March 17, 2020
Re: Covid-19 Update
Dear Residents and Families,
New developments and updates on coronavirus are released daily by local, state, and national health agencies and governmental bodies. Over the weekend, the governors of the states of California and Washington both took aggressive action to limit the size of gatherings closing places of entertainment and recreation statewide. Yesterday, the White House advised all Americans to avoid groups of more than 10 and urged seniors to stay at home altogether in a set of new guidelines designed to mandate social distancing measures. These conditions are expected to persist for at least the next few weeks and our management teams have been meeting daily to make arrangements to keep everyone as safe and as comfortable as possible through this extraordinary event. This is tough on everyone, and we ask for your understanding and cooperation as we look to pull together as a country and a community.
With that, we have implemented or are in the process of pursuing the following measures:
- Most importantly, we ask families to refrain from visiting communities as we need to restrict visitation to only that which we determine to be essential:
- Necessary medical personnel will be allowed (home health, hospice, etc.)
- Families will be allowed to visit for certain compassionate care situations but are being asked to eliminate social visits
- Families are encouraged to use technology such as telephone, video conferences, or mobile devices (e.g., Facetime, Skype) to remain in contact with residents. Consider purchasing an IPad and learning some of the many available applications to help keep connected to family, friends and information.
- Note that some areas of the building have limited WIFI coverage and the extra traffic on our network may necessitate activating a service provider (T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.) to connect your device vs using our WIFI if you are having connection trouble.
- Deliveries from our pharmacy and other essential suppliers will be managed by the concierge, and we are limiting delivery persons from having access into the community past the front desk. We will augment our staff as necessary to accommodate deliveries from families or providers in order to ensure everyone gets their deliveries. If you do not have a prescription service and need some help there, we can work with you on making that connection.
- Actively managing our supply chain of essential items for our operations and to meet the needs of our residents in an effort to weather a prolonged period of quarantine at our communities. We will be trying to source items of daily need in case our residents run out of such thing like toilet paper, toothpaste, tooth brushes and other items of daily need. Please notify us if you are in need and we will do our best to source those items for you.
- We are working with a private lab to gain access to limited Covid-19 testing kits that will enable us to test high risk residents and screen our staff at each of our communities in WA and CA. These tests will better enable us to identify carriers of Covid-19 and in the event we have someone in our communities that tests positive, we can make a more informed quarantining decision earlier.
- With testing in mind, everyone in the community including residents, visitors and staff MUST be on the lookout for any signs of the COVID 19 virus which include regular flu like symptoms, coughing, congestion, and shortness of breath and/or a fever. ANYONE with those signs MUST contact their doctor immediately and PLEASE LET US KNOW at once so we can help as quickly as possible. A doctor can order a test and self-quarantine procedures should begin right away until tests results are known with further treatment can be administered accordingly.
- Prepared staffing contingency plans in an effort to secure adequate staff in anticipation of labor challenges or disruptions due to schools putting pressure on our staff to be home, or symptoms that require our staff to stay home until tested or well enough to return to work. We want to take every precaution, so we expect some staffing interruptions as well as additional staffing needs as a result of having to deliver meals, packages etc. at this time.
At Cogir, we treat the safety of our residents, families, and team members as our top priority. We ask for your patience and support as our approach to the virus evolves over time. We know you understand and appreciate the importance of these measures and thank you for your continued cooperation as we all work together for everyone’s safety. Lastly, I am proud of the amazing teams, families, residents and friends that are all pulling together during this difficult time. We have staff working tirelessly for all of our residents, and we have received some wonderful letters from families calling attention to this good work. Thank you for that feedback as it rejuvenates us all and we appreciate your continued support.