As we have all seen in the news, more cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed in the United States. Health officials say coronavirus is more dangerous for people with underlying health conditions and those over the age of 60. The majority of people will have mild symptoms, but some will experience severe illness requiring hospitalization. As always. our primary concern is the safety of our residents.
In this bulletin, we want to communicate:
1) What we are doing to reduce the risk of infection and;
2) What you can do to prevent the spread of infection
What is Arbors of Hop Brook doing to keep you safe:
1) Diligent Housekeeping: As with every influenza season, Mary Beth Gallo, our housekeeping supervisor, works with Ecolab, our industrial cleaner supplier, to ensure we are using the most effective cleaning products available. Our cleaner supplies are carefully re-evaluated and reviewed prior to the start of the flu season. All housekeepers underwent a thorough infection control training coordinated by Ecolab at the beginning of the winter. The facility continues its regular housekeeping of rooms with an added emphasis on the daily cleaning of common areas and high-touch surfaces (handrails, chairs, elevator buttons, and door knobs). Other measures include targeted cleaning practices that are enacted whenever we observe signs of illness.
2) Staff/vendor protocols: All staff and Arbors vendors/contractors have been informed that if they have traveled to infected areas or show signs of fever, cough, or shortness of breath they may not enter the building.
3) Visitor management: As of Thursday, March 5th, all visitors are presented with a questionnaire to determine risk of exposure and are directed to not visit the facility at this time if they present any risk factors.
4) Oversight: Key leadership including our Managing Partner, Executive Director, Resident Services Director and infection control staff at Manchester Manor are conferring on a regular basis to ensure we are following and reviewing all protocols recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Public Health (DPH). Additionally, all staff will be hyper-vigilant with regard to observing the above restrictions and re-directing residents to remain in their apartments when they present with any kind of illness.
5) Building technology: All apartments in the building are equipped with an air exhaust/make up system which brings a constant flow of tempered fresh air into the building and exhausts stale air. Additionally, Arbors has invested in medical-grade air disinfection units that are installed in high-traffic areas which deactivate airborne pathogens and neutralize germs and bacteria. Arbors is proud to be one of only a handful of sites in Connecticut to use this state-of-the-art technology.
6) Experience: The average tenure of our staff (excluding waitstaff) is nine years. As a team, Arbors staff have supported residents through other health crises (e.g. SARS, avian influenza, MERS-CoV, high-impact influenza seasons) and other challenging scenarios (e.g. severe winter storms, power outages, and local flooding). We have the experience and compassion to handle this possible future outbreak with courage, kindness, and competence.
What you can do to keep each other safe?
1) Follow Proper Hygiene Precautions: Follow the Center for Disease Controls recommendations to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home (in your apartment) when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; before entering a common area, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (these dispensers are located in nearly every common area of Arbors- use them upon entering or leaving the common area). Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
2) Be a Good Neighbor: It cannot be understated: if you are showing any sign of illness, stay in your apartment. This practice should be followed at any time of the year. Please notify staff of your illness via the telephone or, if the situation warrants, the emergency call system. Please, for the sake of the residents AND staff, residents should stay in their apartment until they are no longer contagious (please see Nursing for further instruction). We understand that isolation and seclusion is not enjoyable. However, obtaining illness from sick neighbors is less enjoyable than confinement. Please be a good neighbor. Stay in your apartment when you show signs of illness.
3) Be a Good Family Member: Please dissuade visits from any one with cold-like symptoms, fever, cough, or those who have traveled from Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea. We have posted signage to this effect at our reception desk. Be a good advocate for yourself and others.
4) Avoid “Bad” Neighbors: If another resident or visitor seems actively ill, please stay away from them. If you feel they may represent a risk, we strongly encourage you to notify the front desk so that we can appropriately manage the circumstances.
5) Don’t panic: This is an evolving process as the world learns more about this illness and how it can be studied, contained, addressed, and resolved. We appreciate your understanding. As this public health concern emerges, our staff and leadership remain focused on providing the greatest amount of certainty and safety we can offer.
PLEASE ATTEND OUR TOWN HALL MEETING
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11th
10:30 AM, AUDITORIUM
~all residents, staff, and family members are welcome to join us for this session~