On Friday, March 13, The Baptist Home leadership team met to discuss and review the latest information available by the Center for Disease Control on the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The current COVID-19 outbreak situation is of great concern to The Baptist Home since studies done in China, South Korea and Washington state are showing a significantly higher mortality rate among the elderly population. Also, there is a risk that people who appear healthy may enter one of our campuses and unknowingly infect our residents.
Consequently, due to the increasing concern over the transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the increasing risk of exposure, we are implementing visitor restriction protocols to help ensure the safety of our residents and staff.
• As of Monday, March 16, all campuses will be closed. Only authorized personnel will be allowed access to resident areas. Resident family members may be granted restricted access IF they are coming to see a loved one with a critical illness or end-of-life issues. If one of these conditions applies, the family member must sign-in/out and be escorted by a nurse to and from the resident’s room.
• During this time, we are encouraging family members to use alternative methods of communicating with their loved ones, i.e. personal phone calls or virtual visits via Facetime, etc. We will do all we can to help facilitate this process and coordinate virtual visits with family members as needed.
• Campus entrances will be limited. Vendors will be asked to sign-in and out at designated areas.
• Chapel services will continue to be held for the benefit of our residents; however, residents will be kept at least six feet apart as recommended by the CDC to prevent virus transmission. This may require that more than one chapel service be held in order to accommodate all residents.
• Independent living residents that come on campus for meals will have a segregated eating area away from other residents.
• Resident meals will not be served buffet style until the restrictions are lifted.
• Staff will be screened before reporting to work for symptoms, i.e. fever, cough, etc.
• Staff who are diagnosed with the illness will not be allowed to return to work for 14 days.
• If a resident is exhibiting any symptoms or receives a positive diagnosis, they will be quarantined for 14 days.
• Church groups and outside organizations previously scheduled to come on campus for programs or activities will be cancelled or rescheduled for a future date.
• This protocol and visitor restrictions will be reevaluated May 15th.
We understand that we cannot eliminate all risk; however, we believe that by taking these steps, we can greatly reduce the risk of potential infection. In addition to a restricting visitor access, we are taking every precaution as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Specific actions we are taking:
1) Our campus administrators have attended an in-service on best practices for preventing the Coronavirus presented by the Missouri Association of Nursing Home Administrators and have provided a follow-up in-service to share any new information with the staff.
2) We are following the recommendations provided by the CDC:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
• Stay home when sick. [Our staff have been instructed to follow our Temporary Sick Leave policy to protect our residents and other staff from the spread of communicable illnesses.]
3) We have implemented a Temporary Sick Leavy Policy and have advised staff to seek medical attention before reporting to work if they are experiencing any respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms.
4) Hand sanitizer stations have been set-up at all work-stations and throughout public areas in each facility.
5) Staff are being extra diligent with good handwashing and infection control measures, i.e. cleaning hard surfaces, disinfecting, etc.
6) Housekeeping staff are monitoring soap and towel supplies more frequently and disinfecting resident rooms and community bathrooms daily.
We understand that this is a time of uncertainty, and we want to reassure our residents and their families that The Baptist Home is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all our residents and staff. We will continue to monitor the situation for any further developments and will enact any further recommendations as directed by the CDC. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact our Corporate office directly, (573) 546-2709.
We also want our residents, their families and our staff to know that we are praying daily for their health and safety. We believe that by combining best practices while focusing on our faith, not fear, prayer and not panic, God will see us through this difficult time.
The Baptist Home Corporate Office