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. You should still follow all other travel recommendations. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms after travel, isolate and consult with a healthcare provider for testing recommendations.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults

December 16, 2021

The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step in helping to prevent getting sick from COVID-19.

Tips on How to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Contact your state or local health department for more information.
  • Ask a family member or friend to help with scheduling an appointment.
  • Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or community health center if they provide vaccines.

Find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster: Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

What You Should Know about Vaccines

  • You can help protect yourself and the other people around you by getting vaccinated.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Depending on the kind of COVID-19 vaccine you get, you might need a second shot 3 or 4 weeks after your first shot.
  • The vaccines cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

You May Have Side Effects from the Vaccine

Some people have side effects after getting vaccinated. Common side effects include:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling where you get your shot
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle Pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19. Learn more about what to expect after getting your COVID-19 vaccine.

Booster Shots and Additional Doses

A booster shot is administered when a person has completed their initial vaccine series and protection against the virus has decreased over time. Booster shots are available to everyone ages 16 years and older who is fully vaccinated. Learn more about getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

An additional primary dose is administered when a person may not have built the same level of immunity to their initial vaccine series as someone who is not immunocompromised. Currently, moderately or severely immunocompromised people ages 18 years and older who completed their Moderna vaccine primary series should plan to get an additional primary dose 28 days after receiving their second shot. For people ages 12 years and older who completed their Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine primary series, they should also plan to get an additional primary dose 28 days after receiving their second shot.

Vaccination Card and Booster Shots

At your first vaccination appointment, you should have received a vaccination card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the dates you received it, and where you received it. Bring this vaccination card to your booster dose vaccination appointment.

Safe, Easy, Free, and Nearby COVID-19 Vaccination

The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the U.S., regardless of their immigration or health insurance status. To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/no-cost.html.

Success Story: Jackie Parker

December 15, 2021

Nicholasville Nursing & Rehabilitation is proud to recognize resident Jackie Parker’s Success Story!

Jackie has participated in skilled speech therapy and occupational therapy services over the past 100 days in our community. During this time period, he has made significant progress! Jackie was previously bed bound, being unable to communicate, eat, make eye contact, and presented with significant contractures in his legs. This past Friday, Jackie discharged home independently on a regular diet with the ability to use a walker with safety measures in place! His stay with us has been nothing short of a miracle, and it has been an honor to be a part of his rehabilitation journey. Congratulations to you, Jackie!

Omicron Variant: What You Need to Know

December 10, 2021

Emergence of Omicron

On November 24th, 2021, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.529, was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). This new variant was first detected in specimens collected on November 11, 2021, in Botswana and on November 14, 2021 in South Africa.

On November 26, 2021, WHO named the B.1.1.529 Omicron and classified it as a Variant of Concern (VOC). On November 30, 2021, the United States designated Omicron as a Variant of Concern, and on December 1, 2021, the first confirmed US case of Omicron was identified.

CDC had been collaborating with global public health and industry partners to learn about Omicron, as we continue to monitor its course. CDC has been using genomic surveillance throughout the course of the pandemic to track variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and inform public health practice. We don’t yet know how easily it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, or how well available vaccines and medications work against it.

Despite the increased attention of Omicron, Delta continues to be the main variant circulating in the United States.

Where has Omicron been Detected in the United States

CDC is working with state and local public health officials to monitor the spread of Omicron. This map shows the states that have detected at least one case of COVID-19 illness caused by the Omicron variant. Omicron will be included in variant surveillance data on CDC’s COVID Data Tracker when it can be reliably estimated at a low frequency.

What We Know about Omicron

Infection and Spread

  • How easily does Omicron spread? The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.
  • Will Omicron cause more severe illness? More data are needed to know if Omicron infections, and especially reinfection and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants.
  • Will vaccines work against Omicron? Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.
  • Will treatments work against Omicron? Scientists are working to determine how well existing treatments for COVID-19 work. Based on the changed genetic make-up of Omicron, some treatments are likely to remain effective while others may be less effective.

We have the Tools to Fight Omicron

Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. Scientists are currently investigating Omicron, including how protected fully vaccinated people will be against infection, hospitalization, and death. CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated. CDC recommends that everyone ages 18 years and older should get a booster shot at least two months after their initial J&J/Janssen vaccine or six months after completing their primary COVID-19 vaccination series of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

Masks offer protection against all variants. CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status. CDC provides advice about masks for people who want to learn more about what type of mask is right for them depending on their circumstances.

Tests can tell you if you are currently infected with COVID-19. Two types of tests are used to test for current infection: nucleic acid amplifications tests (NAATS) and antigen tests. NAAT and antigen tests can only tell you if you have a current infection. Individuals can use the COVID-19 Viral Testing Tool to help determine what kind of test to seek. Additional tests would be needed to determine if your infection was caused by Omicron. Visit your statetribal, local, or territorial health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.

Self-tests can be used at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results. If your self-test has a positive result, stay home or isolate for 10 days, wear a mask if you have contact with others, and call your healthcare provider. If you have any questions about your self-test result, call your healthcare provider or public health department.

Until we know more about the risk of Omicron, it is important to use all tools available to protect yourself and others.

What CDC is Doing to Learn about Omicron

Virus Characteristics

CDC scientists are working with partners to gather data and virus samples that can be studied to answer important questions about the Omicron variant. Scientific experiments have already started. CDC will provide updates as soon as possible.

Variant Surveillance

In the United States, CDC uses genomic surveillance to track variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 to more quickly identify and act upon these findings to best protect the public’s health. CDC established multiple ways to connect and share genomic sequence data being produced by CDC, public health laboratories, and commercial diagnostic laboratories within publicly accessible databases maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID). If a variant is circulating at 0.1% frequency, there is a >99% chance that it will be detected in CDC’s national genomic surveillance.

For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html.

Success Story: Charlie Smith

December 7, 2021

Nicholasville Nursing & Rehabilitation is proud to recognize resident Charlie Smith’s Success Story!

Charlie Smith was admitted to Nicholasville Nursing on 10/04/21 after spending 30 days in the hospital in bed due to serious medical complications. He began receiving skilled occupational and physical therapy to address his deficits in overall activities of daily living. When he began therapy, he was requiring total assist with all dressing and bathing tasks as well as a Hoyer lift for all transfers out of bed. With extensive therapy for balance, activity tolerance, and strengthening of both upper and lower extremities as well as exercising on his own in his room, he was able to regain his independence! He was discharged on 11/13/21 to his home with his sister. Congratulations to Charlie and his Care Team on his success!

Improving Ventilation in Your Home

December 3, 2021

Staying home with only members of your household is the best way to keep SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) particles out of your home. However, if a visitor needs to be in your home, improving ventilation (airflow) can help prevent virus particles from accumulating in the air in your home. Good ventilation, along with other preventive actions, like staying 6 feet apart and wearing masks, can help prevent you from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Interactive Ventilation Tool

Use this tool to learn how you can decrease the level of COVID-19 virus particles during and after a guest visits your home. Get started.

Below are ways you can improve ventilation in your home. Use as many ways as you can (open windows, use air filters, and turn on fans) to help clear out virus particles in your home faster.

Bring as much fresh air into your home as possible. Bringing fresh, outdoor air into your home helps keep virus particles from accumulating inside.

  • If it’s safe to do so, open doors and windows as much as you can to bring in fresh, outdoor air. While it’s better to open them wide, even having a window cracked open slightly can help.
  • If you can, open multiple doors and windows to allow more fresh air to move inside.
  • Do not open windows and doors if doing so is unsafe for you or others (for example, presence of young children and pets, risk of falling, triggering asthma symptoms, high levels of outdoor pollution).
  • If opening windows or doors is unsafe, consider other approaches for reducing virus particles in the air, such as using air filtration and bathroom and stove exhaust fans.
  • Use fans to move virus particles in the air from inside your home to outside. Consider using a window exhaust fan if you have one. Be sure it is placed safely and securely in the window. Another option is to place a fan as close as possible to an open window or door, blowing outside. Don’t leave fans unattended with young children.

