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COV-ID 19 (Coronavirus) Staff Protocols

ECS/CHS Communities

Updated June 30, 2020

ECS has been taking precautionary measures in our approach to COVID-19 with guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Social Services (DSS), and county and local departments of health. We are acting with an abundance of caution, as this virus has the most significant impact on the population we serve. We recognize that these precautions may be inconvenient but are being implemented with thoughtful reflection and guidance from these reliable sources.

Please continue to view our Frequently Asked Questions for updates (new information in red) and send your questions to hr@ecsforseniors.org.

Information is date and time stamped with original distribution. Newest updates are in red.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

Health Screening

Everyone entering our buildings will be subject to a health screening including fever check when entering the building. Entry into the community will not be granted if:

  • The person, other than a resident, is experiencing a fever of 100.0 or higher or flu-like symptoms including sore throat with cough or shortness of breath. If it is a resident experiencing these symptoms, the appropriate nursing department will be contacted immediately and the established protocols will be followed for care.
  • The person has traveled using mass transportation (air, bus, train) within the preceding 14 days. This does not include mass transportation for commuting to/from work.
  • Employee are also expected to have their temperature checked at the end of their shift, prior to clocking out.  Any employee with a fever of 100.0 or higher at the end of his/her shift will be unable to return to the community until he or she has had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers) and 14 days from onset of symptoms.
  • Direct care staff, any staff with second jobs outside of work within the ECS family of companies, and team members whose work requires regular prolonged, close interaction with residents must test weekly for the virus that causes COVID-19. All other staff are tested every four weeks. Employees who refuse to test will be removed from the schedule until a medical notice is provided confirming the employee is free from the virus causing COVID-19. ECS pays for testing done at our communities.

 

 General Preventive Measures: There is no vaccine for this particular virus. However, the best protection is taking precautions associated with all colds and flu. 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wear your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided by ECS. Follow PPE Guidelines for Health Care Workers posted in Paylocity. Employees should wear face masks at all times while at the community other than during meal periods (see meal periods for safety protocols). Direct care staff must wear face shields and gloves when providing care. If you are uncomfortable with any of the PPE provided, please see your supervisor to discuss the various types of PPE available. However, not wearing PPE is never an option and any employee who fails to wear PPE will be subject to disciplinary action as a result of a safety violation.
  • Wash your 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 at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Practice physical distancing by remaining out of congregate settings, avoid mass gatherings, and maintaining a six-foot distance from others when possible.

 

Employee Health Reporting

Team members are advised to stay home when they are sick. Sometimes these symptoms are mild and may only feel like a cold. When in doubt, stay home. New health reporting protocols are in place. Unless associated with a chronic medical condition or illness (as confirmed with medical certification), staff is expected to report any illness for themselves or any family member in their household to their supervisor for further instructions. Failure to disclose an illness will be deemed a safety and health violation.

 

When an employee has an unscheduled absence from work, supervisor will confirm if the employee is experiencing any symptoms commonly associated with the virus causing COVID-19. The following self-isolation protocols will be followed:

 

SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 ILLNESS:

Employee will be self-isolate for 14 days and be sent for testing if they present with any one of the following symptoms. Two negative tests will be required before returning to work.

  • Fever of 100.0 degrees F or higher
  • New onset shortness of breath that becomes progressively worse
  • Body aches and/or general fatigue
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or shortness of breath
  • Sore Throat
  • Loss of taste and/or smell
  • Cough
  • Headache

 

SECONDARY SYMPTOMS LESS OFTEN SEEN IN COVID-19 ILLNESS:

Does not require COVID-19 testing. Employee should remain at home until symptoms are resolved for a minimum of 72 hours (3 days) or 10 days from the onset of symptoms, whichever is longer

  • Rarely involves nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

 

SYMPTOMS GENERALLY RELATED TO A COLD or ALLERGIES:

Does not require COVID-19 testing. Employee should remain at home until symptoms are resolved for a minimum of 72 hours (3 days) or 10 days from the onset of symptoms, whichever is longer

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy and/or runny nose
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Watery eyes
  • Low grade to no fever (below 100.0 degrees) daily to discuss symptoms and a return to work plan.

 

SEEKING MEDICAL CARE

 

If you are sick and experiencing flu-like symptoms stay home. Sometimes these symptoms are mild and may only feel like a cold. When in doubt, stay home.

