COVID-19 Coronavirus Information Page
[For helpful employee forms, tools, policies and more, visit our Employee Only page. Password is PHC]
With the news of a coming COVID vaccine, HomeCentris wants its staff to have the most up-to-date information. Click the link below to see a video from Matt Auman on the COVID vaccine and what it means for home care workers.
Yesterday, the Governor issued updated guidance and restrictions due to increased COVID-19 activity. As we have discussed, please remember to:
- Monitor yourself for fever and/or other COVID symptoms before reporting to a client/patient’s home. If you have symptoms or test positive, please visit your primary care provider and notify your local HomeCentris office immediately.
- Wear face coverings while in client/patient homes,
- Limit travel outside of Maryland,
- Avoid large gatherings,
- Report to the office if the patient/client tests positive for COVID.
Please be very careful and stay safe.
Below is a summary of the Governor’s directives and supporting documents.
This evening the Governor announced new orders to address the escalating coronavirus positive cases. Below are highlights of the revised orders, but we strongly urge you to read each order in full. In addition, the Governor also announced that he has instructed State agencies to allow those employees who can telework to do so and encouraged all non-essential employers in the State to allow telework.
AMENDED DIRECTIVE AND ORDER REGARDING VARIOUS HEALTHCARE MATTERS
Page 2: New Travel Advisory Issued
All Marylanders who travel outside of Maryland, or who have traveled to or returned to Maryland, are strongly advised to:
- Immediately get a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Maryland or within 72 hours before travel to Maryland.
- Any Marylander who travels to a state with a COVID-19 test positivity rate above 10% or with a case rate over 20 per 100,000 in the past 7 days should get tested and self-quarantine at home until the test result is received. The District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and West Virginia are exempt from this recommendation.
- There are exemptions for employee commuters.
Page 10: Hospital Surge Plans
- Upon the Statewide Total Hospital Bed Census, as reported in CRISP, reaching 85% of the statewide number of hospital staffed beds or 6,600, whichever is less, the following steps shall be taken starting at 7:00 am the following day:
- As determined by the attending physician, all hospital inpatients and emergency department (ED) patients may be transferred to another appropriate setting that can meet their health care needs, such as another hospital or an alternative care site. ii. All hospitals shall stage their emergency plan for pandemics, including a surge plan for timely triage of patients in the ED arriving by emergency medical services or other means.
- Each hospital and freestanding emergency medical facility shall report daily to MIEMSS with regard to attempts, and results, to transfer COVID-19 patients to alternative care sites.
- MIEMSS may develop an intensive care bed surveillance system
- MIEMSS may appoint or designate a director to coordinate statewide efforts under this section.
- Upon the Statewide Total Hospital Bed Census, as reported in CRISP, reaching 85% of the statewide number of physical hospital beds or 8,400, whichever is less, the following steps shall be taken starting at 7:00 am the following day:
- MIEMSS may implement procedures to route COVID-19 positive patients to a specific, clinically appropriate care setting and away from an emergency room and utilize tele-triage procedures to assist the transporting EMS clinicians.
- All hospitals shall implement their emergency plan for pandemics.
- Upon the Statewide Total Hospital Bed Census reaching the total statewide number of beds, including elective surgery beds, hospitals shall put into place a triage system for elective and non-urgent medical procedures in accordance with Section 5 of this directive (prohibition and resumption of elective procedures). The hospital shall put this system into place 24 hours after the statewide number of beds is reached.
Page 11: Nursing Home and Hospital Mutual Aid
- When an outbreak occurs in a nursing home, a nursing home shall coordinate with hospital(s) located in the nursing home’s corresponding MIEMSS region to ensure adequate staffing support from the hospital, including direct clinical care, and infection control technical assistance where appropriate to ensure adequate continued care and infection control.
- Such support may include the provision of a certified infection control (CIC) professional to the nursing home.
- When contacted, a hospital shall render all assistance possible.
- All nursing homes shall establish at least one mutual aid arrangement with another nursing home facility to ensure continuity of operations, to include ensuring adequate staffing support.
Clinical Letter – Dated November 10, 2020
This letter provides the following guidance from MDH on elective hospital admissions and states that elective admissions that are likely to require prolonged artificial ventilation, ICU admission or may have a high probability of requiring post hospital care in a skilled nursing facility should be avoided.