Filter the Air in Your Home

If your home has a central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, (HVAC, a system with air ducts that go throughout the home) that has a filter, do the following to help trap virus particles:

  • In home where the HVAC fan operation can be controlled by a thermostat, set the fan to the “on” position instead of “auto” when you have visitors. This allows the fan to run continuously, even if heating or air conditioning is not on.
  • Use pleated filters – they are more efficient than ordinary furnace filters and can be found in hardware stores. They should be installed initially within the HVAC system by a professional, if possible. If that is not possible, carefully follow manufacturer’s instructions to replace the filter yourself.
  • Make sure the filter fits properly in the unit.
  • Change your filter every three months or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Ideally, have the ventilation system inspected and adjusted by a professional every year to make sure it is operating efficiently.

Turn on the Exhaust Fan in Your Bathroom and Kitchen

Exhaust fans above your stovetop and in your bathroom that vent outdoors can help move air outside. Although some stove exhaust fans don’t send their air to the outside, they can still improve airflow and keep virus particles from being concentrated in one place.

  • Keep the exhaust fan turned on over your stovetop and in your bathroom if you have visitors in your home.
  • Keep the exhaust fans turned on for an hour after your visitors leave to help remove virus particles that might be in the air.

Use Fans to Improve Airflow

  • Place a fan as close as possible to an open window blowing outside. This helps get rid of virus particles in your home by blowing air outside. Even without an open window, fans can imrpove airflow.
  • Point fans away from people. Pointing fans toward people can possibly cause contaminated air to flow directly at them.
  • Use ceiling fans to help improve airflow in the home whether or not windows are open.

Limit the Number of Visitors in Your Home and the Time You Spent Inside

The more people inside your home, and the longer they stay, the more virus particles can accumulate.

  • List the numbers of visitors in your home.
  • Try to gather in large rooms or areas where you can stay at least 6 feet apart.
  • Be sure that everyone wears a mask while visitors are in your home. This includes visitors as well as the people who usually live in your home.
  • Keep visits as short as possible.
  • Follow additional recommendations for hosting gatherings.

To learn more information and alternative methods for ventilating your home, please visit

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/ventilation.html.

Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommends to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Spread in Nursing Homes

November 22, 2021

Summary of Recent Changes

  • Updated outbreak response guidance to promote use of contact tracing approach. Alternative broad-based approaches to outbreak response at a facility-wide or unit level are also described.
  • Updated expanded screening testing recommendations for healthcare personnel (HCP).
  • Updated recommendations for quarantine of fully vaccinated residents.
  • Updated visitation guidance.

Key Points

  • Older adults living in congregate setting are at high risk of being affected by respiratory and other pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2.
  • A strong infection prevention and control (IPC) program is critical to protect both residents and healthcare personnel (HCP).
  • Even as nursing homes resume normal practices, they must sustain core IPC practices and remain vigilant for SARS-CoV-2 infection among residents and HCP in order to prevent spread and protect residents and HCP from severe infections, hospitalizations, and death.

In general, healthcare facilities should continue to follow the IPC recommendations for unvaccinated individuals (e.g., use of Transmission-Based Precautions for those that have had close contact to someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection) when caring for fully vaccinated individuals with moderate to severe immunocompromise due to a medical condition or receipt of immunosuppressive medications or treatment.

Other factors, such as end-stage renal disease, likely pose a lower degree of immunocompromise and there might not be a need to follow the recommendations for those with moderate to severe immunocompromise. However, fully vaccinated people in this category should consider continuing to practice physical distancing and use of source control while in a healthcare facility.

Ultimately, the degree of immunocompromise for the patient is determined by the treating provider, and preventive actions are tailored to each individual and situation.

Infection Prevention and Control Program

Assign one or more individuals with training in infection control to provide on-site management of the IPC program.

  • This should be a full-time role for at least one person in facilities that have more than 100 residents or that provide on-site ventilator or hemodialysis services. Smaller facilities should consider staffing the IPC program based on the resident population are facility service needs identified in the IPC risk assessment.
  • CDC has created an online training course that can orient individuals to this role in nursing homes.

Provide supplies necessary to adhere to recommended IPC practices

  • Ensure HCP have access to all necessary supplies including alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol, personal protective equipment (PPE), and supplies for cleaning and disinfection.
    • Put FDA-approved alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol in every resident room (ideally both inside and outside of the room) and other resident care and common areas (e.g., outside dining hall, in therapy gym.)

Educate residents, HCP, and visitors about SARS-CoV-2, current precautions being taken in the facility, and actions they should take to protect themselves.

Vaccinations

Vaccinated residents and HCP against SARS-CoV-2

Source Control and Physical Distancing Measures

Refer to Interim Infection Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the COVID-19 Pandemic for details regarding source control and physical distancing measures recommended for vaccinated and unvaccinated HCP and residents.

Visitation

Have a plan for visitation

Additional information about visitation for nursing homes and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric residential treatment facilities is available from CMS.

Personal Protective Equipment

Ensure proper use, handling and implementation of personal protective equipment

Testing

Create a plan for testing residents and HCP for SARS-CoV-2

  • Anyone with even mild symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should receive a viral test as soon as possible.
  • Asymptomatic HCP with a higher-risk exposure and residents with close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of vaccination status, should have a series of two viral tests for SARS-CoV-2 infection. In these situation, testing is recommended immediately (but not earlier than 2 days after exposure) and, if negative, again 5-7 days after the exposure. Criteria for use of post-exposure prophylaxis are described elsewhere.

Evaluating and Managing Personnel and Residents

Identify space in the facility that could be dedicated to monitor and care for residents with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection

  • Determine the location of the COVID-19 care unit and create a staffing plan.
  • The location of the COVID-19 care unit should ideally by physically separated from other rooms or units housing residents without confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. This could be a dedicated floor, unit, or wing in the facility or a group of rooms at the end of the unit that will be used to cohort residents with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Identify HCP who will be assigned to work only on the COVID-19 care unit when it is in use. At a minimum, this should include the primary nursing assistants (NAs) and nurses assigned to care for these residents. If possible, HCP should avoid working on both the COVID-19 care unit and other units during the same shift.
    • To the extent possible, restrict access of ancillary personnel (e.g., dietary) to the unit.
    • Ideally, environmental services (EVS) staff should be dedicated to this unit, but to the extent possible, EVS staff should avoid working on both the COVID-19 care unit and other units during the same shift.
    • To the extent possible, HCP dedicated to the COVID-19 care unit (e.g., NA and nurses) will also be performing cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces and shared equipment when in the room for resident care activities. HCP should bring an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)- registered disinfectant (e.g., wipe) from List N into the room and wipe down high-touch surfaces (e.g., light switch, doorknob, bedside table) before leaving the room.

Manage Residents with Close Contact

Manage residents who had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection

  • Unvaccinated residents who have had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection should be placed in quarantine for 14 days after their exposure, even if viral testing is negative. HCP caring for them should use full PPE (gowns, gloves, eye protection, and N95 or higher-level respirator).
  • Fully vaccinated residents who have had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection should wear source control and be tested as described in the testing section. Fully vaccinated residents and residents with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the last 90 days do not need to be quarantined, restricted to their room, or cared for by HCP using the full PPE recommended for the care of a resident with SARS-CoV-2 infection unless they develop symptoms of COVID-19, are diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection, or the facility is directed to do so by the jurisdiction’s public health authority. Additional potential exceptions are described here.

Definitions:

Healthcare Personnel (HCP): HCP refers to all paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, including body substances (e.g., blood, tissue, and specific body fluids); contaminated medical supplies, devices, and equipment; contaminated environmental surfaces; or contaminated air. HCP include, but are not limited to, emergency medical service personnel, nurses, nursing assistants, home healthcare personnel, physicians, technicians, therapists, phlebotomists, pharmacists, dental healthcare personnel, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the healthcare facility, and persons not directly involved in patient care, but who could be exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted in the healthcare setting (e.g., clerical, dietary, environmental services, laundry, security, engineering and facilities management, administrative, billing, and volunteer personnel).

Source Control: Use of well-fitting cloth masks, facemasks, or respirators to cover a person’s mouth and nose to prevent spread of respiratory secretions when they are breathing, talking, sneezing, or coughing. Cloth masks, facemasks, and respirators should not be placed on children under the age of 2, anyone who cannot wear one safely, such as someone who has a disability or an underlying medical condition that precludes wearing a cloth masks, facemask, or respirator safely, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove their cloth mask, facemask, or respirator without assistance. Face shields alone are not recommended for source control.

