Purpose of this document: On March 3rd 2020 officials with the CDC, NIH, and other agencies urged the public to prepare for the ‘inevitable’ spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) within the United States. Aymira, A Small Miracle and Turning Point Services serves a community with higher vulnerability to influenzas and other respiratory illnesses. We have specified procedures to prevent, identify, report and control the spread of infectious and communicable diseases among staff and services recipients. This document is to provide resources for preventing, identifying and managing outbreaks of COVID-19.
Be Prepared: The following steps can be taken now to prepare.
- Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation. Know your resources for up to date information in your local community. Monitor the CDC COVID-19 website and your state and local health department website for the latest information.
- Review your facility’s emergency plan. A COVID-19 outbreak in your community could lead to staff absenteeism. Prepare alternative staffing plans to ensure as many of your facility’s staff are available as possible.
- Update emergency contact list. Continuously update emergency contact lists for key partners and ensure the lists are accessible in key locations in your facility. For example, know how to reach your local or state health department in an emergency.
Personal Strategies for Prevention: There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick, at least 24 hours after a fever of 100 degrees or higher.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash immediately. Do not reuse tissue or use reusable cloth wipes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
Prevention and Detection Policy: Aymira, A Small Miracle, and Turning Point Services will adhere to rules, regulations and recommendations by the Health Department for the prevention and detection of communicable and infectious disease among its staff and service recipients.
In the event of a suspected or actual episode of communicable or infectious diseases among staff and/or service recipient, the Company will enact treatment models and/or activity restrictions recommended and required by the Health Department. The Human Resources Department and/or designee will report the communicable disease exposure to appropriate government agencies.
Per company policy:
- All staff who provide direct care, which may require hands-on services to service recipients, are provided orientation and training about blood borne pathogens.
- Staff will practice precautions regarding exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials by hand washing, wearing rubber gloves and cleanup of bodily fluids.
- Signed disclosures are required for service recipients (completed/signed by the Legally Responsible Person) and for staff of physical and mental health well-being and absence of communicable diseases and/or any other condition that poses a threat to service recipients and other staff. If staff or service recipients show any sign of communicable illness or disease, they will be required to halt services until 24 hours after symptoms.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Identifying and Treatment: Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The U.S. CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days – or as long as 14 days after initial exposure.
In the event a service recipient or staff member shows evidence of symptoms or signs of a COVID-19, you should immediately notify your physician and the Health Department.
- You may receive a physical examination to include laboratory examination as directed by the Health Department.
In the event of a suspected or actual episode of COVID-19, the Program Director, Lead QP, Regional Manager or Supervisor will enact such treatments and/or restrictions on the activities of staff or service recipients as may be prescribed by the Health Department. The Human Resources Department will report the communicable disease exposure to the local Health Department.
- If a staff member is affected, he/she will be restricted from the Company’s premises and may be allowed to take accrued sick leave for the period of the prescribed restrictions.
- If a service recipient is affected, he/she will be isolated, restricted or hospitalized as recommended and required by the Health Department.
The Program Director, Lead QP, Regional Manager or Supervisor shall be responsible for monitoring compliance with treatment measures as suspected and/or actual episodes of COVID-19 arise.