Coronavirus Updates

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Coronavirus Updates

With the Cornovirus (COVID-19) being top of mind for everyone, we wanted to keep everyone up to date with the most recent developments. Here are the recent updates we've sent to family members. Please check back often as new updates will be added to this existing thread. We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!

3/25:

As you may have heard, Governor Walz has updated his Executive Order to Shelter in Place. The Shelter in Place Order will be effective from March 27, 2020 to April 10, 2020. The Governor extended the closing of Bars and Restaurants and Remote Learning to May 4, 2020.

What does this mean for Phoenix?

The services that Phoenix provides are considered essential so we MUST continue to operate and our staff will be allowed to go to and from work as normal. We will provide all staff with a letter to acknowledge that they are “Essential Health Care Workers.”

Visitor restrictions will remain in place. We had allowed families to take their loved ones home for a visit. However, now with the enhanced restrictions, I would recommend that we follow the Governor's order and shelter in place and not continue with any home visits. We understand how unsettling this is for everyone and we have directed staff to reach out to family members at least twice daily. We ask that you allow us to contact you rather than you calling us, so we can continue to provide the necessary care that your loved one needs. In addition, virtual visiting will be available to folks who are interested in this. Please also let us know if you would prefer more or less contact with us. You can send the Program Manager at the site where your loved one resides an email or voicemail regarding your wishes.

Also with the new orders, the Central Office hours will be limited to 10-3 Monday – Friday for mail and deliveries and to coordinate getting any necessary supplies to other locations.

Please help us to maintain the safety of all involved by honoring the Governor's orders and maintaining social distancing. Thank you.

Darlene Scott
President/CEO
The Phoenix Residence, Inc.

3/20:

The Phoenix Residence, Inc. has initiated staffing agreements with several of the day program providers where individuals we serve receive services. We are in the process of on-boarding the employees and will begin to train them at the residential sites.

We have several staff who have reached out and have volunteered to quarantine off-site with individuals if this becomes necessary. We have reached out to a few people to help us make Personal Protective Equipment for us so we have items on hand to meet any demand.

We continue to have no knowledge of any COVID-19 cases here at Phoenix. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions. Please continue to keep us in your prayers!

Darlene Scott
CEO/President 
The Phoenix Residence, Inc.

3/18:

The purpose of this communication is to update you on actions Phoenix has taken or will take to help everyone in our care and our employees remain healthy and safe during this unprecedented pandemic.

Thank you for working with us to assure everyone remains free from the COVID-19 virus.  We are all anxious as we listen to the news each day and hear about the progressive steps being recommended by the experts to help us remain healthy.

I wanted to share a few things that we are doing here at Phoenix as we work through the coronavirus crisis together. This document outlines some the policies we have implemented around managing our services during the pandemic. Please reach out to me if you have questions by email at  dscott@phoenixresidence.org or phone at 651-492-0237.

Incentives for Staff

Phoenix will be implementing bonus incentive programs for staff that continue to work with us though-out the pandemic. If you think about it, we are asking people to run into the fire when the experts are telling them to run away from it and to remain at home with their families. We are already receiving questions from some employees with concerns about the population we work with and exposure for them and their families. We are reminding employees to enforce infection control practices and use personal protective equipment as warranted. We are also reminding them of how valuable they are and how much we appreciate their efforts and their sacrifice.

Local and National Policy Initiatives:

Many policy initiatives are being pursued at the local and federal levels, and we are working with our trade associations to advocate for health care professionals that work with vulnerable people or individuals considered in a higher risk group due to age and or underlying health issues. I urge family members to please continue to support us through our Close the Gap program and pay attention to any calls to actions to support legislation that will provide relief for our workforce.

Communications:

  • It is essential that we have regular communication with families and our community partners.  We realize that email messages that we have been sending out over the last few weeks are not reaching everyone. 
  • We have engaged the services of Alert Media to help facilitate mass communications across several mediums, including phone, text and email. We are loading everything up this week so we can begin using the Alert Media technology later this week. It is important that we have your most updated contact information in order to make sure that you are receiving communications from us regularly as we progress through this pandemic.
  • Please reach out to us to update your information if things have changed since you last provided an update to the site manager where you loved one lives.

What happens if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19/Coronavirus and others are exposed to it?

  • First, I want to let you know that Phoenix is not aware of anyone who has or has come into contact COVID-19. 
  • The Minnesota Department of Health notifies all individuals and organizations that have come into contact with a known COVID-19 exposure
  • If Phoenix is notified of any exposures, we will notify everyone impacted immediately and directly
  • Some staff have called with questions about Phoenix knowledge of anyone who has the virus; we are not aware of anyone who has contracted the coronavirus.
  • We have no knowledge of anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 that works for us or that is in our care.   

Visitors:  No Visiting is Allowed by Center for Disease Control & Minnesota Department of Health

  • The Minnesota Department of Health and Center for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending no visitors in licensed settings.
  • Phoenix urges families to honor the recommendations of the MDH and CDC and not visit to help us keep individuals healthy as well as the employees that support them.  
  • We encourage families to visit virtually using electronic devices. All homes have the capacity to conduct virtual visits.
  • If you have any questions about these guidelines, please contact me at 651-492-0237.
  • Please note these guidelines have changed since last week as further restrictions were communicated by CDC and MDH this week.

