Covid-19

Covid 19 Updates & Regulations

Orders from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) or a Medical Health Officer (MHO) take precedence over this policy.

All employers in British Columbia have an obligation under the Workers Compensation Act to ensure the health and safety of workers and others at their workplace and to implement polices and procedures to protect workers from the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

At ABC Home Support we have developed a COVID-19 Safety Plan (Safety Plan)  mandated by the Provincial Health Officer Order dated May 14th, 2020.  This plan outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures put in place to eliminate, and where elimination is not possible, to reduce, the risk of COVID-19 exposure to ABC Home Support workers, contractors, volunteers, clients and visitors. This Safety Plan addresses current operating status of ABC Home Support. As services are gradually increased within the organization, this plan will be updated.

As a part of assessing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace, the following groups and information sources were consulted:

ABC Home Support staff, including workers, supervisors, managers, and Worker Health and Safety Representatives. The following documentation was used to assist in developing ABC Home Support COVID-19 Safety Plan:

Information about COVID-19 (BCCDC)

SafeCare BC’s Home- Care Safety Inspection Tool

SafeCare BC’s Hierarchy of Control for Home and Community Care

British Columbia Center for Disease Control

COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control: Guidance for Home and Community Health-Care (BCCDC)

WorkSafeBC – Health care and COVID-19 safety

Orders, guidance, and notices issued by the provincial health officer relevant to home care/community care.

This plan applies to all ABC Home Support workers, including management, supervisors, and front-line workers.

Current Control Measures in place at ABC Home Support

Workers

  • Workers are encouraged to use the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool and are instructed not to come to work if they are experiencing or have COVID-19 like symptoms.
  • Workers with signs or symptoms of illness, as well as those in self-isolation or quarantine in accordance with public health directives, are not permitted to come to work.
  • Procedures are in place for workers to follow should they develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while at work or after their shift.
  • All workers are self screen for signs and symptoms of illness, including COVID-19 prior to every shift.
  • Workers who are working alone are required to follow ABC Home Support Working Alone Policy.
  • Workers have received training and strategies to address the risk of violence that may arise and follow ABC Home Support violence prevention program.
  • Workers are aware of how to report hazards in the workplace.
  • Workers have received refresher training on infection control practices.
  • Supervisors have been trained on how to support workers in following the policies/procedures and know how to monitor/respond to identified hazards.

Clients

  • All clients are actively screened for signs and symptoms of illness, including COVID-19 prior to every visit.  In-person screening is done at a 2-meter distance using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Family members or others in the home at the time of the client visit are screened for signs and symptoms of illness and are asked to maintain a 2-meter distance throughout the visit.
  • If a client cannot be effectively screened (e.g. dementia) the worker will use a Point-of-Care Risk Assessment to determine their level of risk and PPE required to provide care.
  • Procedures are in place if a client is positive for symptoms of COVID-19 as a result of the screening.
  • If providing care to clients who are symptomatic or pending/confirmed COVID-19 positive, the worker is to follow contact and droplet precautions.  Workers are aware of and trained in those procedures.

 

Hand Hygiene

  • Alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) with at least 70% alcohol content is available in portable sizes that can easily be transported by the worker to home visits.
  • Workers must practice diligent hand hygiene before, after and during each episode or provision of care – cleaning their hands with soap and water or ABHR.
  • Clients should perform hand hygiene at the start of the visit and are encouraged to perform hand hygiene as needed throughout the visit.
  • Supplies such as disinfecting wipes, tissues and waste receptacles are available as required at point-of-use.


For workers in an office environment

  • ABHR is available is available at entry and exit points.
  • Sinks are well stocked with plain soap and paper towels for hand washing.
  • Signs are posted to promote and guide proper hand washing by workers and visitors.
  • Supplies such as disinfecting wipes, tissues and waste receptacles are available as required at point-of-use.

 Respiratory Hygiene

Workers are aware and are instructed on the importance of diligent respiratory etiquette.  This includes covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching the face, mouth, nose, eyes, and mask.

Workplace Arrangements

  • Virtual meeting tools and/or phone calls in lieu of in-person meetings or training sessions are held whenever possible.  All required control measures, such as physical distancing, must be in place if communication or training takes place in person.
  • Workers will maintain physical distancing measures whenever possible.
  • Work tasks have been postponed, re-arranged, or planned in such a way that workers are not required to work in proximity to one another.
  • Wherever possible, client visits are scheduled so that asymptomatic are seen before clients who are on droplet and contact precautions.

At ABC Home Support office we are fulling adhering to the covid-19 protocols and regulations as set by the government and health officials.

  • Signs are posted to promote and encourage safe physical distancing by workers and visitors.
  • Work areas including the following (as applicable) have been assessed for occupancy limits and arranged (where feasible) to maintain physical distancing.
Organization entrance/Lobby

-Consider spacing seating arrangements or removing seating.

-Barriers around reception desk if physical distancing can not be maintained.

 

Worker shared spaces Consider arrangement of furniture, staggered breaks.

Occupancy Limit = 3

Administrative areas Consider arrangement of workstations/furniture
Elevators

Occupancy Limit = 2

Staff Washrooms

Occupancy Limit = 2

Lunchroom/break room Consider arrangement of furniture, staggered breaks.

Occupancy Limit = 1

 

Hallways/Corridors

Directional signage

Board Room

Consider arrangement of furniture.

Occupancy Limit = 3

Training Rooms

Consider arrangement of furniture.

Occupancy Limit = 3

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Workers are trained on the proper use, care, maintenance, and disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE).  This includes donning (putting on) and doffing (removing) PPE.
  • ABC Home Support has trained, tested, and monitored staff compliance to ensure vigilant donning, wearing, and doffing of PPE.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, all workers should wear a surgical/procedure mask, eye protection and gloves when visiting clients who are asymptomatic.
  • Workers always follow droplet and contact precautions when providing care to clients who are symptomatic or pending/confirmed COVID-19 positive.
  • Clients who are symptomatic or pending/confirmed COVID-19 positive and can tolerate wearing a mask are encouraged to wear one for the duration of their care visit.

 Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Cleaning products and disinfectants used at ABC Home Support are effective against COVID-19.
  • Workers responsible for cleaning resident care equipment have been informed and are trained in and aware of their duties.
  • Equipment and supplies are dedicated to a single client where possible.  If this is not possible, all reusable equipment that is shared between clients must be cleaned and disinfected after use with each client.
  • Workers have access to approved cleaning/disinfection wipes that can be easily carried to home environments.
  • Workers using a vehicle for work routinely clean and disinfect high touch point areas such as seatbelt, steering wheel, head rest, door handles and hand holds.


For workers in an office environment

All shared equipment (phones, tablets, computers, printers etc.) are cleaned and disinfected regularly.

 Expansion of Services

  • Any modifications made to the current method of service delivery/work operations will be made in full consultation with those potentially affected by those changes, as well as the latest direction from the PHO, MHO, BCCDC and WorkSafeBC.
  • Prior to any modifications being made, workers will be notified of the updated safety controls being implemented, including any new safe work procedures. These changes will be posted on the bulletin board.

ABC Home Support are constantly updating and analyzing risk assessments for the jobs and areas affected in the workplace.  We have considered the effects of control measures discussed in this COVID-19 Safety Plan on existing safeguards and controls and revised our risk assessments and other documentation accordingly.

In accordance with the order of the Provincial Health Officer dated May 14th, 2020 a copy of ABC Home Support COVID-19 Safety Plan has been posted at www.abchomesupport.com.