Good afternoon everyone,
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor closely the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes – “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). At this time, no one knows how severe this outbreak will become. Given the uncertainty and the fact that the seasonal influenza (flu) virus, also, is widespread, we are taking proactive steps to address concerns.
First and foremost, we want to maintain a safe workplace by encouraging and/or adopting good health hygiene practices, protecting the health of our employees, clients, residents, visitors and others.
We ask all employees to cooperate in taking steps to reduce the transmission of any illness in the workplace.
Employees are reminded of the following:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze/cough and discard used tissues in the trash, OR Sneeze/cough in the bend of your arm.
- Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces.
We are working to ensure items are stocked so we will be able to keep the alcohol-based hand sanitizers throughout the workplace stocked and operational. Also, wipes will be provided to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as tables, door handles, public computer keyboard, etc. Considering a lot of these supplies are becoming sold out, we will need to rely on good hand washing with soap and warm/hot water and cleaning with diluted bleach solution (1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water) to clean surfaces.
We have reached out to Sizemore Janitorial to confirm that they are using bleach and alcohol-based products to clean and stressed the importance of paying extra special attention to the high traffic and public areas while cleaning.
We will be posting signs on the doors of the Reid Building, each of our sites including the management offices, social rooms and lobbies that ask anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms to reschedule their appointments with their AHA manager and not to come in and potentially infect staff or other residents/clients. We will reach out to each department accordingly for additional precautionary procedures that will need to be put in place.
It is critical that employees do not report to work while they are experiencing respiratory infection symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue. Currently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that employees remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Many times, with the best of intentions, employees report to work even though they feel ill. This is not the time to “push through” and come to work. We have a moral responsibility to be vigilant and conscious of the people we work with and for as well as their families and not to come to work sick.
The United Healthcare website also has important information for its members concerning the COVID-19 at https://www.uhc.com/health-and-wellness/health-topics/covid-19
From the website:
“UnitedHealthcare to cover Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing:
If you have been around someone who has the virus and think you have it, call your primary care doctor. UnitedHealthcare will cover testing for Coronavirus (COVID-19) at approved locations for insured, Medicaid and Medicare members.”
We have reached out to Susan Strange with HBP to see if she can supply us a list from UHC for approved locations.
We have also reached out to our new AFLAC contact to get any information to determine qualifications in reference to the Covid-19 for those that have the short-term disability policy. As we hear back, we will share the information provided.
We are steadily monitoring both the CDC and WHO website in order to keep you all updated and will be in constant conversations to make sure that the agency is prepared to handle whatever situation comes our way. We will be flexible and evaluate as more information comes or if things evolve. The important thing is to be vigilant with good health hygiene and mitigating exposure. I know we are all concerned. We do not need to panic but we need to be prepared and we need and will do this together.
- Correspondence from UHC
- CDC Fact Sheet- Share Facts about Covid-19
- CDC Fact Sheet- What to do if you are sick
- WHO- Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19
Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions or concerns.
I can be reached via email, text or phone. Work cell: 706-513-4182
Heather H. McNair, CWCP | Director of Human Resources