Coronavirus Information for Compass Clients and Families
Please see our recent blog post on Coronavirus related scam attempts targeting seniors, here
Dear Clients, Family Members, and Loved Ones,
Compass Concierge and Companions is actively monitoring the situation regarding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. While the majority of cases of COVID-19 are mild, causing only fever and cough, a very small percentage of cases become severe and may progress to pneumonia, particularly in elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions. Given this is the primary population we serve, we understand if you have concerns.
We continue to distribute cleaning supplies and continue to remind staff to stay vigilant in their hygiene practices and hand washing.
As of the date above, our response includes:
Our Response and Readiness:
We are following updates and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Maine CDC, local and county health departments and authorities, and other agencies and resources. We will continue to adjust our plans according to the recommendations from these organizations.
We are advising all caregiver staff to follow our established protocol regarding staying home when sick and are in communication with caregiver staff to assess any known risk factors. We have advised them not to report to work if they are deemed high-risk.
For clients we serve who reside in facilities or other group-type living situations, we will work closely with the facility on any protocols, exchange of information, or other guidelines as necessary.
We acknowledge that many of our clients are especially at risk, given they are older adults or have underlying health issues. We are vigilant about our need to help protect these individuals from illness be it the flu, COVID-19, or any other communicable disease. These measures are not new to us as we seek to minimize risk regularly for our clients, regardless of an outbreak such as that of this new coronavirus.
Instructions for Our Staff and Caregivers:
Staff are instructed to be extra vigilant in our established infection prevention measures. With the latest updates coming out of the CDC and other reputable sources of education and information, they are aware of the following best practices:
Washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. Our staff is to wash their hands immediately upon entering clients’ home, regularly while there, and washing hands again before leaving. We have provided staff and clients with anti-bacterial soap.
Wiping down surfaces regularly. Clients homes have been stocked with Clorox wipes. Staff should be wiping down commonly touched surfaces at least twice a day. This applies to staff cars (cell phones, steering wheels, door handles) and client’s homes (door knobs, counters, bathrooms, etc). We have dropped off
Calling if they suspect their client is ill. Our job is not to decide whether a client has the virus but to be vigilant in helping our clients receive the proper medical care if this is suspected. Staff should call Jen Banks or Paula Banks immediately if they suspect their client (or they themselves) have the virus.
Staying home if ill. As always, staff will call Jen Banks to speak to her if they suspect they are too ill to come to work and we will work to find a healthy replacement.
Avoid mass gatherings. Compass staff is NOT ALLOWED to transport our clients to any social or community gathering places including churches, grocery stores, movie theaters, restaurants, gyms, etc. Per the Maine executive order on March 18th, gatherings of 10 people or more are prohibited.
Appointment Transportation. With client/family consent we WILL transport our clients to medical appointments that have been scheduled, however this is not recommended at this time if it can be avoided.
Medication Management. If our client’s families manage their medication (filling prescriptions, etc) we ask that you contact your pharmacy and ask for their plan to supply your loved one with an adequate amount of medication to get them through any type of mandatory isolation.
We will encourage caregivers to be aware of symptoms in clients and to respond accordingly by taking infection prevention measures and notifying the office of any concerns of serious illness in a client. If a client is ill with a fever or respiratory symptoms, it’s recommended the client contact their physician immediately for further evaluation.
Contingency Planning for You or Your Loved One:
Depending on the severity of the spread of illness in communities or the response taken by national and state authorities (i.e. mandatory isolation, closure of schools, etc.), our staffing levels may be affected. As a result, we may be unable to cover all shifts. We will make every effort possible to provide our clients with safe and appropriate care and seek to avoid canceling shifts, however, we cannot guarantee this will not occur given the uncertainties about this particular situation.
At all times, regardless of a viral outbreak or other situation, we strongly recommend that our clients have alternative arrangements for the provisions of care in the event we are unable to provide services. We encourage you to begin considering and putting into place back-up plans now, as the severity of the spread of this illness and planned interventions is still uncertain. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your plan individually.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Loved One:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick, particularly large gatherings of people
Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces (we have dropped off disinfectant wipes to all clients homes)
Eat well, drink lots of water, and get rest to strengthen your immune system.
Have a family emergency preparedness plan that includes care coverage and back up support, if possible.
Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
Avoid large public gatherings or other places outside the home. Limit your contact with others.
Contact your pharmacy and ask for their plan to supply your loved one with an adequate amount of medication to get them through any type of mandatory isolation.
The safety and well-being of our clients and staff are our utmost priority, now and always. We will keep you updated should changes to our protocol occur and we invite you to reach out to us with any specific questions.
Paula Banks, Owner
Jennifer Banks, Manager
COVID-19 General Information
Governor Janet Mills issued an Executive Order mandating that all restaurants and bars statewide close to dine-in customers effective March 18, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. for a period of 14 days until midnight, March 31, 2020. Take-out, delivery, and drive-through options can continue. In her order, the Governor also prohibited all gatherings of more than 10 people until further notice, mandating the latest U.S. CDC’s guidance on gatherings. In addition, Governor Mills strongly urged non-essential public-facing businesses, such as gyms, hair salons, theaters, casinos, shopping malls, to close their doors for the next two weeks to minimize public gatherings. More information about the coronavirus is below:
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. It can spread from person to person and is currently spreading in our community. You can learn more about COVID-19 on these websites:
What has Compass done to prepare for COVID-19?
HSC follows a strict set of infection prevention protocols determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as local health departments.
Should I wear a mask if I do not have any symptoms?
The CDC advises only people who have symptoms to wear masks. If you are healthy and have not been around anyone with symptoms, you do not need to wear a mask.
I am concerned that myself or my loved one have been exposed to the novel coronavirus. Should I go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Department?
If you believe that you may have been exposed to the virus, or are concerned about your symptoms, first call your primary care provider and follow their instructions. In an emergency, go to your local Emergency Department or call 911.
How does this virus spread and what can I do to protect my family and myself?
Coronaviruses are typically spread through direct contact with someone who has an infection (like touching or shaking hands) or touching something that someone with the disease may have touched, and not washing your hands right away.
To help limit your exposure to this virus, wash your hands often and especially before touching your face or eating. Clean all surfaces like counters, doorknobs, phones, keyboards and any areas that you touch by using a household disinfectant or a cleaner that contains bleach.
The CDC has the most up-to-date guidance on how to prevent or limit your exposure.