LCBDD Protocol to prevent the spread of severe illness
Concern for the wellbeing of the people we serve is always of paramount importance. Employees of the LCBDD should take every effort to safeguard against the spread of disease.
We learn more about COVID-19 every day. As more reliable information becomes available, we will continue to update and share information about the risk for severe illness. The LCBDD will rely on information that is grounded in scientific evidence and data. We will typically utilize information from the CDC or the http://www.coronavirus.ohio.gov/.
People at increased risk for severe illness:
Everyone is at risk for getting some illnesses if they are exposed to a pathogen. People with developmental disabilities are at increased risk for severe illness.
Older Adults – The CDC has removed the specific age threshold from the older adult classification. The CDC now warns that among adults, risk for severe illness increases steadily as you age and in regard to your health condition. Both age and health condition impact the risk for severe illness.
People with Underlying Medical Conditions – There is consistent evidence that specific conditions increase a person’s risk of severe COVID-19 illness. The CDC identifies these conditions as:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Obesity (BMI of 30 or higher)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes
“Individuals with developmental disabilities are significantly more likely than others to die if they contract COVID-19.”– Shaun Heasley | June 8, 2020 | Disability Scoop
Expectations of LCBDD Employees:
All LCBDD employees are expected to take significant and meaningful precaution to help prevent the spread of illness to others, particularly to the individuals we serve and including our coworkers and community. Taking unnecessary risks that are likely to contribute to the spread of illness should always be discouraged and avoided. Always try to participate in activities that are low risk whether at work or on personal time. Never participate in unnecessary actions that may significantly increase the risk of the spread of disease to others, particularly to eligible individuals who are more susceptible to serious illness.
Employees are required to:
- Always respect the health and wellbeing of others.
- Wash/sanitize hands upon arriving at work and complete the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ)
- Disinfect surfaces throughout the day. Wipe down common utensils (copier, door handles, faucets, pens) after each use.
- Wear a mask when meeting with visitors or while in common areas (shared offices, hallways, restrooms, breakroom, conference rooms, etc.). Mask are not required when working alone or if beyond 9 ft from others.
- Follow social distancing guidelines posted in each building.
- Respect your coworkers’ physical space. If you need to speak to another employee in the building remain at least 6 ft apart or contact them via phone or email. Avoid social visits in offices or in the hallways.
When able, employees are encouraged to work from home and conduct meetings remotely. When in-person meetings are necessary the following requirements are in place:
- Employees in shared offices may only have one scheduled employee in the office at a time. Staff in shared offices should communicate with each other to establish a rotation for time in the office. Contact your supervisor if help is needed.
- Office schedules will be set by supervisors.
- When working in the building, employees must take their temperature and complete the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ).
- If you answer yes to any of the questions on the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) do not enter the building and do not provide in-person services.
- Best practice is to take your temperature prior to leaving home and then take it again at the entry door to the building.
Contact your supervisor for instructions regarding your department’s specific procedures.
When Hosting Meetings & Appointments:
- In-person meetings must receive approval in advance from the management team.
- Conduct HAQ via phone with all attendees. If all participants answer “no” to all questions, proceed with scheduling an in-person meeting.
- HAQ must be completed within 24 hours prior to the meeting.
- Ensure room is prepared using social distancing guidelines and cleaning protocol. All attendees must wear masks when closer than 9 feet.
- Be prepared to
- Receive a call from the visitor (or receptionist) when they have arrived.
- Greet visitors at building entrance and escort them into building.
- Observe physical distancing.
- Sanitize surfaces that are used often
Visitors to LCBDD and DC are required to:
- Do not enter the building unless necessary.
- Wear a face mask (disposable masks are available at entryway).
- Use hand sanitizer when entering the office (available at entryway).
- Use social distancing (maintain at least 6 feet distance from others).
- Use the drop box outside the lobby doors for paperwork and other items.
What to do if you have symptoms (When to get tested):
If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Always call your healthcare provider, hospital or ER prior to your visit.
- Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better and keep track of your symptoms.
- If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately
- People exposed to the virus who have had close contact with a confirmed case should get tested whether or not they have symptoms.
- If you are requesting time off due to potential exposure or symptoms you will be required to be tested as soon as possible (typically within 24 hours or as directed by the health district). A positive test means you will need to isolate at home for 10 days minimum.
When it’s safe to be around others after being sick with COVID-19
- Communication will be developed by the Logan County Health District outlining actions to be taken when an individual exhibits symptom or is diagnosed with COVID 19.
- The Logan County Health District will complete contact tracing.
- The duration of the isolation for anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 will be based on the current CDC guidelines. As of July 2020, this includes:
- absence of fever (under 100 degrees Fahrenheit) without the use of medication for 24 hours AND
- improvement of all other symptoms for 24 hours AND
- at least 10 days have passed since symptoms started.
- If you are positive with COVID-19 but have no symptoms, you must remain in isolation until after 10 days have passed since your positive test.
- 14-day quarantine will be required for anyone who is determined to have “close contact” to someone who has COVID-19. Close contact is determined by the Logan County Health District.
- If you are uncertain if you can be around other people, contact the health department or your physician for further information.
Employee health issues that are NOT related to COVID-19:
- If you have a fever of 100 degrees or higher you must avoid contact with others and not enter the buildings. Do not return until you are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.
- If you have had contact with someone confirmed or probable to have COVID 19, you must self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms in coordination with the Logan County Health District.
The risk of COVID-19 spreading increases as follows:
Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.
Activities that increase the risk
- Every activity that involves contact with others has some degree of risk. Knowing if you are at increased risk for contracting and spreading illness and understanding the risks associated with different activities of daily living can help you make informed decisions about which activities to resume and what level of risk you will accept. This information is especially critical as we increase services to vulnerable people.
- The CDC will continue to update and share information about risk for severe illness as more information becomes available. For more information on how to prevent getting sick with COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/index.html.
How to prevent the spread
Everyone needs to do their part whether at work or at home to implement prevention strategies, such as:
- Avoid close contact. Focus on activities where social distancing can be maintained.
- Wear a cloth face coverings (cover both mouth and nose) when you are within 10 feet of people you do not live with.
- The use of a face shield in place of a mask is acceptable in certain circumstances when working with children. A face mask is the preferred face covering.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Do not exchange handshakes, fist bumps, and high-fives.
- Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items and disinfect items between each use.
By everyone taking these steps, you can help protect yourself, your loved ones, and others around you, including those most vulnerable to severe illness.
When to stay home
- Employees must stay homeif you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Stay home and monitor your health if you have been determined by the health district as having a close contact with a person who has symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
- Contact your supervisor if you have symptoms of COVID. The health district will utilize the CDC’s criteria to help inform when employees should return to work:
Further information about Cloth Face Coverings
- Information on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
- Cloth face coveringsshould not be placed on:
- Babies or children younger than 2 years old
- Anyone who has trouble breathing
- Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
- All visitors to our buildings are required to wear a cloth face coverings.
- Cloth face coveringsare meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.
- Cloth face coverings should also be used in settings where individuals might raise their voice (e.g., shouting, chanting, singing).