Coronavirus Updates

as of May 12, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve rapidly both globally and in our local communities.  In keeping with our organization values, the CDC recommendations and the guidance from the State of Maryland, the quality care we provide to our patients and their families and the safety of our care team members remain the two most important priorities for our leadership team at Hospice of the Chesapeake.

The Hospice of the Chesapeake Emergency Preparedness Taskforce is taking steps to ensure the safety of all members of our family — our patients, their family members, our volunteers and our care team at large.

Given the seriousness of today’s conditions, we believe new guidelines are in order.  We will implement the following changes until further notice.

Patient Care

  • We are following the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) around infection control, travel advisories and illness screening for all.
  • We have developed a comprehensive plan to maintain the safety of everyone while ensuring that we can continue to journey with families who are living with the advanced illness of a loved one including those who may be suspected or confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus.
  • We remain committed to our core value of service to others who are experiencing the end of life.
  • We are exploring and utilizing all technological solutions (including telehealth) that are available to us and when appropriate implementing them on a case-by-case basis.
  • Reeducating and reinforcing appropriate uses for infection control measures for our patient care teams to keep them healthy and safe during this time.
  • In the largest majority, we have moved our Volunteer Services to a telehealth model ensuring we honor the strong bonds our Volunteers have while keeping their health a priority.

Visitation to Inpatient Care Units

As always, we are welcoming loved ones who want to visit our patients for essential end-of-life visits within the gathering guidelines set by the State of Maryland:

  • We are limiting the number of visitors per room to no more than two including children per day for one visit each.
  • Appropriate social distancing (six feet separation) should be maintained by all visitors during visitation.
  • There should be no more than ten visitors in the Inpatient Care Centers at any time.
  • Our team will provide visitors with face coverings, gowns, and gloves for a maximum of two visitors for one visit each per day.
  • We will screen all visitors appropriately on arrival based on the CDC and CMS guidelines prior to allowing entry to the Centers.

Grief Support

  • We are exploring offering as many services as feasible via telehealth.
  • Our counselors have all received training in telehealth to be sure that what we offer meets best practice standards.
  • For the duration of this COVID-19 health emergency we will be offering regular support groups via a telehealth platform — Zoom for Healthcare — and not in our offices.
  • Counseling sessions will be available via phone or online.
  • We will still schedule limited face-to-face sessions for new clients and others as long as we are permitted to, and adequate safety precautions can be taken, including screening for any onsite visits.
  • We encourage you to consider a phone or online session if you would like to schedule with a counselor.

Administrative Teams, Meetings and Office Visitors

  • To ensure the health and safety of our care teams and limit their unnecessary exposure, our administrative team members are utilizing telework.
  • We are limiting our meetings and office visits to “essential” only.
  • All essential visitors will be screened appropriately upon arrival.

Stay Informed

  • We encourage everyone in the Hospice of the Chesapeake family to stay as informed as possible during this rapidly evolving epidemic.
  • We also encourage you to have a plan for your family during these challenging times.

Donate

  • As the coronavirus crisis continues to evolve, so do the needs of our caregivers and patients.
  • In response, we have established a COVID-19 Response Fund to assist with the urgent health crisis in our community.
  • You can assist by donating to our COVID-19 Response Fund which will help defray our most pressing COVID-19 response expenses and support our critical mission of caring for life throughout the journey with illness and loss.
  • Donations will help us fulfill our most pressing needs during these unprecedented times including:
    • Purchasing personal protective equipment and critical supplies.
    • Supporting telehealth to provide virtual visits, grief support and counseling, music and art therapy, and honor salutes where possible.
    • Maintaining our pediatric hospice and support program needs.
    • Equipping office-based staff with the remote technology they need to maintain operations.
    • Providing nutrition assistance for patients and families who are unable to leave their homes.
    • Offering patient care for those who are unable to pay
  • Your gift to the COVID-19 Response Fund allows us to adapt to the changing reality of providing care during a pandemic.
  • You may also donate personal protective equipment, face coverings and supplies by dropping them off at any of our locations M-F 8 am – 4:30 pm.  Please see our social media for specific needs by week.

 

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