Why take extraordinary measures to protect the at-risk population of Senior Living in Kansas City from COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?
- March 16, 2020
In light of the threat of the Coronavirus, The Piper Assisted Living and Memory Support has made the top priority the protection of residents and staff from the spread of this virus.
Not only are we concerned about our residents, but the entire senior population in Kansas City and surrounding areas.
It is well established that the elderly population, especially those with underlying health issues, are more at-risk. The CDC is warning this vulnerable population to take extra precautions.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
- Fever (over 100.4 F)
- Shortness of breath
- In very few cases, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have occurred in the days leading up to the illness.
Coronavirus is a lower respiratory illness making symptoms like runny nose and sore throat less likely, according to the CDC.
What do we know about the spread at this point?
- The virus is an airborne pathogen that spreads person to person via saliva/mucus.
- The infected person’s saliva/mucus must make contact with the receiving person’s mucus membranes (nose, mouth, open wound, eyes). Small droplets from coughing and sneezing can enter the mouth and lungs of those nearby.
- There is a lower risk of transmission when the carrier is asymptomatic, but it is still possible to contaminate another person
- It is also possible that infection can happen by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it such as a table or doorknob and then touching their own eyes, mouth or nose
- The incubation period (between catching the disease and showing symptoms) is 2-14 days.
The residents at The Piper and all seniors need to be extra diligent during this time.
Handwashing protocol is our most important defense.
The following video enactment of the spread of bacteria and viruses is most graphic and essential for the public and healthcare professionals to see. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlXT7xSShzw
Mayo Clinic suggests the following steps about handwashing.
It is generally best to wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water.
Follow these steps:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water — either warm or cold.
- Apply soap and lather well.
- Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
- Rinse well.
- Dry your hands with a clean towel or air-dry them.
Recommendations to avoid contracting Coronavirus.
- NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, or elbow bump
- AVOID PEOPLE who are sick (6 feet rule)
- AVOID TOUCHING your eyes, nose, and mouth
- CLEAN AND DISINFECT FREQUENTLY touched surfaces – clean your phone, TV remote, and computer keyboard, too
- PRACTICE HEALTHY HABITS – get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food
- COVER YOUR COUGH OR SNEEZE with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
- AVOID SHARING dishes, cutlery, glasses with anyone.
- WEAR A FACEMASK if you have symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the virus to others.
- HEALTHCARE WORKERS should use a facemask and gloves if taking care of someone with COVID-19
What should you do if you do get ill with flu symptoms?
SELF ISOLATE if you are sick and ask for help from your physician and family.
The CDC recommends calling your primary physician immediately if you have concerning symptoms (like fever, cough, body aches, difficulty breathing, or chest pain) and have recently traveled or have been in close contact with someone who has been exposed or diagnosed with Coronavirus.
Do not go to the doctor’s office in person. Call your physician and report your symptoms. Stay in your apartment or home until told what the next step is from your doctor.
Keep warm and rest as much as possible. Get extra sleep.
Drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated.
If nausea and/or diarrhea are present, consume only clear liquids.
Stay in close touch with your caregivers and physicians. If symptoms worsen, call your doctor immediately.
Our understanding of this epidemic changes daily, even hourly the following sources can keep us all updated.
CDC FAQs: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
Kansas Health and Environment Info: http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/index.htm
Johnson County Info: https://jocogov.org/health
Douglas County Info: https://ldchealth.org/442/COVID-19-2019-Novel-Coronavirus