What is going on?
I bet you have asked yourself that question more than once in the past few months. Robin and I have talked to many of you, and because we are now marketing into Central and Northern California, we have met many new students in our live streaming courses. You have asked that question and many other questions which Robin and I have attempted to answer with clarity and honesty.
The truth: no one really knows what is going on with COVID-19, admissions, visitors, temperature taking, hospice and home health visits, trips to the ER, etc. I give DSS credit for attempting to keep administrators and vendors informed. It takes ferreting out info from DSS’ provider information notices (PINs, found on CDSS’ website), but the info is there.
In a recent PIN, facilities can admit clients AND can allow visitors. (See our COVID-19 plan of operation under Products and Services for a visitor screening.) DSS is recommending limiting entry to individuals who need entry, i.e. facility staff and service providers, such as home health or hospice, who keep the operations running and ensuring the needs of persons in care are met. My recommendation is nurses only, not CNAs or “bath aides” as facilities are required, by the admission contract, to bathe and provide care. If a county or state official needs to enter to inspect or assist you, DSS believes these individuals are necessary.
Facilities can allow immediate families or friends. To allow visitors, make sure the appropriate signage is posted regarding the risks associated with COVID-19 and the recommended precautions visitors will take. Establish specific visiting hours and use only ONE entry point. It may be best to allow visitors in when staffing levels are higher to monitor visitors’ handwashing and moving throughout the facility. To tour prospective residents, employ the wearing a facemasks, gowns, and gloves. (Facility is NOT required to provide these items but can, if available, keeping in mind future needs for staff must come first before visitors.)
It is OK to take persons to essential medical care such as dialysis, doctor visits, etc.
Facilities must require all staff and visitors to wash their hands upon entry at a handwashing and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations immediately inside all entryways with signage reminding people to wash before entering. Ask each person who enters to immediately wash their hands or use the hand sanitizer before doing anything. Remind visitors and others to maintain social distancing. If possible, keep a distance of at least six (6) feet between yourself, the client, and staff. If someone is coughing, sneezing, or has a fever, do not allow them to enter.
Go to our Products and Services Page and download, free, our COVID-19 plan of operation. There is a visitor screening you can use when allowing persons into your facility.