March 3, 2020
Dear Staff, Clients and Client Families,
We have been hearing a lot about coronavirus in the news, and I believe we will be hearing much more for a while. Below is a guidance for how to identify the symptoms and what to do to prevent the spread of the virus. I also want to advise you on what CFL is doing to help prevent the spread of the virus amongst our CFL family. Here are some of the steps that we have taken internally:
- Checking passports for new hires to ensure that they have not recently travelled outside the country to those areas of concern
- Asking where each employee is spending any vacation time prior to their leaving
- Determining if any clients or client family members are travelling outside the US
- Quarantining anyone in the above three bullets from any client/caregiver or caregiver/office staff contact for 14 days, upon their return from trips to locations of concern
- Following the guidance below
To all our staff, clients and client families, please follow these policies and practice the suggestions below. Keep us aware if any symptoms present themselves so that we may take appropriate precautions. Together, we will weather this storm.
Stay safe and healthy,
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first detected during an investigation into an outbreak in China.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Symptoms of the COVID-19 can include:
- Shortness of breath
The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or up to 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
How can the Coronavirus spread?
Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold:
- Through the air by coughing or sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it
- Occasionally, fecal contamination
What should staff do protect themselves and their clients?
- If an aide has a fever or upper respiratory infection, they should stay home or be very cautious when caring for a client.
- If a client is ill with a fever or cough, the client should be referred to a physician for further evaluation and the worker should consider using a mask. And always remember to:
- Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
How does the virus spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these people be isolated in the hospital or at home depending on how sick they are until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
Should staff wear a mask or respirator in public?
The CDC does not recommend wearing masks or respirators outside of our workplace, which in our case is in our clients’ homes. A respirator is a personal protective device that is worn on the face or head and covers at least the nose and mouth. Most often, spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens among close contacts (within 6 feet).
This is an emerging issue and HCAOA urges its members to stay informed by checking the CDC website frequently. We will also continue to update providers as additional information is available.