As we continue to learn the specifics of the coronavirus, it is imperative that we serve as advocates for protecting the health of our patients, families, and communities.
Review this checklist as a guide for the steps you can take within your institutions to help combat the spread of the virus.
Review specific protocols for patients who are suspected of or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 for all disciplines (housekeeping, dietary, nursing etc.).
Verify and review protocols/policies on employee exposure to COVID-19 through work.
Ensure workers will be paid if they are quarantined (with no decrease to time-off banks) after potential exposure, exposure with no diagnosis, or positive diagnostic test.
Verify and review protocols/policies on employee exposure to COVID-19 through travel or other personal activities:
• Are workers required to report travel?
• Ensure workers will be paid if they are prevented from working after potential exposure.
Verify adequacy of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
• Gowns, gloves, certified disposable N95 respirators (workers must be fitted), eye/face protection (goggles, face shield).
Establish priority access to PPE.
Verify any emergency changes to current policy on staffing/overtime.
Verify policy in place for employees to report potential exposure, and be evaluated and quarantined with full pay and no decrease to time-off banks.
Request any necessary changes to sick leave policy to ensure workers are encouraged to stay home if ill.
Verify availability and proper maintenance of negative pressure isolation rooms for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and protocol if such rooms are full or otherwise not available.
Verify protocols to prevent racial or ethnic profiling and/or unwarranted discrimination.
Request that institution conduct in-service training on:
• COVID-19 transmission including any updates
• How to recognize potential cases
• Putting on and removing personal protective equipment refresher for direct care and EVS workers
• Safe room cleaning procedures
• Proper waste disposal techniques
• Avoiding touch contamination
• Removing and handling food trays of patients who may have COVID-19
• New visitor screening and visitor movement requirements
Plan for ensuring adequate staffing in the case of a surge in patients.
Plan for ensuring adequate staffing in the case of high volume staff exposure.
Schedule additional housekeeping staff to increase cleaning and disinfection.
Accommodate workers who are pregnant or immune-suppressed.
Ensure there is union delegate representation on institutional COVID-19 response committees in order to provide updates, reinforce prevention and combat misinformation.
Ensure management is communicating often with employees about updates and any changes in policies and procedures.
Set up ways for workers to submit their questions/concerns to union.
Send facility names and union representative names/contact info to Dennis Short at Dennis.Short@1199.org for tracking.
Review policies regarding which residents will be transferred to hospitals and which will remain in place.
Clarify role of CNAs and other sta in helping residents to maintain contact with loved ones if visitors are barred.
Clarify directives to home care workers regarding new infection control protocols as well as accompanying their clients to senior centers and other community settings.
Clarify policies on access to PPE for other household members.
Ensure distribution of informational materials in all necessary languages.