COVID-19 Message from Artis Senior Living
As the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 continues, we are taking continued measures to keep our residents and associates safe. We would like to detail measures Artis Senior Living communities are implementing to fight COVID-19.
• Only community associates and end-of-life care/visitors permitted; end of life care/visitors are required to complete COVID-19 symptom questionnaire, have temperature checked and wash hands prior to entering resident area; they are escorted by associate directly to resident’s room and are to remain there for the entire visit
• Families are encouraged to participate in virtual visits of the residents via Skype or FaceTime; we strongly encourage you to follow our community Facebook pages to remain informed about the daily occurrences in the communities
• All main entrances are locked to the general public; all visitors, deliveries, etc. must ring bell and require permission from community staff to enter
• All deliveries are to be made to the front lobby or directly to the proper department if the door does not lead to resident areas
• Families are encouraged to allow Artis to purchase the necessary supplies for their loved ones, such as incontinence supplies, which will be placed on their monthly statements; this will minimize foot traffic into our communities
• All community tours are now done by virtual tour (video, Skype, or something similar)
• All move-ins have been placed on hold until further notice; our support teams continually re-evaluate the need to continue that hold
• Community associates have temperature checked before and after each shift; any associate who has symptoms and/or an elevated temperature, will be sent home immediately and are to follow-up with his/her Primary Care Physician for further guidance prior to returning
• Temperatures are checked on every resident every shift
• All associates who have symptoms are not permitted to work until he/she has tested negative or have been symptom-free (no fever for at least 72 hours without use of fever-reducing medication, no other symptoms present)
• Primary Care Physician is notified immediately when a resident displays symptoms; the resident is placed in isolation and treated as positive until testing completed and results are negative
• If/when a resident is showing symptoms and/or tests positive, dedicated staff will provide all care for that resident to avoid cross-contamination to other neighborhoods; appropriate PPE to be worn by staff when care is provided; all meals to be served in his/her room while in isolation, using disposable plates, utensils, etc.
• All residents with symptoms or who have tested positive will be placed in same neighborhood or same area when possible
• All frequently-touched surfaces (i.e. door handles, railings, etc.) are disinfected several times throughout the day as well as office equipment, phones, etc.
• Walkie-talkies, pagers, etc. are cleaned in between shifts and in between uses
• All surfaces are cleaned every shift and as needed
• The local health department is notified in the event a resident or associate tests positive; they will determine what further protocols are to be implemented, if any
• Letters are sent to notify associates and family when a positive case occurs; update notifications are sent frequently to keep all aware of the progression. Communication is also conveyed through Voice Friend.
• The neighborhood is closed off to other residents and staff if/when a resident develops symptoms or tests positive
• We have contracted with an outside company to disinfect all of our locations with priority given to any location with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, and will periodically continue to do so throughout the outbreak at the community
• A resident who has symptoms and/or tests positive will remain in the community as long as he/she does not have respiratory distress; we have been guided by local health department to keep ER and hospital beds available for those who cannot be managed in-house
• We will do our best to space residents apart from each other during meal times; as we know with the dementia population, this may not always be feasible; where/when possible, meal times will be scattered to allow residents to be spaced apart
• Outside entertainment, outings, etc. have been suspended until further notice. Modifications to in house group activities are being made daily as things change.
• Care staff are receiving bonuses during the crisis
• PPE shortages continues to be a world-wide challenge. Artis staff is continuously seeking out additional supplies of PPE.
• Many healthcare providers are experiencing staffing challenges from time to time. Senior living communities are no exception. Artis continues to support its associates to mitigate staffing issues. For example, the company attempts to add less social factors that might prevent its associates from reporting to work, such as transportation issues. We have asked associates to postpone elective time off from work.
We continue to follow guidance daily from NCAL, AHCA, and local health departments. The health and well-being of our residents and associates is and always will be our highest priority. We are regularly updating Artis family members via email, on social media and over the phone, but if you have an urgent question, as always, please reach out to the community’s Executive Director at any time.