New State Mandates Aimed to Curb COVID in Our State
Posted: November 19, 2021
Article updated 11/19/21 to reflect new CDPHE guidelines issued 11/18/21
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recently issued increased restrictions and mandates that impact skilled nursing, memory support, and assisted living neighborhoods in Colorado. In some cases, the CDPHE mandates are more restrictive than federal mandates. While these mandates are not what anyone would like to see, they are understandable. Currently, Colorado has the 3rd highest rate of new COVID-19 infections in the nation. One in every 48 Coloradans is believed to currently have COVID-19.
At Cappella of Pueblo West we are working to implement the new mandates now, some of which may impact holiday plans. Please know We! Celebrate is one of our most cherished values as an organization. We are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe while also finding creative solutions to holiday celebrations and traditions.
Below is a summary of the new measures going into place that are of most impact to community-life in communities offering skilled nursing, memory support and assisted living.
- Masks must always be worn by all people in the community, even residents when outside of their apartment home or suite. All visitors must always wear a mask during their visit.
- Visitors must physically distance themselves from their loved one unless both the older adult and visitor are fully vaccinated, then they can choose to have physical contact with one another.
- Visitors may not have food or drink while visiting while in a resident’s apartment or suite.
- Unvaccinated residents who leave the community for more than 24-hours will need to quarantine upon return for 14 days, regardless of testing negative. If away for less than 24-hours, unvaccinated residents do not have to quarantine. Vaccinated residents away for more than 24 hours will need to take part in an exposure risk assessment to determine if a quarantine is warranted.
- Any unvaccinated team member who travels will need to quarantine for 14 days upon returning regardless of testing negative. The quarantine will be unpaid time from work. Travel outside the state of Colorado by mass transit such as a plane, train or bus is considered travel. Driving across state lines in a personal car is not.
- We must continue to evaluate residents daily for signs and symptoms of the virus. This includes daily temperature and pulse oximetry checks.
- The health department believes pets can transmit the COVID virus. Therefore, pet therapy visits are not allowed. A pet can visit an individual resident, but must not go to other rooms or apartments, and is limited to a single person at a time.
- Everyone must attempt to maintain six feet of social distancing in dining rooms, group activities, and during visits.
- Food and drink cannot be part of group activities unless outside and if social distancing is in place.
- Residents who are not fully vaccinated cannot take part in group activities if the positivity rates in the community’s city/county is above 10% or the resident vaccinate rate for your community is below 70%.
- Fully vaccinated residents may dine at a table together.
- We must present virus mitigation education to all visitors and vendors as they enter the community, and we must document that education has taken place as well as screenings and mask wearing.
- We must offer all residents within the first few days, regardless of their vaccination status, monoclonal antibody therapy if they test positive for COVID-19. Their personal physician will determine if treatment is appropriate.
- New residents to our communities who are NOT vaccinated will have to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of potentially testing negative. Fully vaccinated older adults who move in do not have to quarantine.
- If a neighborhood has a single positive test result for a resident or a team member, that neighborhood is considered in outbreak status and must test all residents and team members, regardless of vaccination status.
- If an unvaccinated resident has a direct exposure to a positive COVID person, they must quarantine for a full 14 days regardless of testing negative. We will provide care to those residents while wearing full PPE.
- Team members are to wear goggles or safety glasses while providing care to all residents, regardless of the resident’s vaccination status.
We are focusing on what we can do to make community life enjoyable and to maintain vital connections with loved ones.
- We can still take resident excursions and outings with residents wearing masks, socially distancing and good ventilation if weather allows.
- Fully vaccinated visitors and volunteers can continue to participate and support group activities if they show proof of vaccination, have been educated and practice infection control, wear a mask, maintain social distance and the community is outbreak free.
- We will do everything we can to maintain visitations through special visitation programs so friends and families can enjoy visits with their loved one in their suite/apartment.
- We are adapting and adopting a can-do attitude with offering residents as many choices as possible, engaging in service projects, and when needed – reinstating hallway activities and competitions, community-wide themed days, and mobile programs such as happy hour, games, and contests.
We continue to focus on maintaining or increasing our community’s vaccination rates because we know that fully vaccinated people are 10 times less likely to have major symptoms from the virus. We also know that 81% of the people in Colorado’s hospitals right now are unvaccinated.
We are truly in this together. Our team is more ready than ever to battle the virus that is now engulfing our state. We will need everyone’s support, adherence to all mitigation efforts, and for all of us to do our best to maintain a good attitude and a little humor.