To Our Patients and Employees
As an essential health care provider, P&O Care understands these are unprecedented times for our patients, our P&O Care practitioners and our families. With three locations in Missouri and Illinois, our clinicians and coordinators have been doing a very good job operating at a level necessary to meet the needs of our patients, just as we have been with all current safety practices in place.
If you are otherwise healthy and don’t fall into a high-risk group, the likelihood that the COVID-19 virus will have a serious impact on you is very small. You should take the same precautions you are taking to prevent the flu.
By and large, using common sense is the best way to reduce the risk that you will be exposed. Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions; like heart or lung disease or diabetes, seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from the COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for healthcare settings which applies to all of us at P&O Care:
How to Protect Yourself
Know How it Spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING DAILY
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Steps to Protect Yourself
Wash Your Hands
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid Close Contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Steps to Protect Others
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
Cover Coughs and Sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a Facemask
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
Clean and Disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, exam tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
Before Patient Arrival
- Within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment, a staff member will verify the appointment details and ask the patient if they have experienced symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g., cough, sore throat, fever (note-fever may not be present)). If so, reschedule the appointment.
- We have posted signage at each of our locations with instructions about hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette. These instructions should include how to use tissues to cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, to dispose of tissues and contaminated items in waste receptacles, and how and when to perform hand hygiene.
- We shall provide supplies for respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, including alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) with 60-95% alcohol, tissues, and no-touch receptacles for disposal, at healthcare facility entrances, waiting rooms, and patient check-ins.
During the Visit
- At check-in, a member of our staff will take the patient’s temperature, ask the patient if they are experiencing any symptoms of a respiratory ailment, and fill out a Screening Tool. If the patient exhibits any symptoms, staff will not treat and ask them to call and reschedule.
- Give the patient a face mask to wear if they do not have one.
- Patients might opt to wait in a personal vehicle or outside our facility where they can be contacted by mobile phone when it is their turn to be seen.
Staff Responsibilities Patient Care
- Follow appropriate hand hygiene before and after all patient contact.
- Put on clean gloves, eye covering and lab coat when entering a patient room.
- Discard the gloves when leaving the patient room.
- Limit patient movement throughout the facility.
- Once you have the patient in the room, do not transfer them to other rooms unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Try to use the same room all day for the patients that are suspected of or experiencing respiratory issues.
- Once the patient has been discharged, personnel should refrain from entering the vacated room until a sufficient amount of time has elapsed for enough air changes to remove potentially infectious particles. After this time has elapsed, the room should undergo appropriate cleaning and surface disinfection before it is returned to routine use.
- Establish procedures for monitoring, managing and training all visitors, which should include:
- All visitors should perform frequent hand hygiene and follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette precautions while in the facility, especially common areas.
- Passively screen visitors for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before entering the healthcare facility.
To Our Staff
- Every morning when you arrive at the office take your temperature if it is over 100.4 go to the closest Total Access urgent care and get tested, stay home and self-quarantine until you receive the results. If anytime during the day while you are already at the office and you become symptomatic follow the same procedure. Notify your manager immediately.
- While you are at the office all common areas i.e. kitchen, practitioners’ offices, front desk, mask should be worn if that is not your personal working area. Always practicing the 6ft spacing especially if you are in the kitchen eating area.
- If you find out that you have been exposed to someone within 6ft for longer than 15 minutes within the last 48 hours you should also get tested (6-15-48).
- There are no travel restrictions if none of the above circumstances apply when you return.
Employee Testing Positive
If you test positive notify Jim Weber and we will start contact tracing all individuals that you have had close contact with: What counts as close contact?
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
After you have been out of the office 10 days from positive testing day and you no longer have a fever for 48 hours you may return to work.
**These guidelines do apply to people who previously had COVID-19 and people who have taken a serologic (antibody) test and have antibodies to the virus.**