Update on COVID-19
Like many Senior Living communities across the globe Aviva – A Campus for Senior Life is keeping a very close eye on the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19 more commonly known as the Coronavirus. As always our main priority is the ongoing safety of our residents and we will make whatever decision is necessary to ensure that priority is met.
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What is COVID-19?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) identifies COVID-19 or Coronavirus as a respiratory infection caused by a previously unknown type of coronavirus. It is widely believed that COVID-19 like other viruses in the Coronavirus family originates in animals, more specifically bats.
In early January cases of COVID-19 began to appear in the small population of Wuhan, China. Specifically, those affected were found to have a connection to the area’s large seafood and live animal market. Experts believe that these early cases were in fact caused by an animal-to-person spread which is incredibly rare for this family of viruses.
In recent weeks the confirmed cases of COVID-19 have begun to rise exponentially suggesting person-to-person spread and the possibility that the virus has been operating in many places across the globe for an extended period of time.
For more information regarding the background on COVID-19, we encourage you to visit the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Experts have identified the symptoms of COVID-19 to mimic those found in patients with pneumonia.
Patients with COVID-19 display symptoms including:
-Shortness of Breath
These symptoms have ranged from mild to severe and typically appear 2 to 14 days after initial exposure.
How can you catch COVID-19?
Like most respiratory infections, COVID-19 spreads most easily through microscopic particles known as droplets which are released into the air when an infected individual coughs or sneezes.
As COVID-19 is transferred through droplets the highest areas of infection, also known as hot zones, are locations where large groups of people are in close contact with one another. This is why the virus is so commonly spread in large transportation hubs like airports, train stations, and cruise ships. Additionally, experts are recommending individuals to avoid large venues like stadiums, theatres, and lecture halls.
Some evidence points that COVID-19 may spread when an individual touches a contaminated surface and then touches their mouth, eyes, ears, nose, or other areas on the face. This form of transmission is most likely caused by those infected not properly covering their mouths and droplets landing on other surfaces.
At the moment there is no evidence that the virus can spread through intimate contact like kissing, however, the CDC recommends avoiding this if an individual is showing symptoms, as droplets may be exchanged.
Outlying reports have mentioned the possibility that an individual may be a carrier of the virus and not show any symptoms. At the moment this cannot be confirmed and there is no substantial evidence to support this theory.
Who is most susceptible to COVID-19?
As reported by many media outlets and experts, the populations most at risk for experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19 are those with compromised immune systems. Due to the natural symptoms of aging or lack of aging, this means that young children and older adults are most at risk.
The vast majority of current COVID-19 patients are individuals 60 years or older with the youngest in Florida as of now being 64 years old. It is common with all viruses and other infections to see the older adult population at risk due to the weakening of the immune system which occurs as we age.
On the opposite side of the age spectrum are young children. While few cases in this age group have been currently reported, experts are cautioning parents and guardians to pay careful attention to children age 0 to 8 years old. During this stage of life, a person’s immune system is often still in the early stages of development making it more susceptible to infection.
How can I help stop the spread of COVID-19?
First and foremost we encourage and ask everyone to remain calm as this situation develops. We understand that you may be afraid of the effect this virus will have on your community or your loved ones but there are significant risks associated with panic. Individuals and communities that panic during situations like this often make it significantly harder for healthcare and emergency response professionals to do their jobs which ultimately puts those around you at risk.
Here are some important ways you can help stop the spread of COVID-19:
Wash Your Hands– Proper handwashing is absolutely essential to helping the spread of not only COVID-19 but all flu-like viruses. By focusing on handwashing you can help limit the spread of dangerous droplets that may contain the virus. It is always preferable for you to wash your hands with warm water and soap, however, hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol may be used if a sink is not available. For easy to follow steps on proper handwashing and the science behind it we recommend this article from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html
Cover Your Mouth– Another longstanding staple of illness prevention is to cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. The most important thing to remember is not to cough into your hand! If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow. In both cases, you should wash your hands afterward.
SPECIAL NOTE ON MASKS– Healthcare facilities across the country continue to experience a massive shortage of medical-grade face masks. Our vendors are unable to purchase these vital pieces of equipment due to the sudden influx of public purchases. It is absolutely vital to know that you should only be wearing a medical-grade face mask (N95 or KN95) if you are sick or caring for an individual who is sick. Please note that medical-grade face masks will often not prevent individuals from getting the virus especially when used in large public spaces or in unsterilized environments. Save the face masks for those professionals who are caring for the ill and opt to use a reusable cloth mask.
Practice Cleanliness– While we may not have control of our surroundings all the time we can ensure our homes, vehicles, and individual offices are cleaned properly. Surfaces that receive frequent contact during the day should be disinfected daily using standard disinfectant solutions. We especially encourage you to focus on surfaces that are grasped such as handles, doorknobs, faucets, steering wheels, and computer keys.
