Posted on March 6, 2020
Your health and safety is of the utmost importance to us. At this time, there is no evidence of widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States. Without sustained human-to-human transmission, most Americans are not at significant risk of infection. Exposure risk may be elevated for those who interact with potentially infected individuals. As the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other health organizations, continue to work on establishing protocol regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are implementing safeguards and will continue to practice Universal Precautions.
With concern over the Coronavirus, it’s important to understand the facts, per the CDC:
Symptoms of Coronavirus: Fever, Cough and Shortness of Breath
How is the Coronavirus Spread?
Infected people can spread COVID-19 through their respiratory secretions, especially when they cough or sneeze – similar to how the Flu and other respiratory illnesses spread. The virus can spread from person-to-person, most likely in close contact (within 6 feet). It’s currently unconfirmed if a person can contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it. However, since many types of viruses can survive on surfaces, it is best to follow Universal Precautions when coming into contact potentially contaminated surfaces.
Prevention/Treatment Procedures: Follow Universal Precautions and CDC Guidelines.
Sycamore Services is following the recommendations of the CDC for prevention of exposure. At all Sycamore Services locations, we will be following Universal Precautions and Good Housekeeping practices, including but not limited to:
· As able, avoid close contact with people who are sick. If have contact, use Universal Precautions.
· As able, stay home when sick. As much as possible, separate from other people and animals.
· Cover cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue in the trash. The trashcan should have a trash bag/liner, or the trashcan should be thoroughly sanitized each time the trash is emptied.
· Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, especially those that may have blood, stool or body fluids on them.
· Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), in accordance with CDC’s recommendations, such as gloves and facemask when likely to come in contact with blood or other bodily fluids.
· Washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing, prior to touching eyes, nose and mouth. If soap and water are not readily available, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
· No sharing personal items such as dishes, eating utensils, towels, etc. After using these items, wash thoroughly with soap and water.
· Using Engineering Controls, such as sharps disposal containers and biohazard waste bags, as appropriate.
Below we have included information gathered from the CDC that you may find helpful:
· As able, avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you do have contact, use Universal Precautions.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you need to, make sure you have thoroughly washed your hands prior to touching those areas.
· As able, stay home when you are sick. As much as possible, separate yourself from other people and animals.
· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
· Monitor your symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing).
o Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them if you may have been exposed to, or are currently being evaluated for, COVID-19.
o If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19.
· Follow Good Housekeeping practices.
o Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, especially those that may have blood, stool or body fluids on them, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Wash hands thoroughly after cleaning contaminated surfaces.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
o If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
· Avoid sharing personal household items such as dishes, eating utensils, towels or bedding. After use, wash thoroughly with soap and water.
· Use Engineering Controls, such as sharps disposal containers and biohazard waste bags, as appropriate.
· Those who have traveled to areas known to have an outbreak of the virus or those who have come in close contact with an individual that has a confirmed case of COVID-19 may be asked to refrain from attending or visiting any agency facility locations for a 14 day waiting period in order to monitor for signs and symptoms of the virus. Individuals served and/or family members, guardians or provider should let the program director, supervisor or designated individual know if they possibly meet the 14-day waiting period procedure.
· Those diagnosed with confirmed case of COVID-19 should follow CDC guidelines on seeking medical treatment and isolation.
· Discontinuing home Isolation: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
· In case of an emergency, contact 911.
Please note that these are precautionary measures due to recent events; we have not had any cases of the Coronavirus within our agency. Employees are required to follow current Sycamore Services, Inc. Policies and Procedures and any related Infectious Control Action Plans.
Those showing signs and symptoms of illness may be asked to refrain from attending or visiting service delivery sites. Sycamore’s Illness Directive will remain active at this time.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Sycamore Services at 317-745-4715 and ask for a Human Resources representative. To learn more about COVID-19, we encourage you to visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.