 

If you are concerned about your having a higher risk exposure because you have an underlying medical condition (such as diabetes, or heart or lung disease), please seek advice from your medical provider and make sure he or she is aware of your work environment/industry. Please contact Human Resources if your medical provider is suggesting any modifications to your work. 

 

Remember to utilize the telemedicine options available through Kaiser and Aetna if your insurance is through ECS.

Kaiser: 833-KP4CARE (833-574-2273) or download the Kaiser app

Aetna: 855-TELADOC (855-835-2362) or download the Teledoc app

 

People experiencing these warning signs should obtain medical care right away.

In children:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Ribs pulling in with each breath
  • Chest pain
  • Severe muscle pain (child refuses to walk)
  • Dehydration (no urine for 8 hours, dry mouth, no tears when crying)
  • Not alert or interacting when awake
  • Seizures
  • Fever above 104°F
  • In children less than 12 weeks, any fever
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse
  • Seizures
  • Not urinating
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Severe weakness or unsteadiness
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

These lists are not all inclusive.

 

TRAVEL

 

Telecommuting Staff

If you have a company provided laptop and have VPN access because you periodically work from home, you are advised to take your laptop home nightly. You are not expected to be working after regular business hours. Having your laptop at home allows you to have access to work from home without having to first return to the office should we determine such a protocol is necessary.

 

Mass Transit

If you utilize mass transit to commute to work, please practice physical distancing and wear your mask.

Business Travel

Non-essential business travel should be suspended (off site meetings, etc.).  Work with your supervisor to determine if business travel is necessary.

 

Leisure Travel (PTO)

Please notify your department manager or Human Resources if you will be traveling domestically or internationally in the foreseeable future and will be utilizing mass transit (air, bus, train, or boat) to do so. As a precaution, if you are traveling domestically or internationally using mass transit, you will be expected to remain home for the 14-day incubation period following your return. Those employees with remote access may work from home during the incubation period.

 

VISITORS & MEETINGS

Community Entrance

To the extent possible, entrances to communities are being limited to a single point of entry to allow for health screening, including fever check, for everyone who enters the building.

 

Community Visitors

Anyone allowed onsite is being required to go through a health screening prior to enter the building. If you have a concern about anyone in the building, please speak to your supervisor or the Executive Director.

 

Media

Do not respond to any inquiries from the media either on or off the record. If you are contacted by a media outlet, you may take the person’s name and contact information and let him/her know that you will pass that information to the Executive Director.  Please notify your supervisor or Executive Director immediately if you have been contacted.

 

Meetings

Meetings with vendors and business partners should be scheduled telephonically and/or online. Staff meetings should be held telephonically or online to the extent possible. In person meetings should be avoided. In the event that an in-person meeting is necessary due to an emergency, physical distancing (separation of six feet between individuals) must be adhered to at all times. In no event should meetings occur with more than ten people.

 

Meals

Employees must practice physical distancing during meal and rest periods. Maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people. Do not use the break rooms. Instead, use the various areas of the community that have been opened up for break and meal periods. If you are unsure what areas should be used for break and meal periods, please speak with your supervisor.

CHILDCARE

May summer camps and day cares have reopened with safety precautions. Employees unable to secure childcare may also be able eligible for partial pay paid leave under the Extended Family Leave Act (EFMLA).  Please contact Human Resources for more information.

 

PAY

Pay if You Are Unable to Work

If you have an unscheduled absence as a result of COVID-19 related reasons (you are ill or you are caring for someone who is ill with COVID-19 or due to flu-like symptoms or to care for a child as a result of a school closure), you may use the additional sick bank available to you under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFRCA). If you are ill or off for any reason not related to COVID-19 (including self-isolating after voluntary travel or participation in mass gatherings where physical distancing was not practiced or PPE was not used) you can use your regular PTO or Sick bank.

If you are not experiencing symptoms but ECS has asked you to remain off of work as a precaution, ECS will pay you for any hours you miss. However, if you are taken off of work as a precaution for failing to adhere to safety protocols including not wearing personal protective equipment or physical distancing guidelines at work, you will be subject to disciplinary action and will need to use your sick or PTO bank in order to be paid. This policy is being strictly enforced.

Employees continue to have access to benefits through the SAFE fund. Contact human resources to discuss pay options.

