With our employees and clients at the heart of everything we do, Homecare Services would like to take a moment to address the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, the steps we are taking to protect our employees and our clients, and our ongoing assessment of the situation.
Homecare Services has current protocols in place to protect our employees and our clients. These include such things as diligently executing our standard precautions including washing hands and wearing gloves when serving consumers. We are closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from public health officials and government agencies, including the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the State of South Dakota Department of Health. We will continue to assess our protocols in light of any new information available from these public health officials and agencies.
CMS is currently recommending caregivers for home health agencies remain vigilant, monitor patients and themselves for any symptoms of the virus, and communicate effectively with patients, family members and the Homecare Branch Offices. The CDC offers the following tips to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
We ask that caregivers and consumers make us aware if they are experiencing signs or symptoms such as a fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or respiratory distress so we can reschedule their services. We ask this in an effort to keep everyone involved in our services safe.
We can all help prevent the spread of the virus by following the protocols. The SD Department of Health has set up the COVID-19 Information Line at 1-800-997-2880. If you are experiencing fever of more than 100 degrees, cough, and/or shortness of breath, or symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please call the COVID-19 Information Line or your local healthcare provider.