Our Response to COVID-19
Our top priority has and always will be the safety and wellbeing of our residents and employees. We are doing everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 by maintaining close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps under the current circumstances.
Our goal is to be a leader in skilled nursing and deliver quality care in a safe environment. Our top goal is to restore the confidence of employees, residents, family members, and the community we serve. We know that fear can be a barrier to residents and families seeking the care they need. We can’t guarantee that we won’t have infections in our facility, as this is a global problem affecting all communities, but we are taking steps that will increase the safety of our residents, employees, and families. We are pursuing activities that will reduce the frequency, severity, and impact of infectious diseases.
We will continue to communicate with our local health department, follow all recommendations and regulations by CDC, CMS, and CDPH and ensure we are practicing the highest standards of infection control. We believe these protocols will be effective and will continue to strive to make our facility as safe as possible.
What ongoing clinical practices are in place to prevent infection?
- All employees and residents are assessed every shift for symptoms. Employees are not allowed to work when sick or showing any symptoms of COVID19 or other illnesses.
- Hand hygiene observations are being conducted to prevent any transmission.
- Staff members are required to use personal protective equipment throughout their shift, practice social distancing when appropriate, and practice hand hygiene regularly.
- Additional sanitizing stations have been installed for our guests, residents, and employees.
- In both public spaces and patient rooms, surfaces are thoroughly treated with hospital-grade disinfectants and are sanitized multiple times per day.
- Per county and state regulation, all our staff must be fully vaccinated and boosted or have a medical or religious exemption to continue to work. Staff that aren’t fully vaccinated and boosted are tested at least weekly for COVID.
- Residents that are symptomatic, exposed to COVID19, or are suspected are immediately tested for COVID19.
- Our full-time Infection Preventionist, Administrator, and/or other Administrative Staff are in continuous communication with Orange County Public Health to ensure we are following the most current protocols. They also participate in multiple weekly Infection Prevention calls with CDPH and CAHF, our advocating agency for skilled nursing facilities.
- We have the facility broken up into zones to ensure staff and residents are co-horted appropriately, based on their infection status. Staff is not shared between units or cohorts as much as possible.
- 95% of our residents have been vaccinated and over 92% of our staff have been vaccinated. We continue to offer the vaccine to all staff, residents, and new admissions to ensure our facility is as protected as possible.
Do staff members have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)—e.g., masks, gowns, gloves—that they need?
Our team has worked hard to acquire appropriate PPE and implemented PPE optimization strategies based on CDC Guidelines. All employees have been trained on how to properly use PPE. Residents and family members are also supplied with the proper PPE for visitation and other purposes.
What are you doing to help residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time?
We work with each of the residents and their families to establish a convenient method of communication and visitation with their loved ones. Depending on local health guidance and community spread, we offer indoor, outdoor, and in-room visits. Please call the facility to check our current visitation status: 714-891-2769.
What is the plan to communicate important information to both residents, families, and staff on a regular basis?
If an employee or resident has tested positive, all families are emailed, if we do not have an email on file, we mail a letter. If your loved one has tested positive or has a change of condition, a nurse will call you and inform the resident’s primary contact. All employees are notified via email and through in-person meetings and word of mouth of positive cases or any changes of condition. Residents are hand-delivered a letter and are able to ask any questions they may have of a positive case or COVID status update.
Is the facility fully staffed?
The facilities have and will continue to staff according to the guidelines and criteria provided by the state. We are often well above the requirements of the state and staff the facility to the resident’s needs and individualized plan of care.
Is our staff vaccinated?
Per state and federal guidance, all our staff is fully vaccinated and boosted unless they have a qualified religious or medical exemption. Those staff that are not fully vaccinated (less than 5% of staff) are tested at least weekly for COVID19.
We were recently invited to participate in the first research study with the University of CA Irvine on infection prevention, examining healthcare worker hygiene habits. We have in-person meetings, email updates and use our medical records to keep our staff up to date with the current recommendations and regulations. We are proud of our affiliation with a leading infectious disease expert to advise us during this pandemic: Dr. James A. McKinnell from Expert Stewardship. He has published over 40 papers, many focusing on optimal uses of antibiotics and how we can better understand antimicrobial resistance in our communities. Dr. McKinnell has worked with skilled nursing facilities in Los Angeles and Orange County on practical strategies of infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship.
Helpful Websites for updated COVID-19 Information:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
California Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/
California Association of Health Care Facilities (CAHF): https://www.cahf.org/Resources/Coronavirus