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Transcript of Jeff Petty COVID-19 Weekly Audio Message: April 2, 2020

FOR RESIDENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS

Hello, this is Jeff Petty on Thursday afternoon April 2nd. I know we are all being overloaded with information as the COVID-19 crisis is unfolding, but I thought it would be important for you all to hear directly from me on a regular basis, so this is the first of a new series of communications that you can listen to if you dial 267-350-2300 or you can access a written version on our website. Updates should be available by Thursday afternoon every week.

First, I want to thank all of you for responding so positively and nearly universally to our requests that you all isolate in your apartments and rooms. Please know the staff at WEL is hard at work developing ideas for “creative socialization” to keep you connected to family, friends and neighbors.

 It is so important that we take all the measures we can to protect all of you and all WEL employees. I cannot imagine how difficult and stressful the crisis is for you, and I am so grateful for all of your support and the tremendous efforts our employees are making to keep you safe and healthy.  The gratitude you and your family members have expressed towards our front line employees during this time has gone a long way – you have no idea how much that has helped them cope with this crisis – I encourage you to continue with your words of appreciation when you can.

The primary purpose of these messages is to keep you informed – what I know, you will know. So, let me summarize…

As of right now, we have had one confirmed case of COVID-19 of a resident who developed symptoms a week ago in the nursing facility at Stapeley. Curiously, the symptoms disappeared the next day, and no one else has tested positive.

We have had 1 employee test positive for the virus at Pennypack Park, two others have had symptoms, been tested and are waiting for results. All are home quarantined. We have had several other employees whose family members have contracted it, and they have stayed out of the workplace per our guidelines.

So we have largely avoided the repercussion of the pandemic so far, but I do not believe that we can count on that continuing. We need to continue to be as vigilant as possible for at least 2-3 months.

We have had all of the problems in acquiring personal protective equipment for employees that you have heard about in the media, and I anticipate that will get worse before it gets better. We have organized our efforts in approaching our existing vendors, new vendors and various local, state and national authorities who are beginning to control these supplies.

We are spending a lot of time thinking through how best to act given the crisis and the supply shortages and trying to plan for what is coming. It is immensely complicated by expert guidance that is anything but clear and changing even by the hour.

We are in for a long, difficult period. We need all of you! And it is critical that you all take care of yourself and practice all of the prevention guidelines you are hearing. I also ask you to be mindful of everyone else – if you don’t feel well, let us know as soon as possible.

If you have questions, please email residentquestions@wel.org. We will either get back to you, or if your question sounds like something everyone would want to hear about, we may answer it either through this next communication or on our website.

Again, thank you for everything you are doing and please keep helping us as you have. As many have said, this is an extremely difficult period, but we will get through it together.  We greatly appreciate the confidence and support you place in us at this time.

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Updated Precautions for WEL Communities: 4/1/2020

We continue to take all possible measures to protect our residents and employees from exposure to and spread of COVID-19.  We applaud our employees dedicated service to our residents. We thank our residents and family members for their kind words and understanding during these difficult times.  We also would like everyone to know that we collectively send prayers to anyone who has been affected by this public health crisis.

The following policies and actions have been put in place to date, to support our efforts to mitigate the risks for spread of the virus within our communities, and are now effective until further notice.  We will continually re-assess and adjust our protocols below as circumstances warrant further action:

  • Visitors: All communities remain closed to visitors at this time.
  • Screening: Outside individuals who are required to enter a community, are required to go through a multi-step screening process before gaining access to any of our communities and will be given only limited access to necessary areas of the buildings. These measures include a temperature check and detailed questionnaire. All employees are screened via the same process when they enter the community and at the end of their shift. All deliveries are being processed at the front entrance as per the specific community’s direction.

Residents

Screening and Surveillance:

In addition to our daily surveillance protocols already in place for residents who show signs of illness, we have implemented a combination of detailed isolation and quarantining protocols for any of our residents returning from the hospital.  Any asymptomatic residents admitting directly from the home for any level of care, will be placed on a 14 day isolation order.

Activities, Outings, Trips and Dining:

  • All resident activities, worship services, and outside trips are cancelled until further notice. All dining rooms are closed and meals are being delivered to residents in their apartments. Outings to physician offices will only take place for urgent medically necessary treatments and conditions.
  • Arrangements have been made for the delivery and availability of supplies and basic food items for residents, within their WEL community.
  • In following with Governor Wolf’s mandate to stay at home, we implore our residents to not leave campus except for life sustaining trips, and are strongly suggesting they remain in their apartments.  Measures are in place for those who do not follow the guidelines outlined by WEL, including termination of their residency agreement if necessary. 
  • Residents are asked to follow CDC guidelines which have proven effective in stopping the spread of illness, including frequent handwashing, using hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, staying home if you are sick, and avoiding contact with others who are sick. 

Employees

Screening and Surveillance:

Daily screenings are in place twice a day for all employees. This includes questions and monitoring of current health status/symptoms and temperature taking.  We have implemented a WEL Employee COVID Exposure Guideline Tool that directs employees as to actions they must take based on asymptomatic, symptomatic, and exposure outcomes.  This includes direction when not to come to work, return to work criteria, and added precautions to follow when they return to work.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

Effective 4/1/2020 and until further notice, all WEL community staff will be required to wear a surgical face mask when interacting with residents.  Additional PPE protocols are in place in our skilled nursing centers to comply with standard infection control policies. We are carefully monitoring all needed protective supplies and continue to shore up our resources, sourcing and securing available supply.

