Coronavirus Policy Statement & Business Contingency Plan
The spread of Coronavirus has been rapid and unpredictable. This policy has been drawn up to raise awareness of the steps that can be taken to mitigate the spread of the virus throughout our workplace and the locations where we undertake our business activities.
In order for us to ensure that we can provide the best possible service, it is vitally important that your personal information is kept up-to-date and that we have accurate emergency contact numbers.
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
According to the NHS and the WHO, main symptoms of the coronavirus usually include:
- A persistent cough
- A high temperature
- Shortness of breath
In its early stages, these symptoms are similar to other respiratory diseases, including flu and the common cold. If someone has symptoms, consider whether they have travelled outside of the country at all.
How quickly do symptoms emerge?
Symptoms are thought to appear between two and 10 days after contracting the virus but may be up to 24 days.
There is also good evidence, as yet unconfirmed, that the virus can be spread by asymptomatic people – that is people who carry the virus but are not yet sick.
When should someone seek medical help?
Call NHS 111 if you have a high temperature, a persistent cough and you are feeling exhausted. You will be feeling very unwell with these symptoms. Therefore, do not visit your GP and call NHS 111 instead. Alternatively, if you have visited any affected area or been in contact with someone who has been in a coronavirus-affected area.
Precautions that should be taken in home and work life
Hand hygiene is the first and most important line of defence. All carers must wash their hands upon arrival at any destination immediately as well as upon departure. We would ask for antibacterial handwash to be available. Ideally disposable paper towels should be available as well. Alternatively clean towels that are regularly changed should be made available.
We should all try to avoid touching our mouths, noses or eyes with unwashed hands – something we all do unconsciously on average about 15 times an hour.
Other tips include:
- Carry a hand sanitiser with you to make frequent cleaning of hands easy (This should be a minimum of 60% alcohol).
- Always wash hands before eating.
- Be especially careful in busy airports and other public transport systems about touching things and then touching your face.
- Carry disposable tissues, cover the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and dispose of the tissue carefully (catch it, bin it, kill it)
- Do not share snacks from packets or bowls that others are dipping their fingers into
- Avoid shaking hands or cheek kissing if you suspect viruses are circulating
- Regularly clean not just your hands but commonly used surfaces and devices you
touch or handle.
Following advice from Public Health England (South West):
- Disposable cloths should be used where possible and changed after every use.
- No mechanical cleaning equipment should be used in the household – this includes items such as hoovers, carpet cleaners and buffers).
It is believed that in order to pass the virus from person to person, contact within 2 metres is required for a period of no less than approximately 15 minutes.
Procedure if a Carer has symptoms of COVID-19
They will follow NHS advice.
They will be feeling unwell and will call in sick.
If confirmed to have COVID-19 by a medical practitioner, they will self-isolate as instructed and we will do our best to ensure that alternative measures are put in place.
Just because a carer is displaying signs of a common cold, this does not automatically mean that they have COVID-19.
Procedure if you – a client or relative has symptoms of COVID-19
You must inform Verina Daly Care Ltd on 07515 002025 as soon as possible. This does not mean your care calls will be cancelled but will enable us to put safe working practices in place to safeguard our staff and clients.
Carers will 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 and fluid repellent surgical masks should be used in these situations. If there is a risk of splashing, then eye protection will minimise risk.
New PPE must be used for each episode of care. It is essential that PPE is stored 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.
Use household products, such as detergents and bleach as they are effective in getting rid of viruses on surfaces. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly.
Personal waste (for example use tissues, continence pads and other items soiled with bodily fluids) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin.
Dirty laundry should not be shaken. This minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
Wash items as appropriate, in accordance with the manufacturers 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 laundrette.
Items heavily soiled with body fluids, for example, vomit or diarrhoea, or items that cannot be washed, should be disposed of, with the owners consent.