March 3, 2020
Dear Residents and Families,
At Cogir, the safety and health of our residents and staff members is our top priority. The recent events pertaining to the coronavirus in our area have prompted us to take extra precautions to protect our residents and staff members from the possibility of an outbreak in any of our communities. We will continue to adjust our actions based on recommendations from public health officials and our own internal health care professionals. We will distribute updates via resident, family, and staff memos as we have new information.
Here is a summary of actions taken to date:
- We are actively communicating with staff and residents regarding precautions they should take to protect themselves and the community.
- We continue to be diligent in maintaining a clean environment to help reduce the spread of germs.
- We continue to follow our existing policies and procedures related to preventing the spread of communicable disease among residents and staff.
- We have implemented visitation restrictions, including vendors and 3rd party caregivers, at all of our communities to prevent higher risk individuals from entering our community environment. Reception and other relevant employees are screening all visitors and vendors. Those who meet any of the following criteria will be asked to postpone their visit:
1. You have symptoms of illness or have been in close contact with someone with symptoms of illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
2. You have recently visited or come into close contact with someone who has contracted Covid-19 commonly referred to as the coronavirus.
3. You have recently returned from travel to any country with a CDC-issued Level II or Level III travel advisory, such as China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan. Visits should be delayed for at least 14 days after return to the US, and you can confirm no symptoms of illness such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
- We are investigating whether or not any residents or employees currently have upper respiratory symptoms (including fever, cough, and shortness of breath). We will ask any resident or employee with these symptoms to speak with their doctor, if they haven’t already, and based on that information, they may be asked to stay in their apartment or stay home from work.
- We are rolling out refresher training and supplemental training materials regarding cleaning protocols and infection control guidelines. We will expect each department director to review this with their employees as they begin their shift.
As a reminder, the best defense is frequent hand washing using proper hand-hygiene by scrubbing with warm water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is useful but does not replace washing with soap and hot water. You should also avoid touching your face and keep your hands away from your nose and mouth. Health officials do not recommend wearing masks as they say it will not stop the spread of the virus and it reduces important resources from health care professionals.
Once again, we are working closely with our team members, remain committed to the safety of our residents, and we have regional clinical teams in place that can support our communities. We will continue to keep you updated as needed and please feel free to reach out to me or your community’s Executive Director if you have any questions.