All of us are concerned about the sudden outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), which can be especially dangerous for older people. At Connected Home Care, we always pride ourselves in being the best home care agency in Massachusetts. This post recaps the current plans at Connected Home Care for education and changes in how we provide our care.
Please remember that you can be infected for up to two weeks without showing any symptoms. So even if you feel fine, you could make other people sick if you are infected. For that reason, we must be especially diligent.
The best precaution we can use is to avoid spreading the virus by touching other people. Accordingly:
- We routinely review standard precautions and infection control. Be sure to follow all your existing training on these topics.
- As always, stay home if you suspect you are sick to avoid spreading dangerous illnesses.
- Immediately expand your use of gloves – you should now use them any time you directly touch a client’s skin.
- Even if you are using gloves, wash your hands thoroughly before and after you touch a client and avoid touching your own face.
- Starting Monday March 9 2020, users of our app will see an alert when they login to every visit reminding them to use gloves and wash hands before each instance of direct client contact.
- Starting IMMEDIATELY, every aide at every visit must include cleaning and wiping down, with household cleaner if available, all door knobs, faucet handles, and light switches in every client’s kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom – regardless of the type of visit.
- We have scheduled a series of mandatory in-person training sessions led by our nurses at each office. Every employee must attend one. The HR manager in your office will contact you to schedule you into a session in the next few days.
A note on masks
- Coronavirus fears have led to a shortage of masks. Our current suppliers are sold out, but we expect to remedy that soon.
- Wearing a mask does not keep you safe from other people who are infected with coronavirus, but it protects other people if you are the one infected.
- Coronavirus can be far more dangerous for older people, especially if they are already in poor health. Accordingly, some of our aides who serve compromised clients will be required to wear masks when our suppliers resume shipping. Our nurses will make this determination in consultation with the ASAP care manager.
Until further notice, employees who travel overseas must complete a health questionnaire upon their return. If you are travel to a high risk country (also called a “Level 3 country”), you will be required to wait two weeks upon your return before resuming client contact. High risk countries now include Iran, China, South Korea and Italy, but this list will no doubt be updated.
Additional Resources and Video Instructions
Check your Employee Resources tab in Oz to view videos and additional resources that we update as we learn more about this important health risk.