Respirator: A respirator is a personal protective device that is worn on the face, covers at least the nose and mouth, and is used to reduce the wearer’s risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles (including dust particles and infectious agents), gases, or vapors. Respirators are certified by CDC/NIOSH, including those intended for use in healthcare.

Nursing Home-onset SARS-CoV-2 Infections: refers to SARS-CoV-2 infections that originated in the nursing home. It does not refer to the following:

  • Residents who were known to have SARS-CoV-2 infection on admission to the facility and were placed into appropriate Transmission-Based Precautions to prevent transmission to others in the facility.
  • Residents who were placed into Transmission-Based Precautions on admission and developed SARS-CoV-2 infection within 14 days after admission.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/long-term-care.html

Possibility of COVID-19 Illness After Vaccination

November 12, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing infection, serious illness, and death. Most people who get COVID-19 are unvaccinated. However, since vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection, some people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19.

An infection of a fully vaccinated person is referred to as a “vaccine breakthrough infection”.

Key Points

  • COVID-19 vaccines protect everyone ages 5 years and older from getting infected and severely ill, and significantly reduce the likelihood of hospitalization and death.
  • Getting vaccinated is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to prevent infection by Delta or other variants.
  • A vaccine breakthrough infection happens when a fully vaccinated person gets infected with COVID-19. People with vaccine breakthrough infections may spread COVID-19 to others.
  • Even if you are fully vaccinated, if you live in an area with substantial or high transmission of COVID-19, you – as well as your family and community – will be better protected if you wear a mask when you are in indoor public places.
  • People who are immunocompromised may not always build adequate levels of protection after an initial 2-dose primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, until advised otherwise by their healthcare professional. Further, CDC recommends that moderately to severely immunocompromised people can receive an additional primary dose of the vaccine.

What We Know About Vaccine Breakthrough Infections

  • Vaccine breakthrough infections are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing most infections. However, like other vaccines, they are not 100% effective.
  • Fully vaccinated people with a vaccine breakthrough infection are less likely to develop serious illness than those who are unvaccinated and get COVID-19.
  • Even when fully vaccinated people develop symptoms, they tend to be less severe symptoms than in unvaccinated people. This means they are much less likely to be hospitalized or die than people who are not vaccinated.
  • People who get vaccine breakthrough infections can be contagious.

CDC is collecting data on vaccine breakthrough infections and is closely monitoring the safety and effectiveness of all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and authorized COVID-19 vaccines.

Because vaccines are not 100% effective, as the number of people who are fully vaccinated goes up, the number of vaccine breakthrough infections will also increase. However, the risk of infection remains much higher for unvaccinated than vaccinated people.

The latest data on rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by vaccination status are available from the CDC COVID Data Tracker.

Vaccine Breakthrough and Variants

CDC continues to actively monitor vaccine safety and effectiveness against new and emerging variants for all FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Research shows that the FDA-authorized vaccines offer protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death against currently circulating variants in the United States. However, some people who are fully vaccinated will get COVID-19.

The Delta variant is more contagious than previous variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. However, studies so far indicate that the vaccines used in the United States work well against the Delta variant, particularly in preventing severe disease and hospitalization.

Overall, if there are more COVID-19 infections, there will be more vaccine breakthrough infections. However, the risk of infection, hospitalization, and death is much lower in vaccinated compared to unvaccinated people. Therefore, everyone ages 5 years and older should get vaccinated to protect themselves and those around them, including family members who are not able to be vaccinated from severe disease and death.

How CDC Monitors Breakthrough Infections

CDC has multiple surveillance systems and ongoing research studies to monitor the performance of vaccines in preventing infection, disease, hospitalization, and death. CDC also collects data on vaccine breakthrough infections through outbreak investigations.

About COVID-NET

One important system that CDC uses to track vaccine breakthrough infections is COVID-NET (The Coronavirus Disease 2019 [COVID-19]-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network). This system provides the most complete data on vaccine breakthroughs in the general population. COVID-NET is a population-based surveillance system that collects reports of lab-confirmed COVID-19 related hospitalizations in 99 countries, in 14 states.

COVID-NET covers approximately 10% of the US population. One recent COVID-NET publication assessed the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing hospitalization among adults 65 years and older. This system provides complete data on vaccine breakthrough hospitalizations in the general population.

Examples of CDC’s Systems for Monitoring:

Outcome MonitoredPopulation MonitoredMonitoring System
InfectionLong-term care facility residentsNHSN
Infection and symptomatic illnessHealthcare providers and frontline workersHEROES/RECOVER
Hospitalizations and deathsHospitalized adultsIVY
Hospitalizations and deathsHospitalized people (all ages)COVID-NET
Urgent care, emergency care,
hospitalization, and deaths
Urgent Care, emergency departments,
and hospitalized people (all ages)
VISION

Voluntary Reporting by State Health Departments

When the United States began widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, CDC put in place a system where state health departments could report COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections to CDC.

On May 1, 2021, after collecting data on thousands of vaccine breakthrough infections, CDC changed the focus of how it uses data from this reporting system.

  • One of the strengths of this system is collecting data on severe cases of COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections since it is likely that most of these types of vaccine breakthrough cases seek medical care and are diagnosed and reported as a COVID-19 case.
  • Persons with asymptomatic or mild cases of vaccine breakthrough infections may not seek testing or medical care and thus these types of vaccine breakthrough cases may be underrepresented in this system. For this reason, CDC relies on a variety of additional surveillance approaches to ensure that it is collecting information on all types of vaccine breakthrough cases.
  • CDC continues to monitor data on all cases reported by the state health department as vaccine breakthrough cases. Currently, 49 states have reported at least one vaccine breakthrough infection to this system.

Families with Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Members

November 8, 2021

What You Need To Know

  • If you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you’ve taken the first step toward protecting yourself and your family and returning to many of the activities you did before the pandemic.
  • To maximize protection from the Delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
  • Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated. If this applies to you or your household, you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area.

How Can I Protect My Unvaccinated Family Members?

These are the best ways to protect your unvaccinated family members, including children who cannot get vaccinated yet:

  • Get vaccinated yourself. COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people getting COVID-19 and can also reduce the risk of spreading it.
  • Be sure to get everyone in your family who is 5 years or older vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask
    • To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possible spreading it to others, have everyone in your family, even those who are vaccinated, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
    • You might choose to have everyone in your family, even those who are vaccinated, wear a mask indoors in public regardless of the level of transmission in your area.
    • Unvaccinated family members, including children ages 2 years and older, should wear a mask in all indoor public settings.
      • To set an example, you also might choose to wear a mask.
      • Do NOT put a mask on children younger than two years old.

How Do I Protect A Family Member Who Has A Condition Or Is Taking Medications That Weaken Their Immune Systems?

  • Get vaccinated yourself. COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people getting COVID-19 and can also reduce the risk of spreading it.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may NOT be protected, even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask.
  • If you live with someone who has a weakened immune system or is at increased risk for severe disease, you might choose to wear a mask in all indoor public settings regardless of the level of transmission in your area.

Choose Safer Activities For Your Family

  • Outdoor activities are safer than indoor ones. If you are indoors, choose a location that is well ventilated, for example, a room with open windows, and know when to wear a mask.
  • Avoid activities that make it hard to stay 6 feet away from others.
  • If your family member is younger than 2 years old or cannot wear a mask, limit visits with people who are not vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown and keep distance between your child and other people in public.

Regardless of which safer activities your family chooses, remember to protect yourself and others. To learn more, visit

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/about-covid-19/caring-for-children/families.html

Success Story: Sherry Vice

November 4, 2021

Nicholasville Nursing & Rehabilitation is thrilled to spotlight Sherry Vice’s Success Story.

Ms. Sherry Vice admitted to Nicholasville in August of 2021. When she arrived, she was physically unable to stand or transfer. As our therapy team continued to work with Sherry, we noticed she was making great progress. She was very focused on being able to return home. After two months of working with our therapy team, Sherry was able to meet her goal of standing on her own and was able to return home on October 23rd. Sherry wanted to thank the therapy team for bringing her this far! She has set a new goal of being able to walk to her mailbox next!

