The health and safety of our patients and personnel is our utmost priority. Throughout this pandemic, our facility has followed a specific protocol to control the spread of the coronavirus. Our COVID-19 protocol complies with state and federal guidelines, and we deploy additional sanitizing measures on an ongoing basis. Our infection control measures are regularly updated and monitored within the facility.
Visitation – This facility, as well as CMS and CDC, recognizes the importance of visiting with your relatives as part of staying healthy. Outdoor visitation poses a lower risk of transmission; therefore, visits may be held outdoors whenever practicable. Indoor visitation is also allowed in almost all circumstances. In-person visitation is allowed for instances of compassionate care on a case by case determination, even during an outbreak. We are constantly weighing the risk of spreading COVID-19 with the benefits of expanding visitation. It is very important that during visits we wear a mask, wash our hands, and watch our distance. We hope that if we are careful and mindful of the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention, we can return to pre-pandemic visitation practices soon. Core Principles are listed below.
We know how important it is for families to communicate with their loved ones. We recommend families work with our staff to schedule virtual visitations via Facetime, Zoom or telephone when you cannot be here in person.
Entry screenings – Everyone who enters our facility must undergo a temperature check and complete a questionnaire. Any person who fails the screening shall be declined entry to the facility. We are providing this protective action in conjunction with the recommendations of the state health department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CMS and our Medical Director.
Vaccination – This facility offers each resident and staff education on COVID-19 and information on the risks, to include side effects and benefits of vaccination. The vaccine is offered at the facility to any staff or resident who wishes to receive it. CMS believes that vaccinations will help protect those who are most at risk of severe infection or death from COVID-19; therefore, we recommend that all residents and staff receive the vaccine unless contraindicated. Fully vaccinated residents can have contact visits if desired as well as eat and have group activities with other fully vaccinated residents.
Screening and testing – All employees submit to daily temperature checks and must complete a daily questionnaire for early detection of symptoms and exposure. All residents, at a minimum, have daily temperature checks and monitoring for symptoms for early detection of COVID-19. In addition, employees are tested according to state guidelines, which is influenced by the level of community transmission as well as new cases being identified. Residents who test positive are moved to our COVID-19 isolation unit. Any residents who may have come in contact with a positive individual or may have otherwise been exposed are moved to a dedicated observation unit. Our staff is trained to detect the early onset of respiratory symptoms.
Cleaning and disinfecting – Our facility takes additional steps to disinfect and clean our facility. These procedures go above and beyond what is required of us – they reflect our unwavering commitment to protecting our patients and personnel.
What you can do at home – Everyone in the community also plays a very important role in protecting our residents. Get immunized as soon as the COVID-19 vaccine is available for you. Now and until advised otherwise, continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently. While elderly people and those with a compromised immune system are especially vulnerable, no one is totally immune from the virus. Taking safety precautions protects everyone.
Research about the transmission of the virus is ongoing. Recent studies suggest that people who are asymptomatic (showing no outward signs of illness) may nonetheless be contagious, making it more important than ever for everyone to take precautions.
To learn more about the symptoms of COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and your family, visit the CDC website.
Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention
- Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions about and observations of signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection in the prior 14 days (regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status).
- Hand hygiene before and after visits and as needed when touching surfaces or people (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred).
- Well-fitting face mask that covers mouth and nose.
- Social distancing of at least six feet between persons.
- Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face mask, specified entries, designated areas, hand hygiene), etc.
- Cleaning and disinfecting high frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit.
- Appropriate staff use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Effective co-horting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care).
- Resident and staff testing conducted as required.