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COVID-19 Response

OUTBREAK RESPONSE PLAN

POLICY AND PROCEDURE:

Weston Assisted Living will have an Infection Control Program overseen by the RN Wellness Manager or their designee.

  1. Weston Assisted Living will follow CDC guidelines.
  2. Weston Assisted Living will monitor residents for infections and put into place the necessary practices
  3. The nurse will monitor for trends of infections and take the necessary precautions for safeguarding residents and team members.
  4. As appropriate the Administrator will be informed of infection trends for guidance and input.
  5. As appropriate if there is a communicable disease or infection it will be reported to the Department of Health.
  • Standard Practice for infection identification
    Residents are assessed before admission for the presence of an infectious disease or condition. The Nurse requests an initial history physical examination from the resident’s attending physician before the resident is admitted. This history should include significant past and present infections, diseases and immunization status records.

    The nurse or private physician screens all new residents for tuberculosis. Residents are required to have the PPD done during their initial physical with their doctor. Facility must have the PPD results prior to admission. Any resident with a positive skin test or a history of positive skin test shall be referred to their private physician for the follow-up.

    Vaccinations/immunizations which are offered to all residents, unless contraindicated, include an annual influenza vaccine.
    Education about infection prevention and control shall be provided to residents and family by the nurse as appropriate. Hand washing shall be an important element of the resident education infection control program.

    When an infection is identified, the RN will confirm that the situation meets the criteria for an infection and will attempt to identify whether the infection developed in the facility. This will be based upon standard published definitions of infections, laboratory results and surveillance data collected in the facility. The surveillance information will assist in reviewing reports and identify trends, patterns, or problems that might reflect the development of healthcare-associated infections.

    The facility has established procedures to perform and document surveillance during routine monitoring and surveillance of the workplace in order to determine compliance with infection control policies and practices.

    The goals in determining healthcare-associated infections are:

    • To identify and correct breaches in infection control practices that may have contributed to the spread of a healthcare associated infection
    • To prevent and further spread of infection (resident to resident, staff to resident) through the initiation of appropriate isolation precautions where warranted.
    • To identify and treat epidemiologically important organisms (e.g., C. difficile, MDROs) that have high risk of transmission, severity of disease and/or are difficult to treat.
  • Protocols for isolating infected and at-risk residents in the event of an outbreak of contagious disease until cessation of the outbreak.
    • Assess residents with actual/potential infections/illnesses to determine need for interventions in care plans.
    • Reportable infectious, contagious, or communicable diseases will be reported to appropriate city, county and/or State Health Department Officials.
      If the disease or condition is also listed as a Nationally Notifiable Infectious Disease according to the CDC, the RN, or designee shall notify the CDC of the occurrence.
      Report outbreaks of illness to Hanover Township Health Department (973 515-6668) and DHSS as required (609 633-8977).
      Isolation precautions will be discontinued when it is medically determined that a resident no longer requires such precautions.
    • Report to family members by phone or emails within 24 hours or by 5:00pm of the next business day when there is an infectious disease outbreak.
    • Prevention and precaution signs are to be displayed in the facility.
    • Notices to be posted to alert persons of the isolation restrictions.
    • PPEs location and accessibility of all isolation equipment for caregivers – located in Nursing office and in Maintenance Supplies Storage (lower level).
    • All personnel will be trained on our infection control policies and practices upon hire and periodically, thereafter, including where and how to find and use pertinent procedures and equipment related to infection control. The depth of employee training shall be appropriate to the degree of direct resident contact and job responsibilities.
    • Hand hygiene protocol in place and being used in all departments- e.g. Nursing, Dietary, Housekeeping, Administration and Maintenance.
    • Ensure employees with communicable diseases are not present for work duties.
    • Resident Isolation in their apartment or floor if other residents are affected by same illness.
    • Foods, fluids and medication delivered to resident’s residence.
    • Hand hygiene products – sinks, soap, towels, paper towels and alcohol-based hand rub etc. – shall be readily accessible and convenient for staff use to encourage compliance with hand hygiene policies.
    • Ensure methods for disposal of PPEs and other trash.
    • Laundry service shall be notified of situation and need for frequent pickups
  • Standard practice for continuous monitoring and reporting of residents, families, visitors, staff with possible infection by staff members who will report to RN who will assess.
  • Laboratory testing will be available through the lab.
  • Facility visitors and staff shall be continuously monitored and assessed for illness by trained staff and reported to RN.
  • Staff that are ill will not be allowed to present at the facility for work duties.
  • Nursing will do line listing for infectious disease as needed.
  • Infection control surveillance checklist to monitor compliance.
  • Communication to residents and families during a disease outbreak
  • Residents, families and other interested parties will be notified of an infectious disease outbreak and mitigating actions in one or more of the following ways:
    • Email and phone blasts
    • Written communications and postings in the Community
    • Staff meetings
    • Posting on the organizations website and social media platforms
  • During the outbreak period and/or during curtailed visitation periods residents and families will be updated minimally at least once a week as to the status of the outbreak.
  • The Community will provide opportunities to residents via zoom, conference calling, face time and other available technology. Staff is trained to facilitate these interactions with families which will be scheduled in advance to ensure all residents have the opportunity to visit with their families.
  • Lessons Learned:
    Continually re-educate staff on appropriate PPE usage throughout the course of the changes during a pandemic or outbreak.
    While we were able to get supplies that we needed and did not have a PPE or cleaning supply shortage, we determined that it would be prudent to increase our stockpile and to partner with an organization that would put us on a monthly schedule of deliveries and by doing so, we will be given priority deliveries if there is an outbreak in the Community.
    Educate additional staff members on the use of electronic devices such as I pads and tablets, as well as teaching them how to initiate or set up virtual visits on FaceTime, zoom and conference calls.