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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Health and Safety Plan for Regency Senior Living

NOTE: This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) will provide updated guidance information as it becomes available. Please check back for ongoing updates as they pertain to the health and safety plans for all Regency Senior Living residents, staff and visitors.

LAST UPDATED: March 16th, 2020

As coronavirus cases continue to be confirmed in the United States, it is important to be informed on the specifics of this illness, as well as the health and safety plans in place at Regency Senior Living. Perhaps the most important thing is this– don’t panic. Although the outbreak is something to take seriously, it’s also important to keep a clear head while taking preventative measures. Regency will continue to educate our staff members, and ensure that each facility has an ongoing health and safety plan, and that adequate sanitization stations are in place.

You’ve no doubt heard about coronavirus; however, you may find yourself with a lot of unanswered questions about it. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of coronavirus FAQs straight from the Center for Disease Control, because the more you know and understand about the illness, the less fear you’ll have to contend with. With a deeper understanding of the coronavirus issue, the more prepared, level-headed, and proactive we can all be about it.

Moreso, you may find yourself reading this blog out of concern for your loved ones who are residents at one of our Regency Senior Living facilities. You likely have questions about what precautions we have taken to help prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) amongst our residents and staff, as well as what our health and safety plans are should the coronavirus reach our local communities. We seek to provide some basic information about coronavirus, and assure you we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our Regency residents.

We hope you’ll check back should there be any further developments. We will continue to update this information as new information is made available.

Q: What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
A: Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and other respiratory issues may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure, based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

Q: What are the symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
A: The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Q: How does COVID-19 spread?
A: The coronavirus is thought to spread primarily from person to person between people who are in close contact (about 6 feet apart or less) with each other through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs. As with many viruses, people are suspected to be most contagious when highly symptomatic. This virus is also thought to be spreading easily and sustainably in affected communities– i.e. “community spread.”

Click here to learn more about how to stop the spread of germs.

Q: What is the treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
A: No vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 is available; care is supportive.

Q: What is Regency doing to protect their residents and staff from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19?
A: Regency Senior Living facilities are taking every precaution to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and have proactively implemented health and safety plans as set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) should an outbreak occur.

  • We are staying informed about the coronavirus situation and any new information that may become available through the CDC or other reputable sources.
  • We are making efforts to be prepared for potential absenteeism within our staff, while also staying abreast of community emergency planning and response activities so as to be prepared for potential spread of the coronavirus within our local communities.
  • We are mandating sick employees stay home, as well as implementing more rigorous cleaning practices to help decrease the spread of germs.
  • We are stocked with supplies for respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, including 60%-95% alcohol-based hand sanitizer (ABHS), tissues, no touch receptacles for disposal, and face masks in all facilities.

Q: What can I do to protect loved ones inside of a Regency Senior Living facility?
A: The biggest thing you can personally do to ensure there is no COVID-19 outbreak within Regency Retirement Village would be to be diligent about your own health. Follow the best practices set forth by the CDC to minimize the spread of germs in your community, and refrain from visiting residents if you are feeling under the weather.

Q: What preventative measures should I take?
A: Be cautious about:

  • Keeping your hands clean
  • Not going out if you are sick
  • Not entertaining visitors who are or have recently been sick
  • Wearing a face mask if you are ill (If you’re well, they won’t do much to protect you, but they can help prevent the spread of germs if the wearer is already sick.)

Q: What will happen if a resident or staff member becomes ill with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
A: Should a resident or residents show symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), they will be hospitalized immediately. A test for the virus will be administered at the hospital and supportive care will be provided there.

Q: Can I visit my friend or family member at Regency?
A: Regency Senior Living has restricted visitation access to all senior living facilities. The only parties permitted within each facility are essential healthcare workers and Regency staff required to carry out day to day operations and maintain resident care. UPDATED: Sunday, March 15th per the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Guidance for Limiting the Transmission of COVID-19 for Nursing Homes memorandum.

Q: Will there be a quarantine if the outbreak of COVID-19 increases?
A: Yes. The decision to quarantine residents to minimize exposure to the coronavirus is not a decision we take lightly. Ultimately, the health and safety of our residents is paramount. Currently, visitor entrance is prohibited. We ask that visitors comply with the restrictions and understand that it’s for the safety of ALL the residents as well as visitors and staff.

Q: What should I do if I or non-resident outside of Regency Senior Living becomes sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
A: Follow the guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control, which can be found here.

Q: Who is at risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
A: The CDC has outlined the following categories for exposure risk in effort to help in the area of public health management of people following potential SARS-CoV-2 exposure. Risk levels apply to community and travel-related settings.

HIGH RISK:

  • Living in the same household with, being intimate with, or caring for (in a non-healthcare setting) a person with lab-confirmed and symptomatic COVID-19 infection without following recommended precautions for home care.
  • Travel from Hubei Province, China

MEDIUM RISK:

  • Close contact with a person with symptomatic and lab-confirmed COVID-19, and not having exposures that meet the high-risk definition
  • Living in the same household with, being intimate with, or caring for (in a non-healthcare setting) a person with lab-confirmed and symptomatic COVID-19 infection while consistently following recommended precautions for home care.
  • Travel from mainland China outside Hubei Province AND not experiencing exposures that meet a high-risk definition

LOW RISK:

  • Being in the same indoor space, such as a classroom or hospital waiting area, as a person with symptomatic and lab-confirmed COVID-19 for an extended period of time while also NOT meeting the definition of close contact
  • Being on an aircraft and seated within two rows of a traveler with symptomatic and lab-confirmed COVID-19, while not being within 6 feet AND not having any other exposures that meet the definitions for medium or high risk

NO IDENTIFIABLE RISK:

  • Walking by a person or being in the same space briefly with someone with symptomatic and lab-confirmed COVID-19, or having other interactions that don’t meet the definitions for high, medium, or low risk

SOURCES:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/EPRO/Current-Emergencies/Current-Emergencies-page
Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
CMS Takes Action Nationwide to Aggressively Respond to Coronavirus National Emergency: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-takes-action-nationwide-aggressively-respond-coronavirus-national-emergency
Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/3-13-2020-nursing-home-guidance-covid-19.pdf