As we all know, this is a fast-moving, evolving situation. Numerous cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Pennsylvania and these have resulted in significant concern for those most vulnerable individuals – the seniors that we serve, many of whom have chronic medical conditions.
As of today, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) enacted a regulatory order to restrict visitors to skilled nursing facilities in counties with active cases of COVID-19. They support similar restrictions in other locations as a proactive measure. This is also recommended but not required for personal care and assisted living residences in Pennsylvania. This order directly impacts all of Juniper’s communities in Pennsylvania.
Up until now, we have continued to allow visitors into our communities after completion of a COVID-19 screening tool. However, as of this order, we are taking further actions to protect the safety of our residents. These include:
• Limiting resident visitation, resident visitors are only allowed to enter the community in end-of-life situations
• Restricting vendors and transportation providers entry into the community for essential purposes only, after completion of required screening attestations
• All essential visitors will continue to be required to complete the screening tool
• Refusing entry to anyone who has any sign of illness (fever, cough, or respiratory condition) or who has been exposed to anyone with the illness in the past two weeks
• Requiring all essential visitors and staff to wash their hand upon entering the community
• We may on a community by community basis require some type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
• Limiting resident visitors movement within the community to the specific resident’s room
• Limiting resident visitors to no more than two per resident room at any given time
• Limiting vendor visits only to those areas necessary to complete their task
• Restricting group activities to prevent exposure to other residents
• Requiring all staff to complete the detailed COVID-19 screening daily
We recognize that these are stringent requirements, however the PADOH and Juniper must act with the greatest of caution to protect our residents.
We will provide alternate means of both communication and engagement for our residents. This includes use of FaceTime, Zoom video visits, and providing dedicated team members who can assist residents and families in using these technologies. We will offer a new series of educational and entertainment related programs via digital channels – for our residents as well as friends and families.
The health and safety of our residents and team members is our primary concern. We will keep you informed of any additional changes. Thank you for your support and understanding during this challenging situation.