COVID-19

COVID-19 ACTIVITY UPDATE

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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. The protocols we put in place to safely receive supplies/gifts/drop-offs are still in effect at the communities.

 

Q: Can my loved one still walk around or go outside?

A: Yes. The Resident Services Coordinator is rounding with residents to see who would like to sign up for individual time slots to walk outside during good weather. We have set up a system that allows for safe access to the great outdoors, so please encourage your loved one to utilize this system if they would like to stretch their legs.

 

Q: How many confirmed cases are in the community? How do I know what’s going on at the community?

A: We want to assure everyone that we will be in communication with any confirmed case. You will receive notifications on positive cases for both staff and residents. We believe transparency is paramount to the success of our communities. Transparency with our residents, staff, local government, and with you as our families is important. Our website and each community website are also including weekly cumulative updates on the number of confirmed cases.

 

Q: Are all employees and residents being tested?

A: There is a lot of information in the media, at times contradictory, regarding testing. We are taking the direction of our state and local health departments in regards to all testing. As directed by the CDC, we continue to monitor all residents and screen employees prior to their shift. All employees are following standard precautions, including the wearing of masks and frequent hand washing. Our residents are sheltering in place in their apartments, and all group/communal dining and activities have ceased. We will continue to keep you updated in regards to the specific care of your loved one, including any testing that may be recommended.

 

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.

 

Q: Will widespread testing of all residents and staff be completed?

A: Our community follows guidance set forth from our local and state health departments regarding testing strategies, including widespread testing, of both residents and staff.  In the event that a directive has been given to conduct widespread testing in our Community, we would ensure that this was communicated to our residents (and their representative), if applicable, as soon as possible. 

 

Q: When will we begin to lift restrictions?

A: In the three-phase plan outlined by the Trump administration, Senior Housing is not included until phase 3.  And, before those phases begin, states must show evidence of a downward trajectory of COVID-19 and influenza-type illnesses in 14-day increments.  At Gardant-managed communities the health and well-being of our Residents and Employees are our number one priority. We will take a conservative approach to lifting restrictions and reclaiming the quality of life which our residents enjoyed before COVID-19. We will continue to be persistent and diligent in our practices. We appreciate your patience as we slowly begin to lift restrictions safely, and with Residents and Employees in mind. You will receive communication about this plan in advance of implementation, with specific details, directives and dates.   

 

Q: How can we visit our family member outside?

A: Please contact your community to inquire about an outdoor visit with your loved one. Your community will share with you their timeline regarding implementation of outdoor visits. Each community is following the guidance of state health departments.   Communities with new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days will be delaying implementation of outdoor visits. You can expect that your community will be adhering to the following outdoor visit procedures, in order to maintain the highest degree of safety for residents, employees, and visitors:

  • All outdoor visits must be scheduled in advance
  • When scheduling the visit, the family member must provide their contact information for purpose of COVID-19 phone screening to be conducted within 24 hours of the visit
  • A maximum of two (2) visitors may participate in the outdoor visit at one time.
  • The visit will be 15 minutes long and it is important that the visitor arrive at the designated time and not be late.  Those arriving late, will have their visit time shortened, or risk being cancelled, out of consideration for those visits immediately following.
  • Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to participate in visits, at this time. If there are specific extenuating circumstances, please contact your Administrator.
  • Each visitor will be individually phone screened for COVID-19 symptoms within 24 hours of the visit. If the visitor cannot be reached for the phone screen, then the visit will need to be rescheduled. We must speak directly to the visitor to conduct this screening. The community will make one call attempt, so it is important that the call is answered, and if unavailable the visitor call us back immediately.
  • All visitors, upon successful phone screening, will complete the visitor attestation upon arrival at the visit, prior to the start of the visit.  This will also include the temperature being taken for each visitor (maximum of two visitors). The visit may only occur upon completion of the Visitor Attestation, confirmation of no symptoms and no recent history of COVID19/exposure, as well as an acceptable temperature.  
  • Visitors may bring food and beverages to the visit for the resident to take back to their apartment. The food and beverages may not be consumed during the visit.
  • Each visitor will be required to wear a mask during the entire visit, and to wash/sanitize hands at the beginning of the visit.   The visitor (s) will bring their own mask to wear.  
  • 6-foot distance will be required during the visit and the visit will be held in a location designated by the community. The location of the visit cannot be changed. The visitors may not enter the community at any time during the visit.     
  • If the visit is scheduled on a day that experiences inclement weather, the visit will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.  
  • We have many residents in our community and it is important that we have time for each of our residents to have outdoor visits with their families. As a result, we may not be able to accommodate all visit requests as quickly as you wish, but we will do the best that we can, in consideration for all.
  • Residents who are on isolation or in quarantine will not be able to participate in outdoor visits, until precautions are lifted.  

