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Assistance to the Elderly and Residential Plaza at Blue Lagoon are following federal, state, and local guidelines for preventing the spread of infection and for responding to confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in our community. The safety, health, and well-being of our residents and team members remain our highest priority. We will continue to be alert and proactive in navigating this challenging situation.
We are educating our residents and staff on COVID-19 following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for Prevention & Treatment.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. 1
The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- 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.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
As of May 27, 2020
To learn more about general and specific information, we recommend a couple of helpful websites:
Claude Pepper Center at FSU , “Coronavirus, COVID-19 and you”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Frequently Asked Questions
Where can we find more information about COVID-19 developments at Residential Plaza?
- Visit our website (www.residentialplaza.com) to see any updates about COVID-19, as well as answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions we have received from residents and family members.
- Check your email (including the spam folder, just in case) to read our weekly update.
- Contact your assigned case manager for specific updates or urgent questions you may have about your loved one.
- Join our Weekly Update Call for answers to your questions.
When: Wednesdays at Noon
How: Call (712) 770-5505; when prompted, enter access code 120082#
Whom do I contact about questions or concerns that I would like addressed at the Weekly Update Call (or between calls)?
Email us at email@example.com using “COVID-19” in the subject line. Please note that responses may take up to one or two days.
What is the best way to contact my assigned Case Manager?
- Email is the best way to reach your assigned Case Manager who may be more challenging to contact by phone during this time of more frequent visits to resident rooms.
– To find your assigned Case Manager’s email address, visit our website at www.residentialplaza.com/en/staff (English) or www.residentialplaza.com/personal (Español), and scroll down to Resident Social Services Department.
– To determine the Case Manager who has been assigned to your loved one, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- We understand we are living an uncertain situation, and that you would like to talk to someone. We will be sending weekly communications with updated information to all families. We are trying our best to offer timely communication, but please note that our main priority is resident service.
- During this period of high call or email volume, we could use your help with keeping your other family members informed about your loved one. If one of your family members is your loved one’s primary contact, please check with them first in case they may be able to answer your question.
What about the updates—how often they are, who gets them, and what to do if they are not received.
The updates are going out weekly by email to the primary contact we have on file for your loved one with printed copies to residents. If you are not the resident’s primary contact, please check with them in case they may be able to share the information they may have with you. If, as a primary contact, you are not receiving the weekly updates, we suggest first checking your spam settings just in case, then emailing your family member’s assigned case manager so they can update your contact information if needed. And if you need us to re-send you the latest update, please send your request to email@example.com
Where can we find the transcripts from the weekly calls?
Rather than posting transcripts like when we started, we have added a Frequently Asked Questions section on our webpage (www.residentialplaza.com), which we have been updating to include answers that come up each week. Note that this information is also available in Spanish.
Prevention – General
How is Residential Plaza at Blue Lagoon managing the Coronavirus’ challenges?
We are closely monitoring developments of the COVID-19 outbreak and adopting current guidelines for residents, employees, and medical providers to licensed assisted living facilities from multiple sources. These include but are not limited to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as state and local authorities, such as licensing and public health agencies.
How is my loved one being monitored to address the possibility that Coronavirus has infected s/him?
In addition to taking daily temperature readings for all residents, staff is trained to observe and report Coronavirus signs and symptoms for follow-up by nursing staff. Residents with chronic respiratory conditions receive more frequent temperature readings and individualized monitoring.
I have read that measuring the oxygen levels help prevent pneumonia, as an indicator for COVID-19; are we checking the oxygen levels daily?
We have updated our research and found this indicator to be useful to monitor our residents. We have a family member that kindly donated equipment to get us started in this practice using oximeter devices with residents who have been confirmed or suspected to have the coronavirus. We have plans to acquire additional oximeter devices that will allow us to expand monitoring efforts to include daily testing for all residents who have previously received negative test results.
Do you have enough facemasks for all the residents? How often do you distribute them?
Yes, we are grateful to have enough facemasks for all residents. Facemasks are distributed weekly to the rooms and staff have extra facemasks on them to provide to residents who may have misplaced or forgotten to wear them. The front desk staff also have extra facemasks to distribute as needed.
