I wanted to take this opportunity to give all our family and friends an update on what our campus has implemented in an effort to continue the fight against COVID-19.  Like many businesses and organizations, our processes and efforts have continued to change as we learn more about this virus and receive guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Health Care Association (AHCA), Iowa Healthcare Association (IHCA) and from our local agencies.

Our campus has suspended all visitors in our facility with the exception of end of life situations.  Given those situations, the facility will screen all individuals prior to granting access.  We will screen for fever, respiratory symptoms and ask everyone a list of questions.  If the individual passes the screen, they will be given a mask to wear and limit them to their loved one's room only.  If the individual is unable to pass the screen, they will not be given access and will be unable to enter the facility.    

We have implemented twice daily screenings of all current residents and tenants which includes screening of a fever and respiratory symptoms.  If a resident or tenant develops a fever or any respiratory symptoms they are immediately placed on droplet and contact precautions and are placed on isolation.  The facility would also notify the physician and emergency contact.

All new admissions or residents returning to the facility are placed on precautions and are placed in isolation for 14 days, regardless of where they are admitting or returning from and regardless of a negative COVID-19 test.  These individuals are also screened for a fever and respiratory symptoms on each shift for 14 days.  The  facility is dedicating staff to these residents to the extent that is possible and are group tasking as able.

The facility is screening all staff members at the beginning and end of their shifts.  We are completing and logging a screen of their temperature, respiratory symptoms and completing a questionnaire.  The facility only has one access into the facility to ensure proper screening is completed.  If a staff member is unable to pass the screen they are immediately sent home.  All staff members must wear a mask while they are in the facility and all direct patient staff must also wear eye protection while providing direct patient care.

Much education has been provided to our staff members and will continue to occur regarding COVID-19 symptoms, social distancing, basic infection control and we continue to provide daily updates to our staff members regarding all changes.  We have completed competencies for all staff members regarding proper hand hygiene and donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  The facility is also working diligently to secure PPE and has adopted IDPH orders to conserve PPE.

As more information and guidance is provided to the facility we will continue to make changes to our policy, procedures and daily operations to continue to do our best against the fight of COVID-19.  The safety and well-being of our residents, tenants and staff members has always been our top priority while providing kind and compassionate care and will continue to be so in the coming days.  We appreciate the support, kind words and gestures that many of you have offered our campus during this pandemic and we hope to see you all soon, until then continue to practice good hand hygiene, social distancing and stay home as much as possible, especially if you are ill.  There will be brighter days ahead.  Take care!