Frequently Asked Questions – COVID
Q: Can you review what health authority recommendations, guidelines, and/or requirements you follow across all Communities?
A: To offer an overview, we follow the recommendations, guidelines, mandates, etc. of several different health authorities including, but not limited to each Community’s: state health department, regulatory body, local health department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you ever have any questions, comments, and/or concerns regarding this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the administrator.
Q: How can I sign up to schedule a visit with my loved one?
A: You can sign up to schedule a visit with your loved one by calling our front desk and speaking with a member of our team. We ask that you call more than 24 hours in advance. Please note that we will check in with you to complete a Visitor Screening less than 24 hours in advance, prior to your visit. Additionally, we complete a Visitor Attestation with you upon arrival. Please note, however, that at certain times, such as with an increased prevalence of COVID-19 in the Community or in the greater Community, the state or local health department may request that visits be placed on a temporary pause. If this occurs, the Community will inform residents and their representatives, if applicable.
Q: How can I sign up to receive family engagement alerts for my loved one?
A: We highly encourage loved ones to sign up for the family engagement alerts for many great reasons. Caremerge, our HIPAA compliant and easy to use communication platform, serves as an especially important and valuable means of communication. We utilize Caremerge Family Engagement for a variety of reasons, including to offer updates as it relates to COVID-19. If you have not signed up for Caremerge communications and/or if you are interested in learning more, I strongly encourage you to reach out to the front desk of the Community where your loved one resides.
Q: I would like to leave the Community to visit with my loved ones during the winter season. Is this possible?
A: During this winter season, we encourage residents and families to consider virtual visits, such as through video, in order to minimize the opportunity for exposure to infectious illnesses such as COVID-19.
Nonetheless, we also understand that nothing compares to an in-person visit with your loved ones. In consideration of the health and wellbeing of all residents in the Community, residents that leave the Community for non-essential reasons may be asked to quarantine upon return. While we cannot change the quarantine guidelines, as they exist for valid safety and wellness reasons, we are committed to always doing all that we can to enhance the experience of our residents. If you do make an informed decision to leave the Community, we ask that you maintain physical distancing, engage in frequent hand hygiene at key moments, and wear your mask.
Q: What are the transportation guidelines for loved ones taking a resident on a medical visit?
A: We recognize that there may be a preference to have your loved ones transport you to medical appointments and/or other outings in place of alternative transport services. If a loved one is transporting you, for your safety and the safety of other residents residing in the Community, we ask that you and your loved one agree to the following enhanced infection prevention measures:
Q: What is Universal Screening?
A: Universal Screening is one of many critical infection prevention measures that we have incorporated into our COVID-19 Response Plan. Universal Screening involves routine screening of residents, employees, and visitors. In summary, for residents, we have incorporated additional components into our Wellness Checks- this includes but is not limited to: vital signs (such as a temperature check and pulse oximetry reading) and monitoring for any signs and/or symptoms of COVID-19 illness. For employees, we conduct a verbal screening upon arrival for their shift that includes questions regarding signs and/or symptoms of COVID-19, possible or confirmed recent exposure to COVID-19, and a temperature check. Lastly, for visitors, we conduct a screening 24 hours or less in advance for all non-essential visits and for essential visits as possible. Moreover, for visitors, we complete a visitor screening that includes similar questions as described above, an attestation to comply with our resident and employee centered infection prevention and control measures; and, lastly, we complete a temperature check.
Q: Are employees, visitors, and residents required to wear masks?
A: On Community property, employees, and visitors alike, must wear facemasks or a special mask (i.e.: a respirator). When we all commit to remaining vigilant with mask use, we are doing our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Residents are asked to wear a mask when in the presence of others and/or while outside of their private apartment unless there is a Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recognized contraindication, such as mask use results in difficulty breathing and/or if a resident cannot tolerate the mask and/or if the resident is unable to remove the mask which can be due to many reasons, including one’s cognitive abilities.
Q: I hear so much about PPE shortages how do I know the employees have what they need to keep themselves and my loved one safe?
A: We identified the need for substantial PPE stockpiles early on. With early due diligence and continued support from Gardant, the Local Health Department and the National Stockpile, we want to assure you that we have everything our employees need to keep themselves and your loved one safe.
Q: Am I still allowed to drop off items at the building?
A: Yes, absolutely! We have protocols in place to safely receive supplies, gifts, drop-offs, etc. If you are planning to drop off any items, we ask that you call to inform us, if possible, so that a member of our team can come retrieve the items upon arrival.
Q: Will we be notified when there is a positive case in the community?
A: Yes, every time there is a newly diagnosed resident or employee a mass notification will be distributed. Residents and employees will receive a hand-delivered letter, and have opportunity for 1:1 conversations. The designated emergency contact for each resident will receive an email announcement. For those that have not provided your email address to the community, please contact the receptionist and provide this so that you can receive timely communication. If you do not have an email address, you will receive a phone call followed by a mailed letter.
In addition, you will be notified when these same persons recover. It is important that you all know that residents and employees are recovering and are no longer at risk of exposing others to COVID-19.
Please know that because of confidentiality, we are very limited in what we will share with you. The content of the letter is the full detail that can be provided. We understand that you are concerned about our employees and residents, and their well-being, and appreciate that you understand everyone’s right to privacy.
Lastly, I would like to direct you to Gardant Management Solution’s website. The website contains data regarding both resident and employee positive cases at each of their managed Communities.
Q: What are the rules for the window visits?
A: Window visits allow our residents and families to see each other without potential exposure. Each community shall communicate Family Window Visits availability and procedures to families and residents. A common area window space will be designated as the “visiting window”.
Residents will remain on the inside of the window and families will remain on the outside of the window. The window shall always remain closed for barrier protection.
Due to the high demand for window visit, a schedule must be maintained by an assigned staff member for the scheduling of window visits, and all visits will closely follow this schedule. Opportunities must be provided for all residents to have window visits. A sample schedule will include 15 minutes to visit and 15 minutes to sanitize the space prior to the next resident’s window visit. Assigned staff are available to assist resident to window at scheduled time and assist with phone use to converse. If the phone used is a Community phone, staff sanitize after use. Sanitation of surfaces at the visiting window will occur after each resident use.
Residents and loved ones shall contact the community to schedule their window visits.