Our dedicated hero’s here at the facility have and continue doing their utmost to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19 with preemptive and proactive measures. Some of these measures are restricting/limiting entry, monitoring staff and residents for signs and symptoms, continuous training of staff, constant deep cleaning, social distancing, cessation of communal activities, stockpiling essential PPE and equipment. We are in constant communication and collaboration with state and local health officials to ensure all practically appropriate steps are taken to reduce risks. We carefully follow the latest research and guidance coming from CDC, CMS, and State Athorities, strictly adhering to all directions from the entities involved. Rest assured, we have plenty of support at all levels, and despite the PPE shortage around the country, we have the needed supplies. We understand that other family members are concerned and would like more information, however HIPAA privacy laws prohibit us from sharing certain information without the consent of the resident or their representative, so please assist us with informing anyone else who may be concerned. We will continue to update our website with any notifications to ensure our message is clear and consistent. In the unfortunate event that we are not spared attack from this global pandemic and the invisible foe makes its way into our facility, we will be in direct contact with those who are positive, to discuss status and treatment plans. We hope this gives you a peace of mind that we are working around the clock to keep your loved one safe!
- Educating staff regarding the signs and symptoms of COVID 19 (fever, cough, and/or Shortness of breath and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID)
- Staff will wear the appropriate PPE per CDC guidelines during all patient encounters to limited the potential exposure
- Postings at all entrances informing any visitor, volunteer, or other person that if they meet the criteria for entry
- Visitation – At this time the facility has stopped all resident visitors with exception for residents that are actively dying or at the end of their life.
- Vendors/Surveyors/Ombudsman/Other Medical Personnel/Parcel Delivery Services – Will need to be screened prior to entry. The restricted criteria for visitors will also apply to these persons if they are required to be in or perform work in the facility.
- Pharmacy Delivery – The pharmacy delivery service will not enter the facility. They will bring the boxed medication to the entrance door and will notify the facility staff
- Other Necessary Healthcare Workers (Hospice, Lab, X-Ray, Doctors, Physicians, Mental Health Professionals)
- Telehealth should be encouraged if applicable
- Signing In/ Screen of Visitors and Staff, and any others will be required to sign in / be screened at the nurses’ station or other area near the entrance and attest that they do not meet the criteria for entry, to include but not limited to: fever, cough, travel, interaction, and work history. Working multiple locations will be identified and discouraged. Temperature will be taken and documented.
- Outside activity groups including family nights will be cancelled.
- Activities outside of the facility are cancelled.
- Communal dining is discontinued when possible, and those residents requiring assistance with dining are spread apart such that there is 1 resident per table and are spaced more than 6 feet apart.
- Resident Out on Pass Restriction-This facility is restricting residents from going out on pass until further notice except for essential appointments (dialysis, life threatening appointments)
- Monitoring or restricting health care facility staff, including agency nursing staff and private sitters.
- Staff will sign a log attesting they do not meet the criteria barring entry into the facility or working. If applicable, additional assessment will be required.
- Return to or Allow to Work Criteria for HCP with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 or other respiratory infection-facilities have strategies to determine when HCP may return to work in healthcare settings, and follow CDC guidelines for returning to work
- Any new admission or readmission will be screened prior to admission, to include but not limited to: testing for COVID-19, historical lookback of care provided in the acute setting such as fever or respiratory symptoms that may have been present.
- Residents are screened by a respiratory assessment with Vital Signs daily, to ensure we identify changes in condition early
- Nurses Station –Staff must be more than 6ft apart
- If you have a sitting area that allows residents to sit within 8-10 feet of each other, it should rearranged to allow the recommended social distancing.
Transferring a resident with suspected or confirmed infection with COVID-19 to a hospital
- If COVID 19 is suspected for a resident, communication with the physician and family will be conducted to formulate a plan of care for the resident.
