Update: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Good afternoon WestRidge Place Family:
Today an employee tested positive for COVID-19 via a rapid test after reporting symptoms prior to their shift. This employee had not tested positive throughout the time we had our special care unit. We sent the employee home to quarantine and are hopeful for a full recovery.
Today in accordance with our pandemic guidelines we are facilitating social distancing for our residents who have previously tested negative for the virus.
- We began monitoring all previously negative testing residents for symptoms every 4 hours during wake time
- All staff are wearing N95-masks while on duty and gloves in resident rooms.
- We have an adequate supply of personal protective equipment on hand and more available should we need it.
- Our most recent health check shows no residents with signs or symptoms
- Today in accordance with our pandemic guidelines, I contacted the local and state health departments to report the positive test results.
- Today we began testing all employees and residents who have previously tested negative for the virus. Those who have previously tested positive are considered recovered.
- We expect results within 72 hours of the tests being sent to the lab
- You will be notified privately of your loved one’s results
- We will update our families on the overall results of our community.
- In accordance with federal and state guidelines we are only allowing outdoor visits at this time providing the resident is COVID-negative.
- We are continuing to disinfect surfaces throughout the community
We believe open and transparent communication, balanced with protecting individual privacy is essential at this time. Please direct all of your questions to me. Thank you for your support during these challenging times.
UPDATE: Friday, June 19, 2020
To our assisted living families in the State of Missouri:
On June 15th Randal Williams with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) issued a memorandum outlining guidelines to allow nursing homes and other long-term care facilities (like our assisted living and Arbors communities) to offer outdoor visitation for our families and residents. We are pleased to be given the greenlight by DHSS but we want our families to clearly understand the conditions placed on these visitation opportunities. Each of our communities will need to meet those conditions individually.
As stated in Governor Parson’s order on June 11, Local (government) officials will still have the ability to put further measures or regulations in place, but from a statewide stance, all restrictions will be lifted." – Governor Michael L. Parson, June 11, 2020
We anticipate several of our communities being ready to start implementing visitation plans by next week. However due to high rates of infection the following Missouri counties have not given their clear permission for visits to begin:
Jasper County – Carthage specifically
St. Charles County
St. Louis County
You will receive an email when your community is ready to schedule visits and with instructions on how to do so.
We thought it would be helpful for you to understand the conditions of DHSS and the guidelines Americare is putting in place to open up outside visit opportunities yet remain vigilant in keeping our residents safe:
- DHSS directs that for communities to offer outside visits there have been no new COVID-19 cases in residents or staff members in the previous 28 days.
- DHSS is limiting each visit to two visitors with proper social distancing and proper hand hygiene prior to and after the visit
- DHSS is requiring both the visitor and the resident to wear a mask. If the resident is unable to wear a mask an alternate options of a plastic partition may be used.
- DHSS is requiring a screening upon arrival of each visitor and allowing only those visitors that meet the screening criteria to visit. Components of the screening will determine whether the visitor has ever been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are they currently showing signs and symptoms. Additionally visitors must be able to demonstrate proper use of infection control techniques to visit
- DHSS is expecting communities to keep visitor logs noting the names of visitors, who they visited, staff that assisted the visit, dates of visit, and contact information in the event of subsequent positive COVID-19 cases among staff or residents.
- DHSS is directing communities to sanitize any outdoor areas, including tables, chairs and partitions between each and every visit using an EPA approved disinfectant in accordance with instructions for dilution and contact times.
In response to the conditions of DHSS, Americare will implement the following processes at each of our communities:
- Americare will set up outdoor visitation stations at each location. These shaded locations will have social distancing measures in place for residents and visitors to follow and maintain 6 foot distancing. Designated areas will be established for the resident closest to the community.
- Americare will require each visitor to sign in and provide needed information on the visitation sign in sheet and to complete a wellness screening. This screening tool will require a temperature check and questionnaire to be completed. Anyone not meeting the requirements of the screening will be required to reschedule the visit.
- Americare will provide hand sanitizer on site to allow for hand hygiene prior to and after the visit.
- Americare requests that visitors provide their own face mask, but if one is not available a mask will be provided. Masks MUST be worn at all times during the visit.
- Americare will require an appointment for each visit. These visits will be coordinated based on staff availability, meal times and weather conditions. We are working on establishing a simple system to help our staff provide easy scheduling for our families. However currently we will be using a manual system. No visits will be allowed that are not prescheduled with the community staff.
- Please call your community directly to inquire about visit availability.
- To allow everyone the opportunity to schedule an initial visit with their loved one we are not allowing “standing visits” to be scheduled at this time.
- Within the next two weeks we hope to have a more automated system in place for self-scheduling.
- Americare will allow 2 visitors (including babies and children) at a time per resident in a 30-minute increment. Each visitor must be able to demonstrate proper infection control practices. If infection control practices are not followed then the visit will need to end. Additionally, the resident will be placed on a 14 day in room quarantine for the safety of other residents.
- While children are always welcome – they too must be able to wear PPE and practice proper infection control and social distancing.
- Americare staff will disinfect the visitation station between each resident’s scheduled visit.
Please note inside visits have not been approved by DHSS. We ask that you continue to abide by our no-visitors policy inside the building. Window visits of course are still encouraged with a closed window to prevent transmission and can be done without an appointment.
For the health and safety of our residents please use good judgement with regard to outdoor temperatures before having your loved one join you for an outdoor visit. If a heat index warning has been issued we will ask that you do a window visit instead.
Thank you for your continued support during these challenging times. We too want to reunite our residents with their loved ones. Doing so in a responsible way will help ensure everyone’s safety. If you have a specific question regarding your loved one or your community’s visit processes, please contact your administrator or director of nursing.
Mary Eaves Michael Hammond
Senior Vice President Senior Vice President
Heartland Division Gateway Division