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Coronavirus Prevention Updates

Last updated 4/2/2020

Q. What is Presbyterian Homes & Services’ (PHS) plan for dealing with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A. PHS maintains standard protocols and procedures to prevent or limit the spread of infectious disease in our senior living communities. Every PHS staff member is trained annually on these procedures and our employees have demonstrated excellent infection control practices over the years.

To specifically address COVID-19: 
  • An interdisciplinary team is receiving and reviewing information from the CDC and state departments of health daily. The team will evaluate the risks and determine appropriate actions as needed, including updating standard plans. 
  • PHS staff are receiving additional training to recognize and report symptoms of COVID-19 or respiratory illness experienced by residents, volunteers or themselves.
  • While maintaining standard practices for good hygiene and infection control, PHS communities are increasing disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Residents in all living options are encouraged to remain in their apartments as much as possible. 
  • Clinical care staff are monitoring the health of residents in our care. 
  • Signs are posted throughout the community reminding everyone to be vigilant about infection control practices. 
  • Hand washing stations and/or sanitizer dispensers are at all PHS site entrances.
  • All employees who serve in assisted living, memory care and care centers are being screened before entering the building. 
  • We are working with our suppliers for needed supplies while avoiding stockpiling that could exacerbate shortages. 
  • Reliable and verified information is being communicated by PHS to staff, residents and the public through our website, social media, email and/or print notifications.

Q. Can I visit the community? 
A. We are following guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to restrict all visitors, volunteers and vendors to only essential visits, such as end-of-life or required care and services. Such visits will be limited to minimize potential exposure in resident living spaces in the building. 

We are requiring that essential visitors be screened prior to any access to resident living spaces. The screening will include a form that records the name, contact information, duration and purpose of the visit and who is being visited, if applicable, and responses to the following:
  • Do you have any of these symptoms: cough, sore throat, runny nose, and/or shortness of breath AND a fever?
  • Have you traveled outside of the country or been on a cruise in the last 14 days?
  • Have you been in close contact with anyone who is/has been ill with a cough, sore throat, runny nose, and/or shortness of breath AND a fever?
  • Which states have you traveled to within the last 14 days?
Families have been informed that only resident and staff keyfobs remain activated for the time being and only for a single point of entry for each building. 

Q. Are you accepting new residents?   
A.
We are postponing all non-critical move-ins for independent living, assisted living, and memory care at this time. In order to provide critical support to hospitals, we continue to accept new admissions in transitional care and long term care with appropriate health screening, following the lead of the CDC. If the results of the screening raise any cause for concern, we will further assess and determine next steps before a move-in takes place. 

Q. Can I take a tour of a community?
A.
We are not offering in-person tours at this time. As an alternative, we encourage you to view the community photo galleries on this website. Every community features a gallery on its home page that displays an extensive view of the apartments and community spaces. Click on “Find a Community” to select the community of your interest. Each community's Housing Counselor is available by phone should you have questions.  

Q. Will I be notified if there is an outbreak at a PHS community? 
A. In the event of a positive COVID-19 test result, we will notify residents, staff, volunteers and family. 

Q. Do you have enough supplies and staff to care for residents in the case of an outbreak?
A. Supplies will be available and distributed when the need arises. We are working with our suppliers for needed supplies while avoiding stockpiling that will exacerbate shortages. Please note that at this time there is no medication (antibiotic or antiviral) that is effective against the Coronavirus. 

Our PHS leadership team meets weekly to review staffing needs and deployment for all sites. We are fortunate to have our own central staffing group to cover shifts and are deploying our nurses and registered nursing assistants where the need is greatest. 

Q. What can I do to help?
A. You can be helpful in the following ways: 
  
  • Stay healthy and prevent spreading germs by following recommended actions: frequent handwashing; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose all used tissues; avoid contact with people who are ill.
  • Stay in touch with your loved one by phone, text, email or other means that do not require physical proximity.
  • Sign up to be a pen pal or phone buddy with a PHS resident.
  • Join our team! We have many positions available at more than 30 locations and training is provided. Call or text 651-764-8850 or email us at recruiter@preshomes.org and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.
  • If you have the ability to make a financial gift and feel called to do so at this time, our foundation is here to help. Gifts of all sizes make a difference.
  • Be in prayer with us for those who have already been impacted by this disease; for the wellbeing of our residents and staff; for those working diligently to provide means of prevention, treatment and cure; and for calm, wisdom and mutual respect to prevail in our greater communities.
Q. How does this impact Help at Home services?
A. For information about Optage Senior Dining Choices, Home Care, and Hospice, please visit the Optage website. 

Q. Where can I find more information about COVID-19?
A. 
There are many resources available: 
  
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