Dear Residents, Families, Friends, Volunteers:
We are committed to keeping our residents safe and we continue to need your help. The virus causing Coro- navirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19) can cause outbreaks in nursing homes. Many of our residents are elderly and may have medical conditions putting them at a very high risk of becoming sick, or even severely ill, with COVID-19. Visitors and healthcare personnel (HCP) are the most likely sources of introduction of the virus that causes COVID-19 into a facility.
To protect our vulnerable residents, even before COVID-19 was seen in our community, we immediately took the following aggressive actions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our residents and staff:
1. Continue to restrict all visitation
All visitation is being restricted except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life situations. These visitors will first be screened for fever and respiratory symptoms.
We know that your presence is important for your loved one but, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is a necessary action to protect their health. We are introducing alternative methods of visitation (such as Skype and FaceTime) so that you can continue to communicate with your loved ones. As the situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing, we will continue to keep you updated.
2. We are monitoring healthcare personnel and residents for symptoms of respiratory illness.
Non-essential healthcare personnel and volunteers are now restricted from entering the facility. Healthcare personnel will be actively monitored for fever and symptoms of respiratory infection. Ill healthcare personnel will be asked to stay home. You may see healthcare personnel wearing facemasks, eye protection, gown, and gloves in order to prevent germs from spreading and help keep residents safe. Healthcare personnel will clean their hands frequently.
We are assessing residents daily for fevers and symptoms of respiratory infection in order to quickly identify ill residents and implement additional infection prevention activities. When ill residents are identified, they will be monitored closely, asked to stay in their rooms or wear a mask.
3. We are limiting activities within the facility.
We are cancelling all group activities within the building and all community outings. We will be helping residents to practice social distancing, including during meals, and to frequently clean their hands.
We encourage you to review the CDC website for information about COVID-19, including its symp- toms, how it spreads, and actions you can take to protect your health: https://www.cdc.gov/corona- virus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Thank you very much for everything you are doing to keep our residents and facility staff safe and healthy. We continue to monitor the situation in our community; we will keep you informed about any new precautions we think are necessary to keep your loved one safe.
Please contact me with additional questions or concerns.
Caroline Rich, Administrator/COO