How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask

November 1, 2021

Your Guide to Masks

  • Everyone 2 years of age or older who is not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public places.
  • In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
    • In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccined.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possible spreading to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
  • If you are fully vaccined, see ‘When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated‘.

Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at US transportation hubs such as airports and train stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus.)

How to Select

Special Considerations

Mask Use & Carbon Dioxide

  • Wearing a mask does not raise the carbon dioxide (CO2) level in the air you breathe.
  • Cloth masks and surgical masks do not provide an airtight fit across the face. CO2 escapes into the air through the mask when you breathe out or talk. CO2 molecules are small enough to easily pass through mask material. In contrast, the respiratory droplets that carry the virus that causes COVID-19 are much larger than CO2, so they cannot pass as easily through a properly designed and properly worn mask.
  • How to Wear

    How to Clean

    Dry Your Mask

    How to Store

    CDC Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Booster Shots

    October 25, 2021

    On October 21, 2021, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation for a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations. The FDA’s authorization and CDC’s recommendation for use are important steps forward as we work to stay ahead of the virus and keep Americans safe.

    For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:

    • 65 years and older
    • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
    • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
    • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

    For the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

    There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

    Millions of people are newly eligible to receive a booster shot and will benefit from additional protection. However, today’s action should not distract from the critical work of ensuring that unvaccinated people take the first step and get an initial COVID-19 vaccine. More than 65 million Americans remain unvaccinated, leaving themselves- and their children, families, loved ones, and communities- vulnerable.

    Available data right now show that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the US continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.

    The following is attributable to Dr. Walensky:

    “These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19. The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe- as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given. And they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant.”

    To learn more, visit https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p1021-covid-booster.html

    Who is Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot?

    October 18, 2021

    What You Need To Know

    COVID-19 Vaccine booster shots are available for the following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients who completed their initial series at least 6 months ago are:

    • 65 years and older
    • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
    • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
    • Age 18+ who work in high-risk settings
    • Age 18+ who live in high-risk settings

    Data Supporting Need For A Booster Shot

    Studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to protect against the Delta variant. Although COVID-19 vaccination for adults aged 65 years and older remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggests vaccination is less effective at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms. Emerging evidence also shows that among healthcare and other frontline workers, vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection is decreasing over time. This lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated (e.g., waning immunity) as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant.

    Data from a small clinical trial shows that a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished their primary series 6 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant.

    Booster Shots Are Only Available For Some Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Recipients

    Only certain populations initially vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can get a booster shot at this time.

    Older Adults & 50-64 Year Old People With Medical Conditions

    People aged 65 years and older and adults 50-64 with underlying medical conditions should get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, and can also increase for adults of any age with underlying medical conditions.

    Long-Term Care Setting Residents Aged 18 Years & Older

    Residents aged 18 years and older of long-term care settings should get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Because residents in long-term care settings live closely together in group settings and are often older adults with underlying medical conditions, they are at increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19.

    People With Medical Conditions Aged 18-49 Years

    People aged 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions may get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine based on their individual benefits and risks. Adults aged 18-49 years who have underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. However, that risk is likely not as high as it would be for adults aged 50 years and older who have underlying medical conditions. People aged 18-49 years who have underlying medical conditions may get a booster shot after considering their individual risks and benefits. This recommendation may change in the future as more data becomes available.

    Employees And Residents At Increased Risk For COVID-19 Exposure & Transition

    People aged 18-64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine based on their individual benefits and risks. Adults aged 18-64 years who work or reside in certain settings (e.g., healthcare, schools, correctional facilities, homeless shelters) may be at increased risk of being exposed to COVID-19, which could be spreading where they work or reside. Since that risk can vary across settings and based on how much COVID-19 is spreading in a community, people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may get a booster shot after considering their individual risks and benefits. This recommendation may change in the future as more data becomes available.

    • Example of workers who may get the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots
      • First responders (e.g., healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
      • Education staff (e.g., teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
      • Food and agriculture workers
      • Manufacturing workers
      • Corrections workers
      • US Postal Service workers
      • Public transit workers
      • Grocery store workers

    Find A COVID-19 Vaccine

    Find a COVID-19 Vaccine: Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

    • Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available
    • Contact your state or local health department for more information

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster if I am NOT in one of the recommended groups?
      • Additional populations may be recommended to receive a booster shot as more data becomes available. The COVID-19 vaccines approved and authorized in the United States continue to be effective at reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Experts are looking at all available data to understand how well the vaccines are working for different populations. This includes looking at how new variants, like Delta, affect vaccine effectiveness.
    • What should people do who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine do?
      • The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) & CDC’s recommendations are bound by what the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization allows. At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech booster authorization only applies to people whose primary series was Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. People in the recommended groups who got the Moderna or J&J/Janssen vaccine may need a booster shot. More data on the effectiveness and safety of Moderna and J&J/Janssen booster shots are expected soon. With those data in hand, CDC will keep the public informed with a timely plan for Moderna and J&J/Janssen booster shots.
    • If we need a booster shot, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?
      • No. COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, event against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection, especially among certain populations, against mild and moderate disease.
    • What are the risks to getting a booster shot?
      • So far, reactions reported after getting the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot were similar to that of the 2-shot primary series. Fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the 2-shot primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.
    • Am I still considered “fully vaccinated” if I don’t get a booster shot?
      • Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.
    • What is the difference between a booster shot and an additional dose?
      • A booster shot is administered when a person has completed their vaccine series and protection against the virus has decreased over time. Additional doses are administered to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. This additional dose of an mRNA-COVID-19 vaccine is intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series.
    • Your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card & Booster Shots
      • At your first vaccination appointment, you should have received a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received, and where you received it. Bring this vaccination card to your booster shot vaccination appointment. If you did not receive a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card at your first appointment, contact the vaccination sit where you got your first shot or your state health departments to find out how you can get a card.

    To learn more, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html#long-term-care

    How Long-Term Care Facilities Can Help Monitor COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

    October 8, 2021

    What Long-Term Care Facility Administrators Should Know

    Staff and residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are among the first groups to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. As an administrator, your and your staff’s participation in vaccine safety monitoring is essential to ensuring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. No safety concerns have been detected to date, but ongoing monitoring will continue. The CDC has expanded safety surveillance through new systems and additional information sources, as well as by scaling up existing safety monitoring systems.

    What is V-Safe?

    V-safe is a new smartphone-based tool that helps CDC monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines through the use of text messaging and web surveys. These health check-ins inform CDC how the participant is feeling after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on the answers, someone from CDC may call to check on the participant and get more information. V-safe will also remind the participant to get a second dose of the vaccine if they need one. V-safe enrollment and check-ins are quick and easy and can be done on a smartphone. V-safe cannot schedule vaccination appointments. If a participant needs to schedule, reschedule, or cancel a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, they should contact either the location that set up their appointment or local vaccination provider.

    • All long-term care staff members who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are encouraged to enroll in V-safe.
    • Long-term care residents can also enroll in V-safe. Healthcare providers and caregivers may assist residents with enrolling. However, providers or caregivers should not complete check-ins for residents.
    • At this time, only people with smartphones will be able to participate in V-safe monitoring. Long-term care residents may be less likely to have access to a smartphone and, therefore, may not be able to report side effects or adverse events through V-safe. Long-term care staff should monitor recently vaccinated residents for any potential adverse events and report those events to VAERS.

    What is VAERS?

    VAERS is a national vaccine safety monitoring system that helps CDC and the FDA monitor health problems after vaccination. VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine a health problem but is especially useful for detecting unusual or unexpected patterns of adverse event reporting that might indicate a possible safety problem with a vaccine. Residents, caregivers, healthcare providers, and nursing home staff can report medical events or health problems following vaccinations to VAERS, even if they aren’t sure the vaccine was the cause.

    • Anyone can report health problems that happen after vaccination to VAERS.
    • In general, report any medical event or health problem after COVID-19 vaccination that is concerning to you, your staff, or your residents.
    • It is especially important to report any problem that results in hospitalization, significant disability, or death.
    • VAERS does NOT provide treatment or medical advice. If a vaccine recipient needs medical advice, please contact a healthcare provider.

