The Norwich Rehabilitation and Nursing Center said they’ve had success in keeping their residents and staff healthy and safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Norwich Rehab Administrator Edith Revoir attributes this to the facilities foresight to be prepared. “We had been watching the spread of the coronavirus for months before it came to the states,” said Revoir.
“We had already started preparing then, making sure we were fully stocked with personal protection equipment.”
As COVID-19 reached New York, Norwich Rehab immediately responded with the implementation of strict protocols to keep the virus outside the buildings walls.
“We shut down in person visitation early on and started doing window visits and Skype calls,” said Revoir.
The facility also implemented a rigorous screening process for staff and residents entering the building. According to Revoir, to enter the building you must first answer an extensive questionnaire about any symptoms and social interactions while outside the building.
Next is a required temperature check, if an individual passes both the questionnaire and temperature check, they are monitored to ensure
they properly sanitize their hands and put on their personal protection equipment before entering the building.
“If a staff member works more than an eight hour shift, they are required after eight hours to go through the screening process again,” said Revoir. “Our staff are doing a tremendous job, I can’t say enough about how amazing they are. They are staying healthy not only because of the precautions we have in place, but they are also honoring the self quarantine guidelines and social distancing when they’re not at work.”
Revoir states that their facility is one of the safest and most sanitary places to be during the pandemic, and that many mistake nursing homes as a center for the virus.
“There is a misconception, when people hear that nursing homes are more susceptible, people think nursing homes have COVID-19. But the reality is that it’s the residents that are more susceptible to complications if they were to contract it. Knowing that, we put many
precautionary procedures in place,” said Revoir.
The facility does not allow any non-essential personnel in the building at this time. Third party transportation workers must wait outside while residents are brought to the door. Deliveries are left outside, and sanitized by staff before being brought in.
Revoir explains how she stays one step ahead of the virus and the complications it has brought onto other facilities.
“We are very proactive. Emergency preparedness means anticipating the worst case scenario and preparing for it. You have to think, what is the next wave that is coming? How do we prepare?”
Revoir attributes much of their ability to be prepared to the generosity of the community. She says the rehab facility has received personal protection equipment donations from businesses like Raymond Corporation and General Electric. They’ve also received cases of yogurt from Chobani and cots from Norwich YMCA.
“It’s really about planning, communicating with your team, and not being afraid to ask for help. We are here for the community, and the community is here for us,” said Revoir. “Because of that, we are squeaky clean and rock solid.”