October 23th 2020, An Update on COVID-19

It has been some time since we sent an update related to COVID. We
continue to do 2x daily screenings on all residents for signs and
symptoms, and daily upon entry plus every 4 hours for staff while on
duty. We also screen all vendors and medical providers that enter the
building, in much the same way we screen families when here for
visitation.

Non-emergent medical appointments have resumed and we are providing
transportation. Upon return, these residents are showered and have a
change of clothing. If a resident goes out to the ER for greater than 12
hours, they, unfortunately, must quarantine in their rooms or apartments
for 14 days. Donna, our hairstylist has been back for a while now, and
Dorothy, our nail tech will be starting up again the first week of
November. We continue to limit our activities to small groups that can
convene on their own units and dining while occurring in common areas,
is limited to 2 people to a table.

We provide testing every 7-10 days and all staff, consultants, or other
medical providers are required to be tested at a minimum every 14 days.
We have recently received a Rapid Test machine for use with symptomatic
individuals and are developing policies for its use as well as awaiting
the waiver from the state to use it for both Sars-Cov-2 testing as well
as influenza testing. We anticipate that we will be getting a machine to
do testing on asymptomatic individuals as well.

In terms of the flu, we have done a flu clinic for staff and will
conduct one more next week. We have sent out the information to families
for permission and are administering the flu shot as we get these back.
The flu clinic for the Assisted Living residents was last week. A big
THANK YOU to Visiting Nurses for providing this clinic for them.

So with all of the above going on it is no surprise that our numbers
continue to be low. As of today we have 2 positive cases (both staff,
one that works remotely and has not been in the building, and the other
has not been in the building since early September, so no exposure to
other staff or residents on both counts) This brings our cumulative
count to 8. We conduct testing every Thursday/Friday with results coming
in on Saturday/Sunday. Be sure to check our website (stclarenewport.org)
often, this is where we post any changes in COVID case numbers and do so
as soon as we find out.

Visitation continues to be outside when weather permits. We have decided
that on days where the temperature is 65 or higher and it is dry, we can
visit outside. If it is raining or colder, as it inevitably will become,
these visits will move indoors. We have identified that we will be using
the library, chapel, my office and the cafe (in the afternoon only) for
visits inside. Unfortunately we are unable to use any space that is used
for other activities during the day, so this really limits us to these 4
spaces. We will also start scheduling visits starting at 9a with the
last visit starting at 4p so that we can squeeze a few more in per day.
Keep in mind that we need to clean each space before and after your
visits, so it is very important that the visits start and end on time.
We will continue to do our best to make sure your loved one is ready for
the visit as well! As always has been true, if your resident is unable
to tolerate leaving their room due to health reasons, in room visitation
is allowed, although only one visitor at a time. Compassion visits also
continue.

As we see the numbers in the state and nation head upwards and Newport
County’s positivity rate is 4% (for the 2 weeks preceeding 10/14,
according to the CDC) we need to impress upon everyone the need to be
diligent with the aforementioned rules as well as screening procedures
upon visits. We also need to ask that you not bring in food and drink to
be consumed during your visit. This necessitates masks being off and
really is putting your loved ones at risk. You can still bring in food
items, we will bring them to their room/apartment for them to enjoy
later.

YOU MUST KEEP YOUR MASKS ON FOR THE ENTIRETY OF THE VISIT AND YOU MUST
MAINTAIN 6 FT DISTANCE.

Too frequently we are having to ask people to separate, to put their
mask on etc. Unfortunately we also have some visitors that are being
less than kind with our staff and volunteers in response to these
requests. These are RI Department of Health rules that we are following
in the hopes of keeping your family members and ours safe and healthy.
This virus is devastating to all age groups, but especially elders.
Please help us to do the right thing. We recognize it is difficult to
not see your loved ones in the frequency you would like, or to have to
schedule the appointment, or not be able to come and go as you please,
and it breaks our heart to have to say that you cannot hold hands or hug
each other goodbye.

With the holidays approaching, many of you will have questions about
visits or leaves of absence. As we get guidance from the RI Department of
Health, we will pass it along. The Governor right now is starting to
talk about the holidays and telling us all to keep it local and not
travel. It is very important to note that RI is seeing that the current
uptick in COVID cases is coming mostly from family gatherings, not
schools, not healthcare communities. We will try our very best to make
sure that the holidays here are joyful and pleasant and include you in
them as much as we can.

In the meantime, please stay well.

Mary Beth Daigneault
Administrator

St. Clare-Newport| stclarenewport.org [1]

  ‌ [2]   St. Clare-Newport | 309 Spring St., Newport, RI 02840

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