As questions continue to rise about the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) here in Maine, we would like to provide our greater community with this statement, which will be updated on a regular basis as the situation evolves.
First, please know that Piper Shores is monitoring the Coronavirus situation very closely and the health and wellness of our residents and employees is our top priority. Our Leadership Team is meeting regularly in order to adjust our practices and keep our community informed. Residents and employees are receiving communication updates and our healthcare team has been diligently enacting necessary precautions to protect our community.
As of March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The WHO generally defines a pandemic as a disease that has become widespread around the world, with an impact on society. As of Friday morning, there were 1,215 cases reported in the United States. Also, there are now three reported cases in the state of Maine.
Our organization continues to work aggressively to both monitor COVID-19 and develop/implement plans to address this significant health concern. We are relying on The Maine Center for Disease Control, as well as the National Center for Disease Control, and other national outlets to assist us in developing our response to COVID-19. Our Medical Director, Rachel Blake, MD has been an invaluable resource through her working relationship with Maine Medical Partners and MaineHealth.
We want to emphasis that this health concern is growing and continues to evolve almost hour by hour. Given what we understand at present, the following measures are being instituted in an effort to protect the safety and well-being of residents and staff alike:
HOLBROOK (HEALTH CENTER, ASSISTED LIVING & MEMORY CARE)
- We have received guidance as of March 12, 2020 from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) concerning visitor access to our Health Center and Assisted Living. DHHS is requiring Piper Shores to screen and restrict visitors to our Holbrook programs based on specific criteria outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Additionally, DHHS is strongly recommending providers to encourage delays in unnecessary visitations. The CDC guidelines state that visitation should be limited to family and loved ones who are essential for the emotional well-being and care of residents. Related, the guidelines emphasis the importance of postponing visitation.
- We are restricting the entrance point to the Health Center and Assisted Living. Access to these areas will only be granted through the Holbrook building lobby. We will be staffing this entry point with a check-in desk in order to screen all traffic intending for Assisted Living and the Health Center. All parties will be asked to respond to a brief questionnaire regarding recent international and domestic travel as well as the existence of possible health symptoms.
- Due to the uncertainty associated
with COVID-19 we are strongly discouraging visitors to our campus.
- A check-in desk will be staffed in the lobby of the Checkley building. All residents, visitors and staff to the building will be required to undergo the same screening process as Holbrook.
- The check-in desk will be implemented beginning this weekend.
- Guests of residents are restricted to visiting only in the resident’s apartment or cottage.
Given the severity and unpredictability of COVID-19, particularly the impact on older adults, we feel these precautions are absolutely necessary. We will continue to assess and clarify these restrictions as further information and recommendations are received. It is important to acknowledge that we do not know how long COVID-19 will pose a risk to the health and well-being of our community. Of course, as the threat level changes we will adjust our plans accordingly. We appreciate your patience and understanding given these extraordinary events. Please come back to our site as we will be periodically posting updates.