June 17th, 2020

To:                        All Wings Employees, Wings Clients, & Client’s Family Members

From:                   Wylie Boehmlehner, Wings Program Director

                              Mattie Baumgartner, Wings Administrator

Subject:               Information Concerning COVID-19, or the 2020 Novel Coronavirus Update #5

The Minnesota State Department of Health and the CDC has advised organizations and individuals to inform themselves and those within their organizations of COVID-19, the potential impact, and reasonable actions to mitigate risk.  It is important to not under or overreact to COVID-19’s potential impact.  Wings provides this information as a reminder of how to protect yourself and others.

COVID-19 is spread from person to person through droplets in the air.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention currently estimates the incubation period for COVID-19 ranges from 2-14 days.  Further studies indicate that 97.5% of persons with COVID 19 who develop symptoms do so within 11.5 days.  Although some may not exhibit any symptoms, others may display symptoms including excessive fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  Seniors and people with pre-existing medical conditions are at a higher risk of developing severe complications.

As a Wings care provider, Wings client, or Wings visitor, you can help protect yourself and others by taking a few simple steps to prevent the spread of the disease at home and within the Wings facility.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for a duration of no less than 20 seconds. 
  • Use personal protective equipment such as gloves when providing client care that requires direct contact with others or potentially contaminated objects.
  • Stay home when you’re sick (temperature over 100.4, severe cold symptoms, excessive cough, and sustained shortness of breath) Employees should stay home until they are free of symptoms for at least 48 hours. 
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately.  If no tissue is available use your sleeve.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects often.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • Avoid sharing non-essential objects.

Wings must consider the physical, economic, and social impact COVID-19 may have.  Wings prioritizes the safety and well being of its clients and staff.  Due to this Wings, will be enforcing guidelines specific to reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19.  These guidelines include:

