Delaware Hospice is working to protect the individuals we serve, our staff, and volunteers during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Over the past 39 years, Delaware Hospice has frequently cared for community members with infectious diseases, and we have vigorous infection control protocols in place. These recommendations are from Centers for Medicare Services (CMS), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Joint Commission, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS), and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). As a nonprofit healthcare organization, our mission is to support every individual, family, and community with compassionate and expert care for serious illness while protecting everyone.
We are following current and modified health guidelines from the CDC, DHSS, DOH, and local government leaders. We will assess daily to determine if there is a need to adjust these limitations. Our Leadership Team has activated our Emergency Preparedness Team which is providing frequent updates to the organization.
Delaware Hospice has taken these measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19:
- Our offices are limited to essential employees and limited home based volunteers at this time. The Delaware Hospice Center has very limited visitation in place. All staff have received education covering the principles of preventing the spread of infection. Staff are wearing masks, physical distancing, and completing daily health screenings. Clinical staff are regularly being tested and are required to report their results to Human Resources. This is to help limit the exposure of COVID-19 between staff members and patients and their families. Please continue to call ahead at 302-478-5707 to learn specific modifications by office.
- Our staff are practicing exceptional hand hygiene and have increased our disinfecting process. Each office has adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for every staff member. We continue to actively work with state and federal government agencies to secure supplies. In our ongoing effort to ensure the health and safety of our patients, families, and staff, the Delaware Hospice Center has also purchased a Bio-Quell BQ-EMS, a chemical machine used to fight infectious diseases.
- Delaware Hospice has received doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine. We have begun the vaccination process of our staff member in each of our offices. Even though our staff is vaccinated, Delaware Hospice will continue to follow CDC guidelines regarding wearing proper face coverings, physical distancing, and health screenings.
- Delaware Hospice had already been utilizing telehealth in several programs prior to the pandemic. We have expanded our telehealth offerings and our entire field staff team have been trained and are utilizing the system to provide home, facility, and hospital care. When appropriate our staff is going into homes, facilities, and hospitals to provide care.
- Education and communication is key to helping to stop the spread. As a healthcare leader in our community, we are providing education to our patients and families about prevention, screening, and signs of symptoms. To continue to be a resource for our community, we have expanded our free resources on our website to include various COVID topics. Before our staff enters a home, long-term care facilities, hospitals, or the Delaware Hospice Center, we are communicating with families and staff to limit exposure. Please continue to educate yourself on the evolving information available regarding COVID-19. Protect your family and friends by selecting valid, reliable sources.
- We are advising families to screen all visitors. Delaware Hospice staff is recommending families host virtual visits utilizing telecommunications like FaceTime, Skype, and phone calls. The staff at the Delaware Hospice Center are supporting families by providing devices to facilitate virtual visits during each stay. This has allowed our patients to stay in contact with their loved ones while being safe from the spread of COVID-19.
- Our volunteers are still supporting Delaware Hospice through a variety of social distancing activities. We are now offering virtual volunteer orientation and education. If you are interested in patient or office volunteering (when appropriate), please consider becoming a volunteer.
- Special events, bereavement workshops, and in-person meetings are being held virtually. Our Bereavement and New Hope Teams have established virtual support groups. Please review our event calendars for times. In recognition of the difficulty at this time in visiting loved ones and grieving, our bereavement counselors are now available by phone and teleconference upon a family member’s admission to our program. Please reach out to 302-478-5707. for bereavement support.
Delaware Hospice is still supporting our community by doing what we do best, providing care for individuals who may be ready for hospice or palliative care. Please contact us if we can be of any support at this time at 302-478-5707.