20 Jul What is the At Home Nursing Care Protocol?
This flier highlights all that we are doing to try to keep our clients and employees safe from the spread of COVID-19. We get updates daily from the local health department or the CDC. We are also following protocols developed by leaders in the health care field including the National Association for Home Care and Hospice and the Home Care Association of America. They are very detailed and give us a step by step guideline of how to react for each instance that occurs.
It’s a long list, but there is a basic principle we’re following. The virus seems to be most contagious and have the most “shedding” in the two days before symptom onset. That’s why there is great deal of emphasis on the 48 hours preceding symptoms in terms of contact tracing.
If a client or employee has been in contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, we ask them to self-isolate and obtain a COVID-19 test. Employees are pulled from the schedule right away. Care for that client continues as a “contact of a contact” is believed at this point to be a low risk situation, but face coverings and social distancing are maintained.
If a caregiver tests negative and has no symptoms, the caregiver can return to work. If the caregiver tests negative, but had symptoms, we ask for a second negative test 24 hours apart, then the caregiver can resume work. If there is no ability to get a second test after one negative test with symptoms, then the caregiver must stay home for 14 days since the last contact with the other person who was COVID-19 positive or 10 days since the last symptom. No one is permitted to work with COVID-19 symptoms, regardless if there is a test or not.
Clients often like to ask many questions about our employee off work activity or personal health. Please remember that employee privacy is taken very seriously in California. We are not allowed to disclose why someone is missing work. However, we are required to notify any client who has been in touch with a caregiver who is COVID-19 positive within 48 hours of symptom onset. We follow that rule diligently.