  • A mandatory self-quarantine for Wings staff occupying high risk for transmission of infection areas.  This self-quarantine should last 14 days.  A 14 day quarantine can be circumvented with medical clearance resulting from negative COVID 19 test results.  Areas identified as high risk include:
    • Oversees travel destinations or cruise ship travel
    • Domestic airline or miscellaneous interstate travel in which precautionary and protective measures are not taken (face coverings, social distancing when possible, and hand sanitizing prior to touching food or face).
    • Any area with groups of larger than 10 where social distancing of 6 feet does not occur.
    • Wings urges all staff to avoid any non-essential conduct considered high risk and urges exercising caution when potentially engaging in high risk of transmission activities.
      • Wings reserves the right to require that an infected or at heightened risk of infection employee stay home from work if Wings has a reasonable objective belief that the employee poses a direct threat to the workforce or residing clients.
      • Wings reserves the right to actively screen and restrict any staff from prolonged building access and shift responsibilities who display signs of respiratory illness or flu like symptoms as well as staff who have had contact with those who appear sick within the past two weeks.
        • Wings requests any staff member currently experiencing respiratory infection or flu like symptoms disclose this to authorized Wings staff in a timeframe within reason to prevent possible transmission.
        • Wings will temporarily and until further notice prohibit any family or external care team member from in-door in person visitation.
          • Wings will allow clients additional phone calls to family to accommodate for reduced visitation.  Additional calls will be approved for Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings. Wings will allow clients additional phone calls to family to accommodate for reduced visitation.  Additional calls will be approved for Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings.
          • Wings will offer video chat options to client requesting visual communication.
            • Zoom video chat meetings will be offered for client/family interactions on Sundays.
  • Wings will increase client to external care team phone communication as needed.
  • Wings will make note in each individual client’s case plans identifying alternative family visitation options available in response to prohibiting in-door face to face visits.
  • Wings will allow for limited outdoor visitation of immediate family members and essential external care team staff starting June, 28th, 2020.
    • Visitation for immediate family members will take place on Sundays only.
      • Requests for alternative visitation times will be considered on a case by case basic and be reviewed in consideration with ability to ensure health and safety requirements.
      • Visitation for essential external care to members will be by appointment only.
      • Visitation periods will be no longer than 25 minutes in duration.
      • All family visitors must schedule the visitation no later than the Thursday prior to the Sunday visit.
      • All visitors must maintain 6 feet of distance from their child at all times.
      • All visitors must consent and complete a brief health screen prior to the visit.
        • This screen will include a temperature check and health questionnaire.
        • Should the visiting family member fail to provide transparency during the requested screen, the Wings staff member reviewing the screen have objective reason to believe the screening answers provided were inaccurate, or those providing response to the questionnaire give information indicating an increased and unacceptable risk to the health and safety of others, Wings reserves the right to prohibit the in-person visitation.
        • All visitors must wear protective face covering for the duration of the visit.
        • Visitation groups will be limited to no more than 4 at any one time.
        • Wings reserves the right to restrict outdoor in-person visitation should the visiting family members or the client involved in the visitation not follow the above requirements.
        • Wings will temporarily and until further notice suspend all client day-pass request deemed unnecessary.
          • A review of necessity will be conducted by Wings Program Director and Administrator on a case by case basis.
          • Clients approved for day passes are subject to screening and restrictions in order to gain re-entry into the Wings facilities.  Screenings would include:
            • Full compliance with directives given by Wings pertaining to the client and their person of transport’s activities and access during the day pass.
            • Compliance and completion of a health and conduct questionnaire for both the re-entering client and the person of transport focused on activities and exposure while on the day pass. 
            • Review of the questionnaire and approval of safe re-entry by Wings Administration and Nursing staff.
              • Should the findings from the questionnaire indicate a heightened risk of potential transmission of COVID 19, Wings may require full physician clearance through COVID 19 test results.  Wings reserves the right to delay re-admission into the Wings program until all requirements are met.
              • Wings will increase physical boundary expectations including prohibitions on handshakes and other direct physical contact activities with any external care team staff, maintenance workers, client’s family members, and newly admitted client.
              • Wings staff should engage in social distancing practices when capable.  These practices include:
                • Avoid unnecessary congregations in work rooms, med rooms, copier rooms, or other areas where people socialize.  Keep six feet apart when possible.
                • Wings will enact a “Safe Mail” policy.  This policy involves:
                  • Delaying the transfer of mail from carrier to client for 3 days or until adequately disinfected.
                  • Wings has created and implemented an “Enhanced Cleaning Checklist” to reduce potential contamination of frequently touched surfaces and objects.
                  • Wings will limit clients’ community exposure.
                    • Restrictions of recreational activities at the public gym (Anytime Fitness), outside NA/AA meetings, swimming pool, and Wagner gymnasium will be enacted immediately and until further notice.
                    • Wings will conduct all external care team staffings outdoors or over the phone as needed.
                      • Outdoor staffing would require 6 feet of physical distance between external care team staff and those residing within the Wings program.
                      • All external care team members present are encouraged to wear face coverings during any outdoor meeting involving Wings residents or staff.
                      • Wings will conduct all family education sessions outdoors or over the phone as needed.
                        • Outdoor family sessions would require 6 feet of physical distance between external care team staff and those residing within the Wings program.
                        • All family members present are encouraged to wear face coverings during any outdoor meeting involving Wings residents or staff.
                        • Wings will restrict any unauthorized/ unapproved persons from building entry.
                          • Any unplanned/unanticipated visits must be approved by Wings personnel prior to entry
                          • Wings will actively screen and restrict outside visits from any maintenance worker who has signs of respiratory illness or flu like symptoms within the last 72 hours as well as people who have had contact with those who appear sick within the past two weeks.
                            • Wings requests any maintenance worker currently experiencing respiratory infection or flu like symptoms disclose this to authorized Wings staff in a time frame within reason to prevent possible transmission.
                            • Wings will assess maintenance workers by conducting a brief visual assessment of overt symptoms in coordination and direction from Wings medical professionals.  Wings will also be conducting forehead temperature scans upon entrance to the facility to all visitors.
                            • Wings will require all maintenance workers to wear a face mask during maintenance activities performs within the buildings confines.
                            • Wings will engage in enhanced referral reviews and screening. 
                              • All referrals will be reviewed with consideration of increased restrictions due to COVID-19, increased program limitations due to COVID-19, ability to adequately meet the potential client’s needs, and ability to maintain the health and safety needs of the current clients and staff.
                              • Should a referral be identified as suitable for admission, the admission date is considered tentative.  All scheduled admissions carry to potential for delay and are subject to change as further health and safety assessment is gathered and as increased clarity and guidance is provided by the CDC and the MN Department of Health.
                              • Wings will increase intake screening procedure to include:
                                • Transparent compliance and completion of a health questionnaire for any persons involved in the intake including the entering client, the accompanying guardian, and the person of transport. This questionnaire will focus on activities and potential exposure prior to admission.  This questionnaire must be completed over the phone with Wings Nursing staff prior to gaining building entry, then signed upon entering the facility to validate the verbal report.  The questionnaire would include inquiries involving:
                                  • Exposure to at risk people, places, and things over the last 14 days.
                                  • Health history pertaining to COVID-19 symptoms observed or experiences within the last 14 days for any person residing within the intake’s home prior to the intake appointment.
                                  • Travel history of all residing in the potential intake’s home within the last 14 days.
  • A review of the questionnaire and approval of safe entry by Wings Administration and Nursing staff will be required for all newly entering clients.
    • Should the client or accompanying family member fail to provide transparency during the requested screen, the Wings staff member reviewing the screen have objective reason to believe the screening answers provided were inaccurate, or those providing response to the questionnaire give information indicating an increased and unacceptable risk to the health and safety of others, Wings reserves the right to:
      • Delay admission into the Wings program until all requirements are met or require the admitting client to gain clearance by providing negative COVID 19 test results prior to admission.
  • Wings will assess newly admitting clients and accompanying family member by conducting a brief visual assessment of overt symptoms and a forehead temperature scan prior to entrance into the Wings facility.  This assessment will be completed by a Wings medical professional. 
  • Wings will allow only one primary guardian and the intaking client access into the Wings facility for the intake appointment.
  • The accompanying family member will be required to wear a face covering during the intake appointment if deemed necessary by the Wings medical professional responsible for reviewing the health and personal conduct questionnaire.
    • This requirement would pertain to accompanying guardians that have recently engaged in necessary high risk activities in which mitigating health, hygiene, and distancing practices were followed to the best of the person’s abilities, but due to the nature of the activity, created a potential for increased risk of COVID-19 transmission.
    • Wings has enacted and provided training to all staff related the “Potential COVID-19 Infection Response Plan”.  This plan includes:
      • Promptly employing PPE to any client or staff displaying verified COVID-19 symptoms.
      • Promptly employing PPE to all staff and residents assuming potential exposure to those with verified symptoms.
      • Immediately notifying and gaining guidance from Wings Nursing staff and the local health department.
      • Contacting the local medical center to arrange transport of the client into hospital care for testing and treatment.

Wings takes the safety and well being of its clients and staff seriously.  Wings will continue to responsibility consider the potential harm and disruption COVID-19 may cause.  It is because of our commitment to safety these guidelines are put into practice.  Wings will continue to exercise due diligence regarding COVID-19 prevention measures including staying current with health guidelines and enforcing reasonable precaution.  Wings asks for your cooperation, responsible decision making, respect, and understanding regarding this matter.  Your compliance with these guidelines reduces risk of harm and better protects yourself, your families, and your communities.

 

Recently updated policy will be highlighted in yellow.