With Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the minds of many, our goal is to keep our clients and employees safe and healthy. As the situations surrounding COVID-19 continue to change and evolve, I want to make sure that the care for our clients remains the same. I ask that all employees cooperate in taking steps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. Employees are reminded of the importance of prevention as follows:
Do not report to work if you or a family member in the same household is experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, or fatigue. Notify the office immediately.
COVID-19 Safety Preparedness Plan: Maplewood Home Care is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our workers and a safe and healthy service environment for our clients. To ensure that, we have developed the following Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maplewood Home Care staff is responsible for implementing and complying with this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our work and service environments that require full cooperation among staff and management. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our workers and workplaces. Our workers and recipients are our most important assets, and we are serious about safety and health and keeping everyone safe. Our Preparedness Plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines and federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19 and addresses:
Staff and Participant Safety Practices: Staff and recipients have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Staff and recipients are to report to Maplewood Home Care when they are sick or experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 (shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, or diarrhea) and to not report to work. If reporting while at work, staff may be asked to immediately return home and isolate for a period of 5 days. Staff feeling ill or showing COVID-19-related symptoms will not be allowed to enter the recipient’s home and Maplewood Home Care premises. If staff become ill while at Maplewood Home Care, they will be brought to a designated safe room until their ride picks them up.
In the event that a staff member is unable to work due to their own illness, illness of a family member, or due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, individual circumstances will be assessed to determine if the leave is an ADA, FMLA or the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Provision of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) covered leave of absence. Employees may use accrued paid time off benefits for COVID-19 related events not covered under ADA, FMLA, FFCRA or any other COVID-19 related law.
Daily Screening and Safety Practices:
1. Staff and recipients must complete the daily safety screening prior to entering any Maplewood Home Care or Maplewood Home Care recipient’s home. The screening includes:
2. Staff and recipients must wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival at Maplewood Home Care’s office.
3. Staff must wash hands after touching any hard surfaces and having contact with Maplewood Home Care’s recipients. Recipients will be required to wash their hands hourly, monitored by staff. Staff and recipients must wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their workday, prior to any mealtimes and after using the toilet.
4. Maplewood Home Care will limit the number of visitors at our office during business hours. Any visitor allowed on-site must wash or sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the facility and temperatures will be taken.
5. Staff and recipients must avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose, and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in the trash and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward.
1. Staff and recipients must wear masks while on-site at Maplewood Home Care or in any Maplewood Home Care recipient’s home.
2. Staff working in the community must wear masks while providing Maplewood Home Care services.
Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public. Individuals with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.
1. Staff sharing offices with co-workers will maintain a 6-feet distance.
2. Community-based services will be limited to activities outdoors and/or away from large crowds.
Disinfecting of Workspace/Housekeeping:
Regular housekeeping practices are being implemented, including routine cleaning, and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools and machinery, and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, break rooms, lunchrooms and conference room.
Communications and Training:
This Preparedness Plan was communicated to all staff. Staff currently at Maplewood Home Care has received the Safety Preparedness Plan training and all staff will receive training prior to reporting back to work. New staff and recipients will receive their initial training when they initially report to Maplewood Home Care for work/services. Maplewood Home Care leadership will monitor how effective the program has been implemented based on information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines and federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19. Staff is encouraged to share concerns and ideas with their managers.
I would like to thank each and every one of our employees for your cooperation and continued commitment to caring for the safety and well-being of our clients and I hope that you all stay safe and healthy during this challenging time.