COVID-19: Precautionary Measures and Procedures
Note: The information detailed below may be edited or changed at any time as the COVID-19 situation changes and/or recommendations are updated by local, state, and federal health authorities. Always refer to this page for the most current date and time stamped information.
Last updated: 09/22/2020 14:04EST
Throughout this time, maintaining the health and safety of our residents and staff has always been our top priority. As we slowly return to our new normal, we continue to take measures to help protect our residents, their families, and our team members. Here are some of the ways we’re working to maintain a healthy environment for The Bristal family:
FOR OUR RESIDENTS:
- All residents are being monitored daily for signs or symptoms of illness, including daily temperature checks.
- Meal service is being reintroduced in the dining rooms on a per-community basis. The staff continues to provide room service in the communities where regular dining services are on hold. As we continue opening our dining rooms, we are installing Plexiglas dividers on the tables, and scheduling several dining times to reduce group sizes and maintain social distance. Please call your specific community for an update on the status of meal service.
- Small group activities are being phased in with residents wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing.
- The staff continues to come up with fun and creative ways to stay active and connected while maintaining social distance and adhering to guidelines.
- Masks are required for assisted living residents while in the presence of others – including when staff enter their apartments for a delivery or wellness check, while traveling through common areas, or if they are in their doorways.
- Personal items like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs are being disinfected daily by staff.
- Staff is adequately supplied with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hand soap, and hand sanitizers to help reduce the risk of spread.
- We continue to follow infection control guidelines including frequent cleaning of all high touch areas with EPA registered disinfectants.
- Hand sanitizing products are available throughout the communities as a supplement to regular and frequent handwashing.
- We continue to provide residents with ongoing education regarding things like cough etiquette, proper handwashing techniques, cleaning of personal items, and social distancing.
FOR THE STAFF:
- Team members are monitored daily for any signs or symptoms of illness, which includes temperature checks.
- Staff are being tested weekly for COVID-19, including essential outside healthcare personnel like visiting physicians, home healthcare nurses, physical therapists, lab and x-ray technicians, and private duty aides.
- Each community is adequately supplied with PPE for the staff, which is inventoried regularly. Face masks are required at all times while inside of the buildings.
- Staff is supplied with personal hand sanitizers in addition to the sanitizer stations located throughout the communities, as a supplement to frequent handwashing.
- High touch areas throughout the communities are being cleaned frequently with EPA registered disinfectants.
- We are providing ongoing in-services to keep everyone up-to-date on protocol and best practices, and offer continuous information and education to help everyone stay happy and healthy while at work or at home.
- Staff are respecting social distancing guidelines whenever possible.
FOR FAMILY MEMBERS:
- The New York State Department of Health is now allowing limited visitation. In order to permit visitors, the community must have no new confirmed staff or resident COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days, therefore, the visitation schedule is always subject to change. You may contact one of the New York communities to inquire about current visitation status, setting up an appointment, and getting details on our consent form and visitation guidelines (which can also be viewed here).
- The New Jersey Department of Health issued an Executive Directive outlining a phased opening strategy and criteria for long-term care facilities, which includes The Bristal Assisted Living. This sets guidelines for resuming services such as hair salon appointments, indoor visitation, dining, and recreational activities. We are working toward each of our New Jersey communities meeting the criteria for each of the 4 phases and are submitting attestation to the Department of Health for review. As we receive approvals, we will move through the phases of resuming services. You may contact any one of our New Jersey communities to inquire regarding the status of that particular community. Please note that per the Executive Directive, if an outbreak should occur (which is defined in New Jersey as one resident or two staff members within 14 days), the community will return to Phase 0 regardless of the state’s current phase. You can find a copy of our outbreak policy here.
- We are still encouraging everyone to continue to communicate via phone calls, FaceTime, Skype, video chat, text and email. Please contact your community if you would like assistance scheduling a virtual session with your loved one – we’re always here to help!
AROUND THE COMMUNITY:
- The team continues to frequently clean high touch surfaces with EPA registered disinfectants, and for heightened cleaning purposes, we have ordered electrostatic sprayers for all locations.
- Anyone in the building is required to wear face mask, and assisted living residents are required to do so while in the presence of others.
- For communities with swimming pools, they will be opening, but with added measures in place to encourage social distancing. The pool area will also be cleaned and disinfected frequently, including handrails, lounge chairs, and door handles. We are also adding hand sanitizer to the outdoor pool areas.
- We are installing iWave-R ionization units to help purify the air.
- You can see what we’ve been up to at our communities here: thebristal.com/spotlight
- We have also set up a page where family and friends can send a message to staff or residents at our communities while we remain socially distant: thebristal.com/connectionscorner
- For all of the latest updates from New York and New Jersey, current information can be found here: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home or https://covid19.nj.gov/