I am wondering if anyone else is getting any training or being told they will be provided protective and proper masks? My company is doing absolutely no training and never has given us any info on how to care for clients with infectious diseases. I was told if I wanted a mask I could come in and pick ONE up. No info on what to do if a client is showing symptoms. NOTHING! I talked to OSHA and the woman was shocked at how little help or direction we are being given.

Google the CDC report on coronavirus dated Feb 24. In the summary report you will find a link. You are hearing on the news that masks do not work. But the link is telling different things. I am also interested in the link that gives recommendations on if someone in the household gets sick. Educate yourself from this site. This virus looks like it lasts a long time on surfaces and we all touch a lot of stuff, especially in public.

The US is still in prevention mode. I got news that caregivers who were exposed to the 1 person who just tested positive with no travel were just sent home for isolation, which may still be 2 weeks. As this spreads, the rules will change again, so just keep up with the CDC website. Remember that this is the flu, which many of us will get. The death rate is 2%. It will be particularly hard on your client population. If you do get it, you will be out of work for that period of time.
Things will depend if you are working with one homebound, or several clients. It is, you, in the general population who will be most likely to pick it up.
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Reply to MACinCT

It should be the same as other respiratory illnesses. So it should be the same as the flu for example. All healthcare workers should be trained for that.
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Reply to needtowashhair

I worked for a non-profit organization subsidized by the Township. Because we were part of the Township we had to be involved in the Blood Pathogens program yearly. I had to keep a MSD book on every chemical we had on site and proof we had taken the program. We were inspected on a regular basis.
I am surprised that your agency is not required to offer these programs. Did Osha say the agency falls under their jurisdiction. If so, they can fine them for not being up to snuff.

I feel that its your agencies responsibility to you and your clients that you are kept up to date on new viruses and how to recognize them and what to do when exposed.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I expect (hope?) that in order to become a cna, hca, psw (or whatever) people have already received training in infectious disease control but since these are the people out in the community on the front lines it makes sense that they should get a friendly reminder to brush up on those skills - if your agency is nickel and diming the bottom line instead of providing adequate equipment like masks, gloves, disposable gowns etc you would be wise to supply yourself. In my opinion agencies already fail to consider ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like norovirus, influenza etc since home care workers are often rushing from one home to the next on the list.
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Reply to cwillie

They are still not sure how it is transmitted, they just know it seems to happen easily.
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Reply to Geaton777

Since the symptoms are the same as a bad respiratory infection ( or cold) how would you know if your pt has Covid? The best instructions so far are excellent hand hygene,, wash wash wash! If you are really worried, go get that mask, or buy some at the pharmacy. You could be taking care of your pt for days before they would show symptoms,, like any virus . I would personally be more worried about catching the "regular" flu from a pt, and I work in a major inner city hospital. If the pt is DIAGNOSED by a Dr, that would be another issue, and I am sure your agency would suggest you stay away for 10-15 days until the Pt is cleared. Hope this helps!
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Reply to pamzimmrrt

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