    Healthcare providers are encouraged to report to VAERS any adverse event they think is medically important or clinically significant, even if they think the event might not be related to the vaccine. However, healthcare providers are required to report to VAERS the following adverse events, in accordance with the emergency use authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines:

    • Vaccine administration errors, whether or not associated with an adverse event
    • Serious adverse events (as defined by federal law), regardless of causality, including:
      • Death
      • A life-threatening event
      • Inpatient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization
      • Persistent or significant incapacity or substantial disruption of the ability to conduct normal life functions
      • Congenital anomaly/birth defect
      • An important medical event that based on appropriate medical judgement may jeopardize the individual and may require medical or surgical intervention to prevent one of the outcomes listed above
      • Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C or MIS-A)
      • Cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization or death

    To learn more, visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/ltcf-help-monitor-covid-19-vaccine-safety-508.pdf

    Success Story: Grey Devore

    October 5, 2021

    Nicholasville Nursing & Rehabilitation is proud to recognize Grey Devore’s Success Story.

    Mr. Grey Devore admitted to Nicholasville in June 2021. He came to the Center after an acute care stay. When Grey first arrived, he was extremely weak and unable to transfer or ambulate. As our therapy and nursing team continued to with with Grey, we noticed major improvements! Grey’s strength and his entire demeanor began to brighten and change. After nearly four months of hard work, Grey was able to meet his ultimate goal of being able to return home on October 3rd! Mr. Grey Devore’s journey to recovery is truly a success story in itself. We are so happy for you, Grey, and we will miss you!

    COVID-19 County Check Tool: Understanding Community Transmission Levels in Your County

    October 4, 2021

    COVID-19 spreads easily between people. CDC tracks how much COVID-19 is spreading as well as likely people are to be exposed to it with a measurement known as the “level of community transmission”. You can use the COVID-19 County Check Tool for a snapshot of your county’s level of community transmission over the past 7 days. The tool also displays guidance on masking based on how the virus is spreading in your county.

    How CDC Measures the County Level of Community Transmission

    CDC looks at two numbers – total new cases and percent positivity – to determine the level of community transmission.

    • Total New Cases refers to a county’s rate of new COVID-19 infections, reported over the past 7 days, per every 100,000 residents. To calculate this number, CDC divides the total number of new infections by the total population in that county. CDC multiplies this number by 100,000.
    • Percent Positivity refers to the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in a county over the past 7 days. This number is based on reports from states on a specific type of test known as a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). To calculate this number, CDC divides the number of positive tests by the total number of NAATs performed in that county. CDC multiplies this number by 100 to calculate the percentage of all tests that were positive. Learn more at Calculating SARS-CoV-2 Laboratory Test Percent Positivity.

    A higher number of total new cases and a higher percent positivity correspond with a higher level of community transmission, as shown below. If the values for each of these two metric differ (for example, if one indicated moderate and the other low), then the higher of the two should be used to make decisions about mask use in a county.

    County Level of Community Transmission and Masking

    People and local decision-makers should consider the county level of community transmission when making decisions about masking. Although COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are highly effective at limiting the spread of COVID-19 and preventing severe illness, vaccination in some parts of the country remains low. Layered prevention strategies – like masking along with getting vaccinated – can help further reduce the spread of COVID-19. CDC’s updated guidance, issued in July 2021, advises using county community transmission levels over the last 7 days to help determine who should mask and under what circumstances. See below for a quick reference on when to mask:

    County Level of Community TransmissionGuidance
    High or Substantial TransmissionEveryone should wear a mask in public, indoor settings
    Moderate or Low TransmissionUnvaccinated people should wear a mask in public, indoor settings

    Mask requirements vary from place to place. Make sure you follow local laws, rules, regulation, or guidance. To learn more, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/aboutcovidcountycheck/index.html

    Comparative Effectiveness of Moderna, Pfizer, and Janssen Vaccines in Preventing COVID-19 Hospitalizations

    September 27, 2021

    What We Know

    Two 2-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) and a 1-dose viral vector vaccine (from Janssen [Johnson & Johnson]) are currently used in the United states.

    What is New

    Among US adults without immunocompromising conditions, vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalization during March 11-August 15, 2021, was higher for the Moderna vaccine (93%) than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (88%) and the Janssen vaccine (71%).

    Implications for Public Health Practice

    Although these real-world data suggest some variation in levels of protection by vaccine, all FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide substantial protection against COVID-19 hospitalization.

    Two-dose regiments of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines provided a high level of protection against COVID-19 hospitalizations in a real-world evaluation at 21 hospitals during March-August 2021. VE against COVID-19 hospitalization for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines was 93% and 88%, respectively, whereas the single-dose Janssen vaccine had someone lower VE at 71%. Persons vaccinated with Janssen also had lower postvaccination anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels than did recipients of mRNA vaccines. Although an immunologic correlate or protection has not been established for COVID-19 vaccines, antibody titers after infection and vaccination have been associated with protection (8). These real-world data suggests that the 2-dose Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine regimens provide more protection than does the 1-dose Janssen viral vector vaccine regimen. Although the Janssen vaccine had lower observed VE, 1 dose of Janssen vaccine still reduced risk for COVID-19-associated hospitalization by 71%.

    The findings in this report are subject to at least six limitations. First, this analysis did not consider children, immunocompromised adults, or VE against COVID-19 that did not result in hospitalization. Second, the Cis for the Janssen VE estimates were wide because of the relatively small number of patients who received this vaccine. Third, follow-up time was limited to approximately 29 weeks since receipt of full vaccination, and further surveillance of VE over time is warranted. Fourth, although VE estimates were adjusted for relevant potential confounders, residual confounding is possible. Fifth, product-specific VE by variant, including against Delta variants (B.1.617.2 and AY sublineages), was not evaluated. Finally, antibody levels were measured at only a single time point 2-6 weeks after vaccination and changes in antibody response over time as well as cell-mediated immune responses were not assessed.

    To learn more, visit https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7038e1.htm?s_cid=mm7038e1_x

    I’ve Already Had COVID-19. Do I Need the Vaccine?

    September 17, 2021


    You should get a COVID-19 vaccine, even if you have already had COVID-19. Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccinations also help protect you even if you’ve already had the virus.


    Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having COVID-19. One study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than two times as likely than fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare professional if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.


    Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available. To learn more, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/prepare-for-vaccination.html

    Find COVID-19 Vaccine Near You

    July 22, 2021

    Find a COVID-19 Vaccine: Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you in the U.S. 

    There are several ways you can look for vaccination providers near you in the United States. 

    • Visit Vaccines.gov to find vaccination providers near you. In some states, information may be limited while more U. S. vaccination providers and pharmacies are being added. Learn more about COVID-19 Vaccination Locations on Vaccines.gov
    • Text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find vaccine locations near you in the United States. 
    • Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination appointments are available. Find out which pharmacies are participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
    • Contact your state health department to find additional vaccination locations in the area. 
    • Check your local news outlets. They may have information on how to get a vaccination appointment. 

    COVID-19 Viral Testing Tool

    July 16, 2021

    The COVID-19 Viral Testing Tool is an interactive web tool designed to help both healthcare providers and individuals understand COVID-19 testing options. This tool helps healthcare providers quickly access the most relevant, actionable information to determine what type(s) of COVID-19 testing they should recommend to patients. The tool helps individuals determine what type of test they should seek. After test results are in, the tool can help interpret test results and guide next steps.  

    The online, mobile-friendly tool asks a series of questions, and provides recommended actions and resources based on the user’s responses. 

    To use the COVID-19 Viral Testing Tool click here: Testing | CDC 

    Myths and Facts About COVID-19 Vaccines

    July 9, 2021

    Now that there are authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, accurate vaccine information is critical and can help stop common myths and rumors. Read about some common myths here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html  

    How do I know which COVID-19 vaccine information are accurate?  

    It can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust. Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information.   

    The COVID-19 Travel Planner

    July 2, 2021

    The COVID-19 Travel Planner is a centralized communication platform that travelers can search to find COVID-19 information for the state, local, territorial, and tribal communities they’re passing through and for their destinations. This information will help travelers make informed decisions, protect themselves, and reduce transmission before, during and after they travel. Learn how you can promote Travel Planner on your social media platforms and website. 

