Staying up to date with CDC regulations and guidance from federal, state, and local health agencies, Into Action Consulting has updated our plan for prevention and containment, if necessary, of COVID-19. We are actively monitoring all updates and incorporating new recommendations and resources into workplace-specific plans.
Do facilities need to conduct additional screening of residents or staff for the Coronavirus?
Facilities shall conduct resident and staff screenings in accordance with applicable regulations and requirements. Screenings shall identify any health problems or conditions which require medical attention. The facility must carefully review each resident’s health questionnaire, interview each resident regarding information given, and ensure that a resident seeks and obtains medical assistance for any significant health problems while remaining in residency or be referred to an appropriate facility which can provide required services. Staff members with evidence of physical illness that poses a threat to health and safety shall be temporarily relieved of their duties.
Strengthened Our Efforts in Basic Infection Prevention Measures
These include, but are not limited to, reinforcing strict hygiene practices amongst employees and clients, social isolation policies, and continuing to maintain regular housekeeping practices including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment. As well, we are encouraging discontinued nonessential travel amongst employees and clients.
Developed Policies and Procedures for Prompt Identification and Care for Infected Individuals
As well, any client or employee with a fever of 101 or greater will be taken to the hospital for COVID-19 testing. Facilities that suspect a current/former resident or staff member is exhibiting symptoms of the Coronavirus can contact their local public health department to see if the individual is considered high risk, and ask what if anything including quarantine or other precautionary measures should be done. Facilities must also report to DHCS any events identified in California Code of Regulations Title 9 Chapter 5 Section 10561(b)(1) which would include cases of communicable diseases such as the coronavirus within one (1) working day.
Actively Encouraging High Levels of Communication, Flexibility, and Transparency
Communication is critical during this time of unease, so we are encouraging clients and employees to keep close contact with your clinical and executive team. We are actively encouraging individuals who have symptoms to feel safe to share and be assured of careful and compassionate attention to their needs.
Mitigating Risk of Infections and Or Viruses
Nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are readily available actions and response measures people and communities can take to help slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like influenza or Covid-19. NPIs that should be practiced by all people at all times are particularly important during a pandemic. They are called “everyday preventive actions” and include staying home when sick; covering coughs and sneezes; frequent handwashing; and routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and objects. Community-level NPIs may be added during pandemics to help reduce social contacts between people in schools, workplaces, and other community settings.
Hand hygiene is the single most important way to prevent the spread/transmission of infection.
Hand hygiene can be performed with warm water and liquid soap (for cleaning soiled hands), warm water and antiseptic solution (prior to invasive procedures or after contact with patients or infective materials) or by using a hand sanitiser (for hands that are socially clean i.e. not visibly soiled).
Responsibilities of All Health Care Workers regarding Hand Hygiene
- Familiarize themselves with the recommended hand hygiene technique
- Incorporate the guidelines into their practice
- Report defects in hand hygiene facilities to their manager
THE MANAGER IN CHARGE OF THE FACILITY OR DEPARTMENT SHOULD:
- Assess hand hygiene facilities in their clinical areas
- Ensure that there are an adequate number of dedicated clinical hand wash sinks with hands free or elbow controlled taps. Sinks should not have an overflow or plug and should be regularly cleaned as per local cleaning guidelines
- Ensure that there is ready access to liquid soap and disposable hand towels at each clinical hand washing sink; these should in wall mounted dispensers
- Report problems with providing hand hygiene facilities to their line-manager
- Ensure that Hand Hygiene posters are placed at each clinical hand washing sink
HAND HYGIENE SHOULD BE PERFORMED BEFORE AND AFTER EACH PATIENT CONTACT AND BETWEEN TASKS ON THE SAME PATIENT
To facilitate effective hand hygiene:
- Wear sleeves above the elbows. If wearing long sleeves, these should be “rolled up” to above the elbows
- REMOVE any hand or wrist jewellery with the exception of one plain band ring
- Keep nails short and do not wear false nails, nail extensions, gel nails or nail varnish
- Do not use bar soap or nail brushes
When to preform Hand Hygiene: The Five Moments for Hand Hygiene
The ‘Five Moments for Hand Hygiene from the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline on Hand Hygiene, define the key moments for hand hygiene. Not only do the Five Moments align with the evidence base concerning the spread of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI’s) but they are interwoven with the natural workflow of care and designed to be easy to learn, logical and applicable in a wide range of settings. These are the key times when healthcare workers must clean their hands to protect their patients from HCAI’s:
Resources facilities can access for more information related to the Coronavirus:
For additional information, please visit the following:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov
- California Department of Public Health https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/nCOV2019.aspx
- World Health Organization https://www.who.int/
- Coronavirus News Releases: For the latest information on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), please see our News Releases (or see https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Coronavirus-News-Releases.aspx)
- COVID-19 Cleaning and Waste Management for Residences (see https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CEH/DRSEM/CDPH%20Document%20Library/EMB/MedicalWaste/COVID-19%20Cleaning%20and%20Waste%20Management%20for%20Residences%20030220.pdf