Safety Protocols in Place for Appalachian Crossroads

Posted: April 30, 2020

What are the safety protocols for ensuring safety and reducing the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak?

All Staff must, upon reporting to work at a home or office:
• Take a record of their temperature
• Answer 5 questions about their health and/or possible exposure
• Wash their hands
• Do the reverse when leaving
• Each surface is clean and disinfected regularly during the day
• Office staff work on rotation and at a distance

All residents in the Group Homes:
• Have temperatures taken twice per day
• Are assisted in washing and sanitizing hands
• Are expected to stay at home
• O2 stats are taken regular as needed
• Has a personal physician very familiar with their individual health patterns
• The agency nurse, Stephanie Sliger is actively involved in monitoring health concerns and in developing procedure for health and safety

Visitors are:
• Not allowed in homes
• Families may visit but outside or on the porch with social distance

No staff may work if sick, symptomatic, or with a temperature.

If a resident of a group home tests positive case for COVID 19:
• That resident is isolated to his or her bedroom
• All meals are provided in his or her bedroom
• All staff who provide care wear PPE including a N95 mask when in the room
• All PPE is removed prior to exiting the room and cleansed and stored per protocol
• Upon exit of the room staff wash their hand and other exposed skin
• The common areas of the house are sanitized regularly and often
• The health of the sick person is monitored carefully
• The health of all others in the home is monitored carefully

If a resident tests positive then the protocols above are put into place, but that person will always be treated with respect and extra care and attention will be provided.

Personal Protective Equipment
The elusive PPE that is challenging the county is challenging for us. We have a stockpile that is secured and ready for deployment if necessary. We are ordering and re-ordering from multiple sources and will continue. We have enough to manage a small outbreak of COVID-19 and are grateful for that. We will continue to purchase and build this inventory for the future. Our inventory includes N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, eye protection, gloves, and disinfectant materials.

Special thanks to all that donated cloth masks and in particular, Liz Morin and Garrett Containers Inc, the seamstress’s of Grantsville, Ruth Beitzel, Hospice of Garrett County, Pamela Glotfelty, Theresa Wilson and many others. It was a Saturday that I put out the request to the community and by the following Wednesday we had over 300 masks. Thank you, Garrett County!

Final Word
The safety protocols above are simply the start. The detailed protocols including checklists, call trees, phone numbers, directions to clean and disinfect and much more are located in a three ring binder in each home and at the main office. Staff are trained and retrained on this protocols and procedures. For more information, call Scott Hollingsworth at 301-334-8449 ext. 171.

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