Update of Information: 3/19/2020
Family Email Communication to: email@example.com
Dear Residents, Family Members and Staff,
Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time. As you know the Coronavirus or COVID 19 is affecting individuals worldwide, in every part of the US, and now throughout Illinois. The facility has had members of the Governor’s Office, the State’s Department of Public Health, the County Health Department and the CDC in our facility over the last several days. They have had nothing but positive things to say about the facility’s response and the work that we are doing.
As always, our residents’ and staff’s health, safety and wellbeing, remains to be our highest priority, and we recognize the uncertainty and concern regarding the rapidly evolving COVID-19.
As we all know, the elderly and those individuals with underlying chronic illnesses are at an increased risk of contracting this virus. Nursing home residents are front and center of the high-risk population. As such, the Long Term Care community of providers we had anticipated and planned for this event.
Our facility’s planning and response to COVID-19 has been a multidisciplinary approach and has included an extensive, coordinated plan following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and DuPage County Health Department.
For more than two weeks prior to any active cases identified here, we proactively initiated and implemented increased infection prevention strategies and practices. These activities included:
- Symptom screening of staff.
- Symptom screening of residents.
- Enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection.
- Visitor screening and restrictions.
- New visitor restrictions of non-essential visitors have also been restricted to try and close the gap of an infection break in our facility.
- Assessing and ordering additional supplies.
Since the first case was identified on Friday, March 13, testing for all residents and key staff (identified in conjunction with public health experts) was all completed by Sunday, March 15. The first test results were received the afternoon of Monday, March 16 and we received all the test results by the evening of Wednesday, March 17. As of this morning all residents and family members (and staff) have been contacted to discuss their test results of COVID-19.
Increase Monitoring of all Residents Continues:
The most significant monitoring for further spread of the virus and to identify increased symptoms in identified resident cases, is to increase monitoring of our residents’ vital signs. Vital signs include checking Temperatures. To that end, residents identified as Positive for COVID-19 have Vital Signs done twice a shift and Residents identified as Negative for COVID-19 Vital Signs are done every eight hours
Again, we thank you for your patience and understanding and it is our hope that this information will result in reduced calls to our facility which will allow our dedicated staff to focus on providing top quality resident care.
To avoid tying up phone lines and our staff’s time we are asking if you have any further questions, or concerns that you communicate to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have attached a quick summary for your information of what all of us can do to help reduce the likelihood of this virus coming into our home.
Watch for symptoms
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*
- Shortness of breath
Who is at higher risk?
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
We are here for you and together we will make it through this difficult time. We need all residents and staff to pay particular attention to good infection control precautions.
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Take steps to protect others
Stay home if you’re sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask ONLY if you are sick or the Person you are caring for is:
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.