We understand that the past few months have been challenging due to the emergence of the COVID-19 virus and the additional safety precautions that have been put in place because of the virus, such as the limitation of in-person visits to our facility. We also understand that, although these precautions were necessary to protect the safety of your loved one, not being able to visit in person has been especially challenging. We appreciate your patience and the sacrifice you have made to help protect your loved one during the COVID-19 crisis by not visiting in person.
The state of Iowa has released guidance regarding a phased approach to safely reopening long-term care facilities to visitation. The purpose of this phased approach is to provide as safe a pathway as possible to resident and family visits. There will be three phases for transitioning to reopening for visitation based on a facility's current COVID-19 status.
Based on this guidance, a facility's reopening phase will be based on the status of COVID-19 in the surrounding community and at the facility, as well as the availability of certain resources to protect residents and staff from exposure during visits, such as surgical and N95 masks, gloves and gowns. Our facilities continue to work diligently to secure the resources needed, but the supply chain nationwide remains strained while demand has increased a thousand-fold for certain products.
Depending on these and other factors, our facility will be operating under one of three phases of reopening. If any of these factors change over time, the facility may be required to return to a more restrictive phase:
- Phase One: Compassionate care, such as end-of-life visits, window visits, virtual visits and in the future limited outdoor visits (depending on PPE, staffing and current COVID-19 cases).
- Phase Two: Adds visitation options for residents nearing end of life or experiencing significant changes in condition.
- Phase Three: Adds limited in-person visits that comply with the facility's specific visitation policies, which may include additional screening procedures, scheduling visits and the use of personal protective equipment while visiting.
Once the facility notifies you that outdoor visits may begin, please expect to follow new safety measures requested by the facility, such as scheduling your visit, going through health screening protocols when on site and wearing a mask when you visit. The facility will designate visitor safety protocols to protect you and our residents.
It is also still the policy and recommendation that the facility limit all outings to medically necessary appointments only at this time. Upon return of these appointments all residents are to be quarantined for 14 days and monitored for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in the facility's isolation wing.
We will continue to update you of changes once plans have been finalized. We appreciate your patience, support and understanding through this difficult time and we are excited to be able to see you all soon!
Kaitlain, Hayley and Tessa