How In It Together RN is responding to the COVID-19 virus
As we are in the midst of the flu season and the unknown of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are asking all of our homes and agencies to be proactive in notifying us ahead of time if clients or caregivers are showing signs and symptoms including cough, fever, body aches and chills. We may determine that the symptoms are such that visits need to be scheduled for later dates. We will also take the same steps to notify you in the event that our nurses are unable to keep appointments due to illness.
In It Together RN is taking precautionary measures, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has released guidelines for employers and businesses to contain the spread of the virus. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our clients, employees, and associates.
Right now, our main focus is prevention. We are acting with an abundance of caution, reinforcing our policies and procedures for contagious illnesses such as influenza with staff. These include reminders about flu vaccines, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, staying home when sick, and taking flu antivirals as prescribed.
If a confirmed case of coronavirus were to occur, we would continue to act in full compliance with the CDC, local and state health authorities.
We would follow the guidelines of the CDC recommendations for confirmed cases in healthcare.
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns at 360-989-4393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your cooperation.
At IITRN, we believe protecting our team, our clients, and our families is fundamental to our mission and our motto, as we are all In It Together.
We have created policy and procedures to keep us, and you, protected during the COVID crisis and safe reopening of our office.
Our policy can be easily adapted for your needs as well. (Would you like assistance in creating a policy tailored to your own business? Contact us for more information on how we can help.)
Dear Customers and Clients of In It together RN,
I hope this letter finds you well. Our team would like to thank you for continuing to provide superior care to your clients despite the challenging times we have been facing as long-term care providers.
I am writing because over the past few weeks I have noticed that a number of the health care providers we work with have begun expressing a variety of beliefs regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic. In It Together respects the right of each individual to form and hold their own opinion on this matter. That said, I find it is necessary to restate the protocols and principles we will continue to follow at IITRN.
The wellbeing of our community including our nurses and your clients is of the utmost importance to our management. As a nursing agency licensed by the Washington State Department of Health, we are contractually required to ensure appropriate infection control measures are applied at all times. Furthermore, L&I requires that we take appropriate measure to ensure the safety of our employees. Providing evidence-based, best nursing practice is a core value for our organization.
COVID-19 is a new infection and as such much scientific research is continuing to be done. What is currently best practice may change. That being said, I personally have spent no less than 60 hours studying this issue over the past 4 months. I have made every attempt to source all reliable information and have taken the time to look and listen to counter arguments as well.
Current best scientific information is as follows:
- Covid-19 is spread primarily through respiratory secretions and can be spread through contact.
- Use of disposable or cloth masks are effective in decreasing the risk of the spread of infection by asymptomatic or presymptomtic but infected individuals.
- Covid-19 likely has a true mortality rate of 0.5-1%. This risk is greater to those over 60 or those with preexisting conditions and greatest to those over 80.
- Long term care residents are at high risk of death due to COVID-19.
- No evidence exists to suggest that being tested for COVID in anyway increases your likelihood of catching the disease.
In It Together respectfully requests that you continue to interact with our team with these scientific truths in mind. We are continuing to do many visits virtually. When appropriate we are able and prepared to make in person nursing visits. Wear a mask when a nurse is visiting your home or if visiting our office. Have clients wear a mask if they are able to do so and it does not cause the client discomfort or increased agitation or confusion. Make every effort to maintain social distancing during any in person visits. Notify our team of any potential exposure to COVID or any presence of respiratory symptoms or fever prior to in home visits.
As a final, personal thought to my valued clients. Please carefully consider the health care information that you share as an adult family home provider. Your clients and their families look to you to guide the care that they receive. There are strong forces at play in the media that can make easily debunked theories look like scientific fact. When we, as care influencers share misinformation it can cost our clients their lives or may cost you your business and / or your contract with the state.
If you have questions about proper infection control measures please reach out to our staff. We are; as always; In It together.
Elizabeth Paul, RN
Clinical Director IITRN
An opinion by a doctor working with COVID-19 patients In Connecticut explains that the variance in how this disease can effect even healthy individuals is causing fear in healthcare workers. This disease can and does kill healthy individuals. He advises continued social distancing so we continue to have the resources available to treat those effected.
Last week we formed a short term relief effort to provide much needed supplies to adult family homes in Clark County Washington. Our initial efforts provided supplies to 15 adult family homes and attracted attention from both the Vancouver Business Journal and The Columbian.
The much needed publicity of the plight of our local AFH’s because of the current COVID-19 situation has brought offers of donations and volunteers as well as additional requests for support.
We are partnering with A Caring Closet, a local 501C non-profit organization to meet even more needs.
Need support? Please email Info@acaringcloset.org to request help
Would you like to donate money toward our efforts? Please make your tax deductible donation at ACaringCloset.org – be sure to mention “COVID-19” when you donate.
Have supplies to help? Supplies can be brought to IITRN at 2912 Main Street Suite 4 Monday – Friday from 10 AM to 2 PM. A no contact drop spot has been created in the main corridor of our office building next to IITRN entrance.
- Paper towels
- Disinfectant and Disinfectant Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Face Masks
Thanks for your support and thank you to providers for caring for our vulnerable during this difficult time. We are all “In It Together”
If you have questions regarding COVID-19 Washington State has established a toll free help line. 1-800-525-0127. A human is available to answer your questions 7 days a week from 6 AM to 10 PM.
Here are a couple of links for up to date info:
The CDC updates the number of confirmed cases daily at noon.
Top Ten Ways To Protect the Public’s Health
- Wash your hands. (You had to know I was going to start there!) Frequently. And don’t touch your face. Don’t panic if you are struggling to find hand sanitizer in the stores. Soap and water will do.
- Cover your cough. There are actual disgusting studies on this! If you don’t cover your cough or sneeze, the droplets can travel up to six feet!
- Stay more than 6 feet away from each other. No hugs, no touching. Maybe greet your friends with a peace sign or, logically, with the Live Long And Prosper hand gesture.
- Disinfect hard surfaces like tables, doorknobs, phones. Coronaviruses like COVID-19 can live on hard surfaces for hours to days. Disinfect them before you touch them again and have to wash your hands again. Then wash your hands again anyway.
- Stay home if you are sick! If you have a fever and cough, stay home until your fever has been gone for 72 hours. Staying home while sick protects our friends and loved ones, some of whom may be at high risk of severe illness.
- Sometimes public health may ask you to limit your travel outside your home—maybe because of your specific exposure or illness, or maybe as part of a request to an entire community. Are you prepared to stay home for 14 days? Do you have enough food to last? Books? Board games? List of interesting, yet non-divisive topics to discuss with your spouse or housemates?
- Consider rescheduling or canceling large community events. If you are planning on holding a large event that involves people who may be at high risk of severe illness, and it is not an essential part of your business, it is reasonable to consider cancelling or rescheduling this event.
- If you do not have symptoms, you can go to work, school, or childcare. Public health has not yet asked any schools or workplaces to close because of COVID-19, although, to protect their people or to clean, some schools and workplaces have made this decision. I never want to stand in the way of a good cleaning!
- Follow international travel advice from CDC. At this point, that means delaying your trip to China or Iran (and maybe South Korea and Italy too!).
- Practice compassion. Avoid jumping to conclusions about people who may cough or sneeze at work. It is cold and flu season and people have allergies. Don’t grill your friends about their health conditions; instead, show them your support by offering them water or a tissue.
Lauren Jenks, MPH, CHES
Gender Pronouns: she/her
Community Engagement Task Force—COVID-19