CMS (the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services), the Florida Dept. of Health and Governor DeSantis announced sweeping proposals this weekend that ban visitors for the next 30-days to Nursing Homes, Assisted Livings and most congregate senior community settings – for the next 30-days. The ban also restricts visitors and other non-essential workers (ie: beauticians, bankers).
Gulf Coast Village took steps to enact these changes last week, as did other Volunteers of America communities across the nation, in order to protect our residents.
“As we learn more about the Coronavirus from experts on the ground, we’ve learned that seniors with multiple conditions are at highest risk for infection and complications, so CMS is using every tool at our disposal to keep nursing homes free from infection,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
In addition, the government mandate instructs senior care communities to cancel all group activities and communal dining, and all residents in these settings (as well as staff) be health screened and temperature tested daily.
Gulf Coast Village has already implemented per shift screening/temperature taking of our associates, but are awaiting a revised screening tool that is being posted to the CDC website today. Palmview Assisted Living and the Care Center have already started daily resident temperatures, and monitoring respiratory functions. We are putting processes in place over the next 24-48 hours for Independent Living resident screening and temperature taking. We have also already started reducing group activities (unless residents can maintain a 6-foot distance from each other), and are changing our dining service to comply with the new mandates from this weekend. More information should be out in the next 24-48 hours.
Information continues to come in daily, or in some cases, multiple times per day. Florida has seen a growth of approximately 30 confirmed cases a day over the weekend (70 as of Friday, 106 as of Saturday, and 136 as of Sunday), so we continue to ask our residents to limit your exposure to travel and people outside of GCV – the practice of social isolation – for at least the next 30 days. In SW Florida, we have 5 confirmed cases in Lee County and 5 confirmed cases in Collier County. There are no confirmed cases at GCV at this time.
We’ll continue to update you as things change.