North Shore Healthcare’s Response to COVID-19
Updated August 11, 2020
North Shore Healthcare’s managed centers have the honor to serve those who have chosen to provide care. Our utmost concern is for the health and well-being of each of our residents and to ensure our staff is healthy and able to continue to care for residents, particularly as we all face the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout this pandemic we have been following the recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), and the local and state public health departments in the communities in which we operate, and we will continue to do so. Outlined below are the ways in which we are working to protect our residents, our staff, and ways we are keeping our residents and their families connected during this difficult time.
– Protecting our residents –
- Separating residents who show respiratory or other COVID-19 symptoms away from others
- New admission or re-admissions are placed under observation for the recommended period of time prior to settling into to their regular room
- Discontinuing group activities and communal dining, or limiting such activities to permit appropriate distancing, consistent with state and federal guidance
- Conducting activities that allow residents to maintain safe distances from others
- Increasing cleaning in common areas (therapy rehabilitation area, dining area, activity area, lobby area, etc.)
- Continuing to restrict indoor visitation of all visitors and non-essential personnel, except for certain compassionate care visits, such as an end-of-life situation
- Those under consideration for a compassionate care visit must pass stringent screening questions and must not exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
- Those visitors who are permitted must wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including a facemask, while in the building. They also must frequently perform hand hygiene.
- Restricting touching and social greeting
- Encouraging family and friends to reach out to residents socially via phone calls, email, or video conferencing to help with feelings of loneliness and isolation during this time
– Protecting our staff –
- Actively screening all employees, essential healthcare providers or personnel, residents, and approved visitors for COVID-19 symptoms
- Instructing sick employees to stay home and call in replacement staff
- Training and ensuring proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Striving to ensure adequate supplies of PPE are available, or implementing CDC recommended steps to optimize available PPE
– Testing –
North Shore Healthcare believes testing is critical in properly identifying the possible impact the virus may have at any of our centers. It also provides guidance for us on any additional steps that must be taken to further protect our residents and staff.
Each of our centers works closely with state and local public health on scheduling and executing testing on the recommended and available basis. We communicate with and receive consent from each resident/responsible party or staff who will be tested. If, during center-wide testing, a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified, we then work with the local and/or state health authorities to determine the appropriate response.
– Keeping Residents Connected –
- With individual states beginning to allow outdoor visits, North Shore Healthcare has developed guidelines to allow our centers to hold outdoor visits and connect our residents with their loved ones. Limitations are necessary as to availability and frequency of outdoor visitations. Criteria must be met to allow for safe visits, so please understand that each center must make determinations as to whether, when, and how frequent outdoor visitation sessions may be available. There are a number of safety guidelines that must be followed when setting up outdoor visits. We are following each state’s protocols, as well as guidance from the CDC and CMS on the safest way to conduct outdoor visitation.
Contact your center to learn more about outdoor visits at their location.
- Additionally, we continue to work with families on establishing alternative ways to connect with their loved ones, including arranging virtual visits using Microsoft Teams and encouraging family and friends to reach out to residents socially via phone calls, window visits, or email to help with feelings of loneliness and isolation during this time
- Family, friends, and loved ones can share a message with our residents using the Send a Greeting form on each of our center’s webpages. Simply complete the form and your message will be delivered to the recipient to enjoy.
- We encourage you to follow your center's Facebook page to learn more about resident activites and other announcements and news.
North Shore believes that clear and ongoing communication with our staff, residents, and visitors is critically important. You have our commitment that we will keep you informed as this pandemic continues. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or concerns. We appreciate the confidence and trust you have placed in our team.