Saint John XXIII Home  >  News


Saint John XXIII Home:

To:  Residents, Family members, Volunteers and Staff

From:  Kirk Hawthorne, Administrator

Date:  10/3/22

Re:  CDC Updates, Vaccines, County Transmission levels, Outbreaks and visitation

You have likely heard that the CDC recently updated recommendations on COVID practices within healthcare facilities.  The following will outline how these updates will be handled at Saint John XXIII Home.  Please keep in mind that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has not yet updated their standards/expectations following the CDC recommendations release.  We expect this to happen over the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, the following tweaks to OUR practices will be implemented:

VACCINES “Up to Date” status:  With the release of the “Bivalent Booster”, the CDC has updated the definition of “Up to Date”.  To be considered “Up to Date” with vaccination, you must meet ONE of the following:

  • Receive the Bivalent dose.
  • Received a booster within the past 2 months
  • Received the Primary dose within the past 2 months.

At Saint John XXIII Home, our access to the Bivalent dose started on 9/9/2022.  At this point, our resident “Up to Date” status is 97%.  Staff “Bivalent” vaccinations are currently in process.

Not only does being “Up to Date” increase your protection from the virus, it also impacts what must occur for those of us living, working and/or visiting our facility, should you become exposed to someone who is COVID positive.  For example, residents who are NOT “Up to Date” that become exposed, will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 7 days.


This standard is unchanged, however, there is a great deal of confusion regarding “how much COVID” is in our County.  Both rating systems above are determined by a formula at the CDC and Department of Health levels.  The County Community level is the rating used for the general community and non-healthcare decisions.  Healthcare facilities are directed to use the COUNTY TRANSMISSION Level to determine COVID spread probability and healthcare practices.  The County Transmission rate will typically be at a greater level than the County Community level, which is the reason for us being “more strict” than the general community.

This is simply an effort to keep our seniors as safe as possible.  (For example: Mercer County is currently in “Medium Community Level” but “High Transmission Level”)


As mentioned above, the CDC updates the County Transmission level each Thursday based on the prior week’s COVID spread in our community.  County Transmission is rated on 4 levels:  High, Substantial, Moderate and Low.  Each level has a different set of responses or requirements that we will follow at Saint John XXIII Home.  Whichever LEVEL we are following on a given day is being posted at our front entrance.  Please take a moment to become familiar with the current level and our expectations/requirements for residents, staff and visitation.  Each LEVEL defines how we will handle Mask Use, testing, visitation, etc.

At this time, Mercer County Transmission remains in HIGH status.  Mercer County has been in HIGH TRANSMISSION status for several months.  With this in mind, visitation and mask use is unchanged.


In addition to the 4 levels of Community Transmission, we will also post “OUTBREAK STATUS” should we have COVID cases within our campus.  For our purposes, the CDC classifies an outbreak as a single case amongst residents and/or staff within a healthcare facility.  Staff members who test positive but have not worked in the prior 72 hours, would NOT create an outbreak episode for the facility.  The posting of “OUTBREAK STATUS” is to increase awareness of anyone coming in to our facility and to be diligent with your actions, social distancing and handwashing.  Again, we are simply trying to be as safe as possible to mitigate the spread. 

Should we enter an “OUTBREAK STATUS”, we will remain in “OUTBREAK STATUS” for a minimum of 14 days.  During these 14 days, additional testing requirements are in place.  We will discontinue an “OUTBREAK STATUS” only when we have successfully gone 14 days with no additional positive cases amongst staff and/or residents.

Thus far in 2022, we have had 3 positive cases amongst residents and multiple cases amongst staff.  The vaccine, mask use, handwashing and the cooperation of all involved has minimized the number of cases amongst our residents.  Thank you for continuing to be diligent.


Thankfully, the times of restricting visitation are long past.  Visitation continues to be permitted throughout the facility.  We continue to require mask use when inside the facility.  The mask use requirement will evolve based on the County Transmission level.  Please monitor the posted LEVELS at the front entrance and/or beauty shop to see what will occur as the levels decrease.  Keep in mind that visitation is permitted during an “Outbreak”, however,

In addition, we have posted a “VISITATION TIP SHEET” at the front entrance and beauty shop as well.


We will continue to test residents and staff members who have been exposed and/or have signs/symptoms of COVID, regardless of the County Transmission level.  Routine/Surveillance testing frequency will be determined by the County Transmission level.   

We do not require visitors to be tested to be permitted to visit.  However, should a visitor wish to be tested, we will accommodate such, providing supplies are adequate to permit such.


Testing and Quarantine requirements for:  admissions, re-admissions and resident stays out of the facility for 24+ hours.

  • All residents are tested upon admission, re-admission or upon return from being out of the facility for greater than 24 hours.
  • Residents who are “Up to Date” with their vaccine are then tested in 5-7 days following admission.
  • Residents who are “Not Up to Date” with their vaccine, would also be placed in quarantine for 7 days, upon admission, readmission or OOF 24+ hours.  Negative COVID test on day 7, would remove them from quarantine.


On behalf of everyone at Saint John XXIII Home, we thank you for your continued support, encouragement and trust.  Should you have additional questions/concerns, please do not hesitate to ask.  Please remember to monitor our information boards at the front entrance, beauty shop window(s) and Facebook


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