As of 07/17/2020, there have been no known cases of Coronavirus in our care center. We know that you share our concerns about efforts to keep residents in our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new, optional program called Essential Caregiver was released from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) with guidelines last Friday. While we welcome this opportunity to make necessary exceptions to the visitor restrictions for those previous to COVID-19 providing essential care, we must all continue to be vigilant. We ask for patience as we consider the concept of the Essential Caregiver, what components make up the design of the program and when the time is right to implement this in our care center; balancing the safety, health and wellness for all who live and work here and for those who serve in the Essential Caregiver role.
We continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) regarding infection and prevention control (IPC). The following list identifies best practices currently in place at our care center:
- Indoor person to person visits are not allowed unless considered under the Compassionate Visit criteria. Alternative opportunities for visits by appointment include,
- Virtual visits.
- Open or closed window visits with social distancing.
- Outdoor patio visits with social distancing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required upon visitor successfully passing the visitor screening. All outdoor visits must be monitored by staff.
- Volunteers. In some cases, volunteers have been specially trained and specifically assigned screening or monitoring duties and have limited access to the care center with PPE use.
- Non-essential health care providers (HCP). In some cases, depending on ability to use telehealth methods and certain procedures required, HCP are allowed access.
Other Infection Control Practices
- Residents are monitored for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection.
- Resident(s) presenting with respiratory symptoms consistent with CoVid-19 will be recommended for testing and quarantined while awaiting test results.
- Dependent on outcomes, point prevalence testing (PPT) of the entire resident population and employees will implemented.
- Residents are quarantined
- upon admission,
- if exposed to individuals with COVID-19 or those with exposure risk,
- or upon return from medically emergent appointments out of the care center. Some medically necessary appointments may not require quarantine upon re-entry to the care center.
- Essential health care providers (HCP), who cannot use telehealth methods for treatment or are providing specific procedures will be allowed access using PPE and using specific ICP.
- Essential HCP, Compassionate Criteria visits and employee entrance to the building will be limited to one location when possible.
- Employees/contractors are screened upon entry and actively monitored while in the care center.
- Any staff or contractor showing respiratory symptoms consistent with CoVid-19 will be asked to be tested and not allowed to enter the building and expected to quarantine at home while waiting for test results.
- Social distancing is practiced throughout the building.
- All Staff are required to wear PPE including a surgical masks and eye protection. Additional PPE is required if a segregated unit is used or outbreak occurs.
- Residents are required to wear masks while receiving cares or are out of their room, unless medically exempt.
- All deliveries are left at the care center designated delivery door or in the vestibule where possible.
- Cleaning protocols are met for COVID-19.
Updated information on our preparedness for COVID-19 can be found on our website (www.sfhs.org) or Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.