Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,
Tonight, on the news, many of you heard that a local retirement community has positive COVID 19 cases. This news is heartbreaking and can cause us to fear for the safety of those we love most. This news is close to home and I want to assure you that we have taken many precautions to try to prevent COVID19 from entering our facility. We are also prepared if someone becomes symptomatic to treat them and minimize the spread. Our Infection Prevention Committee has reviewed our infection prevention and control policies and procedures, as this is key to preventing coronavirus and other common viruses.
We are ensuring that our staff and residents are practicing proper hand hygiene. We have reminder posters near sinks and posted visibly in rooms. Our staff are wearing face masks during their entire shift. As you know, we have stopped visitation for families, consultants, venders and non-essential health care personnel on Wednesday March 11. We no longer have communal dinning services and group activities. We do not allow gatherings of people in our shared visiting areas. We have educated our residents and staff about social distancing. We continue to remind our residents the importance of remaining in their rooms as much as they are able.
We continue to strive to keep a balance of physical health and emotional wellbeing. We no longer allow intermingling of residential and health care residents. Residential residents do not enter the Health Care Unit and Health Care Residents no longer come to residential. We have a trained infection preventionist nurse, whose son works for the Center for Disease Control. We have been in close communication with him for all policy and procures that we have implemented. Department Managers have reminded all employees to remain at home if they are sick. I require a doctor note for return to work form any illness during this time. We are in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps.
We have reviewed and updated our infection prevention and control plans and our emergency communication plan. Our Infection Prevention Committee has created a COVID 19 policy and procedure. We continue to in-service staff as we received new and updates information from local and state health officials. We are following the same infection prevention procedures used during flu season: handwashing, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, covering coughs, and disinfecting the environment. We assess residents each shift for COVID 19 symptoms and monitor their temperatures. We monitor staff on each shift for the same symptoms. I am still in residence in case someone becomes symptomatic during the night hours. We have isolation rooms set up and ready. I have the ISDH contact number in my phone if need to call to get someone tested.
We continue to be in good health. Be assured that I will notify you if that changes. Please know of my gratitude to you for entrusting your loved one to our care. If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 317-213-8430 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know of my prayers.
Sr. Heather Jean