Where can I find information about measures that Residential Plaza is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
We are adopting current guidelines for residents, employees, and medical providers from multiple sources. These include but are not limited to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as state and local authorities, such as licensing and public health agencies. We understand family members’ concern in wanting to make sure that all the appropriate steps are being taken for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. To request a summary of measures, please request it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prevention – Employees
Considering the large number of employees at Residential Plaza, what steps have been taken to prevent them from bringing the virus into the building?
All employees are screened according to CDC guidelines before entering the building. Once in the building, employees are required to follow CDC guidelines for the use of Personal Protective Equipment. Before taking time off, they are required to complete a COVID-19 screening.
Is the staff wearing Personal Protective Equipment?
All staff and medical providers are required to wear a face mask while in the building, and a face shield when providing services to the residents. The use of additional PPE follows CDC guidelines.
Do you have enough supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all staff?
After reviewing our inventory and needs for the next several weeks, we are pleased to report that we are well stocked for personal protective equipment, such as facemasks, face shields, N95 respirators, gloves, and gowns, as well as cleaning/sanitation supplies.
Do employees taking care of resident’s positive for COVID-19 are also taking care of the negative residents?
Guidelines for caring for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 require specialized training in such areas as the use and disposal of specified Personal Protective Equipment and supplies; cleaning and disinfection of used equipment; and other infection control procedures designed to minimize the spread of infection from resident to resident and resident to staff. These guidelines and other isolation procedures are specifically designed to enable trained staff to safely care for residents regardless of their COVID-19 test status.
Will RPBL hire a third-party environmental cleaning company to conduct thorough sanitation and deep cleaning?
Currently, we have the resources to continue following the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection. We have identified several third-party cleaning services that we could engage when needed.
Prevention – Visitors
Are visitors permitted in the building?
Following federal and state orders, no visitors are allowed until further notice. Exceptions will be given to residents in an end-of-life stage (hospice).
If you have questions about this exception related to your family member who may be receiving hospice services, please contact your case manager to discuss further.
How is Residential Plaza determining which staff and medical providers may enter the building?
All staff and medical providers are screened per the CDC’s screening guidelines. At this time, we are allowing third-party vendors to enter the facility if they can provide a recent negative COVID-19 test result.
How is Residential Plaza managing potential infection from all the volunteers, interns, and companions in the building that normally interact with residents?
All companion services, volunteer programs, and externship programs have been discontinued until further notice.
Prevention – Public Areas
What steps has Residential Plaza taken to address elevator crowding?
The occupancy of each elevator car has been lowered to two people per car. The Environmental Services Department is implementing all recommendations given by the CDC for cleaning and disinfecting the elevators.
How are building common areas (e.g., reception, lobby, front of the elevator, offices, activity rooms, etc.) maintained to prevent Coronavirus exposure?
Staff disinfects all contact surfaces (e.g., handrails, reception, doors, furniture, desks, etc.) multiple times a day following CDC guidelines. In addition, all common areas are provided with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
I am concerned that the dining room possibly being a focus of infection, how are you managing the dining room?
Since having closed the communal dining room, we have been providing room service to residents while accommodating any special dietary or individual resident preferences. In addition to the three daily meals, two snacks are also provided.
Resident Engagement and Needs
We understand the Governor has extended the ban on visits until July 6th. Is there a way we can at least see our loved ones from a safe distance outside the facility?
We understand this is a difficult situation for all. Unfortunately, this is not a possibility at the time. Once the Governor lifts the visitation restrictions, we will have a plan staged by phases that will facilitate for family members to see their loved ones.
We understand that there is some unexpected staff shortage in the Social Services Department (Case Managers); who is temporarily helping coordinate my loved one’s service needs?
Our Social Services Director, Lizbeth Valladares, and other members of our Social Services and management team are available to help respond to service coordination requests. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience with any short-term delays.
My loved one’s telehealth services have been discontinued, are people going to be allowed to go to doctor’s appointments outside the community?
We have been notified about physician telehealth services having been discontinued. As a result, we are reviewing and updating guidelines for residents and family members to follow for safely returning from doctor’s appointments. We will be providing those updated safety guidelines when making appointments and leaving for future appointments.
My loved one has a doctor’s appointment via Zoom, can s/he have some support to make it happen?
Please contact your assigned Case Manager who can help. We are trying our best to offer timely communication and regret any delays due to other service priorities.
How can I get help with setting up a virtual face to face conversation with my loved one?
