Lutheran Living Coronavirus Update
Updated as of November 23, 2020 at 9:14 a.m. CST
Dear Residents, Families, Staff, and Friends of Lutheran Living,
The support you have shown us throughout the past months has been invaluable. As you know, the Coronavirus pandemic continues to introduce new challenges which have caused us all to experience a change in everyday operations. Your willingness to adapt as needed has been crucial in protecting the health and wellness of our residents and staff, their families, and those residing within our broader community.
Because we’re committed to maintaining respectful, open, and transparent communication, residents, families, and staff will continue to be notified of any COVID-19 cases within our community with respect to all health and employment privacy requirements.
The Coronavirus pandemic will likely impact our operations for months to come. Therefore, we continue to remind everyone just how important it is to take precautions against this virus. Wearing masks, washing our hands, practicing social distancing, and sanitizing high-touch areas will help us limit the spread of this virus.
Lutheran Living COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Response Action Plan
First and foremost, our priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy. We are in close contact with state and local health officials to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps at this time. We are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and state and local health officials to protect our residents and staff from this virus, and are taking every action possible to prevent it from spreading in our community.
The following is a summary of our COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Response Action Plan.
- Utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), as directed by CMS guidelines. Staff continues to wear PPE, including masks, eye protection, gloves, and gowns depending on the community’s COVID-19 status. Residents are asked to wear a face covering when interfacing with others.
- Screening and monitoring residents and staff for symptoms. We have increased our screening and monitoring of residents and staff for COVID-19 symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
We all play a part in keeping ourselves and others healthy. Please wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, wear a mask or face covering, and practice social distancing.
Residents: please let a staff member know immediately if you feel ill. We are here to support and care for you.
Staff: Please don’t enter the building if you are ill. Any staff who exhibit symptoms at work should keep on their mask, isolate at home, call your medical provider, and notify your supervisor.
We continue to educate residents and staff on COVID-19. For additional information, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website: idph.iowa.gov/emerging-health-issues/novel-coronavirus.
- Tracing individuals who come in contact with anyone affected. The community will work with the tracing staff from state and local health departments to assess all who may have come in close contact with an affected individual. We will continue to follow all requirements in implementing the next steps which may include self-monitoring as determined by health officials.
- Testing residents and staff for COVID-19. We are following all guidance from federal, state, and local health officials on testing required for residents and staff. Those who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms are tested to quickly identify and isolate residents and staff who may be positive for COVID-19. Once there is a confirmed COVID-19 case, the community will work closely with local health officials to establish future testing frequency.
- Quarantining COVID-19 positive residents and implementing enhanced infection control measures. Any COVID-19 positive residents will be quarantined in their apartments and cared for and supported by designated staff. We continue to follow all infection control protocols as outlined by the CDC, CMS, and state and local health officials. COVID-19 positive residents remain in quarantine until well and cleared by medical professionals, as well as meet the CDC symptom-based criteria for return to normal activity.
- Advising COVID-19 positive staff to take all appropriate measures. For the health and well-being of our community, any staff member with a COVID-19 diagnosis is asked to quarantine at home, contact a medical provider for care, and notify their supervisor. We are following CDC guidance on the return-to-work criteria for health care professionals with confirmed COVID-19.
- Taking environmental safety precautions. Housekeeping staff continues to take extra measures to clean and disinfect all high-touch areas throughout the building. This includes countertops and tables, faucet handles, toilet flush handles, doorknobs, door handles, crash bars, bathroom and kitchen areas, elevator call buttons, and handrails.
- Adhering to safe visitation procedures. We are committed to offering visitation that supports each resident’s physical, mental, psychosocial well-being, and quality of life. Visitation may be conducted through different means based on the community’s structure and residents’ needs, such as in resident rooms, dedicated visitation spaces, outdoors, and for circumstances beyond compassionate care situations.
Please know the visitation options and available hours may vary based on our community’s COVID-19 status. To discuss current visit options and schedule a visit with a loved one, contact Lutheran Living at (563) 263-1241.
Window Visits: Closed window visits pose no risk of virus transmission.
Outdoor Visits: Outdoor visits pose a lower risk of virus transmission due to increased space and airflow. Therefore, outdoor visits are preferred whenever practicable.
Indoor Visits: Indoor visits will be offered based on the following guidance and criteria from CMS:
- The community has had no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and is not currently conducting outbreak testing.
- Visitors must adhere to the core principles of infection control and will be monitored by staff, including appropriate mask use, social distancing, and hand hygiene.
- For the safety and well-being of those in the community, there are a limited number of visitors allowed at one time. Two visitors per resident can be accommodated. Visits will generally take place in a common area inside the community that is cleaned and sanitized regularly and between visits. Additionally, the community maintains a calendar that identifies the days, times, and length of potential visits.
Virtual visits: We encourage loved ones to communicate with residents by phone, letters, video chat, and/or social media. We understand that it is hard to not have visitors, especially family. Please contact Lutheran Living at (563) 263-1241 with questions, for assistance, and/or to schedule a virtual visit.
Compassionate care visits: Visitors who need to enter the community for compassionate care situations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to assure safety for all.
Please note the community will screen visitors for COVID-19 when they arrive for outdoor, indoor, and compassionate care visits.
We are excited to see our residents reunite with their loved ones!
- Assuring safe congregate dining and group activities. Communal dining and congregate group activities may be offered while adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention. This includes social distancing, face covering, and appropriate hand hygiene by residents and staff.
We continue to be in close communications with state and local health officials, and are monitoring new information from the CDC, CMS, and state and local health departments to ensure we are taking the appropriate next steps.
We want to take this opportunity to share our ongoing gratitude to our dedicated staff, for their commitment to the care of and service to our residents. Their courage is nothing short of inspiring—they are our heroes!
It is moments like these that we remember our true calling and what brought us to senior care. We care deeply about our residents and staff and consider them to be members of our own extended families.
Thank you for your support and understanding; we are all in this together. Please do not hesitate to contact the Lutheran Living team via phone: (563) 263-1241 with any questions or concerns you may have.
As information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rapidly changes, we are committed to sharing the most current information available. Some of the details in this update may have changed after publication.
For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage you to use the following resources:
- Iowa COVID-19 Information
- Iowa Department of Public Health
- Iowa 211 Hotline
- Muscatine County COVID-19 Information
- CDC - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- CDC - Enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID‑19)
- Trinity Muscatine Public Health
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