In our commitment to the health of our residents, families, caregivers as well as the greater community, we are reaching out to you to convey measures we are taking and protective measures you can take regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Per the most recent PA Department of Health information, there are not any cases of COVID-19 in Lackawanna County, nor are there any community-acquired cases in bordering counties. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we are implementing to help reduce the potential for COVID-19 to enter our building. However, we need your help in battling the traditional flu as well as preventative precautions for COVID-19.
CDC information lists the highest risk group complications from this virus as being the elderly and medically compromised individuals.
In order to prevent cases of COVID19 in the community from coming into our facility, we are putting limits on visiting at this time. Until further notice we are not allowing visits from the following groups into our building:
No visits from children under the age of 18, pets or general social visits.
We are limiting visits to medically necessary situations. These will be situations where there is a significant medical change in the resident or the visit is essential from the resident’s emotional well-being and care. Arrangements for these visits will be made through the contract with the licensed nurses or social workers on the resident’s unit. The licensed nurse or social worker will notify reception that the visit is approved ahead of time. PLEASE DON’T JUST COME TO THE BUILDING AND PRESUME THAT YOU WILL BE ALLOWED IN.
- These visits will need to occur in the resident room and away from our general resident population.
- We are actively screening all visitors who do come to our building for medically necessary visits under the following criteria: fever, cough, shortness of breath or if you have traveled internationally or in areas of the United States that have cases of this virus. Persons who do meet any of these criteria are not allowed in even for medically necessary visits.
We request that you use alternate methods of communication with your loved one. We will gladly assist with phone calls, video chats or other methods to keep in touch. Please contact the Life Enrichment Department for further assistance at 570-344-6177 extension 1113.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus in the community:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- If you are going to cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow. Do not sneeze or cough into your hands
- If you use a tissue, dispose of it immediately
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as door handles
In our facility:
- We monitoring supplies that are available for residents and staff.
- We will be closely monitoring staff and visitors as to their health status requiring all to utilize hand sanitizers and handwashing throughout the building
- We are actively monitoring our residents for flu/virus-like symptoms and then our medical staff as well the individual’s emergency contact will be notified
- We are reviewing our infection control protocols and emergency plans with our staff
- This week we have made some modifications in our daily routine operations related to controlling regular cases of Influenza. They include changes such as limitations on group activities including meals in the main dining room.
- Clear communication is important. To keep our resident, staff, and visitors who are in our building up, our Infection Control Preventionist will be posting notices at the time clock and in the elevators which contain up to date operation changes in effect for the day related to regular flu precautions and updates as they occur related to COVID 19.
YOU CAN HELP!
- We ask for your understanding and assistance as we take these proactive and preventive measures as we continue to monitor this We will remain in contact with you as changes develop.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation, if you have further questions please contact:
Chief Executive Officer, ext. 1101
Mary Rose Applegate
Chief Operating Office, NHA, ext. 1102
Senior Director of Clinical Operations, ext. 1173
Infection Preventionist, ext. 1131