The interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus. We are encouraging all staff members and clients to have a general knowledge of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the recommended protocols.
HEALTHCARE FACILITY GUIDELINES
The following protocols have been established by the CDC and effective at Ascend Healthcare 03/20/20-Present:
- All Staff are required to wear a mask in the facility per CDC/State Guidelines
- Sick employees are required to stay home
- Separate sick employee’s or client’s immediately upon the onset of any symptoms
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene by all employees and clients
- Increase routine environmental cleanings
- Advise employees and potential clients before traveling to take certain steps
- Avoid congregate settings
- All employees will wear a mask inside the facility at all times
- All employees are committed to following CDC guidelines outside of work
- Ascend will temporarily have more flexible protocols regarding sick leave. Should a staff member feel ill, a doctor’s note will not be required to excuse sick time.
- Staff members showing signs of illness will immediately be sent home. Ascend will identify on-call staff members to best be prepared for any staff illness.
- Ascend has dedicated quarantine rooms in each facility should any client appear to be sick or demonstrating acute respiratory illness in order to support symptom isolation.
- Ascend will post additional hand washing and respiratory etiquette signs in common areas and bedrooms.
- Ascend will increase routine cleaning measures, including using sanitation wipes to down common areas two times per shift.
- All employees and clients will be required to routinely monitor their temperature throughout shift.
- All employees using air travel are encouraged to wear the highest level PPE while on the plane and in congregate spaces
- All employees who travel must immediately inform their supervisor if while traveling they were knowingly exposed to COVID- 19. These employees must complete a 10 day shelter in place and have a clean bill of health from their doctor prior to returning to work.
- Ascend will temporarily stop attending in-person AA, NA, and emotions anonymous meetings to avoid possible congregate settings where illness may be easily spread and instead will attend these sessions over Zoom.
- Ascend will be mindful in outing identification to ensure congregate areas are avoided.
- Clients will not be allowed offsite for non-emergent medical, dental, or other services
Ascend will make every effort to maintain clinical standards and provide consistent group, individual, and family therapy sessions as regularly scheduled.
- Ascend is encouraging all contract group facilitators to run their groups via Zoom if there is a positive COVID-19 staff member or client. This will enable our clients to continue to receive the best possible care in the safest setting.
- Ascend is requiring all family therapy sessions to be conducted via the telephone and Zoom while there is a positive COVID-19 staff member or client residing in the home.
- Ascend will allow family visits outdoors every other weekend. All persons must be masked and visitors must be two weeks post-vaccine.
- Ascend will temporarily suspend all upcoming in-person family day programming and facilitate via Zoom.
- Ascend will allow offsite visits if clinically appropriate. Family members are asked to ensure the client is wearing a mask at all times while offsite.
CLIENT ILLNESS PROCEDURE
Due to increased concern over potential client illness, Ascend will adopt the following procedures as advised by our medical director.
- All clients will have their temperatures taken and documented 2x daily regardless of symptom display
- Any clients exhibiting any symptoms of COVID will be immediately quarantined and provided with COVID-19 testing (both rapid and PCR).
- Any client that tests positive will be quarantined, provided with additional PPE, and shelter in place at Ascend for 10-14 days until cleared by MD to re-engage with the group.
- Any client whose symptoms escalate to include cough, fever, and difficulty breathing will be taken to the ER and Ascend will follow MD recommendations
- Admissions and discharges will seize until 10 days after the last Client tested positive to ensure the safety of new admits.
Please note Ascend is not able to guarantee on-site COVID-19 testing.
NEW ADMISSION PROCEDURES
- All potential clients will be required to complete a COVID-19 comprehensive questionnaire prior to approval to admit.
- All potential clients will require medical approval (by Dr. Ross or Dr. Acosta) prior to approval to admit.
- All potential clients must have a negative serological COVID test (within 5 days) prior to admission.
- All family members or persons living inside the home of the potential client will be screened for symptoms and be required to provide a negative COVID test prior to admission
- All clients will be required to wear a mask for the initial 5 days of treatment until an additional test can be administered and the result is determined
- All new clients will be required to room alone for the initial 5 days of treatment until a negative COVID test is confirmed with the exception of clients who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of admit.
- All new admissions will be immediately evaluated by the nurse upon admission to assess for any COVID-19 symptomology, complete a comprehensive nursing assessment, and be provided with a hygiene orientation.
- All new admissions will be provided with Ascend supplied clothing and their own personal garments will be immediately laundered.
RE-ADMISSION or PREVIOUSLY INFECTED PERSON ADMISSION
Ascend has consulted with a pediatric infectious disease specialist regarding best protocols on admissions for previously infected persons and has identified the following protocols:
- Ascend recognizes that based on what is currently known about COVID-19, persons may test positive past when they are considered contagious
- Current data suggests that persons are no longer contagious 10 days following their initial positive result in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic persons IF there has been no medications given AND the person has not had a fever for at least 24 hours
- Ascend will require previously infected persons to provide proof of initial positive test (if within 90 days of admission) and screen each person on an individual basis to determine eligibility to enter the program and when.
- Ascend is requiring all staff take and document their temperatures at the start and end of their shift.
- Ascend is encouraging all staff to follow all CDC guidelines around social distancing outside of work.
- Ascend is encouraging all staff to follow ‘Stay Safe’ quarantine procedures as outlined by California government agencies
- Ascend is requiring all staff to inform their supervisor if they have violated ‘Stay Safe’ quarantine procedures and have attended congregate meetings or designated high-risk zones
- Ascend is requiring staff to follow Los Angeles County orders regarding essential workers including providing masks to all staff members • All staff are required to be masked in the facility at all times
- All employees who travel must immediately inform their supervisor if while traveling they were knowingly exposed to COVID- 19. These employees must complete a 10-day shelter in place and have a clean bill of health from their doctor prior to returning to work.
- Ascend is requesting all staff who are considered high risk to postpone non-essential excursions outside their homes in order to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. This includes anyone over the age of 60 and anyone who is immunocompromised.
POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST PROTOCOLS
- All staff and clients are required to follow all of the above protocols outlined in this document
- Should a staff member or client test positive for COVID-19 Ascend will implement the following:
- Shift partners will be informed of a potential exposure and provided with testing options
- All unvaccinated staff whom have been exposed will require negative test prior to coming back to work.
- If a staff member or client begins demonstrating symptoms Ascend will follow all protocols outlined in this document (see Client and Staff Illness)
- All admissions will seize for at least 10 days until it can be determined persons in the house (both staff and clients) are asymptomatic
- The employee will require medical clearance prior to returning to work. Per the CDC there are persons who may continue to test positive beyond their point of contagion. These persons will be evaluated on an individual basis and will require medical clearance from their primary care doctor and Ascends medical director or psychiatrist before returning to work.
ALL EMPLOYEE’S MUST NOTIFY A SUPERVISOR IF
- They are sick OR have a sick family member
- If they feel any type of acute respiratory illness
- If they OR a family member are confirmed to have COVID-19 (coronavirus)