COVID-19 Checklist for Long-Term Care Facilities
Top 5 Things You Can Do to Protect Against COVID-19
Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, has ordered that all long-term care facilities suspend visitation. The order:
- Provides exceptions for visitors of residents in end-of-life care, hospice employees, and clergy members.
- Allows access only to personnel who are necessary for the operation of facilities (such as staff, contracted and emergency healthcare providers, contractors conducting critical on-site maintenance, and governmental representatives and regulators and their contractors).
- Requires facilities to keep a log of all people who are granted access.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance states that nursing homes should continue to admit residents they would normally admit, including residents who have been hospitalized, following the best practice of isolation to the extent possible for 14 days while monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms.
A nursing home can accept a resident diagnosed with COVID-19 and still under precaution as long as the facility can follow CDC guidance for Transmission-Based Precautions. If a nursing home cannot, it must wait until precautions are discontinued.
Dr. Acton also strongly recommends that all long-term care facilities immediately take the following actions:
- To reduce feelings of isolation, use telephone calls, videoconferencing, and other methods to connect residents with family and other former visitors. Consider having a communal laptop that residents can use for video chatting; disinfect between uses.
- Allow sick employees to stay home. Screen employees at the start of their shifts and send home anyone who has signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Develop sick leave policies that allow employees to stay home if they have symptoms or a respiratory infection.
- Encourage good cough etiquette and hand hygiene. Retrain staff and residents on hand-washing and cough etiquette. Ensure staff wash their hands before and after every interaction with each resident. Consider posting visual reminders of proper hand-washing and cough etiquette. Place alcohol-based sanitizer both inside and outside of patient rooms, and make sure tissues are available.
- Separate ill residents to limit spread of disease. Separate residents with respiratory symptoms (see above) from other residents; however do not allow residents with symptoms to interact unless the cause of their illness is confirmed to be the same.
- Increase cleaning. Increase the frequency of cleaning of shared surfaces with EPA-approved cleaning products. Limit sharing of medical equipment.
For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).
Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions.
- Stay home
- Practice Social Distancing
- Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
- Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
- Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
- Clean and disinfect "High-Touch" surfaces often
- Call before visiting your doctor
- Practice good hygiene habits
If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)
CLEAN ALL "HIGH-TOUCH" SURFACES EVERY DAY
High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.