On Thursday, March 19, SelectCare clients and family members received this letter by email from Kelly Takemura, RN Director of Nursing. We share this with you to keep you informed of our continued communication with our home care staff and our clients.
Dear Clients and Client Family Members,
SelectCare continues to monitor all city, state and federal communications and policies regarding the ongoing COVID-19 situation. As of 11 am this morning, Governor Cuomo reported that currently there are no travel bans, no quarantine plans and that essential personnel including home health care workers will continue to move about the city providing services.
We assure you that our office remains open and that our supervisors and staffing coordinators are available to discuss your personal care plans and any concerns you may have regarding your services.
Here is a summary of the latest updates from New York State Department of Health for Home Care Services regarding COVID-19:
- Face masks (both flu and n95 masks) are ONLY required for those who are not vaccinated for the flu, or those who are currently sick. Limiting use of face masks ensures patients and caregivers who need these masks still have access to these resources.
- SelectCare has implemented ongoing enhanced screening. All caregivers are being asked a series of screening questions prior to their shift. These questions are designed to identify if a caregiver is potentially ill and prevent potential exposure.
- We continue to reinforce infection control and prevention measures and social distancing.
In light of the current situation, clients who have a blend of SelectCare home care staff and privately hired aides becomes more complex. We are asking that clients have the conversation with their private aides and discuss their plans to continue to arrive and provide care as currently scheduled. We want to make sure that patient care coverage continues and that the coordination of care is seamless by both SelectCare and the private hired aides.
SelectCare has been asking the following questions of our staff and these questions are a good place to start with the private care aides:
- If it is necessary would you be able to adjust coverage schedules, such as consider living in with the client?
- Discuss alternate ways of transportation if needed.
- Make sure that their contact numbers are current.
- Make sure that staff understands not to arrive at work if they are sick.
Please contact SelectCare and let us know what your plan is with the private aide staff coverage.
SelectCare has received many questions from our home care staff and we want you as the client to know what their concerns are and how we are responding to their questions. We sent out a Question and Answer Sheet to our staff on March 18 by email and by general newsletter. If your home care worker has any questions regarding care, supplies or other service related issues, please have them call SelectCare.
Why is Selectcare only giving me one mask?
Because resources are scarce and our inventory is depleting rapidly we are forced to limit how many masks we can give each person because of this shortage. Please remember that n95 masks can be reused, if they are not damaged or soiled.
We currently have n95 and flu masks on backorder through several medical suppliers and we will contact every worker as soon as they arrive.
Why isn’t Selectcare giving out hand sanitizer?
Resources are scarce and our inventory is depleting rapidly. Hand sanitizer is convenient, but hand washing with proper hand soap will always be more effective.
What are Selectcare’s travel guidelines?
Avoid any unnecessary travel. If you have been to any foreign countries for which the CDC has issued a level 2 or 3 travel designation in the past two weeks, tell SelectCare and we will provide guidance.
Subway and bus ridership have dropped significantly, making it easier to find a train car or bus that is not overcrowded. We are encouraging staff to use best judgement on the train and wait for another train if they cannot find a non-crowded train car.
Home Care workers are considered essential personnel and at this time there are no travel bans in place. Should this change, SelectCare has a process in place to ensure staff are able to continue to travel to clients.
What is Enhanced Screening and how does that affect caregivers?
Enhanced screening is a way to determine if home health care workers have any presenting symptoms of general illness, flu or possible Covid-19 symptoms.
These symptoms are:
- Fever over 100.4F
- Shortness of Breath
- Sore Throat
- Having been in the presence of anyone who has traveled to Level 2 or Level 3 countries in the past 2 weeks.
At this time, SelectCare Service Coordinator, Shydia Ivy, is calling health care workers daily to document self-reporting as mandated by the NYSDOH. Please be proactive and call in prior to your assignment to ensure we are complying with this mandate. When you arrive at your assignment, please report any client status changes immediately.
I encourage you to reach out with questions and/or concerns. Through our partnership, we will overcome our common adversary.
Kelly Takemura RN