June 5, 2020
Screening , Screening and More to Prevent Long Term Care COVID- 19 Outbreaks
For Immediate Release
TUPELO, MISS. –On March 2, 2020 a team of long-term care executives at Community Eldercare Services, LLC based in Tupelo, MS, began pulling together a plan of action that might be needed if a newly identified virus in a single nursing home in the Pacific Northwest proved to be a threat. By the middle of the week, the nation watched as that home in the Seattle area was ravished by the virus.
The CES team quickly took action, researching, consulting, and discussing necessary protocols and procedures to keep the patients, residents, and employees at 23 sites in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama as safe as possible given the unknown nature of what was being called “Coronavirus – COVID-19.”
Controlled entry began during that week, as additional screening tools, questionnaires, and equipment were distributed throughout the company.
In Tennessee , CES operates Hillview Community Living Center. Before state statistics in each county showed other numbers under the heading “LTC Facilities” the state counts even a single employee and or resident with COVID-19 as an “outbreak”. As, these statistics can be somewhat misleading, it is always recommended to check directly with the source about their specific situation.
“Screening and checking for symptoms became our primary defense against the virus,” said Douglas Wright, Jr., CEO and owner of CES and the long-term care facilities. “By creating one entry point, screening every employee on every shift, and taking vitals of all residents and patients every eight hours, our wonderful team members have been very successful in keeping the virus out of the buildings.” “We quickly realized that medical professionals and scientist had no idea how to combat the actual virus, so we decided the best course of action was to delay the exposure to our communities for as long as possible or until a vaccine could be developed.”
“There is always the risk of an asymptomatic carrier. But that is a risk our elderly population would face at home, church, or with their own families. We have been very fortunate to have as many facilities as we have with zero reported cases, and only one out of the 23 with a major outbreak. It is an honor to work with such dedicated team members in those facilities who are so compassionate about the work they do serving the elderly. They are true healthcare heroes in every sense. “Wright reported.
Wright refers to patients in his facilities as those who are recovering in a short stay environment and go home or to another setting such as family. The remaining residential population lives full time at the facilities.
CES and Hillview Community Living Center are quickly implementing the second phase of dealing with the pandemic – getting families connected back to their loved ones. As stated by Wright, “While FaceTime and window visits have become the norm over the last 60 days, nothing comes close to the human touch of a loved one, and we intend to restore that as soon as we are allowed to bring in family members. This will consist of a process of heightened screening, testing, and isolated visitation which will be designed to keep all patients, residents, team members, and families as safe as possible under the circumstances.”
To learn more about CES Managed facilities or need help with placement please call 662-680-3148 ext. 7138 or www.cesltc.com