COVID-19 Communication HUB
Our goal in creating this Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page.
Here at Lutheran Towers, the health and safety of our residents, team members, and visitors are our top priorities. We created this COVID-19 information page on our website to:1) keep residents and their families informed about Lutheran Towers’ response to the coronavirus (COVID-19); and 2) tell you how you can help our residents stay safe in the period of COVID-19.
What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (hereinafter COVID-19)?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease that was identified in Wuhan, China, and has been rapidly spreading throughout the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of September 30, 2020, in the United States there have been more than 7,230,000 cases of COVID 19 and more than 206,000 associated deaths.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, in the state of Georgia, as of September 30, 2020, there have been more than 300,000 COVID 19 cases and more than 6,800 associated deaths. People are encouraged by the public health officials at the state and federal levels to take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including but not limited to virulent and deadly COVID-19.
Given the high transmission rate and the lethal nature of COVID 19, it is highly recommended to strictly adhere to the virus prevention recommendations made by the public health officials at the state and federal levels.
How does COVID-19 spread?
Coronaviruses, like COVID-19, are most often spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact (including touching and shaking hands) or through touching your nose, mouth, or eyes before washing your hands. Learn more about COVID19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about how COVID-19 spreads and how to protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses.
Exposure and symptoms
Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, or muscle pain, congestion / runny nose, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
Protect yourself and others
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. Here are the recommended methods to avoid being exposed to this virus:
- Wear a Face Mask: Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others.
- Social Distancing: Maintain good social distance (about 6 feet) from others. This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
- Regularly Engage in Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Routinely Disinfect: Routinely, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
What to Do If You Are Sick
Stay home except to get medical care
Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
Avoid public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
Separate yourself from other people
As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.
Monitor your symptoms
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or other symptoms.
Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Inability to wake or stay awake
Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently advising anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who are concerned they have been exposed to call their doctor or health care provider. For more details on testing methods and testing information please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html
Lutheran Towers’ COVID-19 Response
Starting in early March of 2020 through the present, to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 within our senior community, we took/and are taking the following steps, we: 1) moved from cleaning to disinfecting our common areas and high touch areas throughout the building on a daily basis to throughout the business day; 2) prohibited nonessential visitors from entering the building; 3) closed the common areas; 4) halted social and recreational activities offered by our agency to the residents; 5) reduced the number of staff in the building; 6) increased the number of trips to the grocery store and reduced the number of residents that could ride in the van from 15 to 5 to allow for appropriate social distancing; 7) mandated that a mask be worn by all residents, essential visitors, and staff in all common areas throughout the building; 8) routinely disseminate masks to residents, essential visitors, and staff; 9) limit the number of elevator riders at one time to a maximum number of 2; 10) started a Monday through Friday Free Lunch Program for our most vulnerable residents; and 11) launch an on-site Food Pantry for our residents in need.
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve around the globe and the number of cases in the state of Georgia continue to climb at an exponential rate, we continue to act with an abundance of caution, as shared, early in the pandemic, we implemented new protocols to manage the risk of exposure and educating our team and residents on best practices for staying healthy, all with guidance from federal and local government and health officials.
We are grateful for the tireless efforts of our team members in their care and protection of our community residents. During this challenging and stressful time, we are also grateful for our resident families’ understanding and cooperation to engage in “social distancing”. There is mounting evidence that communities that are engaged in effective social distancing are “slowing the curve”.
Nevertheless, given the exponential growth rate of COVID-19 cases in the state of Georgia, our continued vigilance, and efforts to stop the spread of the virus is ever more paramount. We appreciate your further understanding as we continue to enforce our stringent protocols at the communities for the safety of our residents and team members.
We understand that this is a stressful and disconcerting time. Our teams are doing their best to engage our residents and life their spirits through a variety of innovative ways, including technology, and distributing individual game packets.
Keeping Lutheran Towers’ residents and staff safe
When quarantine measures were lifted in the state of Georgia, in keeping with recommendations of public health officials, our senior community continued to: maintain social distancing, the use of facial masks for staff and residents, keep common areas closed, and prohibit visits by nonessential visitors. In our building, from the outset of the pandemic through the present, All parties walking through the common areas are required to wear a facial mask.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Lutheran Towers will continue to follow universal safety practices including:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Staff members are always required to wear personal protective equipment, and we ask residents to wear masks whenever they leave their apartments or when a staff member is in their apartments.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting: Our staff clean and sanitize high-touch areas multiple times per day using EPA-approved disinfectants.
- Social Distancing: Within our senior community, we always seek to maintain social distancing.
- Prohibiting Nonessential Visitors from the Building
- Closing the Common Areas
Keeping Lutheran Towers’ residents engaged
Resident engagement is essential for the well-being of our residents. Our staff is certainly doing the best they can—taking on the challenge of engaging residents without gathering in groups and keeping physical contact extremely limited. The use of technology is our greatest tool in this situation. And with the help of new technologies and innovative developments, seniors will be able to socialize and discover new opportunities to learn from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
Lutheran Towers expanded WIFI services throughout the building providing each resident opportunity to engage in online activities. Lutheran Towers offers virtual activities such as fitness classes, trivia games and bingo via Zoom. Residents will be able to connect with staff, fellow residents, or family via video calls and other social connection platforms, such as Apps like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet.