The Utah Department of Health (UDH) is following CDC guidelines which verifies that home care workers should be considered essential health care providers. Of note, the ‘compassionate care’ example used in the CDC guidelines is meant solely as an example, not an exclusive list.
While long-term care and residential facility providers work to reduce unnecessary risk to their residents, state leaders stress that providers should also take into account the vital role of home care providers to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, especially during this crisis.
UDH’s guidance is based on the CMS QSO memo 20 14, which does require facilities to restrict visitation and non-essential health personnel. However, there are two major exceptions to the restrictions reinforced by the CDC:
- The facility’s own health care workers.
- Health care workers who come into the facility such as nurses, therapists, hospice workers, EMS, nurse practitioners, home care aides, etc. to provide care to residents.
The CDC stresses that these personnel be permitted into the facility as long as they meet the CDC guidelines for risk screening for health care workers.
CDC recommends the following for essential health care personnel:
- Require they perform hand hygiene when entering the facility.
- Actively screen at entryway for fever, respiratory symptoms, and COVID-19 exposure.
- Ensure the workers abide by the CDC’s Interim U.S. Guidelines for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
- Restrict their visit to the client’s room or other location designated by the facility.
- Remind them to perform hand hygiene frequently.
For more information on how Homespire can help, consider us your partner in minimizing the impact coronavirus has on our most vulnerable population. Our team is ready and prepared to take your referrals for private-pay home care needs but also to offer resources as needed. Reach out to us 24/7.