Know Your Health– The final and most important way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to know your own health. If you are exhibiting any of the symptoms or even those associated with other common illnesses like the flu or strep throat, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Those who are experiencing symptoms are encouraged to stay home excluding necessary trips to a healthcare provider. Staying home means calling out of work, not running errands, and not going to visit friends or family. This will help isolate any possible spread to outside your home.
What is Aviva doing about COVID-19?
Aviva is dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of our residents, staff, volunteers, and families. Our Emergency Response Team has been conducting daily meetings and connecting with local and national experts to prepare specific rules and procedures addressing COVID-19. These procedures are divided between our two buildings based on the health status and higher level of care needs of the residents located there. Our current policies are provided below.
Kobernick Independent Living– Updated 08/19/2020
Kobernick Independent Living continues to provide limited services to our residents. Dining and communal activities remain suspended at this time. Residents will continue to receive their meals through contact-free room service.
All Kobernick residents are expected to comply with our monthly COVID-19 testing schedule which is conducted by our nursing department. All Aviva staff members including non-direct care professionals are required to participate in COVID-19 testing every 2 weeks. Regardless of the number of hours worked, all private duty caregivers or companions are required to participate in our COVID-19 testing every 2 weeks. If a private contractor chooses to be tested off-site they have 48 hours to present COVID results to Aviva.
On Saturday, August 15th visitation at Kobernick was reinstated. Only 1 visitor per apartment is allowed at this time. Visitors, including Private Duty Aides, must submit to screening at the Front Desk which will include a CDC screening questionnaire and a temperature check. Temperature checks will be conducted via an infrared thermometer which scans the forehead just above the eyebrow line. All visitors are required to wear a face mask that completely covers their mouth and nose. At this time Aviva does not approve the use of a bandana, scarf, or neck mask in place of a CDC approved face mask. Face masks must be worn throughout the visit including while in a resident’s apartment. Visitors are not to spend time in common areas including but not limited to the Rotunda, the Fitness Center, the Pool, or the mailbox area. Guests who do not comply will be removed from campus by law enforcement personnel and banned from future entry.
Any prospective resident looking to book a tour must contact the Marketing & Sales office to make an appointment. We do not currently allow walk-in appointments. All tours will be abbreviated and will not include a showing of the public amenities. New residents scheduled to move onto campus will be required to receive a rapid COVID-19 test conducted within 48 hours prior to their move. More information on our admissions policy can be provided via the Marketing & Sales office.
All current residents are reminded to review the regular policy and procedure updates provided by the Aviva team. If a current resident has any questions, please reach out to Resident Services right away. For family members looking to receive more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our email distribution list.
A Special Note to Families: We would like to remind all family members that Kobernick is an Independent Living facility. As stated in the resident lease and Resident Handbook, residents must be able to fully care for themselves or receive the required care from a private duty aide. Aviva will not provide direct care, care items, or assistance with activities of daily living to a resident in Kobernick.
In addition, as residents in Kobernick are considered independent, Aviva does not possess the legal authority to stop or prevent residents who continue to choose to leave campus or continue to congregate in common areas. Our team has and will continue to educate residents on the dangers of the infection spread and close down areas under our control. We are making every effort to make Aviva a safe place to live, however, it is up to you as family members to help reinforce this message with the many residents who are failing to comply.
Anchin Assisted Living, Anchin Memory Care, and Benderson Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation– Updated 08/19/2020
Per guidelines announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid all visitation by guests including immediate family to the Anchin-Benderson building is suspended effective midnight on Friday, March 13th. Family members of individual residents receiving care from hospice will be allowed to enter the building but will be required to complete a screening process outlined below.
Family members who feel that their visitation is essential to the ongoing health and wellbeing of residents should contact the Anchin-Benderson Administration team to receive prior approval. Those without approval will be turned away.
Anyone entering the building must submit to screening at the Front Desk which will include a CDC screening questionnaire and a temperature check. Temperature checks will be conducted via an infrared thermometer which scans the forehead just above the eyebrow line. All individuals including private contractors and Aviva staff are required to wear a face mask that completely covers their mouth and nose. At this time Aviva does not approve the use of a bandana, scarf, or neck mask in place of a CDC approved face mask.
All Anchin-Benderson residents are expected to comply with our monthly COVID-19 testing schedule which is conducted by our nursing department. All Aviva staff members including non-direct care professionals are required to participate in COVID-19 testing every 2 weeks. Regardless of the number of hours worked, all private duty caregivers or companions are required to participate in our COVID-19 testing every 2 weeks. If a private contractor chooses to be tested off-site they have 48 hours to present COVID results to Aviva.
All non-essential transportation provided by Aviva will be suspended effective immediately.