With the increased information and questions circulating about COVID-19 (previously referred to as the Novel Coronavirus), we want to provide updated information and recommendations that we received from state and federal health agencies, as well as recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information to guide our policies and procedures.
It is important to know we DO NOT have any reports of confirmed exposures in Augusta or surrounding communities. Should there be an impact to our patients or families, Bluff Plantation will send out communications to patients, families and employees as soon as possible.
This is what Bluff Plantation is doing:
• Bluff Plantation has medical staff with 24-hour nursing at the facility. The Director of Nursing and our compliance officer help provide a first-hand report on the health of our patients and employees. They will continue to monitor patients and staff. Also, staff have been trained on transmission, recognition, and treatment of this virus.
• Information regarding flu protocol has been provided to all staff and patients as COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily the same way the flu spreads – through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes. We are working to ensure our facilities are properly stocked with necessary supplies.
• At our facilities, housekeeping staff have been directed to pay extra attention to cleaning “high touch” areas, such as doorknobs.
• Staff and patients will receive a fact sheet and “what to do when I get sick” informational sheet. We are monitoring reported absence rates of staff as well as patient illnesses due to colds and flu and will take action if we see a pattern of high absence rates or illness at the facilities. Patients and staff in our outpatient units are instructed to stay home and have medical clearance prior to coming to the facility if experiencing any respiratory distress.
• Our intake staff will be screening potential admissions and including questions regarding recent illness, exposure risks and travel outside the US.
• Our leadership team has been and will continue to make preparations if the disease were to become widespread throughout our county and / or district. Leadership topics include: making sure staff and patients continue preventative measures (washing hands, staying home if not feeling well, etc.), preparing for extreme deep cleaning of the facility, and planning ongoing communication to families.
• Patients will no longer have visitors during this time of treatment at Bluff Plantation. Also, we have suspended family workshop to limit exposure and risk. We will be conducting telephone, Skype, or Zoom sessions for family therapy.
• We have suspended outside activities such as AA and NA meeting. These meetings will occur in-house to limit exposure.
• There has been a restriction on employee business travel, as well as attending business community events to reduce exposure and comply with social distancing.
Our leadership team and staff continue to work together to ensure safety measures are in place and are well prepared to respond to any needs. We assure you that patient and staff safety is our number one priority. Thank you.
Rachel Ryan MS, MBA, LPC