 

 

COV-ID 19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

We are committed to transparency regarding our policies and practices, which are being updated regularly as new information emerges.  These questions have come directly from staff members. If you have any questions, please email hr@ecsforseniors.org. We are sure your co-workers have similar questions and want to add to this FAQ.

 

  1. If I am in direct care, and I do not want to care for a resident who tests positive for the virus causing COVID-19, what should I do?

As long as you are following safety protocols and wearing the personal protective equipment provided to you (masks, face shield, gloves, gowns) your risk of exposure will be low. However, a career in healthcare is a choice, and you can decide it is not the career for you. Your decision will be respected and your resignation will be accepted.

  1. Should I need to go to the hospital, what will be required to return to work?

Due to the unique exposure risks associated with visiting a hospital, we will require you to self-isolate and request two negative testing results at least 24 hours apart before your return to work. If you need to go the hospital for any reason, please let your supervisor know.

 

  1. What happens if I travel, will I have to stay home for 14 days upon my return?

You will be expected to remain home for a 14-day incubation period following your return from any travel internationally or domestically where you utilized mass transportation (airplane, bus, train, or boat).  Those employees with remote access may work from home during the incubation period. This does not include mass transit used for your regular commute to and from work.  If you use mass transit for your regular commute, please notify your supervisor.

 

  1. What should we do if residents are sick with a bad cough and not wearing mask?

Report your concerns to your supervisor or the appropriate nursing department. Practice social distancing if you are able to do so, which means stay at a distance of at least six feet. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water after contact for at least 20 seconds (sing happy birthday twice).

 

  1. Should I stay home if I am sick?

Please contact your supervisor with any illness you are experiencing to determine if self-isolation is necessary and the length of time you will need to be off before returning to work. Please do not report to work ill. 

 

  1. If you get sick during this time of emergency and have to stay home is there another form of pay that can be used so you don’t have to use your PTO or sick days?  

It depends on the reason you have to stay home. Eligible employees have received Families First Sick time for use if you are out for COVID-19 related reasons. Some absences will still required the use of PTO or California sick leave to get paid. Please contact Human Resources regarding your specific situation.

 

  1. Could hours be cut for staff?

We always staff according to census. We are anticipating that we will have some staff who will be unable to work due to traveling, childcare, or illness. We are asking staff to be flexible. You may be asked to assist or work in an area that you normally do not. You may be asked to work other hours or additional hours. While we have no plans to reduce hours because we anticipate that we will need all of your help, California has enacted a waiver on waiting periods for unemployment insurance benefits which includes a reduction in hours program.

 

  1. What happens if I don’t have someone to stay home with my kids?

You are not in jeopardy of losing your job We have asked you to notify your supervisor of any scheduling modifications you may need so we can try to work with you. If you are still unable to work, you may qualify for leave under Expanded Family Medical Leave.

 

  1. How long must I isolate if I have had flu-like symptoms but no COVID-19 diagnosis?

It depends. Please see the section of this document labeled Employee Health Reporting.

 

  1. What do I do if waiting to get my health screening has made me clock in late?

Please use the time clock to report any adjustments that need to be made. This is the same thing you do on a normal basis. If you have a mobile device with the Attendance on Demand app, you can clock in using it.

 

  1. Why do I have to have my temperature checked twice?

We are following CDC and Department of Health Guidelines to in order to minimize the spread of illness. Therefore, we are checking temperatures when you enter the community and at the end of your shift. Anyone with a fever of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home and cannot return to the community until you no longer have a fever without the use of fever reducing medication for at least 72 hours AND you have no other symptoms. If you are an hourly employee, please get your temperature checked BEFORE clocking out for the day.

 

  1. I know social distancing is important, but why six feet apart and what does that look like?

According to the World Health Organization, When someone coughs or sneezes, small drops of liquid spray from their nose or mouth. If you’re standing too close, you can breathe in the droplets, which may contain the coronavirus if the person coughing is infected.

 

To determine if you are far enough apart – six feet is about two doorways or the length of a twin-sized bed. If you have a person in front of or next to you and you can both stretch out your arms and touch fingertips, you will need to be about two feet further than that.

 

  1. How do I know if a resident has chosen to self-isolate?

Residents who are choosing to self-isolate have put a notice on their door jamb or taped to their door that says Keep Calm and Social Distance.  Please make sure to check the door and door jamb for this notice.

 

 

 

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