Apr 28

Prestige Care

COVID-19: Safety & Prevention at Prestige Care

Posted by Prestige Care

Over the past weeks and months, we have taken steps to implement safety precautions designed to safeguard our residents, patients and staff, and maintain our rigorous preventive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout our organization.

As part of our commitment to keep our residents, patients and their families informed, we have updated our list of frequently asked questions – which can be found below. We also continue to update those we serve, and their loved ones, of our preventive measures directly. 

We understand that this is a challenging time and thank you for your continued trust in our care. We take our responsibility as caregivers incredibly seriously and want to assure you that we are collectively doing everything we can to focus on combating this illness.

Prestige Care – Frequently Asked Questions Concerning COVID-19

Preventive Measures at Prestige Care Concerning COVID-19:

Throughout our entire organization, we are closely following CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of communicable diseases and working with state health departments to ensure that our locations have access to the most recent information regarding COVID-19.

Our residents, patients and their families place a great deal of trust in us to ensure their safety and well-being. We will continue our ongoing steps to implement safety precautions designed to protect those we care for.

Our response to COVID-19 includes:

- Attentively monitoring for signs of illness, including routinely checking our residents’, patients’ and staff members
- Adhering to the policies we have in place that maintain a clean environment, including increased disinfecting high-touch areas and surfaces with an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant.
- Restricting all visitor access, including families and friends, with exceptions for essential visits.
- Requiring that all permitted visitors, such as necessary personnel, go through additional screenings and hygiene procedures, in addition to limiting entry points and recording all individuals that enter our center.
- Deferring all group activities and outings, except for necessary medical appointments.
- Encouraging social distancing among all community members, including residents, patients, visitors and staff.
- Diligently tracking all resident, patient and staff interactions throughout our organization.
- All staff are wearing surgical facemasks per CDC recommendations at all times during their work hours.
- Following guidelines set by the CDC regarding droplet precautions and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

What are Prestige’s infection control protocols?

We strictly follow infection prevention and control recommendations from the CDC, which can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-recommendations.html.

Key features of our infection control protocols include:

- Maintaining heightened cleaning and disinfecting procedures;
- Closely following CDC recommendations on how to minimize exposure to respiratory pathogens;
- Diligently adhering to personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines and working closely with vendors to ensure we have sufficient supplies;
- Strongly encouraging effective hand hygiene and other sanitary practices for all residents, patients and staff;
- Continually updating and training our team on effective infection control practices and new information from various health organizations; and
- Ensuring that our prevention policies are followed consistently and correctly.

Should the CDC update its guidelines, we will adjust our procedures accordingly, as well.

When does Prestige test residents and patients for COVID-19?

Currently, the criteria for testing is determined by the various health authorities, which can differ by state. Per CDC guidelines and recommendations from state health officials, Prestige refers individuals for testing when they exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as having a temperature over 100 degrees and showing symptoms of acute respiratory illnesses, and other newly identified symptoms. Prestige also refers individuals who have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive to their provider.

We continue to screen residents, patients and staff for signs of COVID-19 and immediately alert local health care authorities of any suspected cases. We are working closely with these organizations, including state health departments, to refer those who exhibit symptoms for immediate testing.

How does Prestige help safeguard staff?

We’ve implemented a series of enhanced steps to protect our staff, including but not limited to:

- Restricting staff travel between Prestige locations.
- Minimizing the number of staff and health care personnel that interact with residents and patients who have tested positive or have exhibited symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Adhering to droplet or special droplet/contact precautions, as appropriate.
- Requiring that team members and health care personnel wear PPE, including facemasks and gloves, when appropriate.
- When full PPE is not required, requiring the use of surgical masks when interacting with residents, patients and in other social settings within our locations.
- Keeping a detailed log of people who enter residents’ and patients’ rooms.
- Rigorously cleaning and disinfecting all areas, surfaces and equipment.

We strongly encourage all members of our team to continue to demonstrate exceptional hand hygiene practices.

We also offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to provide free counselling services to team members and immediate family members to help cope with stress and anxiety during this difficult time. 

Do residents and patients have to wear masks?

All residents and patients who leave our communities for both medically necessary appointments and non-essential visits are required to wear a mask for the entirety of their outing, unless advised otherwise by their medical provider. Those who do not follow this policy will be placed on droplet precautions for 14 days.

These measures are consistent with the guidance by the CDC and are an important part of limiting the spread of this illness.

How is Prestige connecting families while adhering to social distancing mandates?

While we are limiting nonessential visitors to help keep everyone safe, we are committed to helping connect residents and patients with their families. In many cases, we are setting up video chats using a number of platforms. Some of our staff have also volunteered to use their personal cell phones to help connect families via FaceTime.

We have several families that visit our residents and patients through their windows. Many of them also tape pictures, cards and other personalized messages on the windows to help spread warm wishes.

Families can send flowers or drop off care packages in designated areas. We also welcome cards, letters and other paper gifts, such as drawings and homemade artwork, from the community. We are taking extra precautions, asking those bringing items meet a staff member at the entrance, and disinfecting items as they come in.

How is Prestige keeping its residents and patients engaged during this challenging time?

Our leadership team meets daily – if not hourly – to continually reinforce our protective measures while working to ensure that we maintain a positive environment.

Communal dining and other group activities are on hold as we adhere to social distancing mandates, although we are providing in-room activities to keep residents and patients engaged. Some of these new daily activities include hallway bingo, individual crafts and courtyard/hallway concerts for residents to enjoy at a safe distance from others.

What’s next?

As always, our highest priority is our residents’ health and safety, and we remain vigilant in our efforts to limit the spread of this virus.