 

Q: Will residents still need to wear a face mask once restrictions are lifted?

A: First off, it is important for everyone to know that this is unchartered water. We have not previous experienced a pandemic, and COVID-19 is a new virus for which there is not a proven vaccine or medication. As we learn more from experts in the field, our guidance, and our strategies change.  We understand that this is frustrating. We have a team that is specifically monitoring all data, research, and guidelines. We are also working closely with our local health departments to coordinate our COVID-19 response and strategy with them.

The current guidance regarding masks is as follows:

  1. Congregate senior/disabled housing is at very high risk for the spread of COVID-19 by virtue of density of the population as well as co-morbidities of those we serve
  2. Until a vaccine is developed, it is safest to wear a mask when within 6 feet of someone who is not someone with whom you reside (i.e. share an apartment with)

Based on this guidance, residents are asked to do the following until a vaccine is developed:

  1. Wear a mask whenever they leave their apartment
  2. Wear a mask when someone enters their apartment

If this guidance changes, we will communicate this.

 

Q: Can the beautician be considered an essential worker, and will you open back up the salon?

A: Project Reclaim Home is evaluating each COVID-19 restriction, and how to modify or lift this restriction in the safest way possible.   The services of the beautician are on our list of services to restore during one of the early phases. We are reviewing licensing and regulatory guidance regarding haircare and manicure services, and will be rolling out modified salon services as soon as we are prepared to do so. We expect some of the salons in our communities may be able to open as early as July 13th.   

 

COVID-19 Articles

June 2, 2020

On March 10, 2020, our communities implemented restrictions to control and/or prevent the outbreak of COVID-19. This is an important date. Our decisions since this date have been made for the sole purpose of keeping our residents and employees safe. We recognize that over the past 12 weeks, these necessary safety precautions have been difficult and have caused each of you to be separated from your loved ones. Again, we have always placed the health and well-being of our residents and employees first. As we look back, we are confident that the proactive approaches taken, were the right decisions at the right time.

During the past couple of weeks, we have formed a team to develop a plan to begin to slowly lift some of the restrictions that have been imposed. The team, “Reclaim Home” will only make changes when we are prepared to do so and only when we have the resources, equipment, space, and guidelines to do it safely. June 5th will be our “Reclaim Our Home” day in the communities. Our employees and residents will be celebrating the beginning of reclaiming their home. 

This will be followed by the first step of our plan, which is modified small group activities, to begin on Monday, June 8th. While adhering to very detailed infection control precautions, each community will hold two small group activities daily, Monday-Friday. Precautions will include wearing of masks, physical distancing, frequent sanitizing of touched surfaces, disposable supplies, etc. A scheduling system will be implemented that provides an equal opportunity for each resident to sign up for groups. As always, in-room activities will be available for those residents who are not comfortable joining in small group activities.    

Over the coming weeks, you can expect to receive continued announcements regarding additional modifications to previously implemented restrictions. This will include the re-opening of the beauty salon, manicures, expanded window visits, outdoor visits with family members, and modified small group dining. Again, our plan will be determined by the prevalence of COVID-19, ability to adhere to required infection prevention precautions, direction from the local health department, and state orders. We look forward to the day that we can welcome our families and friends back to the community.  

Do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions. We all have the goal of reclaiming home and providing new opportunities for connection with each other, while keeping our residents and employees safe.