As we continue to actively monitor the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pennsylvania and Maryland Departments of Health and consult with our corporate medical director, our team updates and enacts new policies and procedures to protect our customers from COVID-19.
Who is leading Ecumenical Retirement Community’s preparation and response for COVID-19?
Our Corona Task Force. We have assembled a task force of company experts, including former hospital Chief Nursing Officers and those certified in infection control measures, to provide guidance on clinical matters such as prevention and treatment, operational policy changes to reduce potential spread on campuses, procurement to manage the supply of protective gear and santization products, environmental service updates on appropriate chemicals and strategies to properly clean commonly touched areas and everyday items and executive management to implement temporary operational changes.
What are your plans if you become aware of a suspected case of COVID-19?
As part of our ongoing influenza surveillance, co-workers who deliver care services to residents are trained to recognize and report flu-like symptoms, including symptoms of COVID-19, to our clinical team. If a case is reported, co-workers take the following actions:
COVID in a resident:
- Quarantined to the apartment and put on isolation precautions.
- Notify the campus nursing team who will assess and monitor the resident’s symptoms and, if necessary, send the resident to a physician or hospital for diagnosis and treatment.
- Instruct all co-workers to don company-issued personal protective equipment (PPE) when entering the affected resident’s apartment for any reason.
- Communicate with emergency contacts for residents in the affected building to alert them of an infection on campus. NOTE: If you are the emergency contact for a resident and have not shared your email address, please contact your campus’ Office Manager to update your information.
COVID in a co-worker:
- Co-workers who test positive for COVID-19 may not return to work for 14 days after the onset of symptoms and be symptom- and fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications.
- Any co-worker who is ill is mandated to stay at home until he/she feels better and is symptom- and fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications.
Read here for our masking policy for residents, staff and visitors.
Vaccinations and Boosters
We continue to provide access to any resident or co-worker who needs a COVID-19 vaccine or booster.
We offer both Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and rapid COVID-19 antigen testing by on-campus trained nurses. In compliance with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and state DOH protocols, testing is conducted when an individual is experiencing symptoms or has had possible exposure. Residents and staff are notified directly if they will be included in any testing. Then upon receipt of results, we will inform individually any staff, residents and their families whose tests are positive, as we have in the past.
If any campus-acquired cases occur, our team will contact trace to determine in which area(s) to test and temporarily suspend visitation during the surveillance period. These are guidelines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health for everyone’s welfare. We will continue to keep families informed of any visitation changes through our visitation page and email in our resident database.
What are you doing to reduce or kill germs on campus?
- Reviewed our cleaning products, sanitizers and antibacterial products and confirmed their effectiveness against COVID-19.
- Increased cleaning frequency for commonly touched surfaces and public spaces.
- Encouraged co-workers to monitor hand sanitizer and soap dispensers and report any refill needs to management.
- Clean community equipment with sanitizing products after every resident use.
- Clean community vehicles with sanitizing products after every resident transport.
What are you doing to keep staff up to date on COVID-19 protocols and response procedures?
- Review updates and discuss practice changes when warranted.
- Continue ongoing training on virus response and infection control for co-workers.