COVID-19 Update from UCHS CEO Lee Syria
April 21, 2020
Dear Residents, Families, Friends, Volunteers,
We continue to be committed to keeping our residents and team members safe, and we need your help! The virus causing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has caused and continues to cause outbreaks in many senior living communities across the country. United Church Homes and Services (UCHS) has been fortunate to date not to have an outbreak at any of our communities. We also know that this can change quickly.
Many of our residents are elderly and have pre-existing medical conditions putting them at a very high risk of becoming extremely sick if infected with COVID-19. To continue to protect our vulnerable residents, we want to remind you of important actions which have been put in place to continue to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to our residents and team members:
Visitation is restricted for essential visits only, such as end-of-life visits. Communities have initiated single entry and security stops for anyone entering the campus. Unless deemed essential, guests will be turned away. No contracted staff from outside are allowed on campus unless deemed essential by the Executive Order as required for care. Family members may drop items off at the entry location and they will be delivered following a “holding” period or campus staff may instruct the family member to drop off items outside of the resident’s home and not to enter.
Following best practices from the CDC, all team members are receiving continuous education on COVID-19 for their safety, the residents’ safety and the safety of their own families when they return home each day. All team members are required to wear masks while inside the community. In addition for precautionary measures, residents are asked to wear masks during care or cover their face with tissues to prevent spreading of germs. Please do not be alarmed when you see either staff and/or residents wearing a face mask. This new precaution does not mean that we have confirmed a positive case.
All residential living residents going out to any appointments off campus, are now asked to stay in their residential living unit for 14 days and self-isolate upon returning to campus. This precaution is put into place to protect our residents and honor “call backs” from various offices should a positive case of COVID-19 be detected. Plus this allows our team members to know what types of PPE they should wear if entering the home.
Also please continue to note that the Executive Director or Administrator at your UCHS locations may need to impose additional restrictions as necessary at your specific community for the foreseeable future.
Please also know that we are committed to letting you know as soon as possible if we do have a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 discovered at the community where you or your loved one resides. If a time comes that we do have an outbreak, we will immediately notify and follow the direction of our local public health and state agencies to assist us in minimizing the outbreak.
Thank you for your patience and prayers during these changing times.
President and CEO