Here are some of the things JAA is doing to add more layers of protection between our residents, staff, and the coronavirus.
MASKS FOR RESIDENTS
Based on continued guidance provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicate Services (CMS), we are distributing masks to JAA residents to wear when they are receiving care in their rooms or apartments.
Use of these masks are demonstrated with residents by our directors and care staff. Educational fliers are also distributed to residents to have on hand. We are always here to help any resident who has questions about their masks and why they need to wear them.
JA has a protocol in place to assure the integrity and cleanliness of mask are maintained. A complete assessment has been done to determine whether or not, based on health history, it is safe for the individual to wear a mask. Any residents who are unable to use a mask will continue to have tissues to cover noses and mouths in the presence of others.
MASKS FOR STAFF
Every staff member, in or out of direct service to residents, is now wearing a mask. This includes whenever they are in a public space and whether or not there is anyone nearby. Hallways, stairwells, breakrooms, and especially on resident floors, the expectation is that staff wear a mask. Cloth masks have been donated by many wonderful volunteers, giving us enough to provide non-clinical employees with protection. Our motto: “My Mask Protects You. Your Mask Protects Me.”
We have many of our direct care staff “fit tested” for N95 masks in the event a positive case of the virus among residents should occur in any of our communities. While we remain COVID-free among residents, being prepared is a priority at JAA. Fit testing of N95 masks is being carefully administered to those who qualify to wear them, that is, any staff member who has direct contact with residents. Using N95 masks would be the next level of facial protection, used whenever and wherever a positive case of the coronavirus is confirmed among residents and a highter level of personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary.
SCRUBS FOR ALL
JAA is providing fresh, clean scrubs for all staff who are in direct contact with residents or who are attending to their rooms or apartments. Each day, three shifts of staff arrive in their street clothes. They pick up a pair of scrubs (tops and bottoms) by proper size, change into them in their locker rooms, and then safely and comfortably carry on their daily work knowing they are protected. At the end of the day, they change back into their clothes and drop their scrubs in hampers to be cleaned and sanitized for the next day. This not only provides an added healh precaution for residents, it also provides comfort to families of staff members knowing their loved ones come home each day from a more safe work environment.
To assure further safety of employees and residents, new breakroom areas are in place through the duration of the current coronavirus crisis. Staff must now take breaks in spaces designated for their work group. Seating assignments are clearly marked. This is to avoid crossover of staff between units, to assure social distancing during breaks and meals, and minimize the threat of carrying infection from one place to another.