March 23, 2020
In order to safeguard our residents and staff members from Coronavirus, the Amsterdam at Harborside has implemented strict protocols in accordance with guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York Department of Health, and the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management.
This is a rapidly changing situation and we are monitoring our protective policies and procedures daily in view of new information provided to us by health authorities. We will make modifications to our protection strategy as needed.
The following is a summary of measures undertaken to safeguard our residents and staff members to date:
1. Emergency Management Team Activated
Led by our Executive Director and Health Care Administrator, our team is in constant communication and is working together to implement effective procedures and protocols to minimize the risk of our residents being exposed to or contracting Coronavirus.
We have conducted in-service training for staff members in our skilled nursing facility on the latest infection control protocols.
2. Active Monitoring
Our clinicians in the health center are vigilantly monitoring resident health.
We have implemented social distancing practices within our community and have informed our residents about the steps they should take should they or their spouse become ill. Social distancing practices include limiting elevator occupancy to one person at a time. Meals are being delivered directly to independent living residents in their apartments by our staff members.
We are encouraging our residents to remain within our community unless it is medically necessary to go out. We screen those residents upon their return to the community.
We are also screening staff daily (temperature checks, exposure question screening tool).
We have reassigned staff to minimize non-essential resident services and provide additional support to health center staff as needed.
We have trained our staff to identify residents who might be at greatest risk if exposed to Coronavirus and are prepared to institute additional precautions for these residents if the need arises.
Should an Amsterdam resident be suspected of infection with Coronavirus, staff members will isolate that resident, the resident will be referred to appropriate medical care, and we will report to the NY Department of Health as required.
3. Essential Visitation Only
Based on guidance published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of New York we are restricting access to our community to essential visitors only. The guidance restricts visitors to only those whose purpose is medically necessary.
Examples of essential visitors include:
- Family members of residents who are in imminent end-of-life situations.
- Vendors who provide essential services will be limited only to accessing areas that are absolutely necessary (Vendors might include pharmacy, food, supplies, laboratory and diagnostic services, healthcare providers including hospice and physical therapy).
- In Independent Living, individual private duty aides/companions who are medically necessary.
Examples of non-essential visitors include:
- Family members or private companions of residents without having a purpose that is medically necessary.
- Salon/spa service providers.
We are screening all essential visitors for symptoms or potential exposure to Coronavirus to prevent the introduction of the virus to our community.
4. Increased Facility Maintenance
We have increased the frequency of cleaning on high touch surfaces and high trafficked public areas with hospital-grade bleach disinfectant. This is done daily, and in many areas, multiple times a day.
We have made hand sanitizer readily available for residents, visitors and staff.
5. Resident morale
Our Executive Director is providing regular updates to our residents using automated voice messages, our in-house television channel and memos delivered to their apartments.
Our Director of Community Programming has organized a series of remote activities for our residents using our in-house television channel and the Internet. These include yoga and fitness classes, club meetings, documentaries, concerts and museum tours.
6. Transparent communication
We are providing regular updates on the health of our residents and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic within our community to our staff members, our residents and their families by letters, voice messages, emails, our internal television channel and on our website.