Resident Safety is Our Priority
The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect every aspect of our personal and professional lives. News stories recently are focusing on the increased risk to individuals living in congregate settings like nursing facilities. We have spent many weeks reviewing all the local, state and federal guidance, training our staff and doing everything in our power to protect those we serve.
We are very proud to share that our efforts have been successful so far, and to date we have NOT HAD ANY resident cases of COVID-19 in our facilities.
This is a very contagious virus, and we are very proud of our staff and their ongoing dedication to keeping our residents safe. These are a few of the highlights from our current infection control practices. These may change based on guidance from the local health department and CDC as they learn more about this virus and its spread.
1. N95s. We have been using medical masks, primarily N95s, for all staff in the facility since the March 17th. Over two weeks later, April 1st, The Ohio Department of Health recommended that all staff in long-term care facilities wear a surgical/medical facemask while working to avoid asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 to residents and other staff. Ohio Department of Health further suggested this include facilities NOT known to be affected by COVID-19. We are really proud that we were the first nursing home company in our area to search for, find, and immediately provide this level of protection to all of our staff WITHOUT having any residents known to be affected by COVID-19.
2. PPE. We continue to obtain adequate PPE for our staff and will continue to identify new supply chain options to protect our employees.
3. Staff Screening & Education. All staff are self-screening for increased temperatures and other coronavirus symptoms prior to their shifts. Once at the facility, employees are completing symptom screening forms and having their temperatures taken and documented. In addition, we have completed extensive education with all of our staff, so they understand the importance of infection control, staying home when sick and reporting any onset of illness right away.
4. New Residents remain in their room. When a new admission is welcomed into our facility, the person is in a designated area and primarily remains in his or her room to reduce the risk of exposure to any of our other residents. The person is monitored in this area for fourteen days for signs or symptoms of the coronavirus. After that fourteen-day quarantine, the person can be transferred to another area of the facility.
5. New Residents screened. All new admissions are thoroughly screened by the hospital, as well as by our staff upon admission, for any risk factors or potential coronavirus exposure.
6. Visitors. Following the CDC mandate, we are only allowing family visitation for individuals who are at the end of their lives. We understand that this is frustrating for families, but the risk to our residents from visitors is too great at this time. We know the coronavirus can be spread by individuals who are not showing any symptoms. Please continue to utilize other communication methods, including our Skype calls.
7. Group Activities. Our community activities, including dining and social interactions, have been decreased to allow for appropriate social distancing and infection control. Meals are being offered in resident rooms, and our activities department has been very creative in their calendar events.
8. Resident Masks. Any resident leaving our facility for an appointment or dialysis is given a mask to wear to reduce his or her exposure to viral illnesses.
9. Non-staff screenings. All vendors, outside transportation personnel and healthcare professionals are screened, including their temperatures, as soon as they enter the facility. If someone is symptomatic or has a fever, they are not permitted to enter the facility.
Thank you for your words of support and understanding as we all navigate this new reality. As new guidance is released from local, state and federal officials, we are prepared to adjust our protocols accordingly.
If you have any questions about these details, please reach out to our administrator anytime.