New Jersey assisted living facility working to protect against coronavirus

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- As Sanjay Kansupada, the executive director of Spring Hills Cherry Hill assisted living facility looked at the international headlines on coronavirus, he thought one thing: "We knew it was headed this way... to the United States."

The facility had already heard the tragic news of a Washington state nursing home where five people have died from coronavirus.

"Heartbreaking because I think of all of them as my family, if that was to happen to them," said registered nurse Rachene Alexander who is the director of resident care at Spring Hills Cherry Hill.

The New Jersey assisted living facility hasn't had any threat of coronavirus but they came up with a plan to be proactive.

"We went through the exercise of going through all our chemicals and making sure they match up to what the CDC is requiring as a chemical that actually kills (coronavirus)," said executive director Sanjay Kansupada.

The facility continues its weekly housekeeping of rooms with an added emphasis on the daily cleaning of common areas.

"Elevator buttons, doorknobs, all of that's done daily because everyone's moving around," Kansupada said.

Employees are also encouraged to stay home if they are sick in order to protect residents.

There is also a focus on visitors.

"Prevent people from coming into the building that are not feeling well," said Alexander.

In China, coronavirus has a higher fatality rate among people who are over 80. That age group makes up more than 90% of the population at Spring Hills Cherry Hill, that's why they are putting such an emphasis on stopping the virus from spreading.

" A lot of information is being sent to us from the CDC. We're working with the Healthcare Association of New Jersey," said Alexander. "We're getting their input on what we can do to prevent and reduce the spread of this virus."
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