Frequently Asked Questions – March 24, 2020
What’s happening with staffing?
- All staff were issued a letter stating they are “Essential” in case they are stopped in transit to/from work.
- Some non-essential workers as well as staff with compromised immune systems who are able to work remotely are doing so.
- All other staff are expected to come to work and have been doing so.
Do we have any confirmed cases of COVID-19?
At the time of this letter we do not have any confirmed or suspected cases.
Have any staff or residents become ill?
- If staff come to work and show symptoms, they are being sent home wearing a mask and being asked to self-isolate at home – the length of time depends on exposure and symptoms. We are following the guidance from the CDC and IDPH for health care workers.
- If a resident shows any symptoms, they are immediately put on contact and droplet precautions. Staff will follow protocol for such precautions from the CDC. Families or resident representatives will be notified.
- All staff are being screened for temperature twice per shift.
- Independent and Assisted Living residents are having their temperatures taken, pulse oximetry checked and asked about symptoms each day.
- Healthcare floor residents are having their temperatures taken, pulse oximetry checked and asked about symptoms each shift.
At what point do you test a resident for COVID-19 that is showing symptoms?
The Selfhelp Home works with Swedish Covenant Health (SCH) for laboratory services. SCH is able to test for COVID-19. Should we need to test a resident, the specimen could be collected in-house. However, we cannot preemptively test all residents. Test kits are still limited.
IDPH laboratories continue to support testing “for the situations of severe consequence and those requiring public health action.” In other words, IDPH authorization is needed for healthcare professionals and special situations. Commercial and private labs, like at some hospitals, do not require authorization from IDPH to conduct tests – they use own criteria/algorithms.
What is the plan if somebody, staff or resident become ill with COVID-19?
We will notify the community with any confirmed cases. We would trace that individuals contact and act accordingly with IDPH. If a staff member has direct contact with somebody that tested positive with COVID-19, they are asked to self-quarantine for at least 14 days.
Can you test for COVID-19 at Selfhelp?
Many of you are asking, why are you not all getting tested? We would love nothing more than to test every person in this building, but unfortunately that is currently not an option for long-term care facilities without cases. Should we have a Person Under Investigation who needed to be tested, we would work with Swedish Covenant Health (our contracted lab) and IDPH. Currently, LTC facilities cannot test any staff members, with or without symptoms.
Do you have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
Supplies are tight. Our providers have been rationing items since January. We continue to look for and procure PPE from outside sources, but the wait time is long. If you have any PPE supplies to donate, please let us know. We are also requesting supplies through the State’s formal Resource Request process.
I heard staff are reusing supplies, is that okay?
Staff are using PPE such as masks as advised by IDPH and the CDC. Given the national shortage, these authorities have issued guidance for allowing extended use of PPE in certain instances.
Are the staff wearing masks?
- Starting Wednesday, all staff will be asked to wear masks while at work.
- Staff interacting with residents on contact and droplet precautions are also wearing PPE, including gloves and gowns that will not be reused.
Whom do I contact if I want a video call with my loved one?
We are currently set up with iPads for FaceTime or Zoom. iPhone users can easily FaceTime. If not, you can use Zoom. Just download the Zoom app to your mobile phone or you can visit Zoom.com from your desktop. We will give you a code for the meeting.
I am worried that my loved one is not getting enough exercise?
We have identified a few residents who would benefit from outpatient therapy and have already reached out to you for authorizations. This allows for one-on-one exercise, whether physical, occupational and/or speech therapy. We feel these services will benefit the residents by giving them some personalized attention, whether it be for movement, memory or both. It also utilizes our outpatient therapy resources that we have right here in the building. If you have not been contacted but want to be, please reach out to our Director of Rehabilitation, Logan Hubbard, at [email protected].
If you have a question that was not answered, please feel free to send it to [email protected] and we will do our best to get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.