Important information regarding Coronavirus
Our Coronavirus Contingency Plan
COVID-19 is a new virus that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
This guidance sets out key messages to support planning and preparation in the event of an outbreak or widespread transmission of COVID-19.
It takes into account the latest government advice on self-isolation, set out in guidance issued by Public Health England. Provision of care and support in people’s home is a high priority service, in that most care and support cannot be deferred to another day without putting individuals at risk of harm.
It is therefore vital that these services are prioritised, and this guidance will support you in doing this.
This guidance will be regularly updated.
Our Contingency Plan:
Our care staff are tested weekly and will be asked to self-isolate if they, or a member in the same household tests positive.
We will ask next of kin who are living in the same household as the Service User to assist when needed, if possible. It would be a great deal of help if assistance from NOK are provided as much as possible to ensure needed care is provided to everyone.
Prioritise care needs and capacity, health condition, and medication if our Service User cannot self-administer or do not have mobility.
Duration of visits may be shorter on certain days: carers may have more clients in their lines than normal, as lines may merge due to short staffing. Proper care will always be provided, however, other tasks that are not necessary may not be fulfilled for the meantime.
As a last resort, we may ask other companies or agencies to assist, if possible.
Information about COVID-19
How coronavirus is spread
Small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales
These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person which can infect other people by touching them, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth
How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
NOT TO DO
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
If a care worker is concerned that they have COVID-19
If a member of staff is concerned they have COVID-19 they should follow NHS advice.
If they are advised to self-isolate at home they should follow the stay at home guidance.
If advised to self-isolate at home, they should not visit and care for individuals until it's safe to do so.
If you've tested positive and
you have symptoms - self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started
you have not had symptoms - self-isolate for 10 days from when you had the test.
If you get symptoms while you are self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from when your symptoms started.
When to stop self-isolating
You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if either:
you do not have any symptoms
you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste - these can last for weeks after the infection is gone
When to keep self-isolating
Keep self-isolating if you have any of these symptoms after 10 days:
a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
a runny nose or sneezing
feeling or being sick
Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone.
If you have diarrhoea or you're being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they've stopped.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital unless told otherwise.
You do not need to contact 119 to tell them you're staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
Advice for staying at home
Try to keep at least 2 metres (3 steps) from other people in your home, particularly older people or those with long-term health conditions
Ask friends and family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines – but avoid contact with them
Sleep alone if possible
Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
Try to stay away from older people and those with long-term health conditions
Drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to help with your symptoms
NOT TO DO
Do not have visitors (ask people to leave deliveries outside)
Do not leave the house, for example to go for a walk, to school or public
Use the NHS 119 coronavirus hotline if:
you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
your condition gets worse
your symptoms do not get better after 10 days
If you have access to the online system, please use this as there could be traffic through the help line.
If the individual being cared for has symptoms of COVID-19
If the individual receiving care and support has symptoms of COVID-19, then the risk of transmission should be minimised through safe working procedures.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Care workers should use personal protective equipment (PPE) for activities that bring them into close personal contact, such as washing and bathing, personal hygiene and contact with bodily fluids.
Aprons, gloves, fluid repellent surgical masks and face shields will be used at all times.
New personal protective equipment must be used for each episode of care. It is essential that personal protective equipment is stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.
These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within the room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin.
If care workers undertake cleaning duties, then they should use usual household products, such as detergents and bleach as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly.
Personal waste (for example, used tissues, continence pads and other items soiled with bodily fluids) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.
These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your own room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin for disposal as normal.
If care workers support the individual with laundry, then they should not shake dirty laundry. This minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
Wash items as appropriate, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. If the individual does not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours after the 7-day isolation period has ended; the laundry can then be taken to a public laundromat.
Items heavily soiled with body fluids, for example, vomit or diarrhoea, or items that cannot be washed, should be disposed with the owner’s consent.
If neither the individual nor the care worker have symptoms of COVID 19
If neither the care worker nor the individual receiving care and support is symptomatic, stict personal protective equipment protocol and infection control will still be in place.
General interventions may include increased cleaning activity and keeping property properly ventilated by opening windows whenever safe and appropriate.
Care workers should follow advice on hand hygiene.
What you can do to help yourself feel better
Drink water to keep yourself hydrated; you should drink enough during the day so your urine (pee) is a pale clear colour. You can use over-the-counter medications, such as paracetamol, to help with some of your symptoms. Use these according to the instructions on the packet or label and do not exceed the recommended dose.
If you need to seek medical advice
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening. If it’s not an emergency, contact NHS 119 online.
If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111 or 119.
If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator that you have coronavirus (COVID-19).
All routine medical and dental appointments should usually be cancelled while you are sick and staying at home. If you are concerned or have been asked to attend in person within the period you are home isolating, discuss this with your medical contact first (for example, your GP, local hospital or outpatient service), using the number they have provided. If your concerns are related to COVID-19 contact NHS 111 online.
If you have no internet access, call NHS 111.
Wash your hands often
Cleaning your hands frequently throughout the day by washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser will help protect you and the people you live with. This step is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of infection to you and to other people.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze.
If you have a carer, they should use disposable tissues to wipe away any mucus or phlegm after you have sneezed or coughed. The cleaner should then clean their hands. Put tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser.
Face masks are not recommended as an effective means of preventing the spread of infection. They play an important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals, but there’s very little evidence of benefit from their use outside of these settings. However, if you receive external care you may be asked to wear a mask to minimise the risk to your carer.
Do not have visitors in your home
Do not invite or allow social visitors, such as friends and family, to enter your home. If you want to speak to someone who is not a member of your household, use the phone or social media.
If you have pets in the household
At present, there is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as dogs and cats, can be infected with coronavirus (COVID-19).
Looking after your wellbeing while staying at home
We know that staying at home for a prolonged period of time can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and that you may feel low. It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if and when you need it. Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media. There are also sources of support and information that can help.
Think about things you can do during your time at home. People who have successfully completed a period of staying at home have kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films. If you feel well enough you can take part in light exercise within your home or garden.
You should remain at home until 10 days after the onset of your symptoms. After 10 days, if you feel better and no longer have a high temperature, you can return to your normal routine. If you have not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 119.
Coughing and changes in taste or smell may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean you must continue to self-isolate for more than 7 days.