Solaris Response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) – Updated 3/25/20

Updated 03/25/20

As the 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.

Staff:

Screening 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.


In recent weeks, we have all seen the challenges posed by COVID-19 are rapidly changing across our country and our State. Just this week the World Health Organization declared this a global pandemic. The response and guidance concerning the COVID -19 outbreak is also evolving. Late Wednesday the Florida Division of Emergency Management issued an Emergency Order (20-002) suspending specific sections of Florida Statutes. (The full language of this Emergency Order is available by clicking on the link included below.)

Similarly, CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services), in their March 9, 2020 memorandum, offered “expanded recommendations” for Limiting visitation if facilities are in counties, or adjacent other counties, where COVID 19 cases have occurred. The CMS definition for Limiting offers providers the opportunity to make objective exceptions in certain circumstances, such as end of life care. The same memo goes on to recommend Discouraging all other visitation. (A link to the full CMS Memorandum is available below.)

Current scientific and medical evidence suggests that preemptive health measures are more effective than reactive measures. We feel the preemptive approach of prohibiting certain individuals from visiting facilities, as defined in the Emergency Order, and in CMS guidance, places our centers in the best position possible to safeguard the health and well-being of those we serve, as well as protecting the health and safety of our caring teams.

The Solaris approach will remain consistent. We will continue following the guidance provided by CMS, The CDC, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, FLDOH, the State of Florida Division of Emergency Management, and to work in close coordination with our local Health Departments and acute care hospitals in each county we serve.

We are continuing to discourage all non-essential visitation and screening all visitors. Solaris will expressly prohibit all visitors and staff who meet any of the seven defined categories in the Emergency Order from entering our buildings. (Please note that this could potentially include our own Assisted Living or even our SNF residents if they were to leave the property and travel or otherwise meet one of the seven definitions.) We will continue reviewing staff and visitor travel histories and screening for signs and symptoms of active infection or elevated temperature.

We will also continue reaching out to families to offer alternative visitation options such as skype calls and implementing designated spaces, near our single point of entry, to accommodate visits that limit the risk of exposure to other residents. Visits outside the facility, on a designated outdoor patio for instance, (i.e. those that don’t require visitors to enter patient care areas) may offer another opportunity to safely visit while practicing social distancing.

Solaris remains committed to communicating openly with our residents and families as we navigate this extraordinary event together. We will be including our Medical Directors, and Resident Council members in all local planning as we develop our response to this evolving public health emergency.


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/