Dear Residents, Families and Employees:
I wanted to take this time to write about COVID-19 and other seasonal illnesses, as well as talk about the holidays!
The COVID transmission rate in Bucks County remains high and the 7-day metric for positivity continues to increase. As of today, the positivity rating is now 9.27%. Due to the 1 positive COVID-19 case with an employee in the Health Center that I reported in the last communication, we have completed three rounds of COVID-19 testing in our Health Center, with all negative results.
The increase in the positivity rating is of great concern with this being the highest we have seen in many months. In accordance with the guidance from the Bucks County Department of Health, it is highly recommended to wear masks in all public indoor settings. I am strongly encouraging our residents to wear masks when in common areas of the community. For those residents that are not fully vaccinated, a face covering, or mask is required in all common areas, except when eating and drinking. All visitors and employees are required to wear a face covering or mask.
Since March of 2020 the focus related to infectious disease has been COVID-19. However, we cannot forget the viruses like the FLU or GI infections. It is that time of year when the FLU and other viruses become prevalent and start to spread. Any resident that is not feeling well, should stay in their room or apartment, and should not participate in communal dining and activities until it has been at least 24-hours since symptoms have resolved (except for COVID-19 symptoms). If there is a reason to leave your room or apartment when feeling ill, the resident must wear a mask to reduce the spread of infection (except for COVID-19 symptoms – self quarantine is required). Our employees and visitors must remain vigilant as well. Any visitor experiencing any sign or symptom of illness should not visit, and employees with any signs or symptoms should call out for their scheduled shift. Symptoms of COVID affect people in different ways, which are:
Most common symptoms include – Fever or Chills, Dry cough, Tiredness/Fatigue
Less common symptoms include – Muscle aches and pains, Sore throat, Vomiting or Diarrhea, Conjunctivitis, Headache, Loss of taste or smell, a rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes
Serious symptoms include – Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, Chest pain or pressure, Loss of speech of movement
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 symptoms listed above can also be related to the common cold, FLU, GI Virus, or other illnesses. It is critical if any of the above symptoms are present, the resident self-quarantines and notifies a health care professional immediately. For Independent Living, the health care professional is the primary physician group the resident is treated by. Additionally, a call to the Independent Living Wellness Office should be made so they are aware. Employees with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 must seek medical attention with their healthcare provider and not report to work until medically cleared.
What an exciting season for everyone at WEL Doylestown. Lights on trees, frost in the air, but most importantly, it is all the enhanced living activities that make this time of year so special. For everyone to enjoy this time of year safely, there are a few reminders that everyone needs to be aware of:
- Gifts and Gratuities: To avoid potential conflicts of interest and maintain a fair work environment, employees are not allowed to ask for or accept gifts or gratuities (tips) from or on behalf of individual resident or their family and friends. However, group gifts such as boxes of candy, baskets of fruit, trays of cookies which are distributed equitably to all non-exempt associates, are permitted.
- Live Trees/ Wreaths & Candles: Although live trees and wreaths look and smell great – they increase the risk of fire. The problem is that when these dry out, they can catch fire very easily. Besides that, the needles that fall can be a real mess. Also please remember to never hang decorations from fire sprinkler heads or pipes and the burning of candles is prohibited.
- Artificial Trees: Please make sure that all such trees and any decorative lights are UL listed. Please utilize our maintenance department to look at them for loose/frayed wires or any item that may increase the risk of fire. As with any electrical device, these should be monitored for safe operation.
- Extension Cords / Multi-Plex Outlets: These devices are not allowed in the community due to risk of fire by overheating. Surge protectors are the best option when wishing to plug in several devices during this season. We recommend a limit of one surge protector per room. Also please utilize our maintenance department to inspect these for proper type and working condition.
- Space heaters / Electric blankets: We all know how comforting it is to take the chill off in the early morning or climb into a bed that is already warm, but please do not use these devices. These items are prohibited under state law! If one of these devices is faulty, is mistakenly left on or overheats an electrical outlet, we have the risk of it causing a fire.
We want everyone to enjoy the holidays. By practicing the above guidelines, we can make this holiday season not only great but a safe experience for everyone that lives and works at WEL Doylestown.
For any questions, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-895-1132. Internally, my extension is 502.
Happy Holiday Season – Lynne Dukert, Executive Director