A general status update on our response to COVID-19, current challenges and bright spots:
1. We have continued to implement numerous interventions to ensure we are preventing COVID-19 infections in our building. These interventions include but are not limited to:
*placing any resident that is experiencing any symptoms of an illness on a COVID-19 protocol with enhanced monitoring and clinical interventions as needed. Because testing is not available to us, we have to operate out of an abundance of caution.
* We are maintaining a strict policy of employees remaining out of work for per NY Department of Health Guidelines if they are sick and/or CVD+
* All staff members have been issued N95 and face masks and medical protective glasses and are using them to "reverse isolate"
* Full face shields have been issued
* Enhanced infection control cleaning frequency and resources through an outside commercial/healthcare cleaning vendor to supplement internal infection control cleaning
* Placement of H13 HEPA (Medical Grade) Air Purifier Systems throughout the building as a measure to capture aerosolized and/or potential airborne viral particles
Despite many attempts by us for weeks to obtain COVID-19 testing through requests via official public health channels, we have been unable to get testing conducted in our facility. Because of this it's possible we are utilizing CVD19 isolation protocols with more frequency than what is needed-- because we cast a very "wide net" to include all individuals with symptoms of illness. A related issue is over-utilization of PPE; if we cannot test these individuals, we are using heavier PPE out of an abundance out caution. The "burn rate" on this PPE increases and over time has the possibility of straining PPE inventory stock.
We have worked day in and day out to obtain PPE from sources throughout the United States. We thank our exceptional vendor partners for scouring the country for us to get masks, gowns and other PPE.
To date we have received very limited assistance with (PPE) from non-local government sources. While we consider our PPE inventory (including N95 masks, isolation gowns and other items) to be sufficient for the near-term, we remain vigilant about procurement of PPE.