November 30, 2022 Letter
Dear Residents, Families, Providers, Employees and Visitors,
You may have heard there are now multiple respiratory illnesses circulating. Of course, COVID-19 remains a concern, but Influenza A and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) are prevalent in many communities across the nation. In some locations, hospitals are reaching capacity, and urgent care centers and emergency rooms are having to divert patients to other locations.
The following are a few suggestions to keep in mind in an effort to remain healthy this winter or mitigate the impact of a respiratory illness:
- Please consider receiving the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine as recommended by the CDC. This vaccine is termed bivalent because it provides protection against the original strain of COVID-19, as well as the two more recent variants, the BA.4 and BA.5 variants. The CDC is encouraging you to get your booster if it has been at least two months since you’ve received either a final primary series dose or the original (monovalent) booster.
- Please consider receiving the seasonal influenza vaccine. Though the CDC recommended receiving the vaccination by the end of October, it’s important to know that receiving the vaccination after October can still provide protection during the peak of flu season.
- If you are planning a visit to see a loved one, please delay your visit if you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms. Our residents are very susceptible to harms from respiratory illnesses. Even If you are feeling well and have no symptoms, we strongly encourage all visitors at our facilities to wear a mask during times when respiratory viruses are circulating throughout your local community.
- Please practice excellent hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette during your visits by complying with the following:
- Perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic hand wash) BEFORE and AFTER any resident visits.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
- Use the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use;
- Always perform hand hygiene again after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
Following these recommendations will help facilitate you and your loved ones remaining healthy this winter.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, as many of you have during the pandemic. I am more than happy to answer your questions or provide you with assistance. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Shellie M. Sonnentag, DNP, AGPCNP, CD
Chief Nursing Officer
Real Property Health Facilities Corp.