Older populations and people with underlying health issues appear to be at increased risk for this virus. We believe it is important that long-term care facilities begin planning now and ensuring they have protocols in place for a pandemic scenario. Specific actions include:
Criteria and protocols for closing units or the entire facility to new admissions when the pandemic virus is in the facility
Criteria and protocols for enforcing visitor limitations
A plan for cohorting symptomatic residents or groups
An occupational health plan for addressing staff absences
Plans for increased cleaning of common surfaces
The linked checklist is an excellent resource for long-term care and other residential facilities to assist them with pandemic planning. While the document references influenza, Coronavirus is a respiratory disease and most of the same activities apply. Link: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/pdf/longtermcare.pdf
Patient Care, Transportation and Responder Safety Training Program
The Center for Domestic Preparedness has developed training for Coronavirus patient care, transportation and responder safety training program. https://cdp.dhs.gov/
It is important to stay informed on the current situation. There are many ways to protect and mitigate the transmission into Florida, and we all have a part in these actions.
CDC recommends individuals and families follow everyday preventive measures:
Voluntary Home Isolation: Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At the present , these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus.
Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
Hand Hygiene: Wash 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. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects