Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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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.

 

1 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

Frequently Asked Questions

As of September 20, 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

Information

Where can we find more information about COVID-19 developments at Residential Plaza?

  • 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 info@residentialplaza.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 info@residentialplaza.com
  • 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.  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 love one’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 info@residentialplaza.com

Visitation

Where can I find the new order for visitation?

Governor Ron De Santis signed an order for Safe and Limited Re-opening of Long-Term Care Facilities. Read more.

Where will I be able to schedule an appointment to visit my loved one?

All visits will be by appointment ONLY. To schedule a visit please go to Residential Plaza’s webpage, the Visitation Appointment App is located on the black banner on the top of home page on the webpage.

What will I be able to schedule on the Visitation Appointment App?

On the Visitation Appointment App you will be able to schedule a visit or a Facetime Call with your loved. The options for visitation are:

  • General Visitors Memory Care Program
  • General Visitors
  • Compassionate Care
  • A Facetime Call

What happens after I complete my request in the Visitation Appointment App?

After you complete your request you will receive an email acknowledging your request.

You will also receive a second email confirming or canceling your request. Please note all visitors need to complete a one-time Infection Prevention and Control Training before the visit can be approved.

Note: If your request is canceled, please contact your Assigned Case Manager.

What are the guidelines to visit my loved one?

Please review the Visitation Guidelines here

What are the guidelines to schedule a Facetime Call with my loved one?

Once you have your appointment confirmed, make sure that your assigned Case manager has your preferred contact number.

Please note, each Facetime call will last a maximum of 20 minutes.

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.

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.

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 – Public Areas

What steps has Residential Plaza taken to address elevator crowding?

The occupancy of each elevator car has been lowered to four 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

My loved one’s telehealth services have been discontinued, are people going to be allowed to go to doctor’s appointments outside the community?

As more residents continue to schedule appointments with their Primary Care Doctor outside the community, we are enforcing our guidelines and continue to educate our residents to follow safety guidelines when making appointments and leaving for future appointments. Please coordinate with your assigned Case Manager if you need assistance setting up an appointment for your loved one.

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.

How is the Modified Wellness Program going?

We implemented a Modified Wellness Program that allows physical activity while maintaining safe social distancing, ensuring other infection control procedures remain in place, like wearing facemasks. Currently, our residents enjoy activities in a scheduled, small group setting, like daily modified exercise routine, bingo, and religious activities. We are being cautious and making sure that what we implement is safe and consistent with federal, state, and local agency guidelines. We continue 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, as well as partnering with different volunteer organizations to connect and bring care for our residents.

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.

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.

Getting Tested

Will COVID-19 testing continue in the future?

  • Currently, we have been lucky to be able to perform monthly community-wide tests (April 11, May 7th, and June 18th, July 11th, and August 12th). We will carry on working with our healthcare partners in the community to continue testing randomly our residents or those at risk by contact. We encourage all our residents to contact their primary healthcare provider to expedite testing in the future.
  • Staff and Third-Party Providers were last tested on Thursday, September 14th.
  • As for residents returning to Residential Plaza from a hospital stay, family stay and new admissions, consistent with CDC guidelines, residents are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test results before returning residents to the community, done within two weeks. Criteria also include being free of symptoms for respiratory illness (cough, fever, shortness of breath) and resolution of fever.

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?

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.

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:

https://www.miamidade.gov/global/initiatives/coronavirus/testing-locations.page#googtrans(en|es)

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.

Other Concerns

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 to stay in their rooms if it does not represent a safety risk.

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?

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 require a negative COVID-19 test result done within two weeks upon return. Criteria also include being free of symptoms for respiratory illness (cough, fever, shortness of breath) and resolution of fever.

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.

Can we donate money or supplies?

Yes, we welcome donations. You can visit our webpage (www.residentialplaza.com) and in the COVID-19 section or online giving, you will find the COVID-19 Fund. If you wish to donate Personal Protective Equipment, please contact Luisana Hung Salazar at lhungsalazar@residentialplaza.com

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.

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 imino@residentialplaza.com

PPE
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 lhungsalazar@residentialplaza.com