COVID19 Preparedness Plan
Updated July 23, 2020
Accurate Home Care is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our employees (the term “employees” means both Exempt and Non-Exempt W-2 employees for Accurate Home Care and independent contractors) and visitors (the term “visitors” includes visitors, clients, patrons, customers, partners, vendors, those interviewing for employment and guests.). To ensure we have a safe and healthy workplace, Accurate Home Care has developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Managers and employees are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our employees and management. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our workplaces.
The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is administered by Bill English, CEO, who maintains the overall authority and responsibility for the plan. However, management and employees are equally responsible for supporting, implementing, complying with and providing recommendations to further improve all aspects of this COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Accurate Home Care’s managers and supervisors have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this plan.
Our employees are our most important assets. Accurate Home Care is serious about safety and health and protecting its employees. Employee involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We have involved our employees in this process by: Sending regular emails to employees with instructions to follow CDC guidance. We have also held live conference calls to solicit and address any concerns employees might have relative to COVID19. Finally, we have given employees the option to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) and/or to work from home if they felt it was in their bests interest to do so.
Accurate Home Care’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the industry guidance developed by the state of Minnesota, which is based upon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines for COVID-19, Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) statutes, rules and standards, and Minnesota’s relevant and current executive orders.
Ensure sick employees stay home and prompt identification and isolation of sick persons
Employees have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess employees’ health status prior to entering the workplace and for employees to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms:
- Visitors are asked a series of questions about their health and recent travel when they arrive in our office lobby. They also fill out a physical questionnaire and sign it.
- If their answers lead us to believe they are infected or have been with anyone who was infected in the last 14 days, they are asked to leave our office immediately
- If their answers do not lead us to believe they are infected or have been with anyone who was infected in the last 14 days, they can stay for their stated purposes
- After visitors leave our office, employees are instructed to disinfect the areas they touched with appropriate disinfectant cloths.
- Employees are instructed to follow CDC guidance both personally and professionally. This guidance, at the time of this writing, is as follows:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, meaning within six feet of another person
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant.
- Monitor Your Health
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptomsof COVID-19.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Do not take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Follow CDC guidanceif symptoms develop.
- Employees with COVID-19 symptoms should be sent home immediately. If they cannot be sent home immediately, isolate in a closed room until they can be sent home.
- If they become sick (or symptomatic) at home, they must contact their supervisor by email and/or phone and report their symptoms.
- Employees who are symptomatic for COVID19 are placed on an immediate 14-day quarantine and are asked to find a testing location who can assess further their symptoms.
- Employees who have been in close contact with a household member with COVID should not be at work until their quarantine period is finished.
Accurate Home Care has implemented leave policies (incorporated by Addendum) that promote employees staying at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household. Accommodations for employees with underlying medical conditions or who have household members with underlying health conditions have been implemented.
Accurate Home Care has also implemented a policy for informing employees if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace and requiring them to quarantine for a 14-day period.
In addition, a policy has been implemented to protect the privacy of employees’ health status and health information, incorporated by Addendum.
Masking In the Otsego Office and in Patient Homes
Per the Governor’s orders on July 22, 2020, Accurate Home Care is immediately adopting the following policies for wearing masks when employees are working in our Otsego office (which is our only office):
- All employees must wear a face covering, as described in the Governor’s order, which can be found here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/7000067-Executive-order-for-mask-use-mandate-20-81.html. Employees must wear a face covering or shield in all indoor communal areas where there is the potential to mix within six feet of other employees or visitors. This includes our Otsego home office.
- All Visitors to our Ostego office must wear a face covering as described in the Governor’s order.
- Employees with a medical condition and a doctor’s certification attesting to a condition or disability which makes it unreasonable for that employee to maintain a face covering will be given a reasonable accommodation by Accurate Home Care.
- If wearing a face covering creates a job hazard for an Accurate employee or an Accurate patient, then the employee should immediately notify his/her supervisor and appropriate steps will be taken to remove the hazard from the employee’s work.
- Employees working in the Otsego office are not required to wear a mask when:
- Working in their office alone and the office door is mostly or completely closed or their desk is more than six feet from an open door
- Working in their cubicles alone, which walls are higher than their faces
- Employees working in patient homes are required to wear a face mask or face shield, eye protection and gloves (gloves = only when there is the potential exposure to blood or bodily fluids per Standard and Universal Precautions) during the entire time they are in patient homes. If this presents an unsafe or hazardous situation, Employees must notify their supervisor, who will work with them to remedy the problem.
