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Need to Know Guidance During Covid

 

November 3, 2020

TEMPORARY CHANGE:

All in-person, inside visits are canceled. Managers from each community have been calling each family to explain the situation. ZOOM meetings, window visits and outdoor visits are still allowed. This is temporary until COVID-19 cases in Walworth County are better under control. The safety of all residents and staff drive these decisions. Your understanding is appreciated.

October 10, 2020

Happy Fall to Everyone! I wanted to continue our updates and let you know we remain COVID-free since the last memo.  

DISINFECTANT STUDY

I’m also excited to announce that we have partnered with a group that makes a long- lasting disinfectant called "Q Shield Professional Surface Protector.” It is an antimicrobial surface protector that can kill pathogens on contact and can adhere to surfaces for up to three months. We will be using the product and doing some efficacy testing for them in the assisted living realm. We are excited to be a part of this study!

INDOOR VISIT PROCEDURES

 I know you have all been waiting for some visitation changes and I’m happy to announce that we will begin having indoor visits as of October 19. With the colder weather on its way we realize that visiting outdoors is no longer feasible.  We will have a designated room in each building for these visits along with some very strict guidelines that MUST be followed. 

  • At the Gardens building in Elkhorn, the conference room will be used, so you will enter at the front door.
  • At the Terrace in Elkhorn, Apartment 149 will be used, so you will enter at the entrance closest to the Gardens.
  • In Delavan for the CBRF, you will enter through the front door and turn left into room 116.
  • In Delavan for the RCAC apartments, you will enter through the side door nearest the service drive to Apartment 202.  

The following are the guidelines for these visits:

  1. You must schedule your visit at least 24 hours in advance.  This must be scheduled with a manager (Marcia at the Terrace, Emily at the Gardens, and Shar or Ammie at the Village).
  2. All weekend visits need to be scheduled by noon on Friday.
  3. The hour before and after meals is blacked out.
  4. Visits will start at 9am and then every 45 minutes thereafter to allow for sanitizing the area. (9am, 9:45am, 10:30am, 1pm, 1:45pm, 2:30pm, 3:15pm, 6pm, 6:45pm, 7:30pm and 8:15pm.)
  5. Visits will be half (½) an hour with a maximum of two (2) visitors.  NO pets allowed.
  6. Staff will present a questionnaire about symptoms and take your temperature. Anyone presenting with symptoms will be asked to delay their visit.
  7. There will be no access to a toilet; only a sink to wash your hands.
  8. Face coverings must be worn by both residents and visitors. Social distancing of at least six (6) feet should be maintained.  No touching is allowed. 
  9. Outdoor visits and window visits remain an option as long as the weather cooperates.

RISKY ACTIVITY

It has been reported that some visitors are NOT following the social distancing and the no touching rules during outdoor visits. They are also not always wearing masks, usually when they are in vehicles.

We have also had cases of families taking residents out to appointments when they have not been feeling well and then subsequently tested positive for COVID. These actions are putting everyone’s loved one at risk. PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES for everyone’s sake.  

I understand that this is a very frustrating time for all of you. It is equally frustrating for us. Our staff have now become the cable and phone repair people, grocery delivery people, doorman, I-Pad instructors and temperature checkers, all in addition to being the great caregivers they are.

Therefore, please be patient when you are waiting at the front door. The staff is doing the best they can to meet everyone’s needs. Also, please don’t be offended when we deny your entrance to the building. We are following the guidelines from the State of Wisconsin, the Bureau of Assisted Living and the CDC. We cannot allow people in to use the bathroom, to pick out clothing, to move furniture or any other non-essential tasks.

Please note that the Department of Health Services and the Bureau of Assisted Living still advise that virtual visits are the safest, followed by outdoor visits. With flu season just around the corner it is strongly recommended that only essential appointments are being attended and that families are extremely cautious while out with your loved one. Observing frequent hand washing, limiting contact with others while out, maintaining social distancing and wearing a protective face covering are all good practice.

