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Pandemic Policy Statement

APPLICABILITY: Milestone owned and/or managed communities

POLICY STATEMENT:

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, we at Milestone Retirement Communities have been especially vigilant in our commitment to addressing the many challenges it has brought to our communities. Today our commitment continues, as we strive to maintain the best living and working environment for everyone. To that end, we are instituting new guidelines to address the continuing spread of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and the mutation of the variants, such as Delta.

Beginning September 30, 2021, all current and new employees of Milestone Retirement Communities and those managed by us will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This requirement is to protect and preserve the health, safety, and welfare of those vulnerable residents living in our communities and the staff who care for them. Accommodations will be considered for current employees and employment candidates post enforcement date.

The vaccination mandate does not apply to Milestone residents or their personal visitors and guests. However, some states are and have enacted directives requiring proof of vaccination or recent (within 72 Hours) negative COVID Test prior to those visiting residents on campus. On a positive note, since we began offering on-site vaccine clinics to our residents, an overwhelming majority of residents have chosen to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Unless otherwise indicated by state/local or other regulatory agencies, this policy does not apply to state/local government employees, vendors, or independent contractors who provide services and support to our managed communities.

We at Milestone believe in supporting and following the guidelines of the CDC and state/local agencies. Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a plan to begin offering COVID-19 booster shots in the fall. Milestone will keep residents informed on upcoming booster clinics at the communities. Visit the CDC website to read more about the booster.

According to the CDC, vaccination against COVID-19, together with following COVID-19 safety precautions, is the most effective way to protect individuals against COVID-19 infection and prevent further COVID-19 transmission to others. Visit the CDC website to learn more.

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES DURING COVID

All Milestone communities have been implementing a phased reopening since vaccinations became available. The reintroduction has involved bringing back activities, events, dining, services, and increased visitation. Please be aware that each community is assessing the viability of in-person events on an ongoing basis. Many communities also continue to offer tours and events virtually for prospects.

Our communities continue to follow guidance from their local/state health authorities and the CDC about masking, social distancing, and other COVID-related precautions.

Visitors are being welcomed to all communities. If visiting a loved one, we recommend you contact the community for the latest information on this policy as new directives specific to visitation criteria may change during this pandemic. Should you have any questions regarding a specific community, don't hesitate to get in touch with the Executive Director at the community


We have recently released Phase 2 guidance for re-opening our communities.  Monday, March 8 2021, the CDC released new guidance for fully vaccinated people.  We have provided the link to the guidance below as well as information from this guidance that we think is important.  Of importance to note is that the guidance for vaccinated people meeting without masks with other vaccinated people does not apply to our communities.  The CDC guidance related to this is:

“CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take these COVID-19 precautions when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19.”

You can find this guidance here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/LTCF-residents.html

The choice to be vaccinated, while important to public health, is also resident choice, which we respect.  In order to keep all residents and staff protected, vaccinated and unvaccinated, we will be following the Milestone Phase 2 Guidance.  The below bullet points highlight specific guidance related to fully vaccinated visitors:

  • Fully vaccinated visitors may visit with a fully vaccinated resident, in-apartment, without the wearing of masks. 
  • Fully vaccinated resident visits with fully vaccinated visitors are required to be scheduled in advance, with a set time limit, to accommodate other visitors.  This enables us to monitor the number of outside visitors in the community and maintain social distancing.
  • Fully vaccinated visitors of fully vaccinated residents may have brief, limited physical contact with the resident (e.g., a brief hug, holding hands, assisting with feeding or grooming).
  • Visits for residents who share a room should be conducted in a separate indoor space or with the roommate not present in the room (if possible), regardless of the roommate's vaccination status.
  • Indoor tours are allowed if approved by your county “tier” schedule.  Masks are required while on a tour and potential residents should NOT socialize with current residents.
  • Residents that are vaccinated that leave the community do NOT need to quarantine upon return.
  • We will continue monitoring residents, staff and visitors for symptoms.
  • We will continue our COVID-19 cleaning and infection prevention measures.

