On the 2nd April 2020, new guidance was released by the Department of Health & Social Care on the safe keeping of care home residents with confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19.
After reading this over, we want to share eight key points nurses, carers and care home leaders can take from the advice.
Please follow this guidance within your practice, and feedback if you spot guidelines not being adhered to at your care home(s).
8 COVID-19 Guidance Points for Resident Care
- Care homes are now required to confirm occupancy levels to enable rapid transfer of residents out of hospital when well enough.
- Residents returning from hospital must be symptom-free, and will be discharged with appropriate advice in relation to the continuing isolation requirements for their safe continued care. This will be relevant to whether they have completed the required isolation period in hospital or not.
- Residents who develop symptoms of Covid-19 must be isolated, PPE must be available, and a sign must be placed on the door to prevent unprotected care workers from entering the room.
- All symptomatic residents must be isolated for 14 days, regardless of duration of symptoms.
- All residents must have twice daily temperature checks.
- The local Health Protection Agency MUST be informed if there are two or more cases in the home, they may decide to test up to 5 residents where an outbreak is considered.
- Staff who come into short periods of contact with residents with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 can continue to work, as long as they are not displaying symptoms themselves. They should only stop work if they develop symptoms. The guidance for self isolation can be found here and should be adhered to.
- If a resident with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 dies; the same principles of infection prevention and control must be adhered to. Although the transmission rate is likely to be lower it cannot be assumed to be no risk.
We appreciate the hard work you're doing every day on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis.
More help and information can be found in Florence’s new, free COVID-19 course - available now on Florence Academy. We hope it's useful to your practice.
For your daily work, please see our guidelines on what we are doing to help all Florence users, as well as see our policy for nurses and carers to follow during this time. If you're a nurse or carer, and you discover a case of COVID-19 while on shift, please see the advice here.