Gulf Coast Village is limiting access to community amidst coronavirus
For the first time in 30 years, Gulf Coast Village is limiting access to their community to protect residents from the coronavirus.
Kevin Ahmadi, Area Director of Operations, Volunteers of America, has submitted the following statement for publication.
The continuing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted Gulf Coast Village to make an unprecedented decision.
For the first time in our 30 years in Cape Coral, Gulf Coast Village is limiting access to our community to protect residents from the coronavirus. No visitors, regardless of the reason, are allowed to enter the community until further notice. The only exceptions will be for very specific circumstances, such as an end-of-life visitation, and even then, specific screenings must take place prior to entering the facility. The administrator and executive director are the only persons authorized to make exceptions.
Other senior health providers statewide and nationwide have begun making similar decisions to ensure the virus doesn’t spread to our vulnerable senior population, based on guidance from health officials, including the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
The coronavirus has a much higher mortality rate in seniors and those with compromised health, making our resident population at high risk. Our leadership team will continue to monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies as the safety of our residents is our highest priority. The initial suspension will last for the next 30 days, but is subject to change based on the latest CDC information and governmental guidance.
While this presents a challenge for families who wish to visit their loved ones, we are implementing alternative means of communication with our residents, such as phone calls and video chats. After hosting “town hall meetings” to address the new policy, our residents and their families have been very supportive of the decision, knowing we have their loved ones’ best interests at heart.
We are encouraging seniors throughout Southwest Florida to begin social distancing, if you haven’t already, in an effort to protect your health. Please avoid large groups of people and stay away from anyone, including family and friends, who are ill. In addition, CDC guidelines to help prevent illness include:
*Washing your hands with soap and warm to hot water for 20 seconds, frequently throughout the day.
*Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
*Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
*Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or coughing into your elbow.
Additionally, I commend our staff for their unwavering commitment to caring for our residents and adapting to the situation with compassion and expertise.
As a Volunteers of America community, we have the support of a national non-profit faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Throughout this difficult time, the Gulf Coast Village team truly reflects the mission of Volunteers of America helping the most vulnerable during a time of great need.