I continue to be inspired by beautiful moments occurring daily at our communities. A staff member doing something extraordinary for a resident; Vitality teams pouring all their creativity into making Easter special; nurses putting a wealth of love into their care; residents and family capturing time together at the family visiting view windows – these stories are all around us and, for me, bring a grounding faith. In the face of this beauty, I feel a fearless confidence in our power to adapt, to find opportunity, and to nurture wonderful things. It speaks to a quote I recently came across. “Faith allows things to happen. It is the power that comes from a fearless heart. And when a fearless heart believes, miracles happen.”
Company-wide, a few things to know:
Our commitment to communication. We want to keep you abreast of changes as new information becomes available. To allow for predictable and regular, but not overwhelming communication, we will provide you with a weekly update letter. At your community there will be additional scheduled weekly or every other week communication, and more as needed.
Cherishing transparency. Currently, across all campuses, we have some positive cases.
- At Montage Ridge we have 2 COVID-19 positive residents in our SNF isolation hall, and 7 positive staff, all self-isolating at home.
- At Montage Hills we have 1 positive SNF resident and 1 positive SNF staff member self-isolating at home. We will provide testing for SNF staff and SNF residents at the beginning of next week.
- At Montage Heights we have 3 positive residents and 1 positive staff member. We will provide testing for staff and residents at the beginning of next week.
- At Paradise Village Parkview Memory Care, our 1 positive staff member from March has fully recovered and will return in May after medical clearance.
Cherishing our staff. Our community leadership are working to show how much we cherish them and their extraordinary efforts during this time. We have also crafted a “hero pay and benefits” package to be implemented in April and May, designed as a multi-faceted approach to supporting and honoring our team during this challenge.
Our commitment to enhancing our protocols even further. We are never done in the work of fine tuning our approach. Specific to our communities where our most recent positives have occurred, out of precaution, at the beginning of next week we will provide testing for the staff and residents of Montage Heights and Montage Hills SNF.
Below you will find a list of some of the many general steps we are taking to ensure a thorough and effective response, though each community continues to innovate additional measures that support the health and wellness of their particular campus.
Some ongoing and evolving actions include:
- All of our communities continue to be in close alignment with official guidelines and recommendations.
- We continue with recommended and best practice infection control procedures, including residents self-isolating in their apartments.
- We continue to refresh protocol training and COVID-19 education with community members. We will be completing all-department universal PPE and hand hygiene competency testing.
- Internal teams continue with a schedule of around the clock disinfection.
- We have implemented universal facemask requirement for all staff and outside individuals on campus, and for residents depending on circumstances.
- Where appropriate, we have/will implement droplet precautions with the use of N95 masks, face shields, and full PPE for any resident that tests positive for COVID-19 and other residents nearby.
- We are generally assigning duties to limit staff to specific areas of the community (“cohorting”) to reduce campus-wide interaction.
- We continue to monitor all residents in care daily, keeping a sharp and educated eye out for symptoms and any changes in behavior or condition that might be even remotely associated with COVID-19.
- We are maintaining important critical emergency supplies and are working tirelessly with vendors and local health departments to sustain them.
- We continue to screen everyone who enters and have increased criteria for entry.
- We continue to not permit visitors at this time (excepting for end of life circumstances) and invite residents to engage with loved ones via phone, text, facetime, or family visiting view windows, etc. Our team is happy to assist.
- Our Vitality teams continue to focus on engaging our residents but limiting physical contact, encouraging engagement from within apartments while we continue our self-isolation policy. Group activities remain suspended, but hallway activities at doorways continue. Memory care teams focus on lots of one on ones.
- We are preparing for and in some cases are sheltering on campus staff who wish it, to limit potential of being exposed to coronavirus in public, off-duty, or at home.
- We have been actively hiring staff to ensure a good pool of back up so only healthy staff are serving.
- All staff who call out for any reason possibly related to symptoms are being interviewed by HR and open and honest conversations with team members, and our self-reporting protocol for any symptoms that develop on or off duty, has been critical to for clarity of information, team member support and care, and risk mitigation.
- We have tracking systems in place to help us back trace the contact and path of potentially positive cases should investigation be needed.
- We have a playbook in place for next steps related to very specific circumstances, such as if a staff member suspects they may have been exposed, how long staff are to self-isolate and the timeline based on symptoms and medical advise, how a staff member might return to work after having exhibited any symptoms at all, reporting and protocols to immediately implement if a resident appears to exhibit symptoms, and so on.
- We have taken steps to cherish our employees through the unique needs of this challenge, providing free shift meals, strategizing childcare, getting creative with our hours, and ensuring a full complement of leadership all days of the week.
At our communities beat hundreds of hearts that seem to believe great things are possible and who are putting that faith into action. The beautiful moments continue to happen, even as some of us battle the stress, weariness, and frustration of the change around us. Our success in this challenge lies in how we respond and how we step up to contribute.
All my best,
Melody Gabriel, CEO