As you may have heard in the news, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in Iowa by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). We do not have any cases of COVID-19 at our community nor any confirmed cases in the county, but this development triggers heightened infection control practices and protocols as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Please know that maintaining your health, wellness, and safety is our number one priority. We are taking steps now to prevent this illness and be positioned to respond quickly and effectively should it impact someone in our setting.
Effective immediately based on CDC guidance:
Visitors are not allowed in the Health Center or in the Heartwood House.
Visitors will not be allowed in the Independent Living Apartments or Townhomes if they meet any of the following criteria:
Have signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.
In the last 14 days has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or under investigation for COVID-19, or are ill with a respiratory illness.
Have traveled within the last 14 days to countries with sustained community transmission. For updated information on affected countries, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
Resides in a community where community-based spread of COVID-19 is occurring.
Has been in another healthcare facility or hospital with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Additionally, any resident who has taken any recent trips (within the last 14 days) on a cruise ship or participated in other settings where crowds are confined to a common location should expect to self-isolate in their apartment or townhome for at least 14 days.
We understand that communication with your loved ones is incredibly important and encourage you to communicate with them in other ways such as the telephone, video chat, e-mail, or social media.
Please know that the news about the spread of this new disease is concerning for us all. In addition to limiting visitation to prevent the illness on our campus, we are also focused on infection control best practices with our staff and residents. Staff have been trained on the symptoms of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), CDC recommended infection prevention techniques, and have clear protocols for staff to stay home and not come to work if they are ill or symptomatic. Remember that you are a key partner in keeping yourself and others healthy—wash your hands often; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; contact your primary care physician if you feel sick.
The only thing that spreads faster than a virus is misinformation. We ask that you limit your sources of knowledge to approved sources such as the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health.
We continue to monitor information and guidance from the IDPH and the CDC and are working with state and local public health and emergency preparedness officials to prevent the illness and strengthen our preparation for a possible outbreak.
We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, but we are keeping your safety as our number one priority. Communication is key, and we will continue to update you on any news, emerging issues, or changes in our regular operations. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with questions or concerns you may have.
Stay calm and safe,
Linda Doyle, CEO/Administrator at Northcrest Community