Prestige remains proactively focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19 or any other communicable diseases. We are closely monitoring for updates from the CDC and other health officials and will ensure that our preventive measures align with the latest guidelines from these organizations.

General COVID-19 Questions:

What is COVID-19, or the Novel Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered human coronavirus. The virus causing COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, such as the common cold.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19, and how does it spread?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, shortness of breath, and cough. Some may also experience aches and pains, loss of appetite, change in sense of taste or smell, sore throat or diarrhea. Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through person to person contact (within about 6 to 10 feet) and can also spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are transmitted when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

How do I protect myself and my family?

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and recommendations for keeping yourself and your family healthy, we recommend checking out the CDC website for regular updates: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

As with other communicable diseases, prevention is the first line of defense. Here are some precautions, as listed on the CDC website.

- Wear a cloth mask in public.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty


3/27/2020

At Prestige, the safety of our residents and families is our top priority, and we believe it is our responsibility to make sure our community members have the most up-to-date information when it comes to their health and safety. Maintaining transparent communication related COVID-19 is very important to our team, and we aim to do all we can to ensure our residents, patients and family members are receiving updates in a timely and efficient manner. In addition to regularly updating this blog, we will be communicating more detailed community and center updates with residents, patients and families via email. 

As we continue to monitor the situation, our focus is on illness prevention. We are closely following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines for preventing the spread of this, and similar, communicable diseases, and have policies and procedures in place that will help ensure the health, comfort, and well-being of our residents. 

We've taken immediate steps to limit our communities' risk of exposure to this virus and are strengthening the steps we are taking to protect our residents, patients, and staff. These steps include restricting all visitor access, including family members, and limiting entry to staff, vendors and medical personnel. Our leadership team is in constant contact with one another and meet daily - if not hourly - to evaluate steps to enhance how we protect our residents, staff, and visitors. We have also implemented the following steps to help keep our communities and centers safe:

- Restricting all visitor access, including families, with exceptions for essential visits. Please contact us directly if you feel your visit is necessary.
- Deferring all large-group activities and outings, except for necessary medical appointments.
- Requiring that all residents remain in their rooms and practice social distancing, which means avoiding common areas and staying at least six feet away from others when possible. 
- Closing dining and food areas. Food will be delivered directly to residents and our staff will ensure they have enough food and other necessities throughout the day.
- Connecting families via phone, email and video platforms, and providing in-room activities to keep residents engaged. 
- Requiring that all permitted visitors, such as necessary personnel, go through additional screenings and hygiene procedures, in addition to limiting entry points and recording all individuals that enter communities.
- Continuing to attentively monitor for signs of illness throughout our organization, including routinely checking our residents’, patients’ and staff members’ temperatures during each shift.
- Adhering to the policies we have in place that maintain a clean environment, including regularly disinfecting high-touch areas and surfaces every two to four hours. 

We are closely monitoring the situation and following the policies and procedures we already have in place that will help ensure you and your loved one’s health, comfort, and well-being. We will continue to update our team and community members directly, follow guidelines from the CDC and work with public health officials and local health experts to implement additional proactive measures as this situation continues to evolve.

We take this situation very seriously and remain committed to maintaining a safe, nurturing place for our caregivers to provide quality care for our residents and their families. 

For more information regarding COVID-19 and our efforts to keep our communities safe, as well as precautions you can take to help ensure your health, please see below.

Prestige Care – Frequently Asked Questions concerning COVID-19

What is COVID-19, or the Novel Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. The virus causing COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, such as the common cold.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19, and how does it spread?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, shortness of breath, and cough. Some may also experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through person to person contact (within about 6 feet) and can also spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are transmitted when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

What preventive action is Prestige taking?

Prestige is closely following CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of communicable diseases and proactively communicating with other health care organizations, including the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, to ensure that our locations have access to the most recent information regarding COVID-19.

We are attentively monitoring for signs of illness throughout our organization, encouraging diligent hygiene practices and are planning for all scenarios. For Prestige Care and Prestige Senior Living locations within regions currently being impacted by COVID-19, we’ve implemented the following proactive measures:

- Daily temperature checks and symptom monitoring for residents, patients and staff.
- Select locations have restricted visitor access from those who might have a fever or other cold or flu-like symptoms.
- Regularly disinfecting high-touch areas and surfaces every two to four hours with an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant, in addition to adhering to our existing protocols that maintain a clean environment within our locations.
- Staff travel has also been limited, and any team member who has recently traveled internationally has been asked to refrain from visiting our communities or centers until two weeks after they return, as symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure.

What’s next?

Prestige remains proactively focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19 or any other communicable diseases, which can range from the common cold to the flu, and we have procedures and protocols in place that we turn to in times such as these.

The information above includes the immediate steps we’ve taken to limit our communities’ and centers’ risk of exposure, and we are preparing for all scenarios. In the meantime, we will continue to work with our vendors to ensure that we have adequate stocks of food, water and other necessary supplies throughout our organization.

We understand your concerns about COVID-19 and are fully committed to the health and safety of every single person who walks through our doors.

What can I do to help?

While we are attentively monitoring for signs of illness throughout our organization, we highly encourage those who may be sick or those who have recently traveled to areas affected by COVID-19 to refrain from visiting our communities and centers. Some of our locations have proactively started screening visitors for signs of illness and restricting access to those who may show symptoms. Please contact your specific Prestige location to learn more.

How do I protect myself and my family?

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and recommendations for keeping yourself and your family healthy, we recommend checking out the CDC website for regular updates: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

As with other communicable diseases, prevention is the first line of defense. Here are some precautions, as listed on the CDC website.

- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. 
- If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.