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As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, health experts and researchers alike have predicted that there is a strong likelihood that a second wave is to come. Since the initial outbreak, research has come a long way to establish a more concrete understanding of the virus and how to best prevent it. With this knowledge, we are equipped and prepared for a potential second wave, if it should arrive. Here are some of the ways we are prepared.
Testing is the name of the game when it comes to limiting outbreaks and controlling the impact of COVID-19. At the onset of the virus, testing was extremely difficult to get your hands on. Now, our communities and corporate office are all equipped with plentiful tests to ensure that we remain vigilant and aware of any positive cases and act accordingly to limit the spread of the virus.
Established Safety Procedures
In addition to more readily available testing, we are educated and aware of the proper safety procedures to keep our residents, associates and their families safe from the virus. As we are all aware, the information on COVID-19 has evolved rapidly over a short period of time. We have acted decisively from day one to remain informed with all new data from health experts and local government officials to ensure that you and your loved ones are as safe as possible.
We are Acclimated to the “New Normal”
A phrase that has been thrown around quite a lot over the past few months has been the “new normal.” With a shifted focus from group activities to a highly individualized approach, we have gotten creative to keep our residents engaged and stimulated. Video calls, one-on-one activities and our new Care Cubes aimed at “Spreading joy, not germs”, have helped to create an engaging atmosphere for residents, even while being physically distanced. The hard work of creating this new sense of normalcy is something we take seriously, if a new wave of COVID-19 should come, we are prepared to adapt and retain the “new normal” that we have established.
Our Heroes are Confident
The fear and anxiety that come with being an essential worker during the COVID-19 pandemic is quite the feat to overcome. However, we have found that our associates are much more confident in coming to work than they were at the onset of the virus. That is, naturally, due to the fact that they have been bravely and selflessly reporting to work each and every day. In speaking with our associates, the consistent response has been that they feel confident that they have the support from their teams, the proper equipment and the proper training to best provide for and treat our residents.
What We have Learned
Our residents are incredibly adaptable. The first in our lifetime experience, that dramatically changed the day to day life in the centers showed us just how flexible, understanding and supportive of the team’s efforts they truly are.
Our associates value to us was spotlighted more now than ever. We have the deepest gratitude and appreciation for our associates for all their hard work and dedication through this trying time and always.
Our plan was critical, but the flexibility in the plan of utmost importance. The guidance changed at a pace never before seen in the industry as we learned more about the virus. This demanded flexibility and continuous adjustments to our center plans. Logistics planning was also at a heightened level due to the need for PPE at a rapid pace, with scarce availability.
Our communication strategies proved vital. We developed an immediate cadence for daily communication and explanation of policies and tools Communication to families, residents and providers took on new forms that were quickly embraced by all stakeholders. We pooled our resources and developed data tracking tools at the onset, that mirrored what later became the industry standard.
Our partnering hospitals and payers truly proved, as always, to be amazing. The support and partnership whether through supplies or from onsite training was invaluable. Additionally, the NJHA was instrumental in assuring all available guidance and information was disseminated real time and consistently.
Our focused education and training plans that needed to be rapidly updated were essential to our center’s success. They formed a foundation for continuous quality improvements as the pandemic progressed.