From: Kenneth C. Diamond, MD,CMD, Medical Director for Westhills Village & Clarkson Health Care
Covid-19: Our best offense is a good defense.
There is no treatment, pill or vaccine for this Covid-19 pandemic.
The virus is invisible, and spreads among people who don’t even have symptoms of being infected. However, all of our residents and their families have been highly cooperative and understanding of our efforts to protect you, your loved ones, friends and neighbors. Thank you.
I want to reassure you that the Westhills Village and Clarkson leadership team and staff members are meeting every precaution recommended by the State and Federal guidelines. We are also listening and learning from the experience of other facilities that are struggling with Covid-19 outbreaks and loss of life that is all too common in skilled nursing facilities across the country and around the world.
- Our first defense is preventing the virus from entering our facilities.
- Restricting visitors, non-essential personnel and the migration of staff in our Assisted Living and Health Care facilities.
- Encouraging everyone to stay home, practicing social distancing and wearing masks. Of the one million people in the world tested as positive, not one of them got up in the morning planning to be infected or passing it to their family or friends.
- Use of quarantine for residents and patients who are entering our facilities is vital.
- Monitoring ourselves for fever and other respiratory symptoms, reporting ourselves, self-isolating and seeking testing before exposing others.
- Supporting employees and staff members needing testing, sick leave.
- Use of surgical facemasks for all health care personnel to protect themselves and others. Cloth masks for WHV residents to protect others.
- Screening ALL staff members and physicians at the beginning of their shift.
- Our next line of defense is infection control and virus containment.
- Westhills Village & Clarkson have instituted early detection practices, use of quarantine for those at risk and planned isolation of those who test positive in the future.
- We have secured a supply of the protective equipment needed to keep our staff safe in the weeks and possible months to come.
- Unfortunately, in skilled nursing facilities across the country, many of these practices have proven insufficient to avoid outbreaks and of loss of life from Covid-19.
- We are planning for the worst and hoping for the best as we strive to learn from the experiences of other facilities. But the truth is that our oldest and most frail residents have impaired ability to cope with the complications of Covid-19 infections. Decline in their immune system, hearts and lung health in the twilight of their lives cause them to be the most vulnerable and least likely to survive despite even intensive hospital care.
We encourage friends and family to continue making visits with our residents by use of Facetime and Skype, or their window. While sons and daughters may not be physically at the bedside of a loved one to hold their hand – as their surrogate family we promise we will – and care for them as our own while ensuring their dignity, peace and comfort.
I want to thank the outstanding cooperativeness and understanding of the Westhills Village and Clarkson residents and families. I am always thankful to work with a staff, who, at every level, strives for excellence – not just now but has always done so.
This is a historic time in our world and poignant year in all of our medical careers.
We want to do it right - preparing for tomorrow by doing our best today.
Ken Diamond, MD