The Latest Information About the Evolving Coronavirus
We have made some changes to the Temporary Policy and Procedure Amendments in place during this pandemic state of emergency. Please be sure to read thoroughly and follow all policies and procedures accordingly.
We know this time can be challenging for many including individuals, families, and our staff. We’d like to share with you some local resources, put together by the Columbus CARE Coalition, that are available to help:
I am receiving many emails and questions about the Stay At Home order from today. Please see clarifications below:
On 3/22/2020, the Director of the Ohio Department of Health issued a “Stay at Home Order” from 11:59pm on March 23, until 11:59pm on April 6, 2020. Please know that supports to Ohioans with Developmental Disabilities and the operations of our Human Services Organizations are considered ESSENTIAL. Under the following sections, the order specifically allows employees to:
- 8 – Leave their residence to work for, or obtain services at any provider funded by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
- 8 – Human Services Operations include… long-term care facilities; group homes, residential settings for people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities; home-based settings to provide services to individuals with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities.
- 12.s – Home-Based Care and Services – Home based care for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, including caregivers…
- 14.b – Essential Travel – Essential travel includes travel for any of the following purposes… Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
On Friday, I had sent essential letter copies and cards to all locations to their email. I have again attached those for anyone who had not received them. See below for links to these documents:
- Classification of Letterholder as Essential Personnel
- Employment Verification as Essential CCHS Staff
- Essential Personnel Card
In these difficult times, it is important that all of us focus our energy and efforts towards ensuring the health and safety of the individuals we serve, while providing the critical services they need.
Please continue to follow social distancing guidelines, even at work if there are multiple staff in the home. Continue to follow the scheduled sanitizing and precautionary screening measures (including taking temperatures) in the homes. It is essential that we do rigorous cleaning and sanitizing each day, multiple times a day.
If you are experiencing difficulties or have any need for supplies, etc., please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. We are here to support you, and together we will get through this.
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have instituted temporary amendments to some of our policies and procedures that will remain in effect during the outbreak. Please be sure to read, familiarize yourself, and follow these new policy amendments.
We currently have PPE, but anticipate a shortage in the coming days and weeks. As a precaution, we will be adopting the following recommendations from the CDC with regard to the conservation of PPE. Please review and be prepared to implement across all CCHS locations if/when needed.
Mask Summary –
- Extended use of facemasks – allows the wearing of the same facemask for repeated close contact encounters with several different patients, without removing the facemask between patient encounters.
- Restrict facemasks to use by HCP, rather than patients for source control. – Have patients with symptoms of respiratory infection use tissues or other barriers to cover their mouth and nose.
- Implement limited re-use of facemasks, which is the practice of using the same facemask by one HCP for multiple encounters with different patients but removing it after each encounter. Discard if soiled, damaged, or hard to breathe through.
- Prioritize facemasks for selected activities, such as:
- During care activities where splashes and sprays are anticipated
- During activities where prolonged face-to-face or close contact with a potentially infectious patient is unavoidable
- For performing aerosol-generating procedures, if respirators
Gowns Summary –
- Shift gown use towards cloth isolation gowns
- Consider the use of coveralls
- Extended use of isolation gowns (disposable or cloth), such that the same gown is worn by the same HCP when interacting with more than one patient known to be infected with the same infectious disease when these patients housed in the same location (i.e., COVID-19 patients residing in an isolation cohort). This can be considered only if there are no additional co-infectious diagnoses transmitted by contact (such as Clostridium difficile) among patients. If the gown becomes visibly soiled, it must be removed and discarded as per usual practices.
- Re-use of cloth isolation gowns among multiple patients in a patient cohort area without laundering in between.
- Prioritization of gowns for the following activities:
- During care activities where splashes and sprays are anticipated, which typically includes aerosol-generating procedures
- During the high-contact patient care activities that provide opportunities for transfer of pathogens to the hands and clothing of healthcare providers, such as: dressing, bathing/showering, transferring, providing hygiene, changing linens, changing briefs or assisting with toileting, device care or use, wound care
- When No Gowns Are Available consider pieces of clothing as a last resort, preferably with long sleeves and closures (snaps, buttons) that can be fastened and secured, particularly for the care of COVID-19 patients as single-use. Other options include:
- Disposable laboratory coats
- Reusable (washable) patient gowns
- Reusable (washable) laboratory coats
- Disposable aprons
- Combinations of pieces of clothing can be considered for activities that may involve body fluids and when there are no gowns available:
- Long sleeve aprons in combination with long sleeve patient gowns or laboratory coats
- Open back gowns with long sleeve patient gowns or laboratory coats
- Sleeve covers in combination with aprons and long sleeve patient gowns or laboratory coats
Reusable patient gowns and lab coats can be safely laundered according to routine procedures
Eye Protection Summary –
- Implement extended use of eye protection is the practice of wearing the same eye protection dedicated to one HCP for repeated close contact encounters with several different patients, without removing eye protection between patient encounters including for disposable and reusable devices.