If a resident or staff member test positive for COVID then all residents in that building will be subject to a 28-day quarantine.

Any building on quarantine cannot allow visitation. Please help us keep everyone safe by following the guidelines. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns or suggestions you may have.

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

Sincerely,
Christina Kiesel,  Director

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August 31, 2020

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope this finds you all well in these difficult times.  With the pandemic still holding strong, our day-to-day operations continue to be challenging.  We have had to re-think the way we do many things, from dining to activities, beautician services and family visits; just to name a few.   We are not only monitoring our residents daily for signs and symptoms of this virus, but our staff as well.  As many of you may already be aware, there was a shortage of health care workers before the pandemic hit.  That has not changed.  The staff in all of our buildings have really stepped up to the challenge to cover open shifts, to cover for co-workers out with symptoms, to cover for co-workers needing to quarantine due to a spouse or other family member coming into contact with a positive case.  I don’t know how many of you have worn a surgical mask for an eight-hour period, but I can tell you it is not comfortable.  Our staff have been working tirelessly to care for our residents and I applaud their efforts. 

The guidance from the CDC, Public Health and the Wisconsin Bureau of Assisted Living changes on almost a daily basis.  Sometimes the guidance conflicts between these entities, and we have to navigate through it which is not always an easy task.  While we are licensed under the state of Wisconsin, our local Walworth County Public Health Department is the final authority on certain practices.  I am in constant contact with them.  All managers also listen to a weekly webinar hosted by the Bureau of Assisted Living and has an MD, ombudsman, the Director of the Bureau and several RNs in attendance to talk about new information, guidance and to answer any questions we have. 

OUTDOOR VISITS

At the present time we are allowing outdoor visits only.  We have decided that we will no longer have set days and time periods, but would ask that you call and schedule an appointment.  Please be mindful that staff is quite busy around mealtimes (between 11:30am to 1pm and then again from 4:30pm to 6pm).  Please schedule a visitation time with the Resident Service Manager (Marcia at the Terrace, Emily at the Gardens, and Shar or Ammie at the Village).  Staff will be taking your temperature and having you fill out a Visitor form.  No physical contact should occur during the visit and both the visitor and the resident should have a face covering on and maintain social distancing during the entire visit.  

SUPPLY DROP OFF

Supplies can be dropped off at any time now.  We ask that you call ahead to give the staff some notice.  If the items are non-perishable, please label the bags and leave in the lobby entryway so staff can pick up at their leisure. 

APPOINTMENTS/OUTINGS

Residents may attend essential appointments (doctors, dentist, etc).  If you are going to be transporting them, please be sure you are symptom-free and wearing a mask during transport and while with them.  The Bureau of Assisted Living is strongly discouraging outings that are NOT essential (beauty shop, lunch, shopping); however, residents maintain their rights and may choose to do what they please.  If residents and families choose to go on non-essential outings, we ask that a face covering is worn at all times and that hand washing and hand sanitizing is done prior to returning to the facility.  Please be aware that if a resident is hospitalized overnight or is out overnight for any other reason they will need to quarantine for 14 days.  Any resident who tests positive for COVID-19 puts the entire building in an outbreak status and ALL residents must then quarantine for 28 days (two incubation periods). 

I want to express my sincere appreciation for all the wonderful treats, pizza parties, gift cards and other goodies that we have received from you!  That means a lot to the staff. Thanks for your generosity and kind words!

As always, the staff will contact you if your loved one is in need of supplies, medication, etc.  They will also notify you of changes in physical or cognitive status or other health emergencies.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your Service Manager.  Please be aware that due to the managers being on call 24/7 they may take a day off during the week.  If you have left a message, please be patient for their return call.  If it is more urgent you may contact me.  We will continue to make you aware of any changes.

Sincerely,
Christina Kiesel, Director