- The resident will be placed in a room with no other resident when applicable, with a mask covering their mouth and nose. The door to the room will be closed until the transfer occurs. EMS will be notified for the transfer and will be informed of the suspected infection of COVID 19.
- The Administrator, Social Services, Activity Director and DON will meet with the resident council to inform them of the visitation actions taken and the changes in any canceled outside activity programs. Residents will also be informed of alternatives to on site visitation (phone calls, virtual communications)
- Disinfectant will be used for general cleaning with approved agents. High traffic areas and high touch will be visited more frequently.
Suspected Case(s) of Covid in the Facility –If a resident and or staff is being tested for Covid and results are pending:
- Assess the risk of exposure for staff using the CDC tool, and remove the staff or isolate them with appropriate PPE as defined by CDC (not homemade unless that is the only available mask) until that person is cleared.
- Confine residents to their room, with curtains pulled, door closed
- If resident comes out of their room due to refusal of isolation or cognitive deficit, they must have a mask on.
- All meals will be served in the room
- Inform immediately the residents, families, staff, medical providers, local and state authorities of the suspected outbreak
- Dedicated workers will be identified to care for those suspected individuals so cross contamination does not occur
- Collaboration with local and state health authorities, State Agencies, and Emergency Management on the logistics and care will be made
- Every effort to exhaust securing the necessary PPE will be made to include normal channels of contract agreements, group purchasing through outside agents, State and Federal resources, and investigating new avenues as the arise.
STEPS OUR NURSING HOME IS TAKING
Prior to concerns about COVID-19, we had infection prevention and control procedures in place to maximize the health and safety of the vulnerable population we serve. We have enhanced our existing protocols to minimize the risk of exposure and to provide clinical and operational personnel the information and tools necessary to address the situation as it evolves.
The following is a summary of measures undertaken to date consistent with regulatory guidance:
Interdisciplinary Task Force
- Led by our Medical Director and our Regional Nursing team, our interdisciplinary team is in constant communication working together to develop efficient and effective procedures and protocols to minimize the risk of exposure and prepare for possible spread.
- We monitor and have been communicating with DOH and other regulators as well as trade associations and other health care providers to obtain the most up to date information to allow us to evaluate and implement the most effective prevention and control protocols.
- Our clinicians are vigilantly monitoring resident health.
- We have trained our staff to identify residents who might be at risk of COVID-19 and are prepared to institute precautions for these residents if the need arises.
Employee and Contractor Screening
- We are screening employees and contractors for symptoms or potential exposure to COVID-19 to prevent the introduction of the COVID-19 infection.
- We have increased the frequency of cleaning on high touch surfaces and high trafficked public areas with hospital-grade bleach disinfectant. This is done daily, and in many areas, multiple times a day.
- We have made hand sanitizer readily available for residents, visitors and staff.
Based on guidance published by CMS, as a preventative measure to limit outside exposure to our residents, we have limited all visitation except end-of-life or other essential situations. Visitors for whom visitation is permitted under the limited exceptions may not visit if they have fever, shortness of breath, cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.
We know that this will be challenging for our residents and their families and loved ones and appreciate your understanding and cooperation in order to protect the health and safety of your loved ones.
If you have any questions about the visitation limits, please call us.
Visitors will be screened prior to entry for the following risk factors:
- Contact within the last 14 days with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection;
- Within the last 14 days travel to high risk areas, including China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea or a cruise ship, or participated in other stings where crowds are confined to a common location;
- Residing in a community where community-based spread of COVID-19 is occurring;
- Respiratory illness; and
- Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, including fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat
Visitors subject to the limited exceptions who have any of the risk factors will be barred from entry. Visitors will be required to present a valid government issued identification prior to entry. Visitors will be required to use personal protective equipment, such as facemasks.
Volunteers and Non-Essential Vendors
We have advised volunteers and non-essential vendors to refrain from participating in programs at this time.
CDC Main Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
FAQ via CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
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