Employees’ Responsibility if a Family Member Insists on Visiting:

  • Remind the family member that no visiting is allowed due to COVID-19 and visiting restrictions have been imposed for all licensed settings.
  • If the family member is not the guardian, inform the family member that we must honor CDC and MDH guidelines, and direct them to contact the guardian and call Darlene Scott at 651-492-0237 or the designated on-call administrator as directed per Darlene’s voicemail.
  • If the family member is not the guardian, the guardian must be contacted and informed that the family member is at the home insisting on visiting the individual.
  • No one that is ill will not be allowed to enter the home. Anyone coming to the home must sanitize their hands and MUST wear personal protective equipment, including gloves and a mask, and must not be allowed past the doorway. Employees must maintain social distancing from all visitors.

Day Program Participation

  • Phoenix will work with our community partners to assure that infection control practices are being implemented. 
  • Phoenix is leaving the participation in day programs up to the individual and/or their guardian.  
  • Some providers of day programs have decided to close until further notice.  We will inform individuals as we become aware of any closures.
  • Phoenix recommends that everyone follow the recommendations of the experts and licensing agencies with regard to community activities.

Social Distancing and Group Size Limitations CDC Guidelines:

  • Given new developments with COVID-19, Phoenix is adhering to “Social Distancing” as recommended by Center for Disease (CDC). This means we are directing our staff to limit Phoenix community activities to only essential activities. We will work with our day programs and other community partners to assure that they are taking the required steps to help people remain safe.
  • Many day service providers have announced closures or individuals and their families have decided to discontinue attendance at the day programs at this time.
  • Non-urgent medical appointments will be cancelled and rescheduled for a later date. 
  • The folks we support are considered to be at higher risk due to age and or underlying health issues. We think it is best to comply with recommendations as we progress through the pandemic.
  • We will continue to keep you informed as we work thought this uncharted territory.    
  • Please note the above stated actions means some community activities that individuals typically participate in will not be facilitated given the risk of being exposed to the virus. We think it is best to be proactive. We will focus on having fun at home!   
  • We have developed a list of things people can do including going for a walk, a drive, shopping for personal items as allowed with a staff, games and movies at home, exercise programs in the home, crafts and spa days practicing social distancing.

Quarantine Staffing Arrangement

  • Phoenix will make special arrangements to care for individuals in our care identified as a person who has contracted the virus and requires quarantine arrangements. We would like to identify employees who would be willing to serve in this capacity and can work for 24- hour periods, remaining on-site if we are directed to quarantine. 
  • Employees will be asked to volunteer for these assignments. Employees that sign up to assist with off-site quarantine arrangements working through the quarantine period will receive a bonus of $2,000.00 immediately.
  • Our plan is to attempt to quarantine individuals that need this support off-site if it cannot be implemented successfully in the home.
  • If quarantine is required, we will make decisions on a case-by-case basis and assess if it can be implemented in the home or not. We will contact all appropriate persons if this level of support becomes necessary.

Please watch for communications from us as things are changing daily and we want to keep you informed of our actions. Thanks for all that you are doing to keep each other safe and healthy! We will get through this together.

Thank you,

Darlene Scott
President/CEO
The Phoenix Residence, Inc.


3/12:

We wanted to send you another update about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as we get in new information. New guidelines have been placed on Long-Term Care Facilities (ICF and HCBS settings, our homes fall under this regulation). The World Health Organization has classified COVID-19 as a Pandemic. 

The latest updates include recognizing symptoms and guidelines for allowing visitors. If you have a fever and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g. cough, fever, shortness of breath), you will be not allowed to visit any of our Phoenix homes. The Center for Disease Control's definition of a fever is 100.4 degree F or above.

As previously mentioned, we have reiterated and offered retraining to all staff on our infection control policies and procedures, and have highlighted the important role this plays in preventing the spread of this infectious illness. All staff were provided a copy of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) information for healthcare personnel. We have also developed a plan to include considerations for equipment, supplies, and continuing service operations as well as regular communication updates to appropriate persons, including all staff and family members.

As we learn more from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), we will keep you informed. The MDH is advising us to keep all families up-to-date with any recent developments. Please review the attached guidelines from the MDH and the CDC. You can also visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 website for more information:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

If you have any questions, please contact me or one of the administrative staff.

Thank you,

Darlene Scott
President/CEO
The Phoenix Residence, Inc.

Handouts: MDH Health Advisory Evaluating and Testing for COVID-19 & MDH Self Isolation Guidelines


3/6:

I know that you are hearing a lot in the news about the Coronavirus (COVID19). I wanted you to know that Phoenix has been keeping abreast of recommendations for long-term-care providers from federal and local agencies that govern our services and our community partners. We have reiterated and offered retraining to all staff on our infection control policies and procedures, and have highlighted the important role this plays in preventing the spread of this infectious illness. All staff were provided a copy of the Center for Disease Control information for healthcare personnel. We have developed a plan to include considerations for equipment, supplies, and continuing service operations as well as regular communication updates to appropriate persons.

As a special precaution and infection control best practice, we have directed managers to alert potential visitors to not visit if we are aware of individuals in the home with flu-like symptoms or colds. If you are sick, we think it's best that you not visit us until you are well.

If you have any questions, please contact me or one of the administrative staff.

Thank you,

Darlene Scott
President/CEO
The Phoenix Residence, Inc.