COVID-19 Update: June 4, 2020
June 4, 2020
I am writing today to give you an update that Governor Whitmer has announced the state is moving into Stage 4 of the Michigan Safe Start Plan. As executive order 2020-110 becomes effective over the next week and Michiganders are no longer required to stay home, I’m sure that many of you will want to visit your loved ones in our community. Although restrictions are being lifted, certain businesses will remain closed and specific activities that present a heightened risk of infection will remain prohibited.
The Governor has also issued an executive order (No. 2020-108), which continues the temporary restrictions on entry into health care facilities, including our community, through June 26. In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to protect your loved ones, we will continue to restrict visitation as we are instructed by the state.
We know you are concerned about your loved one and that you want to be able to see them again; we want that too. Ensuring residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our first priority. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. During this time, it brings our enduring priorities into focus: To deliver exceptional care and maintain a safe environment for our residents and employees. We continue to currently have 8 residents and 7 staff confirmed with the COVID-19 virus. All are recovering.
As you may remember, we also completed re-testing of all staff and residents, working with the National Guard and the Berrien County Health Department, as part of the statewide COVID-19 testing initiative. We still have not received the test results, but we will report results when they are returned to us.
What is happening now
To protect our vulnerable residents, we continue the following aggressive actions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our residents and staff:
- We are limiting resident activities within the facility. Group activities and group gatherings remain suspended. In their place, residents are receiving personalized in-room visits and enjoying other socially distanced activities.
- Frequent environmental disinfection work, especially focused on sanitation of hard and often-touched surfaces. Our infection prevention team continues providing frequent education and guidance to all staff and residents. In an extra effort to keep our residents and employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire community was cleaned with the Biomist Sanitizing System. This system is an FDA approved, alcohol-based solution that kills germs on contact. All common areas, resident rooms, furniture, and medical equipment were treated.
- Visitation remains restricted except for specific situations, such as end of life. We are following guidance from the CDC as a necessary action to protect the health of our residents. Those who enter the building will be required to limit their visit to a designated area within the building, wear a face mask, and frequently clean their hands.
- We are monitoring health care personnel and residents for symptoms. Residents, employees, and critical health care staff continue to be screened twice daily for fever and other signs of illness. Our goal is to quickly identify ill residents and implement additional infection prevention activities. If ill residents are identified, they will be isolated in their rooms, monitored closely, and asked to wear a mask while we obtain testing. If ill employees are identified, they are asked to isolate at home and obtain testing, following the health department and CDC guidelines. As testing capability has increased in Michigan, it has become much easier for our staff to be allowed to get tested.
- We have also implemented universal face mask use for all who enter the facility. Employees and any other individuals who enter the facility are wearing face masks the entire time they are in the facility. We encourage our residents to also wear face mask if they leave their rooms, in addition to frequent hand hygiene and social distancing.
Isolation protocols for those with symptoms
We have established isolation protocols for residents who show symptoms that would suggest COVID-19. Those residents with signs for this disease are tested and even after a negative test result is received, the resident remains isolated until symptom-free.
What you can expect through the foreseeable future
Our leadership and staff and the Health Department will continue to work diligently together to ensure that effective infection prevention measures are implemented and maintained. We will also ensure that our staff supplies are well-stocked with personal protective equipment (PPE). We are staying up to date with the CDC recommendations as they may continue to change.
We are here to ensure the best possible quality of life for those we serve. We know how important it is to remain connected with each other and to express love. Feel free to contact us, by phone or email, to schedule video chats or phone calls between loved ones.