- Eye protection should be removed and reprocessed if it becomes visibly soiled or difficult to see through.
- If HCP touches or adjusts their eye protection they must immediately perform hand hygiene.
- Prioritize eye protection for selected activities such as: During care activities where splashes and sprays are anticipated, which typically includes aerosol-generating procedures or prolonged face-to-face or close contact with a potentially infectious patient is unavoidable
- Consider using safety glasses (e.g., trauma glasses) that have extensions to cover the side of the eyes
- Designate convalescent HCP for provision of care to known or suspected COVID-19 patients
- Selected options for Reprocessing and clean Eye Protection are provided.
CCHS @ UCO Industries, Inc. will be closed beginning Monday, March 23rd and continuing through Monday, March 30, 2020.
This closure comes as a result of Honda ordering a production shutdown for this same period, and UCO Industries, Inc. following suit.
All CCHS staff currently assigned to this location will be re-allocated to other areas to help address needs in our continued fight against the coronavirus.
Career, Activity, & Community will be closed until further notice beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
We realize that this closure may cause significant disruption in the daily lives the individuals who attend, but feel this step is necessary to protect the health and safety of everyone we support, as well as the community-at-large.
We hope you all stay healthy, and we look forward to being able to resume normal operations as soon as it is safe to do so.
Extra supplies are on-hand at the Corporate Office.
We have created an easy Jotform for every location to communicate any emergency food, PPE, or supply/equipment need during this time of emergency. These forms will be routed to department heads to ensure follow-up. We are trying to arrange delivery so that we can limit the congregation of people. We will have admin staff available to assist with getting items out to the homes, etc. Please remember to limit face-to-face meetings whenever possible.
The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has put out an amended order limiting access to ICFs. Please read the full order below:
The current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic requires that we all take every precaution necessary to protect the individuals we serve. As you know, we value health and safety as a high priority and we are called to proactively implement plans which promote a safe, healthy environment for all those we support, their family members or guardians, our employees, and the community-at-large.
As you know, many authorities oversee our operations and the services that we provide. After receiving recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Center for Medicaid Services (CMS), and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, our response team met to develop specific plans for all CCHS locations. In addition to the initial email distributed with general procedures for reducing transmission, we have adopted many preventative strategies specific to service locations effective immediately until further official notices are distributed. Please see below for important information as it applies to you.
Preventative Measures Implemented for all CCHS Locations and Service Areas:
– The leadership team has back-up assignments identified for all administrative staff in the event that extra staffing or other support is needed during this State of Emergency. All administrative teams are aware of their responsibilities to ensure that our Direct Support Professionals are supported through this process.
– All events or activities which involve the potential for large groups of people to congregate indoors (for example art exhibitions, organization sponsored dances/parties, etc.). This includes rental of our buildings for outside events.
– We are limiting visitors to CCHS owned and operated facilities due to many individuals who are deemed as high risk/susceptible. These locations include Park West Court Apartments, Johnstown Rd. ICF, Career, Activity, & Community, our Corporate Offices, and Open Door Art Studio & Gallery. No visitors will be permitted into these facilities except in certain situations such as if someone is at the end of life, etc. If such a situation occurs, we will work with the individuals and team to provide proper health screening and visitation guidelines to reduce the risk of disease transmission. These guidelines also apply to interns and volunteers.
– Whenever possible, meetings with individuals who are not CCHS staff or individuals should occur without face-to-face groupings, and instead, rely on technology such as conference calls, Skype, and other widely-available virtual meeting tools.
– All vendors or outside deliveries should come through the front door entrances only. Vendors or delivery personnel should ring the buzzer and will then be met outside of the building. If a vendor or external person has an essential reason that they must enter the building, approval by the Director, Finance Director, or Associate Director is required.
– No employees are permitted to receive visitors at/in work or service locations.
– Community experiences should be limited to those essential for employment, health, welfare, and emergent situations. NOTE: Special caution should be taken for community experiences that involve contact with large groups of people per the Governor’s direction.
– Medical appointments may be completed for essential medical reasons only. Routine appointments may be rescheduled until after extra precautions are not considered emergent and necessary.
