WRC Weekly COVID-19 Update
We’re sharing our weekly update to keep WRC employees, residents, and families informed of changing regulations and policies at the national and state level, as well as within the WRC continuum. Thank you to all WRC essential workers!
- In order to ensure the safety of all WRC residents, patients, clients, and employees, WRC has adopted a travel disclosure form for employee use. As summer travel starts to pick up, employees will be required to disclose travel destinations and stops along the way. This will ensure the ability to contact trace in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, and provide guidance on any necessary precautions upon return to work.
- The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new guidance on what patients should consider when seeking healthcare. CMS suggests not to postpone necessary care, but to prepare by: wearing a face covering, avoiding crowded waiting areas, limiting to one person to attend appointments with you, and washing your hands frequently. Vulnerable populations should still stay home when possible, avoid crowds, and self-isolate. When out in public, social distancing should still be practiced by staying 6 feet away from others.
- PA’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, issued an order on June 9, 2020 requiring all skilled nursing facilities to administer COVID-19 testing on all residents and employees by July 24, 2020. This mandate is to protect vulnerable populations and frontline workers, as well as to increase facility readiness in the event of a second surge.
- Under guidance from the PA DOH, Skilled Nursing Facilities will continue to restrict visitation inside the facility, regardless if visitors have been tested or not. They are expected to provide further information in early July 2020.
- The PA DOH has also released guidance on cohorting residents in Skilled Nursing Facilities once universal testing has been administered. The guidance suggests that residents need to be cohorted in separate units in three zones (red, yellow, and green), based on test results. The red zone should be designated to residents with a positive test, the yellow zone should be for residents who have potentially been exposed but remain asymptomatic, and the green zone should be reserved for residents who are unexposed and/or has tested negative. The DOH also makes recommendations regarding staffing and equipment for each zone.
- The PA Department of Aging has released guidance on the reopening of Adult Daily Living Centers in counties that are currently in the “green” phase of Gov. Wolf’s disaster declaration. The guidance explains what should be done prior to reopening, and procedures to implement once opened, including provisions for screening employees and clients, as well as implementing a separated area to potentially contain clients should they become symptomatic while at the Adult Day center.
- In a recent edition of Caring for the Ages, a publication of The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, they offer resources for health care providers managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 Crisis. In a crisis, self-care may be the last thing on the minds of those caring for others. But now more than ever patients and residents depend on the providers’ inner strength, resilience, and clarity of mind. They recommend some of the following tools to help health care providers foster these qualities now, and develop skills and habits for continued self-care beyond these challenging times:
- Popular: Free access to Headspace, a mindfulness and meditation application, for U.S. health care professionals through 2020. https://bit.ly/3dLr3tW
- Short: A free mediation app, Simple Habit offers short, goal- and situation-specific meditations for busy people. https://bit.ly/341PhLW
- Comprehensive: Free Coronavirus Sanity Guide from Ten Percent Happier, a meditation app, which is also currently free for health care workers. https://bit.ly/3azgpVg
- Trauma-specific: The Meditation Rx app, originally designed for people facing illness and their families, offers guided meditations for stress relief and relaxation in traumatic times. It is free to download for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. https://bit.ly/2yg3hGb
- Spiritual: Free guided meditations and other pandemic care resources developed by Tara Brach, PhD, are based on a blend of Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices. https://bit.ly/2VSwDCU
- Scientific: Free meditations and other resources by Rick Hanson, PhD, a renowned psychologist and author who teaches how to grow inner strength through mindfulness, self-compassion, and positive emotions. https://bit.ly/2vZJ7iW
- Compassionate: Learn Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC™), an approach developed by Kristin Neff, PhD, in collaboration with Christopher Germer, PhD, who defines it as “treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding with which we’d want to treat someone we truly love.” Meditations (https://bit.ly/2RiVxtZ) and articles (https://bit.ly/3dK3AJH) on the use of MSC in the time of COVID-19 are available for free.