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.
It is important to note that at this time Aviva has not identified any residents or staff members exhibiting signs of COVID-19 or whose recent activities may have put them at risk of infection.
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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– In the past few weeks healthcare facilities across the country have experienced 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 face mask 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.
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 03/23/2020
At this time Kobernick Independent Living is enforcing mandatory screening procedures for all staff and visitors entering the building. Staff and visitors which include home health aides, must enter the building through the front door and answer the short questionnaire provided by the CDC and have their temperature checked. At the moment repeat visitors will be required to complete this process daily. Failure to comply may result in removal or exclusion from the property.
Our team is encouraging all resident families and guests to use appropriate judgment when deciding to visit campus. As of March 23rd, only family members performing essential functions or assisting with activities of daily living will be allowed access to campus. Home health aides will continue to be screened daily and must comply with all policies for continued access. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms, has traveled internationally within the past 14 days, or traveled via a cruise ship in the past 14 days are kindly asked not to visit campus at this time. Our team is available to help residents connect with family members via alternative forms of communication including video chat, email, text messaging, or social media.
All non-essential transportation provided by Aviva has been suspended until further notice. As of March 23rd, Aviva will no longer be providing transportation to Publix, Walmart or other large communal stores. Our team is in the process of opening an essential item purchasing service which will allow residents to order from a list of provided items.
Effective Monday, March 16th we will be closing the Card Room and Kobernick Library until further notice. Effective March 23rd, our team has closed the Fitness Center, Pool, Poolside Patio, Kretzmer Center, and Hair Salon due to inability to ensure safe social distancing.
All programs, activities, and events have been canceled effective Tuesday, March 17th. On March 23rd, ongoing small group exercise classes including walking groups have been suspended due to an inability to maintain proper social distancing requirements. Remote activities will be offered via our in-house TV station which residents may access from their apartments.
All dining options in Kobernick will be moving to a delivery-only option. This will encompass all three daily meals.
Lastly, our team has decided to cancel any programs being hosted by outside organizations on campus until further notice. Many organizations in the community utilize our space including the Kretzmer Center but at this time for the safety of our residents, those events have been canceled. Please contact the hosting organization for more details.
To view the most recent communication provided to Kobernick residents please click here.
Anchin Assisted Living, Anchin Memory Care, and Benderson Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation– Updated 03/23/2020
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.
All guests including private duty caregivers and private contractors MUST enter the building through the front door where they will be screened. Screening will include a mandatory temperature check. Failure to comply will result in removal from campus.
Yesterday the Agency for Healthcare Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid released new guidelines instructing that all direct care staff utilize masks when working in Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living. We have put this new policy in place strictly for our nurses, nursing assistants, medical technicians, and dietary staff. Due to the countrywide shortage of masks, we are limiting mask distribution to only these individuals at the moment.
Based on guidelines provided by the Florida State Governor’s Office we are expanding our screening restrictions effective Tuesday, March 17th. At this time no visitors including guests, private duty aides, and staff who have traveled through an airport domestically or internationally within the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the building.
All non-essential transportation provided by Aviva will be suspended effective immediately.
All programs, activities, events and dining options will be restricted to Anchin-Benderson residents only. This includes the Passover Seders scheduled for April 8th and April 9th.
Effective March 23rd all communal dining venues have been closed. Residents will now receive their meals directly in their apartments and those who need assistance will receive one on one aid from a member of our team.
In Benderson Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation we have suspended communal dining. All residents will receive their meals in their rooms and our staff will provide one on one assistance to those who require it.
To view the most recent communication provided to residents of Anchin please click here, for residents of Benderson please click here.