– We will attempt to provide alternate means of communication for individuals impacted by visitor restrictions such as Skype, Face Time, phone, email, social media, etc.
– We have purchased bulk supplies including PPE, disinfectants, cleaning and hygiene supplies, extra food and water stores, medical supplies, mattresses and beds, and equipment that have been made available at all locations.
– All tours, provider interviews, and intakes have been postponed.
– All locations will clean their work areas and location surfaces at least once per day with disinfectant including all doorknobs, door openers, light switches, etc. Avoid touching surfaces when possible.
– All employees should wear their employee badge or use a key fob for entry.
– All staff will monitor their own health and follow CCHS policies and procedures. If employees feel sick or have any of the signs/symptoms of the virus, they should not come to work. All employees must follow the procedures for timely notification for call-offs. If you are absent due to the diagnosis of flu or related symptoms during this state of emergency, your absence may be waived by contacting the Director. If off for flu or COVID-19 symptoms, you must return a doctor’s excuse and before returning to work, a note from your physician stating that you can return with no restrictions.
– We will actively screen anyone who is exhibiting signs or symptoms of respiratory issues (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills, etc.), has recently traveled to an area with widespread COVID-19 infections or been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is living in a location where the community-based spread of COVID-19 is occurring.
Site-Specific Procedures in Addition to the Above
Park West Court Apartments (ICF)
– We are recommending and encouraging ICF individuals to stay home from day programs but will be providing alternate active treatment and activities. We are adhering to the closures and notices being sent from day programs and schools, etc.
– If the need for isolation or quarantine is identified, Park West will require the use of the Career, Activity, & Community spaces as designated below.
Supported Community Living (SCL)
– We are following the recommendations of the team regarding visitation and community experiences.
– Medical appointments will be limited to essential appointments and we will follow the recommendations of the team.
– If the need for isolation or quarantine arises, SCL may use the Career, Activity, & Community spaces designated below.
Career, Activity, & Community and Open Door Art Studio & Gallery
– Will follow emergency response plan including mass communication notifications if closures are recommended.
– NOTE: If an active case is determined within a CCHS setting, Career, Activity, & Community must close due to the emergency need for a quarantine location.
CCHS at UCO Industries, Inc.
– CCHS will follow the direction of UCO Industries, Inc. at this site. UCO follows Honda production requirements and is responsible for communicating to associates on the plan for that work location. UCO has provided a memo outlining their preventative measures to all associates and will continue to update as appropriate. Any emergency or change will be sent using the emergency response mass communication methods.
In the Event of Isolation or Quarantine Designation
– The Career, Activity, & Community has designated spaces that can be utilized in the event isolation or quarantine are needed. This location is already equipped with isolation PPE, beds, emergency supplies, medical equipment, food and water supplies, etc.
– If quarantine is initiated, our nurses will work together to ensure that nursing coverage is available at all times in this location to oversee health and safety.
– CCHS will follow recommendations and work with local, state, and federal authorities and follow policies and procedures outlined.
Incident Hotline and Scheduling
– The incident hotline personnel and scheduling departments are available 24/7 to report any urgent issue and will convey immediately to the executive team. All communications for emergency situations should follow our current emergency policies outlined in the 7.00 series.
– We are committed to frequent, transparent communication with all stakeholders. As updates are received, we will continue to distribute through all communication channels and on our website. We are hoping that the above procedures are implemented temporarily and have the outcome of reducing transmission.
We are thankful for our wonderful team of employees, partners, and all stakeholders who assist us in inspiring life journeys and cultivating valued roles for all people.
Here’s what you need to do to prevent the spread of this, or any, infectious disease:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
Here at CCHS, and we take the health and safety of the individuals we support, our staff, and the greater community seriously. We have prepared for situations just like this, and have policies and procedures in place to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and protect the health and safety of everyone we work with.
Please review these policies in detail and ensure you are following all of the guidelines they contain:
- 6.01 – Reporting of Communicable Disease to the Health Department
- 6.02 – New Admission, Surveillance for Communicable Disease
- 6.03 – Management of Communicable Conditions in Personnel
- 6.05 – Hand Washing
- 6.10 – Exposure Control Plan
- 7.16 – Disaster Recovery and Continuation of Services Policy
In addition, the Ohio Department of Health has set up a call center staffed with experts who can answer your questions regarding the Coronavirus. This call center is open 7 days a week from 9a-8p and can be reached at 1-888-4-ASK-ODH (1-888-427-5634). Online information and guidance can be found on ODH’s website at: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/.