New Jersey Eastern Star Home-Outbreak Response Plan

The New Jersey Eastern Star Home has developed and implemented an Outbreak Response Plan.  This plan was developed by our clinical team and approved by our Medical Director at the outset of the pandemic and has been periodically updated in response to additional regulations from CMS, the NJ Department of Health and also the CDC. 

Included in our Outbreak Response Plan are various policies, procedures,  protocols, and guidelines to clearly and effectively communicate to all of our stakeholders including residents, patients, resident representatives, employees, physicians/other medical providers, and vendors. Lessons learned throughout this experience have been incorporated and policies revised to reflect that learning. The goal  of the plan is to communicate information clearly and in a timely fashion, reduce the risk of virus transmission, and maximize the safety of our community.   

The following policies are included in our plan:

COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Infection Control Plan (includes visitor/employee screening, surveillance testing, observation/quarantine), General operations-students, volunteers, employees, ED 20-026 amendments, communication methods to stakeholder, staffing/contingency planning, testing and data reporting, PPE, infection control practitioners and consultants, and visitation).

  • Airborne Precautions Policy
  • Face Mask and Respirator Use Policy
  • Pandemic Masking and Eye Protection
  • Isolation Precautions & Discontinuation of Isolation
  • Donning and Removing PPE
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Emergent Infectious Disease
  • Delivery Management/COVID-19 Transmission Control
  • COVID-19 Room Cleaning
  • Washing Reusable Gowns
  • Infectious Disease Prevention and Spread Management
  • Meal Delivery for COVID-19 Residents on Isolation
  • Infectious Disease Prevention and Spread Management
  • Essential Caregiver Policy

Lessons Learned: 

We have had an opportunity to reflect on the challenges presented by COVID 19 as well as the resilience and creativity of our staff in rising to meet the challenges presented.  Main takeaways really focused on communication and the importance of clear communication to all stakeholders.  With so many directives and communications that were constantly evolving and being received from various agencies,  we established regular communication processes to our staff, residents and families to keep everyone apprised of new developments. To that end, much in-service education regarding these changes has been provided to keep everyone informed. 

Supply usage and planning became a central topic that required enhanced daily monitoring and education. Inventories have become a working document central to our daily operations and an integral part of our pandemic plan. 

The importance of having vendor relationships and contingency plans for testing ,supplies, and staffing was also realized during the pandemic.  This has led us to develop additional relationships with suppliers, agencies,  and vendors in order to have more options and resources should they be necessary

We have also realized the heightened importance of technology in fostering communication.  Virtual visits have now become a daily activity and a way for residents to connect with their loved ones. 

Last, but certainly not least, teamwork is essential on any given day, but becomes even more critical during times of crisis.  We have learned that our staff and residents are very resilient and have adapted to all of the changes that were necessary and in everyone’s best interest.  

Should you have any questions regarding our Outbreak Response plan or please  email [email protected].  Questions or calls of an urgent nature should be made to (908)-722-4140