COVID-19 Procedures and Resources
During these uncertain times, we felt the need to make sure all Guests continued to have access to our services – no matter where they might be. Please refer to these resources that provide details on how we are responding to the pandemic, as well as safety precautions your family can take to reduce exposure as much as possible.
COVID-19 Precautions and Procedures
November 16, 2020
Dear IADC Guests and Families:
I am writing to give you all an update on the COVID-19 situation as it pertains to our operations.
Community prevalence of the disease in the greater Indianapolis area, as measured by new Hospital admissions, has increased since the beginning of October. The current level is about twice as high as the summer surge, roughly equal to the level experienced in late May, and approximately half of the peek experienced in late March.
The increase in cases is being driven by people choosing not to follow the guidelines for what works. It is well established that the virus spreads primarily through close contact with an infected individual. Close contact is defined as less than six feet of separation for at least fifteen minutes without wearing a mask. Transmission is happening in bars and restaurants, at parties, and smaller gatherings in people’s homes.
The spread is not happening in places and activities where masks are worn, and distancing is maintained. For example, studies from across the United States and around the world indicate that schools are not a significant source of spread. Likewise, Adult Day Centers have proven to be safe. Since we re-opened our Centers in June, our pro-active testing has revealed more than a half dozed positive cases, yet we have not experienced spread within the Centers. In each case, our testing identified the positive individual before the virus could be transmitted to a Guest.
Below is a summary of the steps we are taking to maximize safety:
1. Distancing: We are operating at an average daily census level of less than half of our permitted capacity, which gives us the space to allow for distancing. Our staff are trained to redirect Guests who are getting to close to each other. Extra emphasis on distancing is placed at meal-time, when masks cannot be worn.
2. Masks and Shields: All Guests, staff and visitors wear masks except when eating. In addition, Guests wear shields, which have been shown to achieve an additional ~90% reduction in spread on busses when 6 feet of spacing is not possible.
3. Symptom Screening: While the virus can be spread by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers, transmission is more likely by those with symptoms, as coughs and sneezes push out a greater number of droplets, and push the a greater distance than normal talking or breathing. We ask anyone experiencing symptoms to stay home, and all of our staff, from drivers to nurses, actively monitor for symptoms.
4. Sanitation: We disinfect high on a regular basis: high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, faucet handles on an hourly basis, tables before and after meals, vans between each trip.
5. Hygiene: Staff sanitize their hands before and after: any contact with a Guest, meal service, touching any potentially un-clean surface and using the restrooms. Staff prompt and assist Guests to sanitize their hands upon entering the van, entering the center, between activities, before and after meals and using the restroom.
6. Testing: We test all Guests at least every two weeks, and all staff at least every week, regardless of symptoms or exposure. In the event of a positive test, we follow CDC guidelines for isolation and contact tracing. In addition, we inform the Guests and their families of potentially relevant exposure that does not meet the CDC definition of close contact, e.g. being on the same bus, or seated at the same table at meal-time.
These measures have proven effective in preventing the spread within the Centers to-date, and we are providing extra reminders to all staff to ensure protocols are followed at all times.
The State of Indiana and Marion County have instituted new restrictions on activities in the hopes of reducing the spread. These restrictions do not apply to our operations and we been informed that there are no current plans for Adult Day closure at this time. I am hopeful that the level of hospitalization starts to decrease soon, however regulations alone will not accomplish this. Until individuals voluntarily follow the guidelines about masks and distancing and/or until vaccines are widely available, the virus will persist at a high level in our area. I urge all of you to exercise good judgement and do your part to keep our community safe.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to share with you that we have undertaken a significant expansion of our Attendant Care operations. We are very excited about being able to offer this service along with in-center Adult Day and Healthcare Coordination. We believe that the continuity of care from a single provider will deliver a superior level of service to our Guests. Also, as a reminder, for those who are unable to attend in-person, we continue to offer virtual Adult Day services including live on-line activities and care packages with fresh-made meals and supplies for crafts and games. If you are interested in Attendant Care or have any questions about our COVID-19 protocols, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, or the ED of your Center.
Independent Adult Day Centers
The “Swiss Cheese Model” was originally introduced by British psychologist James Reason, and was more recently applied to COVID-19 prevention by Australian virologist Ian Mackay.
We have adapted that work to show how a number of preventative measures, each by themselves only partially effective, can be stacked together.
Each imperfect preventative measure can be thought of as a slice of Swiss cheese – the holes are the imperfections. Multiple imperfect measures can be used together to reach, or at least approach, perfection. The less the holes from any single layer line up with those of the other layers, the greater the prevention added by that additional step.
Additional COVID-19 precautions and helpful information
It is a good idea to think about your layers of protection from the Centers – keep in mind, risk of transmission is driven by:
1. The more closely you interact with others
2. The longer the interaction lasts
3. Whether the interaction is indoors or outdoors
4. The number of people interacting together
Eventual vaccine rollout will both serve as a layer of protection for those vaccinated and reduce the number of shots fired as the number of potential carriers goes down.
One of the most effective ways of stopping the COVID-19 virus is through proper hand washing. The video below from the CDC details how to effectively wash your hands. Please note, there is no sound in the video.