    Check Travel Planner for state, local, tribal, and territorial government restrictions before traveling. 

    How Did COVID-19 Get It’s Name?

    June 25, 2021

    On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease: coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated COVID-19. ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. The virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, is a coronavirus. The word corona means crown and refers to the appearance that coronaviruses get from the spike proteins sticking out of them. 

    How COVID-19 Spreads

    June 18, 2021

    COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected. 

    COVID-19 is spread in three main ways: 

    • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus. 
    • Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze. 
    • Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them. 

    Coronavirus Self-Checker

    June 11, 2021

    The Coronavirus Self-Checker is an interactive clinical assessment tool that will assist individuals ages 13 and older, and parents and caregivers of children ages 2 to 12 on deciding when to seek testing or medical care if they suspect they or someone they know has contracted COVID-19 or has come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19. 

    The online, mobile-friendly tool asks a series of questions, and based on the user’s responses, provides recommended actions and resources. 

    To use the Coronavirus Self-Checker Click Here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/coronavirus-self-checker.html

    Fully Vaccinated? What You Should Keep Doing:

    June 4, 2021

    For now, if you’ve been fully vaccinated: 

    • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses. 
    • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others
    • Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on a ferry or the top deck of a bus). CDC recommends that travelers who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling. 
    • Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested 3 days before travel by air into the United States (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip. 
    • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others. 
    • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider. 

    I’ve Had COVID-19, Should I Be Vaccinated?

    May 28, 2021

    Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected. 

    What We Know About Covid-19 Vaccines

    May 22, 2021

    COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes 2 weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. That means it is possible a person could still get COVID-19 before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to build protection. People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or 2 weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. 

    How COVID-19 Spreads

    May 7, 2021

    COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected. 

    COVID-19 is spread in three main ways: 

    • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus. 
    • Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze. 
    • Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them. 

    Choosing Safer Activities

    April 30, 2021
    • If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. 
    • When choosing safer activities, consider how COVID-19 is spreading in your community, the number of people participating in the activity, and the location of the activity. 
    • Outdoor visits and activities are safer than indoor activities, and fully vaccinated people can participate in some indoor events safely, without much risk. 
    • If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, find a vaccine

    Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?

    April 23, 2021

    In general, people are considered fully vaccinated: ± 

    • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 
    • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine 

    If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated. 

    If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions. To learn what ways to protect yourself and others click here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html 

    How Do I Find a COVID-19 Vaccine?

    April 16, 2021

    There are several ways you can look for vaccination providers near you. 

    • Visit Vaccines.gov to find vaccination providers near you. In some states, information may be limited while more vaccination providers and pharmacies are being added. Learn more about COVID-19 Vaccination Locations on Vaccines.gov
    • Text your zip code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find vaccine locations near you. 
    • Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination appointments are available. Find out which pharmacies are participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
    • Contact your state health department to find additional vaccination locations in the area. 
    • Check your local news outlets. They may have information on how to get a vaccination appointment. 

    Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

    April 9, 2021

    Now that there are authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, accurate vaccine information is critical and can help stop common myths and rumors. Read about some common myths here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html 

    How do I know which COVID-19 vaccine information are accurate? 

    It can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust. Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information.  

    What are the most common side effects after getting a covid-19 vaccine?

    April 2, 2021

    After getting vaccinated, you might have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, as well as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of the body. These side effects could affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.  

    COVID-19: V-Safe Tool

    March 6, 2021

    CDC’s new v-safe tool uses text messages and surveys to check in with you after you get a COVID-19 vaccine. You can quickly tell CDC how you’re feeling and if you have any side effects. Get vaccinated, then:

    • Go to vsafe.cdc.gov
    • Click “Get started”
    • Fill in all requested information
    • Verify your smartphone
    • Add your vaccine information
    • Wait for your first check-in

    Learn more about v-safe and how to register: https://bit.ly/3izTu0Z

    Try This Activity: Color Changing Flowers

    March 5, 2021

    We have a fun activity and science experiment you can try with your family. Along with the story behind it here at Nicholasville Nursing & Rehab.

    As we reminisced on Valentine’s past and other times we’ve received flowers, our residents shared with each other their favorite flowers. Resident, Lynn Noe, shared that the Carnation was her favorite flower. 💐

    Lynn then asked the group – Do you know how they get all their bright colors?

    We did not and Lynn, along with another resident who owned a florist, shared that this is done with food coloring.

    We then asked – How long would it take to turn a color?

    As an experiment, we decided to separate some of the white carnations into vases and added food coloring. We watched excitedly through the week’s end. After a few days, we discovered it worked! They noted that in the future they would leave the flowers in the color a bit longer.

    Here are the instructions to try this flower experiment:

    Color Changing Flowers

    Instructions:

    1. Trim down the stems of the flower so they fit your cups or glasses.
    2. Add water to each cup.
    3. Then put about 10-15 drops of food coloring in the water and stir around a bit.
    4. Add at least one carnation to each glass of colored water.
    5. Check-in on the flowers every couple of hours and observe any changes.

    Tip: The longer the flowers stay in the color, the more vibrant the color will become.

    Success Story, Nicholasville Nursing and Rehab: Debra

    March 4, 2021

    We’re proud to share Ms. Debra’s experience here at Nicholasville Nursing and Rehabilitation.

    Mrs. Debra arrived at Nicholasville Nursing and Rehab in November of 2020. She was a hoyer lift transfer at this time and had not walked in over 3 months. Thankfully, our skilled team was able to help!

    Fast forward 2 months and she is now getting out of her bed and walking over 150 ft using a front wheeled walker!

    She is happily preparing to return to her house with her husband and 16-year-old daughter. Way to go, Debra!!

    Continue protecting against COVID-19

    February 6, 2021

    Even as vaccine distribution begin, we each need to do our part of prevent the spread of COVID-19. You should layer steps to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

    • Wear a mask that covers your mouth AND nose.

    • Stay at least 6 feet from people who don’t live with you, and avoid crowds.

    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

    • Get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is your turn.

    Help slow the spread of COVID-19. Learn more:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

    COVID-19 Vaccine Q & A: Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

    January 30, 2021

    No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

    There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

    It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

    Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

    Is the COVID Vaccine Safe?

    January 23, 2021

    (Info from the CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html)

    All the COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. Systems that allow CDC to watch for safety issues are in place across the entire country.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines that have been shown to meet rigorous safety criteria and be effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. Watch a video describing the emergency use authorization. Clinical trials for all vaccines must first show they meet rigorous criteria for safety and effectiveness before any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine.

    Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

    January 16, 2021

    You may be concerned about getting vaccinated now that COVID-19 vaccines are available in the United States. While more COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated.

    Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

    • All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines.
    • All COVID-19 vaccines that are in development are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19. Learn more about how federal partners are ensuring COVID-19 vaccines work.
    • Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
    • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
    • Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

    Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html

    Doctor Visits and Getting Medicines

    January 8, 2021

    Talk to your doctor online, by phone, or e-mail.

    • Use telemedicine, if available, or communicate with your doctor or nurse by phone or e-mail.
    • Talk to your doctor about rescheduling procedures that are not urgently needed.

    If you must visit in-person, protect yourself and others

    • If you think you have COVID-19, notify the doctor or healthcare provider before your visit and follow their instructions.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when you have to go out in public.
    • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
    • Stay at least 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines.
    • When paying, use touchless payment methods if possible. If you cannot use touchless payment, sanitize your hands after paying with card, cash, or check. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

    To learn more visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/doctor-visits-medicine.html

    COVID-19 Vaccine: What to Expect After

    January 2, 2021

    COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may feel like flu and may even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

    For more information, download our flyer:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/pdfs/321466-A_FS_What_Expect_COVID-19_Vax_Final_12.13.20.pdf

    When Vaccine is Limited, Who Gets Vaccinated First?

    December 26, 2020

    Because the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is expected to be limited at first, CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. CDC’s recommendations are based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts.

    The recommendations were made with these goals in mind:

    • Decrease death and serious disease as much as possible.
    • Preserve functioning of society.
    • Reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities.

    HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL AND RESIDENTS OF LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES SHOULD BE OFFERED THE FIRST DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES

    CDC recommends that initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine be allocated to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. This is referred to as Phase 1a. CDC made this recommendation on December 3, 2020.

    To learn more visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations.html

    Travel and COVID-19

    December 18, 2020

    Travel can increase your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. If traveling to visit family or friends, you should be thought of as an overnight guest and take all recommended precautions for 14 days upon arrival:

    • Wear a mask that covers both your mouth AND nose.
    • Avoid close contact with those you are visiting by staying at least 6 feet apart.
    • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
    • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.


    Learn more about Travel and Overnight Guests: https://bit.ly/2LLah4F

    Holidays: Attending a Small Celebration

    December 11, 2020


    • Bring your own food, drinks, and utensils.
    • #WearAMask and store it in your pocket or purse while eating and drinking.
    • Avoid going in and out of food prep spaces.
    • Space seating at least 6 feet apart for people who don’t live with you.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or if unavailable, use 60% alcohol hand sanitizer.


    More tips: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/winter.html

    Holiday Gatherings

    December 4, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Gatherings during the upcoming holidays can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This holiday season, consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.

    Holiday celebrations will likely need to be different this year to prevent the spread.

    Who should NOT attend a holiday gathering:

    Do not host or participate in any in-person gatherings if you or anyone in your household:

    • Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others
    • Has symptoms of COVID-19
    • Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results
    • May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
    • Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
    Do not host or attend gatherings with anyone who has COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

    Learn more at
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#holiday-celebrations

    When to Quarantine

    November 27, 2020

    Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

    People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

    When to Quarantine?

    People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months.


    People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again.

    People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.


    What counts as close contact?


    • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
    • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
    • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
    • You shared eating or drinking utensils
    • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

    For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

    Celebrating Thanksgiving

    November 20, 2020

    This Thanksgiving, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Also consider these tips:


    • Avoid crowds. Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and the days leading up to winter holidays.


    • Use contactless delivery or curbside pick-up for purchased items.


    • Shop in open-air markets and stay 6 feet away from others.


    More tips:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html

    How to Properly Wear a Mask

    November 13, 2020

    COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets travel into the air when you cough, sneeze, talk, shout, or sing. These droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of people who are near you or they may breathe these droplets in.

    Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others. Studies show that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.

    Your mask should:


    ✔️ Reach above the nose, below the chin, and completely cover the mouth and nostrils
    ✔️ Fit snugly against the sides of the face
    ✔️ Be made of multiple layers of fabric that you can still breathe through
    ✔️ Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damaging the material or shape
    

    Do not buy surgical masks to use as a mask. Those are intended for healthcare workers and first responders.

    If these tips don’t help or you have concerns about wearing a mask, talk with your doctor about how to protect yourself and others during the pandemic.

    What Your Test Results Mean

    November 6, 2020

    Whether you test positive or negative for COVID-19, you should take preventive measures to protect yourself and others.

    A viral test checks samples to find out if you are currently infected with COVID-19. The time it takes to process these tests can vary. You can visit your state or local health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.

    • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first.
    • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are not tested, it is important to stay home. Find out what to do if you are sick

    Learn what actions to take when you receive either a negative or a positive COVID-19 test result.

    Picking-Up Takeout Food: COVID-19

    October 30, 2020

    Picking up takeout food while slowing the spread of COVID-19?

    • Order & pay online or over the phone when possible.
    • Accept take-out without in-person contact or stay at least 6 feet away from others.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after bringing home your food.

    Learn more about taking essential trips at this time: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/essential-goods-services.html

    What to Bring When Going Out

    October 24, 2020

    Going out? Keep these items on hand when in public spaces: a mask, disinfecting wipes, and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible.

    Learn more about everyday ways to slow the spread of #COVID19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/going-out.html

    What to Do If You Are Sick

    October 17, 2020

    Do you think you may have COVID-19? If you think you’re sick, follow guidance about when to call your doctor:


    • Monitor your symptoms
    • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
    • Avoid close contact with others when you’re out


    Most people who get COVID-19 can take care of themselves at home. If you need to see a doctor, take precautions to protect yourself and others around you.

    See more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

    Coping with Stress

    October 9, 2020

    Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations like COVID-19. You may feel anxiousness, anger, sadness, or overwhelmed. Find ways to reduce your stress to help yourself and the people you care about.


    • Learn the common signs of stress.
    • Make time to unwind and do activities you enjoy.
    • Talk with family and friends by phone, text, or email.

    If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed, get support 24/7 by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

    Learn more about stress and coping during the COVID-19 outbreak: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html

    Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Hand Hygiene Recommendations

    October 4, 2020

    Hand hygiene is an important part of the U.S. response to the international emergence of COVID-19. Practicing hand hygiene, which includes the use of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) or handwashing, is a simple yet effective way to prevent the spread of pathogens and infections in healthcare settings. 

    Hand Hygiene means cleaning your hands by using either handwashing (washing hands with soap and water), antiseptic hand wash, antiseptic hand rub (i.e. alcohol-based hand sanitizer including foam or gel), or surgical hand antisepsis

    Cleaning your hands reduces:

    • The spread of potentially deadly germs to patients
    • The risk of healthcare provider colonization or infection caused by germs acquired from the patient

    Methods for Hand Hygiene: Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer vs. Washing with Soap and Water

    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the most effective products for reducing the number of germs on the hands of healthcare providers.
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the preferred method for cleaning your hands in most clinical situations.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water whenever they are visibly dirty, before eating, and after using the restroom.

    Learn more at: https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/providers/index.html

    Content provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Deciding to Go Out

    September 25, 2020

    Wondering how you can do your daily activities safely while protecting yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19?

    The more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

    So, think about

    • How many people will be there?
    • Will the space be indoors or outdoors?
    • Will you spend a lot of time with others?

    (“PST” here’s a hint – think People, Space, and Time.)

    Learn more about assessing the risk when you‘re deciding to go out: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/deciding-to-go-out.html

    Healthcare Personnel and First Responders: How to Cope with Stress and Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    September 11, 2020

    Providing care to others during the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to stress, anxiety, fear, and other strong emotions. How you cope with these emotions can affect your well-being, the care you give to others while doing your job, and the well-being of the people you care about outside of work.

    During this pandemic, it is critical that you recognize what stress looks like, take steps to build your resilience and cope with stress, and know where to go if you need help.

    Tips to cope and enhance your resilience:

    • Communicate with your coworkers, supervisors, and employees about job stress.
    • Remind yourself that everyone is in an unusual situation with limited resources.
    • Identify and accept those things which you do not have control over.
    • Recognize that you are performing a crucial role in fighting this pandemic and that you are doing the best you can with the resources available.
    • Increase your sense of control by keeping a consistent daily routine when possible — ideally one that is similar to your schedule before the pandemic.
    • When away from work, get exercise when you can. Spend time outdoors either being physically activity or relaxing. Do things you enjoy during non-work hours.
    • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and mentally exhausting, especially since you work with people directly affected by the virus.
    • If you feel you may be misusing alcohol or other drugs (including prescriptions), ask for help.
    • Engage in mindfulness techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation.
    • If you are being treated for a mental health condition, continue with your treatment and talk to your provider if you experience new or worsening symptoms.

     Learn more at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/mental-health-healthcare.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcommunity%2Fmental-health-healthcare.html

    pllen

    What’s the Difference Between COVID-19 and Seasonal Allergies?

    September 4, 2020

    When choosing to go out in public or visit a loved one at higher risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends we pay close attention to our symptoms. For those of us with seasonal allergies, understanding symptoms  can present a challenge!  

    Seasonal allergies triggered by airborne pollen can lead to seasonal allergic rhinitis, which affects the nose and sinuses, and seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, which affects the eyes. Your sniffles and sneezes may seem like symptoms of COVID-19.

    While COVID-19 and seasonal allergies share many symptoms, there are some key differences between the two. 

    For example, COVID-19 can cause fever, which is not a common symptom of seasonal allergies. The image below compares symptoms caused by allergies and COVID-19.

    seasonal allergies infographic

    *Seasonal allergies do not usually cause shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, unless a person has a respiratory condition such as asthma that can be triggered by exposure to pollen.