NOTICE – COVID-19 Advisory – Large Gatherings, Essential Travel, Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Programs https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/2020.11.10.03_MDH_Advisory_Large_Gatherings_Travel_Long_Term_Care_Visitation.pdf
The Maryland Department of Health strongly recommends that Marylanders undertake the following measures to contain the recent surge in COVID-19 cases:
- All Marylanders should refrain from attending public and private indoor gatherings of more than 25 individuals in one location and should practice physical distancing to the extent possible.
- Reiterates the travel advisory in the Amended Directive and Order on Various Health Care Matters.
- With regard to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the notice states:
- Marylanders should take all precautions to protect their loved ones at nursing homes and assisted living programs including staying home if sick and getting tested before they visit.
- Nursing home and assisted living program staff should minimize their contact with large gatherings and work with their management on communicating early and often about infection control issues at their facilities.
- Nursing homes and large assisted living programs (over 50 beds) are strongly encouraged to test their staff at least once a week for COVID-19, and where appropriate, more often, using a combination of rapid point-of-care testing and PCR lab testing.
- Nursing homes and assisted living programs are reminded that indoor visitation is not permitted if the facility is currently conducting outbreak testing and in accordance with federal guidance on this subject.
- Each facility may implement additional visitation restrictions, to include the number of individuals allowed in the facility at any given time or visitor testing, on a facility-specific basis given each facility’s circumstances and infection control guidelines.
- Nursing homes must also comply with the recent PPE requirements of 30 day and 60 day supplies.
AMENDED DIRECTIVE AND ORDER REGARDING FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT
Page 2, Section 1. A. viii – effectively immediately, decreases occupancy from 75% to 50% for indoor food service establishments.
Here is Matt Auman’s latest video discussing CDC’s Guidance released yesterday.
The CDC has issued revised guidelines for “Critical Infrastructure Workers” who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with
Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19. To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. Please click here to read the CDC bulletin and be sure to discuss with your Clinical Manager.
Here is a video update from Matt Auman.
Beginning at the end of the day on Friday, March 27, 2020, all child care programs are to be closed. During this State of Emergency, child care programs have been established by the State to serve only designated essential personnel. These programs are at no cost to designated essential personnel. Eligible programs may be found online.
HomeCentris Leadership Team recently filmed a video to address several questions we are receiving from our field staff. Watch our Video Address to our Caregivers and Clinicians
As states across the country issue orders to quarantine or shelter in place, HomeCentris and other healthcare companies are continuing to provide services to our patients who need our help. Please click here to obtain more information and print your Essential Homecare Worker letter.
On March 16th, President Trump issued further guidance on COVID-19, including steps on slowing the spread of the virus. Please click here to read the Presidential Guidance.
As noted on Page 2, healthcare services is considered a “Critical Infrastructure Industry” which has “… a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” Please know that HomeCentris is following all CDC guidelines. Our clients need us to honor our “special responsibility” and remain in place. As a company, we have limited or denied all visitors to our offices and the few remaining visitors are required to sanitize their hands. We do not have enclosed spaces with more than 10 people in any of our locations and all of our work stations allow for more than six feet of space between staff members. Also, since our clients are largely home bound and have been for some time, they are already practicing social distancing and would have had very little opportunity to be exposed to the virus. That should be good news for our caregivers and clinicians.
Finally, we have secured additional education for caregivers regarding control for COVID-19? Click here to read the materials
As I am sure you are aware, the COVID-19 Coronavirus is making headlines all over the world. Because we are in healthcare, it is important that we all stay informed and make sure we have the most accurate information possible to protect ourselves and educate our patients. In the links below, we have complied a summary of Frequently Asked Questions from the Maryland Department of Health and Federal Centers for Disease Control. In addition, we have attached links to selected HomeCentris policies on infection control.
In general, please be aware of the best ways to avoid becoming infected by the virus.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and/or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol for times when hand washing is not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and minimize unnecessary meetings and visitors.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched, commonly-used objects, like door handles, copiers or common office equipment, employee cafeterias and break rooms, and conference tables.
- If you are sick or have a family member who is sick and who may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, please stay home and contact your doctor.
Your clinical managers can review this information with you if needed. At a minimum, please re-educate yourself with our polices on Standard Precautions and Infection Control procedures.
We will continue to keep you informed as situations change. If you have any questions, please direct them to your clinical manager.
More Technical Guidance