Along with the information provided in the email sent Friday, March 13, 2020, we would like to put some other precautionary measures into play for the protection of our staff. The measures are broken up by department but some of the steps can be used across the board, regardless of department. It is important that we all know what each department is doing for us to operate on the same page.
I know the question has come up, regarding all employees wearing masks. The CDC is NOT recommending healthy people wearing them as a regular practice throughout the day. It can in fact attribute to a better chance of infection if you come in contact with the virus because of the constant touching and realigning or repositioning of mask and touching of the face. It is only recommended for healthy people to wear masks if they are the caregiver of a sick person. It is recommended that sick people wear the mask if they are around healthy people. However, it does hinder the already challenged breathing for the infected person.
We need to wash our hands regularly. Use sanitizer as well. Make it a practice to use it after handling paperwork. DO NOT shake hands with anyone.
Wipe or spray down desk, tables, pens, keyboards, phones, etc. where you are working with residents/clients often and throughout the day especially when “in person” communication cannot be avoided.
If you are using personal protection equipment also known as PPE (such as maintenance or inspectors), you must dispose of used PPE properly. You may discard it in a bag as you travel from unit to unit AND must be disposed of once back at shop or site in a biohazard bag. It CANNOT be thrown away in a general trash can.
We’ve printed signs for your department to put on the doors asking people with flu-like symptoms to not enter and call the call-in line with any concerns or work orders.
When it comes to work orders:
General Work Orders
•When calls for work orders come into the office, ask if anyone is sick in the home. If they indicate “yes”, the work would need to be rescheduled. If they say “no” …when the maintenance person gets to the resident’s home, they need to reconfirm if anyone is sick before entering.
If it is an emergency work order, we will need to follow the same protocol and ask if someone is sick. If “yes”, then extra precautions will need to be taken while this emergency work is abated. The extra precautions include but are not limited to:
• Wearing gloves and mask while in the home working on repairs.
• Protective wear needs to be immediately disposed of (except for the mask and we’ll discuss this further) and they need to wash hands thoroughly and make sure tools used are wiped down with disinfectant wipes once the work is completed.
Best practice would be to sanitize after each call but at a minimum to sanitize tools 2-3 times a day unless you go into a house you know someone is sick, then, you immediately sanitize your tools.
Disposal of used PPE: When disposing of used PPE, please, dispose in a separate bag if you are away from the shop. Then…upon return to your shop, place those bags in the issued biohazard bags. It is imperative to NOT to throw away used PPE in normal day to day trash cans.
We’ve printed signs for your department to put on the doors asking people with flu-like symptoms to please not enter and to contact their manager to reschedule their appointment once they are well.
We know that we cannot stop in person contact with the residents, but we can work on minimizing it. Whenever it is possible and when the ACOP permits, we can email or fax information to the clients and have scheduled phone calls to review paperwork or answer questions. Also, we can have them email or fax information back or drop in the drop box.
We are shutting down social room usage to the public as well as the congregating in the lobbies during this time.
For successful execution of this process, Management and Resident Services will need to work hand in hard in order to notify residents of ongoing updates for their preparation and how to proceed in the event the situation escalates, emphasizing that we are committed to everyone’s best interest.
It has been recommended to keep a six (6) foot distance if you are in public. When available, please, provide services (collect rent, documentation, even signatures on documents, etc.) to the residents using the window of the management office. When able and permitted, assist by phone or email as much as possible.
When you do have to meet residents in person, make sure to communicate as much of the process by phone or email so that the “in person” time is limited as much as possible. If someone if sick, then, reschedule the appointment.
We know that we cannot stop in person contact with the clients, but we can work on minimizing it. Whenever it is possible and when the Admin plan permits, we can email or fax information to the clients and have scheduled phone calls to review paperwork or answer questions. Also, we can have them email or fax information back.
Also, we would like to suggest for the inspectors to call the afternoon before to “confirm” the appointment for the inspection. At that time, it can be asked if they or anyone in the house sick? If they are, then, the appointment would be rescheduled. When they go out to the appointment, the inspector would confirm, again, if anyone is sick before entering. If they or someone in the home is sick, then, the inspector reschedules. It would be recommended that the inspectors wear gloves when going into homes to avoid contact with surfaces.
In collaboration with the Management Department, we need to make sure that the residents understand the significance of the closing of social rooms and the imperative compliance of “no loitering” in the lobbies unless a previous approved scheduled appointment.
We need to educate residents and encourage them to use good hygiene practices as well as suggestions for preparations such as ordering medications, getting supplies, updating emergency contacts, providing sources for resources etc.
We need to limit activities with groups until further notice in order to assist in the mitigation process.