Please contact your assigned Case Manager who can help schedule a call using FaceTime, WhatsApp, or other available applications. Please expect some response and scheduling delays due to other service priorities.
Is Wi-Fi available in the resident’s rooms?
Wi-Fi offered by Residential Plaza is only available in the TV room on each floor. Regretfully those areas are closed at this time. We are brainstorming of ways residents could use these spaces without putting themselves at risk and complying with CDC recommendations of social distancing. If your loved one has a cellphone, we encourage you to call the provider and inquire about adding a hot spot to the device. Our staff could help with the setup.
My loved one has an active social life in the building; it worries me that he/she puts himself at risk.
During this time, group activities remain canceled. Activities Coordinators are offering residents materials and individual activities that they can enjoy in their room. We started a Modified Wellness Program that will allow physical activity and social interaction to some extent.
How is the Modified Wellness Program going?
We have been exploring options for implementing a Modified Wellness Program. The Modified Wellness Program will allow physical activity while maintaining safe social distancing, ensuring other infection control procedures remain in place, like wearing facemasks. We are being cautious and making sure that what we implement is safe and consistent with federal, state, and local agency guidelines. We are still in the process of evaluating the Modified Wellness Program and adjusting as needed.
My loved one is experiencing depression, how is Residential Plaza assisting residents with this?
We are aware that current conditions of isolation and lack of activity may be a contributing factor for depression among our residents. Besides the implementation of the Modified Wellness Program, we provide our residents with information about different helplines available in the community that offer support. We have also partnered with FIU through their Students Care Program, where we have volunteers calling every week, connecting, and bringing care to our residents.
Why are some residents circulating the building when everyone should be in their apartments and/or rooms?
Some residents may be going outside to smoke, leaving for a doctor’s appointment, coming down to pay their bills (within social distancing guidelines and precautions, use of face masks). Not all residents have phones in their rooms, some get anxious and need to go for a walk, wearing their masks ideally, or have questions about when their food will be delivered. We are continually redirecting residents and ask families to help remind their family members of all measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
My loved one has a private bathroom. S/he may forget to replace the soap and paper towels. How can I make sure she/he has the proper supplies to practice good hand hygiene?
All sinks around the building are provided with soap and paper towels. The inventory is checked daily to ensure proper supply.
My loved one needs physical therapy several times per week; however, her case manager said that therapists are not allowed to enter the facility to provide treatment.
At this time, we are allowing third-party vendors to enter the facility if they can provide a recent negative COVID-19 test result.
Is Residential Plaza making provisions to bring back hairdressers and manicurists?
Yes, we are actively working with all our third-party vendors to resume services for our residents. We are allowing third-party vendors to enter the facility if they can provide a recent negative COVID-19 test result. They are also required to follow other COVID-19 specific screening and infection control procedures.
We are concerned about the meat shortage and how it may affect my loved one’s diet, could we arrange for a service to bring her certain meals to complement her diet?
Our Dietary Director has made protein substitutions following nutritional guidelines to ensure we provide a well-balanced diet. The Dietary team will accommodate any dietary needs, such as food allergies. Families may arrange the delivery of preferred meals to Residential Plaza. All deliveries are dropped off at the front desk upon arrival so that staff may later bring those to the resident’s room when time allows and provide any needed assistance.
How do I bring my family member items that s/he wants or needs?
You are welcome to arrange for delivery of any supplies, entertainment items, or other specific needs to Residential Plaza. Please be sure to add the room number to the delivery address. All deliveries are dropped off at the front desk upon arrival so that staff may later bring the supplies to the resident’s room when time allows and provide any needed assistance.
Will COVID-19 testing continue in the future?
All current residents have received testing at least twice. We are continuing to develop protocols using local community partners and health care providers to ensure more frequent regular retesting of all Residential Plaza residents for monitoring purposes, as well as in response to symptoms or exposure risks. We will continue contacting you in the event of retesting due to symptoms or risk by contact.
How do I find out the status of my loved one's test results?
We would notify the resident’s primary contact as soon as we receive the test results. If your results are pending, please be patient as this is out of our control.
Why are test results taking so long?
We share your frustration about the very long delays. Despite our following-up on pending results, we have not received any helpful information about the delays. Please know that we have requested assistance from local and state officials. We encourage you also to contact your representatives about the need for more timely test results.
