As the Chief Executive Officer of Consulate Health Care, it is with great sincerity that I deliver this update on the measures that our company is taking to protect our patients, residents, and staff in the wake of the COVID-19 threat. First, I want to assure you that we take this threat very seriously across every level of our organization. The safety and well-being of the tens of thousands of people we care for on a daily basis are always our highest priority. For weeks, we have been taking appropriate measures to minimize risk by ensuring that necessary safety precautions are being followed, closely monitoring federal and state guidelines from our regulating agencies and healthcare officials, and swiftly implementing new protocols in accordance with these guidelines.
The newest strain of Coronavirus, COVID-19, became an urgent focus for Consulate Health Care in mid-February when the Centers for Disease Control and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the threat had reached the United States and that our elderly population was at the highest risk. Our immediate objective became the protection of our residents, staff, and visitors through a heightened focus on a comprehensive seasonal flu strategy that began back in August of 2019, with education that focused on the importance of patient and staff vaccination, hand washing, respiratory symptoms and regular assessments. Additionally, we coordinated with our service and supply chain partners to secure necessary supplies and increase infection control practices. Last week, under the direction of CMS and other federal agencies, we restricted visitation by any visitor that is not essential to patient care, and all caregivers and essential staff must undergo a comprehensive screening process before entering our centers.
A COVID-19 Task Force is in place under the direction and leadership of our Chief Nursing Officer, and they meet daily with a team of inter-disciplinary subject-matter experts who are responsible for the 2-way transfer of information to and from our corporate offices and the teams on the ground. I am pleased to share that there are currently no reported cases of the virus within our organization. As CEO, my active involvement in the efforts under way to protect those entrusted to our care are unwavering. I am proud of the work being done by our Task Force and all of our leaders, staff, vendors, and local community partners that are actively engaged in our preparation and protection activities.
CMS and the CDC guidelines are updated frequently and require a great deal of interpretation by our clinical team to ensure that we are doing everything possible to avoid the threat of an outbreak. This information is promptly provided to all operational managers through company-wide advisories issued by our Corporate Communications department. Pandemic Plans and other emergency preparedness policies are in place and being re-trained as needed in accordance with the latest CMS guidelines. We are confident that our efforts are focused, thorough and balanced across the multiple states, regions and local markets that we serve. We remain agile in our approach to new information as it becomes available, taking swift action to implement and execute new protocols.
Although we are not allowing visitors at this time, and please understand that this is being done to avoid any possible spread of the virus by someone who may not be showing symptoms or know that they are contagious, we are actively exploring innovative ways to engage our residents in activities that do not require large group gatherings. We are educating on social-distancing and taking great strides to help our residents and staff feel safe and comfortable in our centers.
There are many ways to communicate with your loved ones, such as by phone, email, Skype, and many social media platforms. Our Public Information Hotline is now available for callers to hear a recorded update as they become available. We are also updating our care center Facebook pages as another means of real-time communication with families and concerned parties.
I want to personally thank you for your support during this challenging time and trust that you will find comfort in knowing that we are caring for our beloved residents and patients like family! We will continue to do everything possible to prevent COVID-19 from entering our centers and I am committed to providing transparent communication with you as soon as new information becomes available.
We are all in this together and I look forward to addressing you again soon.
PUBLIC INFORMATION HOTLINE: 1-833-424-2236
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