A letter from our President, Catherine Vergara
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE
Like so many of you, our team at CareFor has spent many days and weeks watching the events unfold related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it has the potential to impact our elderly and medically fragile patients.At CareFor, the health, safety, and peace of mind of our patients is our first priority. We are in direct communications with the Centers for Disease Control and are closely monitoring recommendations from public health officials, government agencies and the World Health Organization.
CareFor takes these precautions seriously and has always prided ourselves on taking action based on facts and good judgement, not fear.
We have implemented the following precautionary measures to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff:
- Anyone who has traveled internationally will be required to abide by a 14-day quarantine.
- Anyone confirmed to be in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, will need to also undergo a 14-day quarantine.
- Any symptoms of either patient or caregiver, such as: fever, cough, shortness of breath must be reported immediately to the CareFor Care Manager at 512-338-4533. Our team is available 24/7.
The key to containing the spread of this virus is to avoid exposure. It is transmitted mainly through respiratory droplets in the air (sneezing or coughing), from person-to-person, and between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet).
How to protect yourself:
- Hand Hygiene: Wash with soap and water for no less than 20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” twice) or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Maintain an appropriate distance between you and other people. Avoid shaking hands, large groups and where appropriate, use technology to communicate.
How to protect our patients:
- Recognize that the probability of serious health complications and even death increases dramatically with the elderly. It is all of our job to protect our patients.
- Have a thermometer available to detect fever.
- Stay home if you’re sick. Recognize any signs you may have – fever, cough, shortness of breath and isolate yourself immediately. Call your healthcare provider and the CareFor office for next steps.
- Cover coughs and sneezes into the inside of your elbow or a tissue. Throw away tissues into the trash immediately. Immediately wash your hands as described above.
- Clean and disinfect frequently. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, toilets, faucets and sinks.
- Stay informed of disease updates. Utilize the CDC website for trusted data CDC Coronavirus Updates and CDC Factsheets
- Minimize touching our patients, avoid hugging or any close contact unless a necessary task is being done. Wear gloves for all personal care. In addition to gloves, perform hand hygiene before and after patient care. Assist our patients with their own hand hygiene as well.
- Carry an extra set of clean clothes in the event that your clothing becomes soiled from a cough or sneeze.
- Screen any guests who come to visit. Ask if they are ill or running a fever or if they have traveled internationally in the past 14 days. Do not allow them to enter our patient’s environment if they show any sign of illness. Offer them hand washing and/or hand sanitizer when they arrive and leave.
Our team at CareFor is fully available 24/7 to answer any questions or provide any clarification. We must all practice the highest level of vigilance to keep our patients safe and healthy.