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, and community grounds 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.
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 quarantine as appropriate.
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.
• Arrangements were made for holiday dinner deliveries: for Passover, and upcoming Easter dinners.
• 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.
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 all times when interacting with residents. Additional PPE protocols are in place in our skilled nursing centers to comply with standard infection control policies. Over the past few weeks we have secured several new orders for supplies and equipment to meet our immediate needs, and these supplies are starting to arrive. As more vendors continue to be identified, we are confident will we be able to meet our ongoing needs for replenishment. These procurement efforts will remain a priority focus.
• 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.