A Message From Our Executive Director Concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The health and wellness of the people who live and work at McKnight Place Assisted Living & Memory Care remains our number one priority.

McKnight Place continues to take extensive precautionary measures to protect our vulnerable residents by implementing further modifications to help safeguard the safety of our residents and staff. We are collaborating with our Medical Director, Dr. Kaiser, as well as the appropriate authorities and experts, to ensure we are doing everything we can.

The steps we are taking in our community are based upon the guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)St. Louis County Department of Health and Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS). To avoid exposure to the virus, health officials recommend that people over the age of 60 with weakened immune systems or health conditions remain at home, away from large groups and public places. For that reason, we are strongly discouraging residents from leaving the community, especially to visit high-density crowd gathering locations such as shopping centers, theaters and churches.

We are not allowing visitors to enter our community, with only a few exceptions.

This is critical to mitigating the possible spread of the virus. We are screening all staff and essential vendors with a temperature check and health screening questionnaire (which includes questions regarding any travel in the last 30 days, individual symptoms and any potential exposure to others with symptoms consistent with flu, COVID-19 or any respiratory illness). For residents, we will continue to check temperatures on a regular basis. We will also be happy to do temperature checks at any time for any resident upon request. Ongoing training and education are being provided to team members.

We are now scheduling outdoor visits.

The St. Louis Public Health Department and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services have provided guidance for allowing visits. McKnight Place, regardless of COVID-19 status, may have outdoor visits. Families may schedule an outdoor visit appointment starting Wednesday, October 7, 2020, by contacting our Office Manager at (314) 372-1254 or prodgers@mcknightplace.com.

A resident, their guardian, or legal representative are able to designate up to five (5) visitors total for visits. Once chosen, these five (5) visitors will need to remain consistent. A resident may have only two (2) visitors at one time from the designated group of five (5).

Visitors must comply with the following Department of Health & Senior Services rules:

  • Schedule an appointment in advance.
  • Be screened using our screening questionnaire and a temperature check.
  • Practice hand hygiene, using hand sanitizer, before each visit.
  • Maintain social distancing (spaced by at least six feet).
  • Use of a cloth face covering or facemask throughout the visit (please refrain from bringing any food or drinks).

For our Assisted Living residents, we will be offering these visits 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm. These visits will last for 30 minutes, allowing adequate time for sanitation between visits. Visits will take place outside on The Gatesworth side of our courtyard. There are two designated parking spots there, and tables and chairs, marking the location.

For our Memory Care residents, we will be offering these visits on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm. These visits will last for 30 minutes, allowing adequate time for sanitation between visits. Visits will take place near the gate by the current window visit location. There are two designated parking spots there, and tables and chairs, marking the location.

Gatesworth campus map showing McKnight Place Assisted Living and Memory Care outdoor visits route.
Gatesworth campus map showing McKnight Place Assisted Living and Memory Care outdoor visits location.

The additional following steps are being taken in our community:

  • There is a handwashing station located outside of the building for all staff to use before entering the community. Staff complete a Health Screening Questionnaire and have their temperature taken prior to entering the building. We have constructed a booth with plexiglass windows, similar to those you see at Dierberg’s or Schnucks, to ensure our individuals screening are protected.
  • We are limiting community transportation, but we will continue to transport residents to necessary medical appointments.
  • We are not providing transportation for shopping trips and we’re working with residents on alternative ways to obtain their essentials.
  • Responsible Parties/Friends/Family Members: For your protection, we have added a tent near the loading dock area for “contact-less” drop-offs of any bags or packages. These items will be sprayed with disinfectant, then delivered to your loved one in a timely fashion. The tent is monitored from 7:00 am-11:00 pm daily.
  • Our team remains focused on frequent enhanced cleaning and sanitizing in all the community common areas.
  • Continued training and education for staff about the COVID-19 and prevention measures.

We want to emphasize the importance of residents and families letting us know immediately if they feel ill, or think that they might have been exposed to COVID-19. We are ready to provide assistance and respond to their needs quickly.

LEAVING THE BUILDING:

  • In an effort to maintain your health, and the health of other residents, in accordance with the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) SLRC Guidanceresidents SHOULD NOT leave the building, unless for a necessary medical reason that cannot be addressed within the facility. If a resident leaves the building, they are potentially risking their health and the health of others; as well as being potentially discharged from McKnight Place Assisted Living & Memory Care.
  • We are happy to assist with ordering items, shopping for you, or anything else you may need, in order to prevent possible exposure by others outside of the building.

MASKS:

  • The CDC is recommending Americans voluntarily wear nonmedical masks in public to limit Coronavirus transmission. For this reason, we have implemented the policy that our McKnight Place employees wear masks whenever in the building, in addition to our current prevention efforts (hand washing, health screenings, temperature screenings, social distancing, etc.). Rest assured any employees who are sick will still not be permitted to come to work.
  • These policies include private duty and companions as well. Each company has been notified of this policy change. We will provide their first mask, however, it is our expectation that they will come prepared with his or her own mask thereafter.

COMMUNITY VISITORS:

  • We are not allowing visitors to enter the community.
  • We are screening any essential vendors who must enter the building with a temperature check and questionnaire.

ENHANCED CLEANING:

  • Our teams are continuing to focus on frequent, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting.

TRANSPORTATION:

  • We are limiting community transportation, but we will continue to provide transport to necessary, non-emergency medical appointments. 

FACETIME/SKYPE:

  • We are offering Facetime/Skype appointments to allow you to visit with your loved ones. Please contact Samantha Hinson,  Director of Activities, to set up an appointment.

We want to thank you again for your support as we work through this together. In the meantime, please remember to wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing.

– Laura Ritthamel, Executive Director at McKnight Place Assisted Living & Memory Care

Screenshot of Dr. David Carr sitting at his desk.
A message from Dr. David Carr, Medical Director at Parc Provence (a sister community of McKnight Place) and Clinical Director of the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science at Washington University, regarding COVID-19 symptoms and hygiene techniques.

Additional information concerning COVID-19:

We are closely monitoring the increase in cases of COVID-19. We are following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)St. Louis County Department of Health and Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS). Our decisions are based upon their guidance combined with the expertise of our teams.  

We understand this virus is a concern for everyone and our strategy is based on an abundance of caution. We want to be proactive but also reasonable about any changes to day-to-day operations. 

We are working closely with team members to ensure they do not come to work when sick. Ongoing training and education is being provided. We ask that residents alert us immediately if they are ill so we can take appropriate action and provide aid.

Health officials agree the best defense techniques are:

  1. Frequent hand washing using proper hand hygiene by scrubbing with warm water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is useful, but does not replace washing with soap and hot water.
  2. Avoid touching your face and keep your hands away from your nose, mouth and eyes.
  3. Practice social distancing in all situations.
  4. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

We are continuing to prepare for any situations that may arise. We will continue to provide updates as needed as this situation is changing rapidly.

Please note that all statements and recommendations could change as the government agency recommendations change.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

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