Spring is coming, the days are getting longer, and the sun is shining. Some truly “refreshing” news! And moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the following refreshing news:
The CDC issued its first set of recommendations on activities that people who are fully vaccinated* against COVID-19 can safely resume. With this guidance, as skilled providers in the post-acute setting , we can start to think of how this impacts our residents, visitation, and opportunities to improve occupancy through marketing efforts.
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The new guidance—which is based on the latest science — includes recommendations for how and when a fully vaccinated individual can visit with other people who are fully vaccinated and with other people who are not vaccinated. This guidance represents a first step toward returning to everyday activities in our communities. CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, rates of COVID-19 in the community change, and additional scientific evidence becomes available.
*A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.
While the CDC guidance is excellent news, how do you prepare for your next steps for your organization’s future?
This type of news and guidance has been eagerly anticipated by our nation. Visitation allowance within our sector is increasing each day and it seems like the collective long-term care industry, while not forgetting about the reality of this ongoing pandemic, is largely feeling a new invigoration of energy as we all the ability to shift some focus onto more than just getting through each day.
So, what’s on your agenda?
Everyone knows that attracting new residents is critical to success. How do we look at that after dealing with a pandemic? Well, knowing your STAR rating is one thing, but knowing what items are impacting it is an even more crucial piece of the puzzle. How do we create improvement plans when applicable? How do we pivot, from a year of little to no visitation and losing out on many “standard” marketing strategies, to marketing in a post-COVID environment? Have you adopted strategies that are creative and bring transparency to consumers in a post-COVID environment?
Leveraging data is a way to get a step ahead!
Knowing your data and having predictive capabilities opens up a whole new way of thinking and provides opportunities to add an additional and tangible component to your current strategy. Data can focus your targets, enhance your social media postings, and paint the picture of your successes through outcome data which is proving more and more invaluable as systems concert focus on value-based care and quality.
Whether you feel you are already on top of it, need to dust off your old marketing books, or just getting started, Blue Sky Therapy invites you to our 2-part webinar series where you will hear how teams have pivoted with their marketing strategies and how you can leverage data to help grow census.
“We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. “There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in their own homes. Everyone – even those who are vaccinated – should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings. As the science evolves and more people get vaccinated, we will continue to provide more guidance to help fully vaccinated people safely resume more activities.”
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart.
- Visit with unvaccinated people from one other household indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart if everyone in the other household is at low risk for severe disease.
- Refrain from quarantine and testing if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 after contact with someone who has COVID-19.
While the new guidance is a positive step, the vast majority of people need to be fully vaccinated before COVID-19 precautions can be lifted broadly. Until then, it is important that everyone continues to adhere to public health mitigation measures to protect the large number of people who remain unvaccinated.
CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take these COVID-19 precautions when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19:
- Wear a well-fitted mask.
- Stay at least 6 feet from people you do not live with.
- Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.