An important message on the Coronavirus from Dr. Marco
COVID-19, a strain of the Coronavirus, has recently been in the news. The Los Angeles Jewish Home (LAJH) and all of its programs have no identified threat at this time. Currently, there are only a handful of cases in our city, but that is likely to change. Our leadership team is staying abreast of the situation and monitoring communications from the government programs that advise health care institutions.
On March 4, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced “Actions to Address Spread of Coronavirus.” CMS announced several actions aimed at limiting the spread of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Specifically, CMS issued a call to action to health care providers across the country to ensure they are implementing their infection control procedures. Los Angeles Jewish Health has answered that call. We are maintaining and supplementing our infection control procedures.
Our priority remains the protection from harm of the most vulnerable members of our community.
In that regard, we are implementing several actions:
- We suspended sending our residents out into the community for social activities.
- We are cancelling group activities of our residents where they interact with people from the outside community.
- We are asking visitors to minimize coming to see our residents and educating them not to come if they are not well.
- We have assessed our inventory of protective equipment (gowns, gloves, masks) and determined we currently have an adequate supply (but we ordered more).
- We will screen all new admissions if they have any of the known risk factors to transmit this virus.
- We have been educating and training our staff on how to follow the published guidelines on how to minimize spreading of this illness.
- Additional cleaning of our environment will occur using products that we have been told kill this virus.
- We will minimize our staff gathering in one room for routine discussions and use other forms of communication when appropriate.
- We will continue to stay in direct communication with state and local public health agencies.
- We will begin a process to screen visitors if they have any of the known risk factors to transmit this virus (as instructed by CMS).
The CDC has made recommendations on how to prevent the spread of the virus. Like the flu, thorough handwashing is the best technique to prevent the virus. Below are other recommendations:
- Stay Home. Do not leave your residence if you feel ill. Call your doctor to report your illness. Refrain from going into public places.
- Separate yourself from other people in your home. If you live with others, it’s best to separate yourself to another room, and if possible to use a separate bathroom.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, and dispose of it into a trash can. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow. Wash your hands after.
- Avoid sharing household items. Avoid sharing drinking glasses, dishware, and towels. These items should be washed thoroughly with soap and warm water after use.
- Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, with friction. Use alcohol based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Good hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread.
Please help keep our residents safe. Please do not come onto our campus for routine visits. If you feel ill or have come in contact with someone who is suspected of having COVID-19, DO NOT VISIT.
It is unlikely that we will be able to provide a visitor screening process 24 hours per day. Therefore, visiting hours will be restricted to the times when we have clinicians available. You will not be allowed to enter our facilities if it is determined you pose a risk to those we serve.
It is our commitment to you to inform you of any changes of our plans or instructions we get from public health agencies.
Thank you for your partnership.
Noah Marco, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Los Angeles Jewish Home