IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19 (NOVEL CORONAVIRUS)
The recent global spread of Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus) has heightened public concern. We are closely monitoring the situation and following the guidelines and directives issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Texas Health and Human Services (THHS). The safety and health of our clients and staff is our top priority, and ours is a population that has been identified as highly vulnerable to this contagion. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will be posting updates to our resource page on our website. It is our goal to minimize the risk of this contagion among our clients, staff, family members, and others. We will post additional information as it becomes available. Please visit our resources tab for more information.
USAGE GUIDELINES FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Non-latex gloves: Gloves are only to be used once then immediately thrown away.
N95 Mask and Surgical Masks: Because of limited access to N95 and surgical masks, healthcare workers may use their same mask for multiple encounters. However, between patients, remove gloves and gown and perform hand hygiene.
- Implement extended use of facemasks, which allows wearing the same facemask for repeated close contact encounters with several different patients without removing the facemask between patient encounters.
- Restrict facemasks to use by HCP, rather than patients for source control. Have patients with symptoms of respiratory infection use tissues or other barriers to cover their mouth and nose.
- Implement limited re-use of facemasks, which is the practice of using the same facemask by one HCP (health care providers) for multiple encounters with different patients but removing it after each encounter. Discard if soiled, damaged, or hard to breathe through.
- Prioritize facemasks for selected activities, such as:
- During care activities where splashes and sprays are anticipated
- During activities where prolonged face-to-face or close contact with a potentially infectious patient is unavoidable
- Use N95 masks for performing aerosol generating procedures (for example: nebulizer use).
Cloth masks: If N95 masks or surgical masks are not available or to conserve N95 and surgical masks, utilize cloth masks. These masks should be laundered daily, depending on frequency of use.
Gowns: Cloth gowns can be washed and reused.
CDC states that the same gown may be used when coming into contact with more than one patient with the same infectious disease. If the gown becomes visibly soiled it must be removed and thrown away.
Goggles/Face Shields: Follow the recommended manufacturer instructions for cleaning. If instructions are not available, adhere to the following protocols:
- Using gloves, carefully clean the inside and the outside of the face shield or goggles using a disposable, disinfecting/sanitizing wipe or disposable paper cloth with an EPA registered hospital disinfectant solution.
- Wipe the outside of the face shield or goggles with disposable, paper cloth with clean water or alcohol to remove residue.
- Allow the shield or goggles to completely air dry.
- Remove gloves and perform proper hand hygiene.
*TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE IS NOW 99.5 OR ABOVE
UPDATED CAREGIVER INSTRUCTIONS AS OF 03/15/20:
Continue to WASH YOUR HANDS (with soap and water) and adhere to infection control protocol. Use extra caution in caring for your clients. This entails the following:
- Outside of work, avoid contact with people who are ill.
- Upon entering your client’s domain (home, hospital, AL, etc.), wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Please, do not touch clients or client friends/family if it can be avoided. If you do so, wash your hands immediately.
- Avoid touching your face or the client’s face. If you must touch your client’s face use clean gloves. Be mindful of where you are placing your hands.
- As always, use gloves when performing personal care or other activities that bring you in contact with any bodily fluids, and dispose of the gloves immediately after use.
- Use appropriate cough etiquette: Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough and/or sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (ex: remote control, door knobs, etc.).
- Alert Senior Buddies immediately if you do not have access to gloves in the client’s home.
- As always, call us if you see a change in the condition of your client.