November 19, 2020
Dear Regency Families and Friends,
As we move into the holiday season, I want to personally tell you how grateful we are for your continued support as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. These have been challenging times but because of your patience and understanding and the incredible courage and dedication of our front-line care workers we have persevered.
And, for the first time since this all started, we finally have positive news with recent reports of possible COVID-19 vaccines. While we remain hopeful an effective vaccine is around the corner, we cannot predict when it will be widely accessible. However, we want you to know that Regency has already registered to receive the vaccine as soon as it is available.
It is hard to believe it has been nearly 8 months since we began to prepare for what would be one of the most challenging times in history for every health care facility across the country.
We have learned many lessons along the way. It was the first week of March that we assembled an Emergency Preparedness Committee consisting of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare experts to develop a coordinated COVID-19 plan.
We began working with vendors to secure the equipment we would need to protect patients, families and staff and established Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) warehouses to ensure that all needed supplies were readily available.
We enhanced our infection control protocols to reduce the risk to patients and staff. We continue to update these protocols as we receive additional guidance from a variety of government agencies.
Some of these measures include:
- Screening all visitors and staff
- All staff and visitors must wear a mask upon entry
- Cleaning and Sanitizing regularly
- Installation of high efficiency heating and air conditioner filters
- Separate intake areas for admissions
- Infection Control monitors
- Dedicated COVID-19 units
We have also invested in and installed testing machines in every one of our centers. Facility staff members are tested at least once a week based on the facility and the county positivity rate. Employees who test positive for the virus are sent home and quarantined until they are cleared to return to work.
Additionally, with the onset of flu season, we have provided flu vaccinations to our patients and employees. All employees are required to receive a flu vaccination to continue working in their facility unless they have a religious or medical exemption. This is a critical step in stopping the spread of the flu during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are so pleased to share that there has been great progress in allowing families to reunite with their loved ones with approved visitation guidelines. We are currently able to allow three types of visitations; compassionate care visits, essential caregiver visits and general indoor plexiglass and outdoor and open window visits as approved by the local health authority. We want to continue to offer these reunions with your loved ones over during the holidays and beyond. That is why it is so important that you continue to be vigilant and wear masks, practice social distancing and sanitize and wash your hands frequently. We know that these steps will go a long way in helping to ensure your family members and our staff stay healthy and safe.
Keeping the lines of communications open with our families over the past several months has been critical. We have introduced family newsletters and held family webinars for those facilities who have had outbreaks.
Looking ahead to 2021 we will continue with these communication methods for all facilities on a quarterly basis. We will also continue to invest in upgrades and improvements to our facilities through renovations and upgrades to our systems.
Because we unable to host large gatherings this holiday season, our festivities will look a bit different. However, we want to assure you that each facility has planned a celebration for our residents that we hope will bring them laughter and joy during this unusual time.
We cannot begin to thank you enough for trusting us to care for your loved ones. It is a privilege to serve our patients and our families. We are all in this together and together we will beat this insidious virus and come out the other side stronger as a company and individuals.