  • All Employees are required to follow CDC guidelines to help stop the spread of illness, including frequent handwashing, using hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, staying home if you are sick, and avoiding contact with others who are sick.  Employees continue to be encouraged to practice social distancing and follow the government mandate to stay at home, while not at work.

We will continue to send updated communications as needed if situations change.  Thank you again for your cooperation and support. 

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Wesley Enhanced Living Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 3/31/2020

We continue to take all possible measures to protect our residents and employees from exposure to and spread of COVID-19. We applaud our employees dedicated service to our residents. We thank our residents and family members for their kind words and understanding during these difficult times. We also would like everyone to know that we collectively send prayers to anyone who has been affected by this public health crisis.

The following policies and actions have been put in place to date, to support our efforts to mitigate the risks for spread of the virus within our communities, and are now effective until further notice. We will continually re-assess and adjust our protocols below as circumstances warrant further action:

• Visitors:
All communities remain closed to visitors at this time.
• Screening: outside individuals who are required to enter a community, are required to go through a multi-step screening process before gaining access to any of our communities and will be given only limited access to necessary areas of the buildings. These measures include a temperature check and detailed questionnaire. All employees are screened via the same process when they enter the community and at the end of their shift. All deliveries are being processed at the front entrance as per the specific community’s direction. 
Residents
Screening and Surveillance:
In addition to our daily surveillance protocols already in place for residents who show signs of illness, we have implemented a combination of detailed isolation and quarantining protocols for any of our residents returning from the hospital. Any asymptomatic residents admitting directly from the home for any level of care, will be placed on a 14 day isolation order.

Activities, Outings, Trips and Dining:
• All resident activities, worship services, and outside trips are cancelled until further notice. All dining rooms are closed and meals are being delivered to residents in their apartments. Outings to physician offices will only take place for urgent medically necessary treatments and conditions.
• Arrangements have been made for the delivery and availability of supplies and basic food items for residents, within their WEL community.
• In following with Governor Wolf’s mandate to stay at home, we implore our residents to not leave campus except for life sustaining trips, and are strongly suggesting they remain in their apartments. Measures are in place for those who do not follow the guidelines outlined by WEL, including termination of their residency agreement if necessary.
• Residents are asked to follow CDC guidelines which have proven effective in stopping the spread of illness, including frequent handwashing, using hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, staying home if you are sick, and avoiding contact with others who are sick.

Employees
Screening and Surveillance:
Daily screenings are in place twice a day for all employees. This includes questions and monitoring of current health status/symptoms and temperature taking. We have implemented a WEL Employee COVID Exposure Guideline Tool that directs employees as to actions they must take based on asymptomatic, symptomatic, and exposure outcomes. This includes direction when not to come to work, return to work criteria, and added precautions to follow when they return to work.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
Effective 4/1/2020 and until further notice, all WEL community staff will be required to wear a surgical face mask at when interacting with residents. Additional PPE protocols are in place in our skilled nursing centers to comply with standard infection control policies. We are carefully monitoring all needed protective supplies and continue to shore up our resources, sourcing and securing available supply.
• All Employees are required to follow CDC guidelines to help stop the spread of illness, including frequent handwashing, using hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, staying home if you are sick, and avoiding contact with others who are sick. Employees continue to be encouraged to practice social distancing and follow the government mandate to stay at home, while not at work.

We will continue to send updated communications as needed if situations change. Thank you again for your cooperation and support.

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Confirmed COVID-19 Case

We are saddened to share with you that earlier this week we learned one of our employees tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). A second team member is currently awaiting the result of a coronavirus test, and a third is at home after experiencing symptoms associated with the virus. The first individual received a positive test result this weekend, and we were alerted to it yesterday; the second employee should have the result soon.  All three team members are in self-quarantine at home.  Currently, no residents or other employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Please join us in keeping these employees in your thoughts. Please, too, understand that privacy regulations preclude us from sharing more specific information.

This development is a reminder of how important it is that we all play our part in limiting the spread of this virus. Please continue to adhere to the preventive measures we have implemented. As a reminder, we have greatly tightened our visitation and screening processes; permitting entry to only those who provide vital medical care. We also eliminated group activities, outings and group dining experiences.  Individually, it is key to practice thorough hand washing and strict social distancing. Together, we must continue to be diligent in our collective efforts and actions to minimize the risk of contracting and spreading this illness to one another.

As you may be aware, we have implemented multiple health screenings daily for all employees who enter our community, and we are expanding our Personal Protective Equipment standards for employees, now requiring masks at all times and gloves whenever a staff member is providing resident care.

Residents who begin to experience symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath should inform a member of our WEL care team immediately. We will continue to share updates with you as information becomes available.

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Wesley Enhanced Living Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 3/22/2020

Wesley Enhanced Living senior living communities fall into the category of “life-sustaining” businesses and remain fully operational, caring for our residents, throughout this time. Our food and other suppliers will continue to make deliveries to all our communities, to assure our residents basic needs are met.

Protocols that have been put in place are working well, to include meal delivery and other practices designed to keep our residents and employees safe and healthy.

We appreciate the cooperation of all residents and family members in adhering to our “No Visitor Policy” for family and social distancing protocols for residents and staff. We also want to thank them, as their expressions of gratitude have greatly helped our employees in coping with our temporary ‘new normal.’

Updates will be posted as needed if situations change.

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