Thermometers for All in Need
Unfortunately, cabin fever isn’t the only type of fever one might experience during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with cough and shortness of breath, fever (body temperature of 100°F or greater, in most circumstances) is a cardinal symptom of COVID-19. A simple digital thermometer is an absolute must-have. And, like hand sanitizer and toilet paper, they’re tough to come by these days.
We are excited to have procured a large supply of Deerfield-emblazoned thermometers and we distributed them to residents. We also have enough to offer a thermometer to our employees.
The ability to self-monitor one’s temperature allows for quicker identification of symptoms (and symptom trending) and promotes the efficacy of nursing telephone triage and management of symptomatic staff and residents. When it comes to cabin fever, though, your new Deerfield thermometer may not help much. Instead, we suggest walks outside on nice days (taking care to keep distance between yourself and any others you may encounter), telephone calls or virtual interactions with friends and loved ones, and staying busy with projects that bring you joy or a sense of accomplishment.
Healthcare Source Control Initiative
Deerfield launched an innovative and forward-thinking initiative aimed at source control of clinical staff in healthcare. Source control is a concept whereby an individual wears a mask not to protect themselves from others’ respiratory droplets, but instead to protect others from their own.
Unfortunately, global shortages of personal protective equipment (including masks) we must be aggressive in stewardship of our limited resources. So, we took a utilitarian approach. We selected the population on our campus at highest risk related to COVID-19 (our healthcare residents) and the group of employees that present the highest degree of risk to those residents (clinical staff, due to their need to spend extended periods of time in close contact with residents in the course of accomplishing their typical job tasks). In keeping with the new protocol, clinical staff in Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living will now be wearing a mask at all times during their shift. This protocol acknowledges that many individuals infected with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic, yet still capable of spreading COVID-19 infection to others; universal masking of clinical staff for source control helps to break that link in the chain of infection. With nursing homes in the United States experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19, we believe that this initiative substantially bolsters our already vigorous efforts to protect our most fragile residents.