    This is not a complete list of all possible symptoms of COVID-19 or seasonal allergies. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from mild to severe. You can have symptoms of both COVID-19 and seasonal allergies at the same time.

    If you think you have COVID-19, follow CDC’s guidance on ”What to do if you are sick.” If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.

    How to Safely Wear and Take Off a Mask | Covid-19

    August 28, 2020

    Covid-19 has been found to spread mainly from person to person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.

    Here are some guidelines on how to properly wear and take off a mask.

    WEAR YOUR MASK CORRECTLY

    • Wash your hands before putting on your mask
    • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
    • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
    • Make sure you can breathe easily
    • Do not place a mask on a child younger than 2


    USE A MASK TO HELP PROTECT OTHERS

    • Wear a mask to help protect others in case you’re infected but don’t have symptoms
    • Keep the mask on your face the entire time you’re in public
    • Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead
    • Don’t touch the mask, and, if you do, clean your hands


    FOLLOW EVERYDAY HEALTH HABITS

    • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick
    • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least
    • 20 seconds each time
    • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available


    TAKE OFF YOUR MASK CAREFULLY WHEN YOU’RE HOME

    • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
    • Handle only by the ear loops or ties
    • Fold outside corners together
    • Place mask in the washing machine
    • Wash your hands with soap and water

    For more info, see: cdc.gov/coronavirus

    Protecting Your Friends | Covid-19

    August 20, 2020
    As students start returning to school, it’s important to remember to follow these steps to protect your friends & yourself.

    Traveling & Covid-19

    August 14, 2020
    If you are traveling, help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses by following these steps. 

    Youth Sports & Covid-19

    August 7, 2020
    As we try moving toward a new normal, Summer sports are starting back up. Here are some tips and recommendations to keep you and your players safe during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

    Food & Covid-19

    July 24, 2020

    Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19.

    Coronaviruses, like the one that causes COVID-19, are thought to spread mostly person-to-person through respiratory droplets when someone coughs, sneezes, or talks. It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food or food packaging, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    After shopping, handling food packages, or before preparing or eating food, it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Remember, it is always important to follow good food safety practices to reduce the risk of illness from common foodborne pathogens.


    Content Source: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention

    Resident Spotlight | Mr. Smith

    July 20, 2020

    Mr. Smith came to Nicholasville Nursing and Rehab following a 2-month hospital stay after a left side, below the knee amputation that left him requiring assistance with most things in his day-to-day activities. Prior to his surgery, Mr. Smith was living independently. Through his rehab, he has proven to be capable of so much! He is now mostly independent with most daily activities! He said, “It has been so good I really hate to leave”. It won’t be long until he makes his way back home! Congratulations, Mr. Smith!


    Disclaimer: This photo was taken prior to Covid-19 regulations

    Testing for Covid-19

    July 17, 2020

    Viral tests check samples from your respiratory system, such as a swab from the inside of your nose, to tell you if you currently have an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Some tests are point-of-care tests, meaning results may be available at the testing site in less than an hour. Other tests must be sent to a laboratory to analyze, a process that takes 1–2 days once received by the lab.


    How to get a Viral Test

    Here is some information that may help you make decisions about getting a viral test:

    • Most people have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Contact your healthcare provider if your symptoms are getting worse or if you have questions about your health.
    • Decisions about testing are made by state and local health departments or healthcare providers.
    • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are not tested, it is important to stay home.


    What to do After a Viral Test
    • If you test positive for COVID-19, know what protective steps to take if you are sick or caring for someone.
    • If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. The test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing. You may test negative if the sample was collected early in your infection and test positive later during your illness. You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and get infected then. This means you could still spread the virus. If you develop symptoms later, you may need another test to determine if you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

    COVID-19 testing differs by location. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first. You can also visit your state or local health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.

    To Our Residents and Family Members:

    July 15, 2020

    On June 25th, Governor Beshear provided guidance related to safely opening our nursing home. As part of the reopening initiative, there are very specific guidelines that must be followed. At this time, our center has experienced a facility-onset of resident or staff COVID-19 case in the preceding twenty-eight day; therefore, we are unable to open until later in August.
    Our top priority is keeping our residents and care team members safe, and we feel not allowing visitors at this time will help ensure their safety. Please feel free to contact the Activity/Social Services Department to schedule video chats or phone calls.
    Notification of any changes will be posted to our Facebook page and website. It will also be mailed to residents and/or responsible parties. You can also call the center at any time to see if there are any updates or changes to the visitation policy. We will also be updating our website at www.nicholasvillenr.com and will be adding an electronic calendar to also schedule visits as soon as possible.
    Thank you for your time and patience.

    Very truly yours,

    Tom Davis
    Executive Director

    Visiting Friends and Family with Higher Risk for Severe Illness

    July 10, 2020
    When you visit friends & family who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, take these important steps. Wear cloth face coverings, stay at least 6 feet apart, meet outside if possible, wash your hands often, & sanitize all touched surfaces.

    Cleaning and Disinfecting

    June 26, 2020

    When cleaning and disinfecting a public space, workplace, business, school or even your home, you have to put together a plan. Cleaning with soap and water removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces while disinfecting actually kills the germs on surfaces. Cleaning lowers the risk of spreading infection, but disinfecting can even further lower that risk. Once you have a plan in place, you must implement then maintain and revise.

    Develop Your Plan

    • Determine what needs to be cleaned
    • Determine how areas will be disinfected
    • Consider the resources and equipment needed

    Consider the type of surface and how often the surface is touched. Prioritize disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and be mindful of the availability of products needed and PPE.

    Implement the Plan

    • Clean visibly dirty surfaces with soap and water prior to disinfection
    • Use the appropriate cleaning or disinfecting product
    • Always follow the directions on the label

    Maintain and Revise the Plan

    • Continue routine cleaning and disinfection
    • Maintain safe practices
    • Continue practices that reduce the potential for exposure

    Continue to revise and improve upon your plan based on the appropriate disinfectant and PPE availability. Frequently wash your hands, use cloth face coverings and stay home while you are sick.


    Content Source: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention

    Fabric Face Coverings

    June 12, 2020

    Covid-19 has been found to spread mainly from person to person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Studies show that these droplets can usually travel around 6 feet and can land in the mouths or noses of people who are within that distance and possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Wearing a cloth face covering may not protect the wearer directly, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others. The Center for Disease Control recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

    Examples of those settings include:
    • Grocery stores
    • Pharmacies
    • Gas stations
    • Post Office
    • Bank


    Cloth face coverings are encouraged because they will slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus (and don’t know it yet) from transmitting it to others.

    How to wear your face covering correctly:
    • Wash your hands before putting on your cloth face covering
    • Wear it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
    • Try to fit the cover snuggly against the sides of your face
    • Make sure you can breathe easily


    Wearing face coverings is a way to protect those around you. It is encouraged to be worn so you do not transmit the virus to others if you have it and are not presenting symptoms yet; though there are things to keep in mind for your own safety in removing the covering properly.

    Examples include:
    • Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead
    • Do not touch the face covering, and if you do, wash or sanitize your hands afterwards
    • Keep the covering on your face the entire time you’re in public
    • Handle only by the ear loops
    • Fold outside corners in together
    • After removing, do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, and wash your hands immediately after removing



    Our care team members are required to wear medical grade masks at all times while in our communities. Cloth face coverings are encouraged outside of medical facilities and should only be worn in situations like the ones listed above.

    Stress During Covid-19

    May 30, 2020

    Per the Center for Disease Control, the outbreak of Covid-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in those affected.


    Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:
    • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones.
    • Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
    • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating


    Here are some ways you can help cope with this stress:
    • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
    • Take care of your body
    • Take deep breaths
    • Stretch
    • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
    • Exercise regularly
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
    • Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

    Proper Handwashing Technique

    May 22, 2020

    Per the Center for Disease Control (CDC),Hand hygiene is an important part of the U.S. response to the international emergence of COVID-19. Practicing hand hygiene, which includes the use of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) or handwashing, is a simple yet effective way to prevent the spread of pathogens and infections in healthcare settings. CDC recommendations reflect this important role. Please refer to the handwashing diagram (below) provided by the World Health Organization to learn how to properly and most effectively wash your hands.