COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 UPDATE: In an effort to help keep our residents, families, and friends up to date on the Covid 19 restrictions and when they will be eased or lifted we are going to start updating this page once per week. We understand that many of our residents, families and members of the community are frustrated with the current restrictions we and all other asssited living facilities are under. We are doing the best we can and although we also would like to see restrictions lifted or eased we are licensed and governed by the Department of Health and Human Services of the State of Wisconsin. As a result, we have no option but to adhere to the restrictions until they are lifted or eased by our licensing body.

We apoligize for all the frustration and hope things return to normal in the near future.

Below please find a copy of those restrictions as of today, also feel free to check out the state website https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/ltc.htm for more info on state restrictions on visistation:

Guidance for Long Term Care Facilities Facilities should:

• Cancel communal dining and all group activities, such as internal and external group activities.

• Implement active screening of residents and staff for fever and respiratory symptoms.

• Remind residents to practice social distancing and perform frequent hand hygiene.

• Screen all staff at the beginning of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms. Actively take their temperature and document the presence of a fever and respiratory symptoms including: new or worsening cough, unexplained myalgia, and sore throat.

• If employees develop signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection while on the job they should: o Immediately stop work, put on a face mask, and self-isolate at home. o Inform the facility’s infection preventionist. o Contact their local health department for next steps.

• Facilities should communicate through multiple means to inform individuals and nonessential health care personnel of the visitation restrictions, such as signage at entrances and exits, letters, emails, phone calls, and recorded messages for receiving calls.

• Communications with residents and families should be proactive and clearly explain the reasons for these changes. References able to be shared with residents and families are available through links in this memo and on the DHS COVID-19 website. In lieu of visits, facilities should consider

• Offering alternative means of communication for people who would otherwise visit, such as virtual communications (phone, video-communication, etc.).

• Creating and/or increasing listserv communication to update families, such as advising them to not visit.

• Assigning staff to serve as the primary contact to families for inbound calls, and conducting regular outbound calls to keep families up to date.

• Offering a phone line with a voice recording updated at set times (for example, daily) with the facility’s general operating status, such as when it is safe to resume visits. When visitation is necessary or allowable (end-of-life scenarios), facilities should make efforts to allow for safe visitation for residents and loved ones. Facilities should suggest that visitors:

• Refrain from physical contact with residents and others while in the facility.

• Practice social distancing with no handshaking or hugging, and remain at least 6 feet apart. Facilities should create dedicated visiting areas (for example, “clean rooms”) near the entrance to the facility where residents can meet with visitors in a sanitized environment, if possible. Facilities should disinfect rooms after each resident-visitor meeting. For individuals allowed in the facility (end-of-life scenarios):

• Before visitors enter the facility and residents’ rooms, provide instruction on hand hygiene, the importance of limiting surfaces touched, and the proper use of PPE according to current facility policy while in the resident’s room.

• Individuals with fevers, other symptoms of COVID-19, or who are unable to demonstrate proper use of infection control techniques should be restricted from entry.

Facilities should advise visitors, and any individuals who entered the facility (for example, hospice staff), to monitor for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection for at least 14 days after exiting the facility. If symptoms occur, advise them to self-isolate at home, contact their health care provider, and immediately notify the facility of the date they were in the facility, the individuals they were in contact with, and the locations within the facility where they visited. Facilities should immediately screen the individuals of reported contact, and take all necessary actions based on their findings. Facilities should identify staff who work at multiple facilities (for example, agency staff, regional or corporate staff) and actively screen and restrict them appropriately to ensure they do not place individuals in the facility at risk for COVID-19. Facilities should review and revise how they interact with vendors and delivery drivers, agency staff, EMS personnel and equipment, transportation providers (for example, when taking residents to offsite appointments), and other non-health care providers (for example, food delivery), and take necessary actions to prevent any potential transmission. For example, do not have supply vendors transport supplies inside the facility. Have them dropped off at a dedicated location (loading dock). Facilities can allow entry of these visitors, if needed, as long as they are following the appropriate CDC guidelines for Transmission-Based Precautions. Residents should still have the right to access the Ombudsman program. Ombudsman access should be restricted per the guidance above (except in compassionate care situations). However, facilities may review this on a case-by-case basis. If in-person access is not available due to infection control concerns, facilities need to facilitate resident communication (by phone or other format) with the Ombudsman program or any other entity listed in 42 CFR § 483.10(f)(4)(i).