Social distancing – Employees must be at least six-feet apart
Social distancing of at least six feet will be implemented and maintained between employees and customers, clients, patrons, guests and visitors in the workplace through the following engineering and administrative controls: Anytime employees, customers, patients and/or visitors are within six feet of each other, they are required to wear a mask
- Masks are always available at the front counter in our lobby for anyone to use, free of charge
- Most home office employees whose jobs can be performed remotely are required to work 50% from home. Those who wish to work more than 50% and up to 100% will be allowed to work from home.
- Department Managers are given discretion on the effectiveness of having their department members work staggered shifts to accommodate this 50% goal. Employees who work from home must be as effective in performing their job duties as those who work in the Otsego office.
- Nothing in the plan should be construed to allow employees to perform at levels less than those expected when working in the office when they are working from home.
- Office employees are required to manually disinfect their work areas each day.
- The entire Otsego “home” office is professionally disinfected every other week by an outside firm
- “Potluck” or group lunches are not allowed on premise until further notice
- At the time of this writing, Accurate Home Care cannot provide services to a patient who has tested positive for COVID19 or is exhibiting symptoms that would indicate the presence of the COVID virus. We are not able to procure proper PPE from our suppliers and our supply chain issues will need to be resolved before we can service positive patients.
Worker hygiene and source controls
Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at our workplaces at all times. Employees are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their shift, prior to any mealtimes and after using the restroom. All customers, clients, patrons, guests and visitors to the workplace are required to sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the facility. Hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) are at entrances and locations in the workplace so they can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water, as long as hands are not visibly soiled. Hand sanitizers are checked daily for adequate levels and are replaced with full dispensers when they become empty.
Employees [and customers, clients, patrons, guests and visitors] are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and to avoid touching their face, particularly their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. Employees [and customers, clients, patrons, guests and visitors] are expected to dispose of tissues in provided trash receptacles and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be supported by making tissues and trash receptacles available to all employees and other persons entering the workplace. [Describe how the business will communicate these instructions and reminders.] Employees are reminded of these policies in a bi-weekly email. Customers, clients, patrons, guests and visitors receive instructions when they arrive on premise.
Workplace cleaning and disinfection protocol
Regular practices of cleaning and disinfecting have been implemented, including a schedule for routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools and machinery, vehicles and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, break rooms, lunch rooms, meeting rooms, checkout stations, fitting rooms, and drop-off and pick-up locations. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting is being conducted of high-touch areas, including phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, copy machines, credit card readers, delivery equipment, etc. Employees are required to disinfect their personal workspaces each day. Those who office in the lobby are required to disinfect the lobby areas each day. Employees who meet in a conference or training room are required to disinfect their areas touched in those rooms during their meetings and to help others when needed. The entire office is disinfected every other week by a professional firm.
Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfecting supplies have been purchased and are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets and manufacturer specifications, and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product.
Communications and training practices and protocol
This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan was communicated by email to all employees on Monday, June 29, 2020, and necessary training was provided via our online learning management system (LMS). Additional communication and training will be ongoing by email and our LMS system. Training will be provided to all employees who did not receive the initial training and prior to initial assignment or reassignment.
All employees are required to complete annual training in our LMS on:
- Hand Hygiene
- Infection Control
- Infection Control and Prevention
Instructions will be communicated to all employees, including employees, temporary employees, staffing and labor-pools, independent contractors, subcontractors, vendors and outside technicians, customers, clients, patrons, guests and visitors] about protections and protocols, including: 1) social distancing protocols and practices; 2) practices for hygiene and respiratory etiquette; and 3) recommendations or requirements regarding the use of masks, face-coverings and/or face-shields by employees. . All employees, customers, clients, patrons, guests and visitors] will not be allowed to enter the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms or have contracted COVID-19.
Managers and supervisors are expected to monitor how effective the program has been implemented. All management and employees are to take an active role and collaborate in carrying out the various aspects of this plan, and update the protections, protocols, work-practices and training, as necessary. This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan has been certified by Accurate Home Care management and the plan was posted throughout the workplace and made readily available to employees on June 29, 2020. It will be updated as necessary by Bill English.
Additional protections and protocols
Other conditions and circumstances addressed in this plan that are specific to our business include:
- Employees are required to follow CDC Guidance in their personal and well as professional lives.
