Thank you to the state and local health departments and state emergency preparedness agencies for their partnership and ongoing dialogue. I would also like to thank the National Guard who has assisted with testing, cleaning and disinfecting some of the Centers.
I also want to offer a heartfelt Thank You to our Center Leadership teams and their staff, as well as the District, Division and Field Support teams for all of your efforts during this very challenging time.
To support our staff and teams we have implemented “hero and enhanced pay practices” in many centers that are managing COVID-19 positive cases. But it’s really the day-to-day acts of kindness that strike a chord. Many of our leaders have offered meals to their staff so that they do not have to leave the Centers for lunch or dinner and provide comfort soup kits to team members that are self-isolating at home as a result of COVID-19. I especially want to recognize the important role our Infection Preventionists play during this pandemic. We will continue to support all of our teams in the coming days and months.
Finally, I thank our community members for the kindness and support they have provided our Centers. I have heard so many stories of community resources, businesses and individuals that have brought the Centers food, cloth masks and other supplies, day in and day out. The Centers appreciate your kindness and generosity more than you can imagine.
So what now? In order to pay forward all of the kindness that we have been fortunate to receive, we are in the process of establishing designated COVID-19 Care Centers. These units are designed with monitoring units to care for those individuals suspected to have COVID-19, as well as units for COVID-19 positive patients.
Dedicated staff will be assigned to these units, additional personal protective equipment provided, telehealth services available, where possible, and will be equipped with COVID-19 test kits to help us better serve those individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19. These COVID-19 Care Centers are strategically located to be able to serve hospitals and affiliated centers and to support our communities at large. We will continue to introduce these COVID-19 Care Centers as the need dictates.
All client Centers continue to follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other industry experts. We revise our Toolkits as information changes to assure that our client Centers have the latest information available and implement nation-wide calls twice a week to support the Centers and answer questions in real time. We continue to purchase personal protective equipment to keep staff safe and healthy while providing the highest quality care for all residents.
I am proud of our efforts to date and I thank all of the families and residents for putting their faith in us. We will get through this together.
To our staff, I want to again thank you for your continued support. We appreciate all you do every day for our residents and patients.