By Jack Mayne

The residents of the 45-acre Wesley Homes community with about 600 residents in Des Moines were told last Saturday (March 7) that no one has contracted the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has plagued the Puget Sound area for the past several days.

Wesley told residents in a memo that management places “the health and wellness of our residents and employees as our highest priority.”

‘Close observation’
Wesley President and CEO Kevin Anderson said in a statement to residents that the issue will be kept under close observation:

“As the news continues to reflect the increasing number cases of the coronavirus, I wanted to provide an update on what Wesley is doing to prepare and ensure the safety of our residents and staff. We continue to monitor and implement steps to control the spread of this virus and are taking all appropriate measures to protect our communities.”

He said the Wesley health care team members “have been diligent in enacting precautions within our communities.”

Reinforcing Control
“These measures include reinforcing infection control procedures and monitoring the flow of traffic at each community.

“In conjunction with these efforts, our residents and staff have been urged to follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) for preventing any viral respiratory illness within our communities.

“I am grateful for your support in helping us protect the safety of all residents and staff,” he wrote to residents. “We will provide updates via email and standard resident communications with any changes in campus operations or as new information is available. Thank you for your understanding as we all work together to limit the spread of this virus and keep us all safe.”

Resident Recommendations:

    • Staff members training to prevent or limit the spread of infectious disease.
    • Washing of hands and practice good cough etiquette.
    • Having staff stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms.
    • Avoid touching of eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Avoid contact with people who are ill.

Anderson’s memo to Wesley residents also said Wesley was:

    • Placing additional hand sanitizer dispensers at strategic locations around our communities; near elevators, front desk locations, and near dining areas
    • Increasing disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Monitoring the health of all residents in our care
    • Updating staff and residents on a regular basis as the conditions change and information becomes available from the CDC, CMS and other local health authorities
    • Asking that friends and family not visit our communities unless they absolutely have to and are showing no signs of the symptoms