To help some of the San Ramon Valley’s more vulnerable populations receive proper care and preventative measures from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Contra Costa County Health Services has released a guide for use by providers and staff working in residential care facilities and those serving people experiencing homelessness.
Measures to combat COVID-19 are primarily based around preventative measures such as promoting good hygiene practices among staff and residents, as well as identifying and helping provide assistance to residents who have fallen ill.
“At present, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and no antiviral medication that can be used after exposure. Thus, prevention and control efforts must rely on other measures,” county health officials said. “COVID-19 may be introduced into a shelter and/or congregate living facility by newly admitted residents, staff, or visitors... Spread is thought to mostly occur through respiratory droplets in the air or on surfaces.”
Implementing routine screening procedures to help identify potentially ill clients is a significant step toward stemming a spread according to county officials, who add that Identification can best be accomplished through a combination of self-screening and screening questionnaires administered by general staff -- as well as follow-up examinations done by a medical professional.
Recognizing that many clients have existing health concerns, county officials have recommended that staff ask the following questions in order to identify a possible case of COVID-19: Do you have a cough that is more than your normal cough? Do you feel like you’ve been having fevers or chills? Do you have any shortness of breath or breathing difficulties beyond your normal state?
If resident reports a fever or answers positively to any two of the three the questions, staff should document resident name, symptoms and room/bed number so they can be followed up with by designated staff members, such as floor supervisors and consult with medical personnel
To assist in self-screening among residents, staff members are encouraged to post signs with general symptoms in key locations, remind clients upon check-in and at community meetings of common symptoms and how they can notify staff, and post signs with instructions to notify staff if clients are feeling unwell.
County officials further stress that having symptoms is not an acceptable reason to exit a client from a facility.
Residents who have shown COVID-19 symptoms -- such as fever, cough or shortness of breath -- or have other reasons to believe they have been exposed, should be isolated in a single, private room or comfortable place away from others.
It is also recommended that residents who are coughing or sneezing immediately be given a mask, and that staff should provide temporal thermometers to help residents self-screen for fever.
Once a patient has been positively diagnosed with the coronavirus, facilities are encouraged to cancel all group activities, restrict group meals, monitoring and isolate residents who were in contact with the case, minimize of the number of staff providing care for positive COVID-19, record a log of all persons who enter the room and restrict all visitors.
A full list of proposed policies, provisions to stock up on, and contact numbers for additional information has been provided on Contra Costa County Health Service’s website.
Contra Costa County Health Services has taken the lead on preventative measures taken to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, with the County Board of Supervisors going so far as to issue an emergency proclamation on Tuesday.
on Mar 12, 2020 at 5:27 pm
on Mar 12, 2020 at 5:27 pm
WHYYY are we waiting for 1 child to be infected when all other school districts are closing their school?!?! They didn't have to wait for a kid to be infected either, they are doing what is right and thats to keep our children SAFE!!! SRVSD are only thinking about money.
If these teachers can demand and strike for their rights, why cant we strike and demand to keep our children safe?????
Shut SRVSD school down NOW!!!! Have you not heard? It will get worse and most businesses are already making staffs work from home. Let us watch our kids while we can! Shut it down!!!!