A Message From Our Executive Director Concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Tuesday March 24, 2020 (Update) —
The health and wellness of the people who live and work at The Gatesworth remains our number one priority.
The steps we are taking in our community are based upon the guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), St. Louis County Department of Health and Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS). There are no confirmed cases of the virus in our community. To avoid exposure to the virus, health officials recommend that people over the age of 60 or those with weakened immune systems or health conditions remain at home, away from large groups and public places. Residents SHOULD NOT leave our building. Every time a resident leaves, they potentially risk their health and the health of others upon returning.
As of Tuesday, March 17, we will NOT ALLOW visitors, including family members, into our building. Private caregivers are still allowed to provide services for residents and may enter through security, complete the health screening and get their temperature taken prior to entry. It is critical to mitigate the possible spread of the virus. We are screening all team members and vendors with a temperature check and health screening questionnaire (which includes questions regarding any travel in the last 30 days, individual symptoms and any potential exposure to others with symptoms consistent with flu, COVID-19 or any respiratory illness). For residents who we provide care services, we will check temperatures once per day. We will also be happy to do temperature checks at any time for any resident upon request.
The following steps are being taken in our community:
- Given the rapidly changing information regarding the transmission and severe consequences of this virus, we are NOT ALLOWING visitors, including family members, into our building.
- Employees continue to complete a health screening questionnaire and have their temperature taken prior to every shift.
- Our team remains focused on frequent enhanced cleaning and sanitizing in all the community common areas.
- We are providing complementary room service to residents.
- We are limiting community transportation, but we will continue to transport residents to necessary medical appointments.
- We are not providing transportation for shopping trips. We’re working with residents on alternative ways to obtain their essentials.
- We continue to have hand sanitizer available throughout the building.
- We continue to train and educate staff about prevention measures.
- We are offering assistance with online grocery orders.
- We are offering to facilitate Skype sessions with residents and their family members.
- We are creating alternative small group games and activities to keep residents engaged.
What residents should do:
- Residents SHOULD NOT leave the building. Every time you leave, you potentially risk your own health and the health of others upon returning.
- Continue to practice proper handwashing and social distancing.
- Order room service for all meals.
What family members should do:
- DO NOT visit at this time.
- Call, email, write, FaceTime or Skype your loved one. Let us know how we can help.
- Communicate with our staff if you or your loved one have any questions, concerns or needs.
We want to emphasize the importance of residents and families letting us know immediately if they feel ill or think they might have been exposed to COVID-19. We are ready to provide assistance and respond to their needs quickly.
It is imperative that we all do our part to keep this virus out of our building to the best of our abilities. We understand not seeing your loved one may cause a temporary hardship for residents and their family members. Our team is continually developing creative ways to keep our residents safely engaged with each other and with their families.
We want to thank you again for your support as we work through this together. In the meantime, please remember to wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing.
- Carrie Montrey, Executive Director of The Gatesworth
Additional information concerning COVID-19:
We are closely monitoring the increase in cases of COVID-19. We are following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), St. Louis County Department of Health and Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS). Our decisions are based upon their guidance combined with the expertise of our teams.
We understand this virus is a concern for everyone and our strategy is based on an abundance of caution. We want to be proactive, but also reasonable about any changes made to day-to-day operations.
We are working closely with team members to ensure they do not come to work when sick. Ongoing education and training are being provided. We ask that residents alert us immediately if they are ill so we can take appropriate action and provide aid.
Health officials agree the best defense techniques are:
- Frequent hand washing using proper hand hygiene by scrubbing with warm water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is useful but does not replace washing with soap and hot water.
- Avoid touching your face and keep your hands away from your nose, mouth and eyes.
- Practice social distancing in all situations.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.
We are continuing to prepare for any situations that may arise. We will continue to provide updates as needed as this situation is changing rapidly.
Please note that all statements and recommendations could change as the government agency recommendations change.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.