1. How will Canterbury handle its first diagnosed case of COVID-19?
If we receive news of a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 for either a resident or staff member we will notify the Department of Public Health as well as all residents, staff, family members, and community partners. We will work to identify any individuals that may have been in close contact with the infected individual. We are defining close contact as anyone who may have been within 6 feet of the individual when they were exhibiting symptoms that could transmit the disease such as coughing or sneezing or had physical contact with an individual while they were running a fever even when they were not coughing or sneezing at that time.
2. What criteria will be used to determine when a resident should be sent to the hospital for evaluation and/or testing?
In compliance with CDC guidelines, if a resident is exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness to include fever, cough, or shortness of breath they will be asked to self-quarantine in their apartment until they are fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medication AND it has been a minimum of 7 days since the onset of their symptoms. Anyone experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness should call the Clinic for a phone evaluation. We recommend that every resident have a thermometer on hand in their apartment or make arrangements for a family member to bring them one if they do not. The CDC recommends that if the fever persists for more than 3 days at 103 degrees, then an individual should go to the hospital. Dr. Hooker and Regine Vincent have agreed that given our vulnerable population, Canterbury protocol will be to send a resident to the hospital if they have had a fever greater than 101 degrees accompanied by other symptoms for 3 days. If a resident is experiencing respiratory distress, they will be sent out to the hospital regardless of temperature. We have been instructed by first responders to place a mask and gloves on an individual before they arrive to take them to the hospital.
3. What is the plan for care for residents that may have the virus while they are at Canterbury?
Any resident with symptoms of an undiagnosed or diagnosed respiratory illness will need to self-quarantine in their apartment. They will be monitored by telephone by the clinic until they are fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medication and it has been at least 7 days since the onset of symptoms.
4. Can a resident decline going to the hospital if they are showing signs of COVID-19?
If a resident has a fever of 101 for more than 3 days that is accompanied by other signs of respiratory illness they will be sent out to the hospital. Because of the danger of infecting others, a resident will not be able to decline being sent to the hospital if this criterion is met.
5. How does a DNR or POLST play into the decision of whether to send a resident out to the hospital?
A DNR is an order to not resuscitate someone. If someone codes and has a DNR on file, we will not start chest compressions. A POLST directs a provider on a person’s medical wishes when they are not able to do so themselves. Neither of these documents will impact the need to send a resident to the hospital if they have had a fever of 101 for more than 3 days that is accompanied by other signs of respiratory illness
6. Is Canterbury equipped with personal protective equipment for staff who may provide services to residents with either a diagnosed or undiagnosed respiratory illness?
Canterbury does maintain personal protective equipment for staff, however, supplies for this equipment are limited and ability to obtain more is also limited.
7. What will happen when the hospitals no longer have beds?
We cannot predict how the Federal or State government will approach this situation. We are seeing examples in Washington state and New York where the Governors are acquiring motels and other buildings to use as COVID-19 hospitals as well as creating tent treatment centers. The issue of over capacity hospitals is the key driver to social distancing so we can flatten the curve of onset of infection and not overwhelm hospitals at once.
8. Will some residents transition to the Pavilion or will they be isolated to their apartments?
Independent Living residents with symptoms will be self-quarantined to their apartments for recovery unless they meet the criteria to be sent out to the hospital. We are anticipating that residents who do go out to the hospital may have a need to utilize Pavilion services when they return. We will work to accommodate them in isolated rooms in the Pavilion, however, if an isolated room is unavailable, we will work to provide necessary services in your apartment per the terms of your resident agreement. While we do have transfer agreements in place for skilled nursing services with other providers, we do not believe any providers will accept residents under those agreements with a COVID-19 diagnosis or with COVID-19 related symptoms.
9. Will the services of Dr. Hooker and Regine Vincent be available to residents with symptoms.
Any resident experiencing symptoms should call the clinic for a phone evaluation. Dr. Hooker oversees the care of all patients of the Clinic as well as in the Pavilion
10. If I become ill, can my family come help care for me with the no-visitor policy in place?
If you are experiencing symptoms, during your phone evaluation with the Clinic, please discuss any outside resources you have that can come help care for you. Exceptions will be made for visitors to help care for those that are ill and need assistance in their independent living apartment.
11. Can I continue to leave the community and return?
Both the Governor and Mayor of Atlanta have issued Shelter in Place orders prohibiting individuals from being out except to handle essential services such as groceries, essential medical appointments, and banking. Individuals in healthcare and long-term care settings may not leave those settings at all. To protect our entire community, we are strongly encouraging all independent living residents to limit your trips outside our community. Every time you leave, despite our screening, you increase the risk of bringing COVID-19 into our community. Instructions for ordering groceries online have been placed on the counter in the mailroom. Many pharmacies will delivery prescriptions or you can transfer your existing prescriptions to the pharmacy used by the Clinic which will allow for them to be delivered directly to the clinic for pick up or delivery to your apartment. We also encourage you to have friends and family outside of the community to delivery items for you to the front desk.