HALA has been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and related information for long-term care and social-service providers. Please know we are responding to the threat of the virus based on information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the Washington State Department of Health. HALA and the services we provide are considered "Essential Services" under Governor Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy order so there will not be a disruption in our services to our clients or to our amazing employee's who faithfully show up to work each and every day.
At this time, there is no need for employee's to carry any form of Essential Services employee identification, however should that change we are prepared to get those credentials out to every employee.
The health and safety of clients supported by our agency is our number one priority. I want you to know that we have a plan in place to protect your family member or loved one, as well as our staff. We are currently monitoring all clients for signs of illness. We are strictly following protocols already in place for infection-control. Standard precautions for the COVID-19 virus is the same as precautions for influenza. Staff take these precautions daily, and are being reminded of them routinely in light of the current situation. Some of the precautions include:
- Be alert. A key to preventing the spread of influenza and coronavirus is identifying when someone is sick and starting precautions as soon as possible. Staff are to report any client with influenza-like/coronavirus-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, lethargy) immediately to the client’s medical provider.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces each shift (phones, door knobs, keyboards, hand rails, etc.). The CDC published a list of effective disinfecting cleaners here.
- Wash hands often throughout the day. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. Staff will support each other by reminding others to wash hands.
- Stay home if you are sick. Staff are told to not come to work if they have flu-like or coronavirus-like symptoms (fever, cough, body aches, sore throat, shortness of breath and headache) and follow the Department of Health recommendations before returning to work that is outlined here.
- Limit non-essential travel. If you don't need to go somewhere, don't go. Keep yourself and your family as safe as possible by mitigating risk to yourself and those around you.
We ask that you help us stop the spread of the virus by following our visitor protocols:
- Limit your visits.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before entering the house.
- Do not visit if you are feeling unwell and wait for a minimum of 72 hours after you no longer present any symptoms of illness prior to visiting.
We are following protocols set by Washington State Department of Health, which may include limiting trips to the community to attend public gatherings or other activities where we cannot ensure proper social distancing. Additionally, we are limiting staff movement between homes to prevent any possibility to cross contaminate any facet of our agency.
At this time we are also limiting access to our office. We want to do everything we can to limit or prevent any possible infection from spreading into and around our agency, its staff the very people we are entrusted to protect. If you have any business to conduct, please do it via email or call ahead to schedule a time to come by with the appropriate staff.
Specific DOH guidance for in-home care providers can be found here or call the hotline for more info at 1-800-525-0127.
Updated 3/26/20 @ 12:05pm