Regretfully, some test results seem to be “lost” due to human error in the intake of the information. Please understand that those circumstances are out of our control.
Are you sharing test results with residents?
Yes, we usually inform residents of their test results before notifying the primary contact.
Can I take my loved one to get tested outside of the community?
All outings at this time are limited to medical necessities. Specifically, we encourage residents to avoid all medically unnecessary, non-urgent, or non-emergency procedures. At this time, testing an individual without symptoms for COVID-19 is not considered medically necessary, urgent, or emergency.
Can I arrange for a service to visit Residential Plaza and provide testing for my loved one?
Yes, please contact your Case Manager in the event you can arrange for COVID-19 testing for your family member on site.
Have all employees been tested?
Yes, all employees have now been tested and retested as of May 7th.
How often and with what frequency is your staff tested for Covid-19?
So far, we have been fortunate about having been able to get our staff tested at least monthly. We also help staff get tested if needed due to symptoms or possible exposure. Staff will be required to get viral retesting every two weeks. At this time, we are not accepting antibody testing as a substitute for viral testing based on recent CDC guidance about reliability limitations.
How often and with what frequency are third-party providers tested for Covid-19?
Third party service providers, including home health, physical therapy and private companions, are being asked to confirm in writing that they have either received negative viral test results in the past two weeks or wear additional personal protective equipment, such as N95 respirators and gowns, while in the building.
Are employees prioritize for testing?
Residents and staff are being equally prioritized for testing responding to symptoms or risk by contact, we are resourcing to all avenues for re-testing (State and local testing sites, City of Miami Fire Rescue, depending on the resident’s insurance: PACE, Leon Medical Centers, PCP’s, and private laboratories).
Who got tested by the National Guard?
The testing provided on April 10th was to all residents and staff who were on-site but had not already been tested.
Governor DeSantis had assigned the National Guard to serve as “Rapid Emergency Support Teams” at nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the state; what is the role of the National Guard at Residential Plaza.
As many of you know, we were grateful for the support we got on April 10th as one of the first facilities to help get 250 residents and staff tested at Residential Plaza. We understood that these teams were intended to increase access to needed testing in nursing homes and assisted living. To clarify, these teams were not intended to provide ongoing 24/7 support on site. Knowing how individuals without symptoms can test positive for the coronavirus and considering limited access to retesting for residents without symptoms, we are hoping that these support teams can return to Residential Plaza to provide facility-wide testing on a regular basis. We encourage you to contact your state representatives or the governor’s office to request regular testing for your family member.
Do the tests that the residents received reveal if the person has the virus…or does it also reveal if the person has the antibodies that immunize them from contacting the virus?
Results from recently provided tests will only reveal if the individual is positive or negative for COVID-19. We are looking forward to the future availability of antibody testing, which we understand can also provide helpful information about having had and/or developed immunity for the virus.
What are the testing sites in Miami?
For current information about available COVID-19 testing sites, visit Miami-Dade County’s website here:
Positive Test Results
We have learned about some positive cases of COVID-19 at Residential Plaza, how do I know if my loved one is infected or at risk?
Upon receipt of positive test results, our staff conducts an internal investigation to identify individuals who may be at risk by contact. If your loved one has been identified as being at risk by contact with another confirmed case, the Case Manager will arrange testing and notify the resident’s primary contact. Respecting and recognizing privacy guidelines, we cannot share information about the location or name of other individuals who have received positive COVID-19 test results.
If my loved one has tested positive for COVID-19, is s/he going to be hospitalized or placed on self-isolation?
Every case is different, and the decision to be transferred to the hospital or placed on self-isolation at Residential Plaza will be based on medical history, symptoms, resident preference, and other considerations. In the event of a positive test result, staff will reach out to the resident’s primary contact to discuss next step options.
If a resident must be hospitalized to be treated for COVID-19, what hospital are they being sent to? Can the resident or family select a hospital of their choice?
Hospital transfers are normally coordinated with the resident’s physician with consideration for resident preference. Bed availability, insurance requirements, distance, and other factors may require sending the resident to a different hospital.
If my loved one tests positive for COVID-19 and is transferred to a hospital, how do I stay informed about her/his condition as it may change?
After we notify the resident’s designated primary contact about such a hospital transfer, we recommend that family members contact the hospital directly for the most current information about their loved one’s condition. Although our staff may be in contact with the hospital staff, we may not necessarily have the most current information or be authorized by the resident to share such information with all family members.
