FROM: Walnut Street Center, Inc
DATE: April 6, 2020
RE: Coronavirus Update and Planning
Dear Residents, Families, Friends and other stakeholders,
We are committed to keeping our residents safe and we need your help. The virus causing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19) can cause outbreaks in many long-term care facilities. At this point we are happy to announce that WSC has no presumptive or positive cases.
Many of our residents are elderly and may have medical conditions putting them at a very high risk of becoming sick, or even severely ill, with COVID-19. Visitors and healthcare personnel (HCP) are the most likely sources of introduction of the virus that causes COVID-19 into our homes. To protect our vulnerable residents, even before COVID-19 is seen in our community, we are immediately taking the following aggressive actions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our residents and staff:
- Effective March 17, 2020 we closed our Day Programs. Those programs will remain closed until further notice. We expect them to be closed at least until the state of emergency/stay at home order is lifted
- Effective March 17, 2020 we have limited access to 291 Mystic Ave to workers that are considered essential to our operations. All non-essential activities have been postponed
- Effective April 1, 2020 all persons in the building need to be wearing a mask at all times
- Effective March 17, 2020 all visitation is being restricted except for certain compassionate care situations, such as VNA or end of life situations.
- We know that your presence is important for your loved one but, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is a necessary action to protect their health. We are recommending alternative methods of visitation (such as Skype and FaceTime) so that you can continue to communicate with your loved ones.
- Visitors who are permitted to enter homes will be required to frequently clean their hands, limit their visit to a designated area within the building, and wear a facemask. As the situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing, we will continue to keep you updated.
- We are monitoring healthcare personnel and residents for symptoms of respiratory illness. Healthcare personnel will be actively monitored for fever and symptoms of respiratory infection. Ill healthcare personnel will be asked to stay home. You may see healthcare personnel wearing facemasks, gown, and gloves in order to prevent germs from spreading and help keep residents safe. Healthcare personnel will clean their hands frequently. We are assessing residents daily for fevers and symptoms of respiratory infection in order to quickly identify ill residents and implement additional infection prevention activities.
- When ill residents are identified, they will be monitored closely, asked to stay in their rooms and/or wear a mask.
- We are limiting activities within the facility. We are cancelling all group activities within the building and all community outings. We will be helping residents to practice social distancing, including during meals, and to frequently clean their hands. We encourage you to review the CDC website for information about COVID-19, including its symptoms, how it spreads, and actions you can take to protect your health: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Thank you very much for everything you are doing to keep our residents and facility staff safe and healthy. We continue to monitor the situation in our community; we will keep you informed about any new precautions we think are necessary to keep your loved one safe.
Carolyne Guffey, M.B.A., PHR
291 Mystic Ave.
Medford MA. 02155