Updated on October 16 from original post on March 16
At Ecumenical Retirement Community we have a very stringent infection control process:
- Daily disinfecting of commonly high-touch surfaces, public spaces and hard-surface floors in resident rooms and common areas using EPA approved cleaning products, sanitizers, disinfectants and antibacterial products selected for their dwell times and effectiveness against COVID-19 and a wide variety of microorganisms. Single-use microfiber wipes, cloths and mops are used to mitigate cross contamination.
- Installed induct HVAC air purification systems including bipolar ionization and/or hydro-peroxide plasma technology to purify indoor air in common areas of the building by destroying airborne bacteria, viruses and mold spores through oxidization.
- Increased airflow and exchange through our air system. Our plan, which was reviewed and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s consulting agency, ECRI, includes changing out filters, increasing air exchange in our exhaust system (in buildings with central air, we are pumping air out at a higher rate, where possible) and introducing more fresh air in our buildings, where possible. In resident rooms’ systems, which run on a heat pump or commonly called “PTACs”—not centrally run, we are cleaning those filters and turning them on high to circulate the air more aggressively with the intent to capture droplets through which COVID-19 can be passed.
- Purchased numerous mobile air treatment units to provide our facilities flexibility in a wide variety of scenarios not only with managing spread if we have any positive cases on campus but also aid in prevention by treating and increasing airflow in group activity locations, visitation areas and other high traffic areas. They are capable of treating a 400 sq. ft. room in only 25 minutes and have a proven efficacy against the COVID-19 virus. These units pull air through energized plasma coils and sterilize any airborne bacteria, viral, mold and fungal spores that pass through it yielding a return of truly purified air.
- Conducting electrostatic disinfection of common areas, public bathrooms, vehicles and any affected resident rooms. This is similar to “fogging” or “misting” but through air compression delivers a powerful liquid flow with charged droplets that are actively attracted to surfaces for a more complete, comprehensive coverage vs. misters and foggers which deliver “passive” droplets that fall on surfaces wherever the spray is directed and gravity pulls and can result in uneven, spotty coverage. The solution used has no harmful chemicals, is safe for food surfaces and emits a pleasant scent (lemongrass grapefruit).
- Using Puro UV disinfection mobile lighting units powered by violet defense technology to provide clinical-level disinfection for resident rooms and areas in the event of COVID-related activity—the same UV lighting used to disinfect the New York City subway stations. This UV-C germicidal lighting emits an electromagnetic energy to destroy the reproductive abilities of bacteria, viruses, mold and fungus. UV lights work in place of potentially harmful chemicals. It is safe to enter a room after the disinfection UV lights are used. Per our protocol, our environmental safety team cleans the surfaces in the room afterward as an added precautionary step.
- Using a separate laundry area, medication cart, equipment (including vacuums with HEPA filters) and cleaning supplies in isolation areas to prevent cross-contamination. Throughout the campus, the housekeeping cart is left in the hallway and not brought into rooms. All supplies are disinfected in between room cleanings.
- Co-horting the staff to prevent crossover among areas and using separate entrances/exits.
- Disinfecting community equipment with sanitizing products after every resident use.
- Disinfecting community vehicles with sanitizing products after every resident transport.
- Installed custom-fit company vehicles and buses with sturdy ride share barriers to safely transport residents. The barrier seals off the driver area from the passenger. Even with this added precaution, our driver still wears mask and eye protection. Also know, adjusting the seats back and forth has no effect on the partition nor will hamper the resident’s mobility in any way.