The pandemic has dramatically altered daily life for people across the globe. That’s especially true for people who own or work at assisted living facilities. Because the risk of severe illness as a result of contracting COVID-19 increases with age, individuals who run these facilities have had to make quick strides to protect their residents.
On top of that, many people have been left wondering about the status and safety of these facilities. That’s because assisted living facilities are regulated on a state, rather than a federal, level. In fact, some states don’t publish COVID-19 data pertaining to these facilities. California does publish COVID-19 data for assisted living facilities, but it aggregates that data with data from other congregate settings before publication. That makes it hard to track exactly what’s going on at assisted living facilities.
Fortunately, the owners of these facilities across the state have rallied to keep their residents and staff safe. Here are some measures we’re seeing across the board.
Limiting the virus’s spread
At assisted living facilities, staff use measures that have been proven to limit the person-to-person spread of the virus. That includes:
Just like the rest of the world, staff and residents at assisted living facilities are working to practice social distancing. This means staying at least six feet away from other individuals.
Protective personal equipment (PPE) use
Staff members at assisted living facilities are using all the available PPE. That includes facemasks (not cloth face coverings), gloves, and gowns. Staff is trained on when PPE use is advised so they can utilize the right PPE for the situation while preserving the assisted living facility’s stock of protective equipment for future use as much as possible.
Proper sanitization and cleaning processes are in place to limit the virus’s transmission.
Limiting visits to keep everyone safe
Because the residents at assisted living facilities are high-risk, facilities have limited or prohibited visits from friends and family members who live outside the facility. While this might seem stringent, it’s an important step to ensure that no one with COVID-19 unwittingly transmits it to facility residents.
Because it’s possible to have the virus without any symptoms at all — that is, to be asymptomatic — limiting or prohibiting visits keeps the facilities as safe as possible for residents.
Obviously, though, this makes many residents feel disconnected from their family and friends. To help bridge this gap, assisted living facilities staff can schedule calls and help residents use video chat technology. The CDC has a PDF that can help loved ones explore ways to connect with their resident even while they’re physically separated.
Handling COVID-19 infections
Should any resident or staff member test positive for the virus, the facility will immediately contact the right health authorities. The CDC’s National Health Safety Network (NHSN) has a COVID-19 module that empowers the tracking of both infections and preventative measures.
In other words, if anyone in the facility tests positive for COVID-19, there are clear channels forward to report the infection, protect other residents and staff, and get the right care for the infected person.
With so much to handle this year to keep your assisted living facility safe, your insurance coverage is probably the last thing on your mind. Fortunately, our team is here to make sure you have the right policies in place to protect your facility, your residents, your staff, and yourself. To get a team of assisted living facility insurance experts behind you, contact our team at InsuremyRCFE.com today.