We appreciate your patience as the guidance is continually evolving and can change based upon local health department guidance.  We will do our best to keep you informed.  If you would like more information regarding the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, you may find it here:

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0308-vaccinated-guidelines.html


How The Willows Retirement & Assisted Living is responding to the COVID-19 virus

Updated on 2021-09-20 14:43:07 -0700

We understand the concerns you and your family are experiencing with the world-wide COVID-19 health crisis – especially as you have a loved one living in our care. The pandemic's potential impact on the elderly population is of utmost concern to every one of us at The Willows Retirement & Assisted Living. Everything we do is focused on protecting your loved one's health and safety. That's why we have enacted additional preventive measures in our communities beyond our historically stringent standards.

One preventative measure enacted to help protect our residents against the spread of COVID-19 is a visitation restriction effective immediately. We will continue to closely monitor the recommendations followed by state, local, and federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Our Current Procedures for Visitors

  • Visitation will be limited to those who are visiting a loved one who is receiving end-of-life care, those who are visiting a loved one whose visits are essential for the individual's emotional well-being and care, or those who are designated as "essential personal," including those who are medically or operationally necessary. This includes but is not limited to community staff, outside medical personal, and emergency response personnel.

  • All visitors entering our community will be screened upon entry for symptoms of COVID-19 such as a respiratory infection that includes fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat, if there has been any contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or under investigation within the last 14 days, or any international travel within the last 14 days to countries with sustained community transmission.

 

Compassionate Care Visitor Program

Although social distancing and physical separation are still important to keep our residents safe, we are taking steps to combat the unintended consequences of prolonged social isolation and to maintain overall health and wellbeing. We are pleased to announce the planned implementation of a new Compassionate Care Visit program.

This program is established in coordination with local, state and regulatory guidelines for visitor restrictions which may allow certain visitors for residents from outside our community, necessary for those residents with Hospice services, or essential for the wellbeing or psychosocial support of residents as a result of social isolation related to COVID-19. Listed below are some of the guidance criteria we will use:

Compassionate Care Visits shall schedule appointments, a minimum of 24-hours in advance, during hours designated by the Executive Director/Designee and visits are limited to 10% of the total community current occupancy.

 

What We're Doing

Every year, flu season always triggers a heightened vigilance toward our residents' health and our operational oversight. Because of this new virus, we have instituted a more extensive range of additional procedures and practices to help ensure the well-being of our residents and employees. These include:

  • Re-educating our staff on best infection control practices in managing daily tasks throughout our community – i.e., handwashing, increasing the frequency of disinfecting all surfaces, tools and utensils, especially high-touch surfaces

  • Screening staff upon arrival for COVID-19 symptoms daily and direct any staff who may be sick to stay home

  • Posting updated signage about infection control protocol throughout communities

  • Increasing the monitoring of the resident's health status

  • Conferring with healthcare partners and providers to address unique care needs and monitoring

  • Suspending communal dining and delivering meals to residents' rooms.

  • Monitoring closely with the CDC, state and local health department and implementing additional measures and protocols specific to limiting the spread of COVID-19

  • Encouraging opportunities for residents to connect with families through video and other digital technologies

  • Suspending large group activities and outings

  • Providing regular updates to residents and families

This is a rapidly changing situation, so we are continually monitoring communications from the CDC, the World Health Organization, and state departments of public health. We will adjust our operations, as appropriate and mandated, in this rapidly changing environment.

If you are feeling ill and are unsure if you have COVID-19, please visit the CDC's "What To Do if You Are Sick" website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html.

For the latest information that AHCA/NCAL has to share about COVID-19, visit https://www.ahcancal.org/Survey-Regulatory-Legal/Emergency-Preparedness/pages/coronavirus.aspx.

Please don't hesitate to email us at info@milestoneretirement.com with any questions or concerns. Thank you for placing your trust in us to care for your loved one. We are here for your loved one, and we are here for you.