- Employees who violate guidance and then find themselves symptomatic must use PTO during their 14-day quarantine period.
Certified and Digitally Signed by:
COVID-19 Leave of Absence Policy
Purpose: To provide guidelines for employee leave of absences related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Human Resource Management
Home Nursing, PCA, Respite, Waiver
Leave of Absence Procedure
Taking a Sabbatical or Personal Leave of Absence:
- Employees can take a 14-day Leave of Absence (LOA) for COVID-19 related reasons. These LOAs must be approved by their direct supervisor and the Director of HR and are on a case-by-case basis.
- Employees who are symptomatic are required to take a leave for a minimum of 10-days and follow the return to work guidelines.
- Employees are NOT required to use accrued PTO during this time.
- Employees who report having been exposed to a COVID tested positive person, will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
- Employees are NOT required to use accrued PTO during this time.
- Any LOA beyond the 14-days will require a Doctor’s note stating the reason for the additional leave time.
- Any time beyond this 14-day absence will require the use of any accrued PTO.
- Employees can be on a LOA for a MAXIMUM of 30 days with a doctor’s recommendation.
- Employees may request additional days with direct supervisor and HR Director approval and will require additional doctor recommendation.
- If the employee is unable to provide required documentation for the additional leave time, individuals will be terminated and may be eligible for rehire.
- During the LOA, all voluntary benefits that are not covered by PTO disbursement will need to be paid by the employee.
- Employees are eligible to apply for Unemployment Insurance for reasons caused by COVID-19. Any other reasons will be disputed by the company.
- Employees are required to maintain all required licenses and certifications while on leave.
- If, after 60 days, the employee is unable to return to work, the employee will be terminated and potentially eligible for rehire if conditions are met.
- All benefits will be available through a COBRA election.
- Any time spent on an LOA will not be counted toward any bonus program in which the employee is participating.
Leave of Absence Policy
Purpose: To provide guidelines on employee leave of absences.
Human Resource Management
Home Nursing, PCA, Respite, Waiver, Day Treatment
Leave of Absence Procedure
Medical Leave – Family Medical Leave (FMLA) and non-FMLA related:
- Employees may be eligible for protected medical leave as directed by physician’s orders from their primary care provider. Employees must be employed for a minimum of one year and have 1,250 accrued working hours to be eligible for a protected leave. This leave cannot exceed 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period. Employees are required to maintain all required licenses and certifications while on leave. Paid time off must be used during a medical leave of absence. Employee will need to provide a note from their doctor, indicating they are able to perform the essential functions of their position at full capacity prior to returning to work.
- Employees may be considered for an unprotected medical leave of absence (LOA). Employees must be employed for one year to be considered for this type of leave. Only one LOA will be granted per year and may not exceed sixty (60) days in length. Employees are required to maintain all required licenses and certifications while on leave. Paid time off must be used during a medical leave of absence. Employee will need to provide a note from their doctor, indicating they are able to perform the essential functions of their position at full capacity prior to returning to work.
Taking a Sabbatical or Personal Leave of Absence:
- Employees may be eligible, after one year of employment, for an unprotected sabbatical or leave of absence for personal reasons. Prior approval from both Human Resources and direct manager is required. Employees are required to provide a thirty (30) day notice of dates of leave. Employees are required to
- maintain all required licenses and certifications while on leave. Paid time off must be used during a personal leave of absence.
- 1. To accommodate seasonal schedules for patients and employee needs, employees may be allowed to be inactive for up to nine (9) months in a twelve (12) month period. Prior approval from both Human Resources and direct manager is required. Employees are required to maintain all required licenses and certifications while on leave. Paid time off must be used during a personal leave of absence.
Employee Protected Health Information
and Retention Policy
To ensure the secure retention of confidential and protected health information in employee files.
Home Nursing, PCA, Respite, Waiver, Corporate Office
Human Resources, Clinical Managers, Corporate Office Managers, Staffing Coordinators.
HIPAA and Protected Health Information Procedure
Accurate Home Care employees are required to follow HIPAA guidelines when receiving, reviewing, and retaining any protected health information (PHI) as required for their job duties. Human Resources will maintain any employee health related documents in a separate file within their HRIS secure system. Under the direction of the Human Resources Director, the Payroll Administrator, will be responsible for access roles in the HRIS system. These access roles will be set up as a need to know basis.