Solaris Response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) – Updated 5/1/20

Updated 5-1-2020

Dear Residents, Families, and Friends:

I am writing to update you today on the latest information regarding the COVID 19 Public Health Emergency and the impact it is having on our Solaris Healthcare and Assisted Living locations. While location specific information will be shared with residents and families by each center individually, l will take this opportunity to speak more globally about the impact we are experiencing as an organization. Let me begin by sharing that as of this update, only three of our nineteen Solaris locations have known COIVD-19 positive residents and/or staff. Our first positive results were obtained this week on 4/27/2020.

As you know, the Governor issued an Executive Order March 1, 2020 and the Surgeon General declared a public health emergency that day. Despite serving the most vulnerable patient population in the State, the emergency protocols that were implemented, coupled with the courageous work being done by our front-line caregivers, allowed Solaris to provide over 129,000 patient & resident days prior to experiencing our first positive COVID-19 test, for any resident or staff member. I am extremely grateful to our entire team for their ongoing dedication and selfless commitment to our residents. Heroes work here every day!

I am also encouraged by two other recent developments on this front. In just this past week we have seen a dramatic increase in access to COVID-19 and COVID antibody testing. This will go a long way to provide us with the tools we need to properly identify and isolate anyone infected by the virus. Additionally, and it is still too early to say with certainty, there have been hopeful signs that our access to proper protective equipment, for staff and residents alike, is beginning to improve. This remains our single biggest challenge.

Thank you all again for your patience and understanding as we continue to implement the CDC guidance regarding visitor restrictions. While I completely understand the hardship this creates, and regret the necessity to limit visitation, this has clearly been an effective tool in mitigating the spread of the virus.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Bell
President
Solaris HealthCare Properties

Solaris HealthCare’s Ongoing Response to Coronavirus (COVID 19):

As the COVID 19 Coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve, so too have the emergency orders and guidance issued by Federal and State authorities and provider Associations. Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities nationwide are responding and adjusting to these updates daily. The following is a quick list of some of our most important approaches we are taking to keep our residents and staff safe.

Screening staff for:

  • Temperature
  • Flu-like signs and symptoms
  • Traveled internationally in the last 14 days
  • Traveled on a cruise in the last 14 days
  • Domestic travel areas of known community spread
    • Currently includes New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and this list will expand
  • Sending staff home who meet any of the screening criteria

Residents:

  • Taking vital signs of all nursing home residents once every shift or more

Activities:

  • Cancelled all large group activities within facility
  • Cancelled all visitation except for compassionate visits during end of life situations
  • Cancelled all outside trips for residents – to grocery store, events etc.
  • Cancelled all outside volunteers
  • Encouraging remote visitation thru Skype etc.
  • Maintaining social distancing

Admissions:

  • Newly admitted residents must be free of COVID 19 symptoms or have tested negative. (please note that this could potentially include facility residents who leave the property or are admitted to an acute care hospital.)
  • Grouping new admissions in specific areas of the building when appropriate

Emergency Transport Personnel:

  • Putting personal protective equipment on any COVID 19 suspected resident, who are to be transferred to the hospital, and meeting transport personnel at the door instead of having them come into building

Current scientific and medical evidence suggests that these preemptive health and visitation measures are more effective than reactive measures. We believe this approach places Solaris centers in the best position to safeguard the health and well-being of our patients and team members.

Of course, as the situation and guidance from federal and state agencies continues to develop and evolve, so will our approach. And as we navigate this public health emergency, we hope to do so together, by communicating openly with our residents and families. As you have questions, the staff at your local Solaris HealthCare and Solaris Senior Living centers can provide you with any needed information.


Some useful related links:

Governor’s Executive Order

CMS Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in nursing homes

STATE OF FLORIDA DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT – EMERGENCY ORDER

http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/