Last updated April 7, 2020
The following is a statement from the Department of Public Health:
The Department of Public Health is recommending that healthcare workers that provide patient care in long term care facilities should use a minimum level of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all patient care activities. These healthcare workers should use a face mask and eye protection for all patient encounters. The Department of Public Health recognizes this recommendation is being made while PPE is in short supply.
In an effort to limit risk we will continue to follow the recommendations from the CDC and Department of Public Health while we try and conserve our PPE equipment at such time we need it for a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
To put this process into place we are educating and communicating the information to staff and residents. Then we will start the process of having all healthcare workers wear a reusable mask and the front line workers that provide resident care will wear a reusable mask and eye protection.
If you have any questions at any time please reach out to the Executive Director.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should families who are worried move their loved ones out of skilled nursing centers or assisted living communities?
No. Moving the elderly or frail is risky and often has long-lasting impacts. Research around natural disasters and other emergency events has proven this over time. CDC does not currently recommend transferring residents either home or to the hospital.
How concerned are you for skilled nursing center or assisted living residents?
We know that the frail and elderly are especially susceptible to this virus. That’s why we are in close communication with our local health department, CDC and CMS to ensure we have the latest information and resources available.
Are you having trouble getting things like masks and gowns?
We have heard that some long-term care providers are having some of the same difficulties as other health care providers getting masks and gowns. Pivotal Health Care continues to work with large number of organizations to locate and purchase supplies. The inventory of PPE supplies are updated daily and equipment is used per the CDC guidelines.
The CDC does not recommend masks for the general public at this point, so we can prioritize this equipment for health care workers.
If staff have to stay home because they are sick/schools close, how are you ensuring that there are enough staff to care for your residents?
Our state and national associations have encouraged and worked with both federal and state governments to waive current licensing requirements that would hinder care professionals from working across state lines, so we can address potential staffing needs.
Our state and national associations are also advocating for priority testing for our employees and residents, so we can quickly identify whether staff need to remain at home or if they can come back to work.
Staff members continue to be screened daily. If through screening it is identified that a staff member needs to go home they are sent home and the CDC guidelines for return to work are followed. All of this is tracked by our homes Infection Control Preventionist who is an RN.
Other important information:
- Home Office and leadership teams participate in weekly Health Care Association Calls where current regulatory updates and guidance related to COVID 19 are shared
- Receiving updates daily through regulatory entities including department of health, CDC, CMS and summaries of these updates along with guidance is provided by our state and national health care association
- Participation in CDC and CMS calls
- We continue to follow CDC guidance for screening employees
- Following resident screening and care protocols including daily temps and vitals, monitoring for signs and symptoms
- We continue to follow visitor restrictions
- Following guidance and protocols for accepting admissions during this pandemic
- At this time we have no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID 19
- In the event we identify a case we will follow CDC guidance for isolation and droplet precautions
- In the event a case is identified this would be communicated to the state and local Public Health Department, families, residents, staff and other required state departments.