COVID-19 Updates See our Phoenix Forward page.

Standard Precautions - COVID-19 Update

Introduction:

COVID-19 has brought many changes and new guidance to Standard Precautions recommendations for assisted living facilities and facilities serving people with developmental disabilities in Wisconsin.  This page is designed to help connect instructors and providers with additional information and guidance during the COVID-19 emergency.  Please feel free to add this additional information into your Standard Precautions trainings. As a reminder you may add to your trainings, but you may not take away curriculum. For curriculum questions please email nolanl@uwgb.edu or 920-465-2772. 


Training For Staff

"We are in this together! Assisted Living staff roles in preventing the spread of Covid-19." is a training that can be used by community-based care providers to train their staff on the important steps they can take to protect their residents against Covid-19. The file on the button below will download a zipped file. The file needs to be unzipped to be used. The training has a presentation with embedded video, trainer talking points, employee handouts, knowledge review, and certificate. 


General Information About COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities and Services

Both the CDC and the WI Department of Health has developed pages to help providers as they navigate through the challenges of Covid-19.  We encourage instructors to review these pages. 


Hierarchy of Controls for Preventing Spread of Infection

Understanding the hierarchy of controls helps providers make critical decisions related to infection control and how to protect residents and staff. 
 

Control Methods 
  • Elimination – Completely eliminating exposure to the hazard.
    • Doing this includes staying home, avoiding public areas, or working remotely.
    • For this to work in long-term care the same staff and residents would have to remain at the facility without allowing anyone else into the facility. Since this is not possible, the goal is to limit as many hazards coming into the facility. This is why visitors are limited and discouraged and staff are encouraged to work only in one facility.
    • Cases of residents becoming infected with COVID-19  have been traced to staff bringing it into the facility.
  • ​Substitution – Replacing the hazard with a non-hazardous object, device or substance. This is not an option with COVID-19 as we do not yet have a vaccine developed or other treatment options. 
  • Engineering Controls – Isolating the person from the hazard through physical or mechanical means.
    • This would be the specific disinfectants that you will use in your facility. Label them for the time to disinfect that they require. 
    • Not sharing equipment whenever possible
    • It may also include hands-free trash receptacles or even changing handles and high touch points to copper as it is believed the virus is least viable on copper surfaces. 
    • Maybe separating tables or creating partitions to keep people apart.
  • Administrative Controls – Changes made to the way that people work or live in assisted living. 
    • Social distancing procedures, such as having residents remain in their rooms, keeping residents at least six feet apart from each other.
    • Training on cough and sneeze etiquette procedures
    • Assuring all staff and residents follow proper hand washing
    • Disinfect policies, signage, and other communications
    • Monitoring employee health and encouraging sick employees to stay home.
  • Personal Protective Equipment – Equipment worn by the person to protect themselves from real or potential hazards, e.g. gloves, lab coats, safety glasses, respirators, etc.
    • Assure proper training on sequencing and fit testing for N95 respirators. 
    • Follow proper donning and doffing of PPE - PPE Sequencing
  • Community Protective Equipment – Equipment worn by a person to prevent community spread from an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19. This is the last line of defense and its effectiveness depends on community use and their ability to adopt disinfection, distancing, and hygiene practices

Transmission-Based Precautions

Transmission-Based Precautions are the second tier of basic infection control and are to be used in addition to Standard Precautions for patients who may be infected or colonized with certain infectious agents such as COVID-19 for which additional precautions are needed to prevent infection transmission.  

Hand Hygiene During COVID-19

The CDC has several resources to assist with training staff on hand hygiene during the pandemic. 

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

This section covers the current recommendations for PPE. Please note that during the pandemic supplies have been limited. Because of this the CDC has created a hierarchy of resources. Facilities should attempt to start at the highest recommendations and then work their way down through the other options based on what is available to them. Always work with your local health department and state resources to determine what is best based on availability and to see what additional resources may be available.  It is important to remember that PPE is one part of the infection control process and staff need to be trained to know how to use PPE properly.   

Cleaning and Disinfecting After a Confirmed COVID-19 Case

Cleaning

CDC guideline for cleaning and disinfecting during Covid-19

Guideline for Cleaning and Disinfecting
Sparkling Surfaces

Video training from the CDC for staff on disinfecting and cleaning

Video Training on Cleaning and Disinfecting

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Use the following link to view the frequently asked questions sections of CDC website.
 

Preparedness Checklist for Nursing Homes and other Long-Term Care Settings

This checklist was created to help long-term care facilities plan and respond to COVID-19. Assisted living providers will find many of the items helpful in developing a response and plan for their facilities.