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April 9, 2020

COVID-19 Update April 9, 2020

COVID-19 Update April 9, 2020

To the Bloom Healthcare community,

 

Bloom Healthcare intends on being your trusted source of information concerning the coronavirus. We will be circulating this publication weekly and/or as we receive new information from the CDC, AMDA, White House, CO Department of Public Health, international medical journals and other sources.  Bloom understands that we are all supporting the same vulnerable population and we appreciate your dedication and a solid team approach. We encourage you to reach out to us at 303.993.1330 or directly to your Bloom provider should you have any questions or require clarification.

 

The Latest:

Despite relatively low numbers of reported cases in Colorado, COVID-19 is spreading throughout our community and having a major impact on our seniors and caregivers in congregate care settings.  Dozens of local communities and their residents have had confirmed cases.

The CDPHE activated Crisis Standards of Care (“CSC”) plans for PPE, recommending healthcare providers re-use respirators on a limited basis and use respirators beyond their designated shelf-life, among other CSC PPE recommendations.  More info available here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1G5sEEjHlz4F_odLCC-K17v1f2PQM8YQ4/view

The CDPHE has also announced a partnership with Kaiser Permanente to provide testing to symptomatic healthcare workers and first responders along the Front Range.  All patients must be pre-approved by CDPHE prior to scheduling an appointment.  See attached for details.

Attached is an AMDA release covering the various challenges facing assisted living communities along with strategies and resources to help.

Bloom’s Assisted and Independent Living Community Recommendations

  1. COVID-19 is widespread, activate your Plan!  COVID-19 has been confirmed in dozens of assisted living communities in our area.  Communities with a single positive patient can have several more within days.  If you have a positive case, you must assume many other residents are already contagious.
  2. Communicate with Families.   We understand that communication to families regarding positive cases in your communities is extremely challenging. Balancing resident and family expectations, HIPAA, and real time safety concerns further complicates these efforts.  We believe the attached NCAL “letter to families” is an excellent resource and starting point for sharing this difficult news.
  3. Heed the latest guidance from the CDC, AMDA, CDPHE, and others.  Several trusted sources have significantly strengthened their recommendations regarding PPE and other protective steps in congregate care settings over this past week. We feel these measures are warranted, and strongly recommend that communities adhere to the following guidance:
    a. Wear full PPE if COVID-19 transmission has occurred in your building.  We strongly agree with the new CDC guidance regarding protecting your employees with full PPE if transmission has occurred in your building.
    b. Wear a face mask for all patient care.  We strongly agree with the CDPHE regarding the use of a non-respirator face mask for all direct patient care for asymptomatic patients.
    c. Encourage your staff to wear face coverings at all times.  We strongly agree that everyone should wear a face covering in public. Face masks can be homemade but need to be cleaned regularly.
    d. Follow the CDC guidance on N95 respirator decontamination and reuse. CDC has published guidance on N-95 respirator decontamination and reuse.
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/decontamination-reuse-respirators.html
  4. Utilize Bloom’s COVID-19 task force.  Bloom has a team dedicated to COVID-19. We offer screening, testing and treatment for Bloom patients. Please contact Bloom with any patient change of condition for further evaluation.
  5. Continue stocking up on PPE. We’re still in the early stages of the spread of the virus, which will likely be with us for months to come.  Continue replenishing your supplies well in advance. If you are having trouble sourcing PPE, contact Bloom.
  6. Enforce social distancing. This is essential in both our personal lives and within your community. Keeping residents out of communal spaces – no bingo, no communal meals, etc. – is one of the best ways to prevent lateral spread.

What does this disease look like?

We appreciate your partnership and continued diligence.

 

Sincerely,

Thomas Lally, MD