What is Residential Plaza’s policy for residents returning from a hospital stay?
Consistent with CDC guidelines, hospitals are required to provide two negative COVID-19 test results before returning to the community. Criteria also include being free of symptoms for respiratory illness (cough, fever, shortness of breath) and resolution of fever.
My loved one lives in a room that shares the bathroom with other residents. If one of them tests positive for COVID-19, I am concerned about my loved one’s safety.
Once a resident is identified as positive for COVID-19, we are requiring self-isolation, which may involve transferring that resident to a specially assigned unit.
What changes have the Memory Care Program implemented to keep COVID-19 from spreading?
Staff is continually facilitating for residents to practice proper hand hygiene; hand sanitizers are always available; we are following cleaning and disinfection CDC guidelines. Staff is also re-enforcing social distancing and encouraging the residents that can stay in their rooms without representing a safety risk to do so.
I am concerned about my loved one’s neighbor has left the community and returned. What steps have been taken to prevent neighbors from bringing the virus into the building?
All outings are limited to those that are medically necessary. Specifically, we are encouraging residents to avoid all medically unnecessary, non-urgent, or non-emergency procedures. Residents leaving the building for medically necessary appointments or procedures are provided with a face mask to protect themselves then screened upon return following established procedures.
How are residents becoming positive, given the safety measures that are currently in place?
We all know that this virus is highly contagious, more so than the flu. We also know that individuals may be carrying the virus without showing symptoms for weeks, if ever. That is why we are asking our state and local officials to provide for more frequent testing. With that in mind, it is essential to note that a vital goal of the CDC infection control and other measures is to minimize virus transmission. Our best collective efforts can help slow down how quickly the virus spreads. However, until a vaccine is developed and widely available, it is not entirely possible to prevent someone from contracting the virus. We have seen during the last several weeks that the precautions and access to testing have made a big difference.
When do you feel it will be safe for the return of residents that have been removed by family members to avoid infection?
At this time, we have not asked family members to relocate residents for safety reasons. Most of the few residents who chose to stay with family towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have since returned safely according to established guidelines. We welcome any remaining residents who are staying with family members to return. We still require recent negative COVID-19 test results upon return and screening to verify that they are symptom-free.
How is Residential Plaza addressing potential staffing shortages as the number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases increases?
The Administration has developed staffing contingency plans that provide for: (a) emergency staffing assignments designed to support the continuation of services in the event of significantly reduced staffing levels; (b) an emergency staff pool with new personnel; (c) a temporary agreement with staffing agencies.
How long are the visitation restrictions going to last?
Current visitation restrictions at Residential Plaza were extended to July 6th per the Governor’s order. Please be aware that we are making plans for staged visitation and in accordance with public health guidelines in case those restrictions are discontinued after, if not before July 6th. We understand how challenging this situation is. And we ask for your continued support following Residential Plaza’s measures that protect our residents and staff by helping to minimize the likelihood of virus transmission.
Can we donate money or supplies?
How should my loved one make their monthly payment at this time?
The accounting department is working on a case-by-case basis with residents to determine the safest and most convenient way to make their monthly payments. If your loved ones have specific questions, please notify their assigned case manager.
I understand that landlords are allowing tenants to defer their monthly rental payments. Is that also the case at Residential Plaza?
As a licensed assisted living facility, Residential Plaza is not considered a rental apartment. We rely on monthly payments, particularly at this critical time to continue providing essential services that require paying our caregivers, contracted service providers, purchasing needed protective equipment, purchasing food supplies, etc. Therefore, we are not deferring monthly rental and service payments.
How do I make arrangements in the event I am not able to make this month’s payment due to COVID-19 on time.
For financial hardship situations, we ask that you please contact Isolina Mino at email@example.com.
Personal Protective Equipment
The use of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE is critical to maintaining our residents and staff safe. All staff and medical providers are following COVID-19 CDC guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment and resident care.
We welcome the donation of Personal Protective Equipment to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.
High demand PPE items are N95 respirators, Surgical masks, Protective goggles, Gloves, Face Shields, Wipes and Disinfectant, Coveralls, Booties, and Gowns.
If you would like to donate PPE, please contact: Luisana Hung Salazar at firstname.lastname@example.org