As a leading healthcare provider that offers residential, inpatient services, our patients live in close quarters. Some of our patients are also medically compromised. There’s no denying that an outbreak of any virus on our campuses or units could be dangerous, which is why Caron has well-established practices, policies, and procedures aimed at preventing the spread of infectious diseases 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our successful track record with the Influenza virus is a testament to our rigorous commitment to these practices. Examples of standard precautions include:
- Mandatory infectious disease prevention training for all employees
- Emergency preparedness training for all employees
- Proper handling and disposal of hazardous materials and bio-waste
- High standards of cleanliness
Although there are no reports of coronavirus on our campuses, the staff at Caron is prepared to address any potential cases. We are monitoring the directives and guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as local health officials. Immediate actions taken by Caron’s campuses in response to the current climate include:
- Increased, regular sanitation of all facilities
- Increased measures to remind staff and patients about ways to prevent the spread of germs
- Asking visitors to refrain from coming to campus if they are exhibiting flu-like symptoms
- Discouraging hugging and holding hands during fellowship times
- Regular communication with families of those in treatment
- Communication with the Pennsylvania Department of Health as needed
In the unlikely event that an outbreak occurs, Caron’s highly trained and experienced medical staff – including 10 full-time doctors and 50 nurses – are prepared to both recognize warning signs and implement preventative measures to reduce risk. We are fortunate to have a strong and collaborative relationship with Reading Hospital Tower Health, where all the doctors on my team teach and consult, so we can easily coordinate with experts when a higher-level of acute medical care is needed.
More than anything, I want to impart calmness during this time of anxiety-inducing media coverage. It’s not helpful to anyone to have fears that aren’t necessary. At Caron, I’m confident that we have the experience and expertise to manage these issues successfully.