With recent news about the coronavirus, you as family members may have some questions or concerns. Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – is a new virus that causes respiratory illness. Because this is a new virus, information can change as we learn more. As always, we continue to follow proper health and safety precautions to ensure the well-being of our residents.
For more information you can visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. A new viral outbreak is scary but panic should not occur. If we take strong measures now, we may be able to reduce the impact of the virus. Educating yourself and your family will greatly reduce panic and anxiety while aiding to prevent the spread of infection. The clinical presentation of 2019-nCoV includes a range of symptoms, from light coughing to severe pneumonia resulting in death. Fever, coughing and shortness of breath are most common. Symptoms usually appear from two days to two weeks after exposure. Although there is uncertainty on the issue of “asymptomatic transmission” (if an infected person can spread the virus before they get sick and start coughing, etc.), it is unlikely to contribute much to the spread of the virus. The highest risk of virus spread would be from a person who has symptoms like fever and cough.
Our knowledge of the 2019-nCoV continues to grow as new information becomes available. At this time, initial reports indicate that, similar to influenza, this virus may be spread when a sick person coughs or sneezes. The vast majority of reported cases only experience mild symptoms and are well enough to stay home. As with influenza, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are more likely to develop severe symptoms and require hospitalization.
Our plan includes visitation restrictions for non-essential persons. Basically, this is a no visitation policy in order to limit the potential exposure to COVID-19 by our Residents. Only essential persons that consist of staff and healthcare personnel are allowed entry to the facility at this time. We encourage you to call since you cannot visit in person right now. We want you to know we will continue the screening process for symptoms upon entrance to the facility for those allowed, to include healthcare personnel such as physicians, lab personnel, etc. and our staff. Any person with positive symptoms shall be declined entry to the facility. We are providing this protective action in conjunction with the recommendations of the State Health Department, the CDC, CMS and our Medical Director.
Per the recommendations of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), all non-emergent appointments have been canceled. In addition, all outside group activities have been cancelled until further notice. We will continue to provide in-house activities to our residents.
We have educated our staff on early recognition of respiratory symptoms. We have also educated on infection control measures and are monitoring infection control processes within the facility.
We would remind everyone to follow these practices to stay well during the cold and flu season. This includes avoiding sick people, avoiding large indoor crowds, proper hand washing with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when you are sick.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Be well.