Vaccinations: The next step in how we ensure the continued health and well-being of our residents and employees
This year has been a challenging one for us all, but particularly for older adults and the people who work tirelessly to ensure their safety, health and well-being. By diligently following the advice and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we have been successful in limiting the impact of COVID-19 on our residents and employees. As of April 5, 2021, we've had no new cases in the past week among our nearly 400 residents and more than 370 employees.
Now that a COVID-19 vaccine is available, we’ve taken steps to ensure that all residents and employees who desire vaccination will receive it as quickly as possible. As a participant in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, we are among those receiving earliest access to the vaccine. We are working with our pharmacy partners to ensure the quick and efficient distribution of vaccinations. The service is free for both our residents and employees.
While we can’t require residents and employees to get a vaccination, we strongly recommend it for both their health and the safety of our communities.
How we minimize impact
While the vaccine is an important step in keeping residents and employees safe, we continue to follow CDC guidelines to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. They include:
- Removal from the work schedule any employees who test positive until they test negative; strict quarantine protocols for any residents testing positive to limit further exposure
- Restricting outside visits to those necessary to the continued operation of our communities; visitors, vendors, contractors, employees and residents are screened upon re-entry to our communities to confirm to the best of our ability that they are symptom-free
- Closure of dining rooms in many of our communities and providing home-delivered meals instead to help prevent potential exposure; in those communities where dining rooms have reopened, limits on the number of people per table and physical distancing of tables
- Discontinuation of community-sponsored resident outings, group activities, events and meetings
- Requiring employees to be masked at all times; mask use among residents also is encouraged
- Daily monitoring of residents’ and employees’ health, particularly with respect to COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat
- Reinforced vigilance regarding proper hand washing, physical distancing and infection control practices in managing daily tasks (e.g., linen care, disinfecting high-touch surfaces, tools and utensils)
- Additional staff training in the safe use of Universal Precaution and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Additional screening steps for new residents to ensure they have not been exposed to COVID-19 or been in places or situations where infection is more likely to have occurred
- Increased cleaning of high-traffic common areas such as dining rooms, activity spaces and other areas of our community
- Sourcing of PPE and cleaning supplies for the protection of residents and employees
- Identifying opportunities for residents to connect with families through video and other digital technologies
We deeply appreciate the efforts of employees, residents and their families in helping us to minimize the impact of COVID1- in our communities. Please check back here to learn more as additional information becomes available.