Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 in Retirement Communities

by | May 12, 2020 | businesses, cloth face masks

As states begin to reopen businesses and ease COVID-19 restrictions, there are several tips that retirement community owners should keep in mind before resuming normal operations. After all, the majority of your residents, if not all of them, are in the high-risk categories due to their age and/or underlying health conditions.

The CDC states that “it is likely that the novel coronavirus is circulating in most communities even if cases have not yet been reported”.

Given this statement, it’s critical to the health and safety of your residents that you take the following tips into consideration. Even after the restrictions have been lifted, you should continue to:

Frequently disinfect all common areas

Ideally, you should disinfect all shared facilities and common areas such as dining halls and bathrooms every day. More specifically, you should continuously disinfect light switches, chairs, door handles, remotes, tables, faucets, elevator buttons, toilet handles, keyboards, exercise equipment, handrails, and countertops. Make sure that your staff follows the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning these surfaces.

Limit the number of non-essential communal activities

Due to the extremely contagious nature of COVID-19, non-essential group activities should be cancelled, or at least postponed until there is no longer a concern. Certain activities, like meal time for example, cannot be cancelled. In these events, it’s important to implement social distancing by:

  • Arranging seats at least 6 feet apart
  • Using tape to create positions in the meal line that are at least 6 feet apart
  • Staggering meal time schedules to keep fewer than ten people in the cafeteria at once

Offer personal protective equipment

All employees and volunteers should be wearing cloth face masks or face shields to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Residents that are capable of removing masks on their own and do not have trouble breathing should also be wearing masks.

At Quality Face Wear, we’ve got everyone in your facility covered–literally. As you relax restrictions within your community, you will need to provide cloth face coverings to employees, residents, and even visitors. You can purchase large quantities of high-quality, comfortable, and breathable poly-cotton face masks online today and receive your order in as little as 2 – 3 weeks for blank masks and 3 – 4 weeks for logo imprints.

Keep everyone updated

One of the best ways to keep the curve flattened is by keeping both your residents and employees in the loop. Sharing our blog posts, CDC guidelines, and health updates from your local governor is ideal for educating everyone on the latest Coronavirus news.

It’s vital that all of your residents, especially those in high-risk categories, know that you value their health and understand how to keep them safe. Share information with them regarding symptoms, steps to take if they feel ill, and the safety measures you’re implementing to slow the spread.

You can share this information by delivering printed materials to each resident, sending out mass emails, and putting up posters around your facility that include proper hand washing and social distancing techniques.

Your residents and employees should also be notified if and when the first case appears in your facility. Ask everyone to self-monitor their symptoms for 14 days after the first confirmed case appears, and to notify a supervisor if they begin to feel ill.

Screen non-residents

If possible, you should consider screening employees and volunteers who will be interacting with residents for COVID-19 symptoms. You can do this by taking the temperature of each person who enters your facility and asking if they’ve recently had a cough or shortness of breath.

Make sure that all employees know that if they develop symptoms while working, they should put on their cloth mask immediately, notify a supervisor, and go home.

Limit the number of visitors

Even after the restrictions have been lifted, you may want to consider limiting the number of visitors allowed in your facility. Allowing one visitor per resident each day is a safe way to start. If you do decide to allow visitors, you should follow the above screening instructions and require cloth masks and social distancing practices.

At Quality Face Wear, our goal is to help keep the curve flattened and get America back to a work and school again. We offer free shipping on all of our cloth face masks.