In late August the State made some changes to the COVID 19 guidelines for businesses and important additions were made to the screening process as well as other areas. Because of the changes NHADA has updated our Coronavirus NHADA Playbook. We encourage members to download the most recent copy and review it with staff.
As I have said in articles before, “we are getting tired of COVID 19 but COVID 19 is not getting tired.” Because of this we cannot be complacent. We all have to be just as careful as we were in March if we are going to stop the spread and get back to what we used to call normal. It’s possible; we all just need to do our part.
The biggest changes were in the screening process and regarding travel. If you haven’t updated your screening questions for when employees start their day now is the time! Here are the most up to date screening questions:
- Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Have you had a fever or felt feverish in the last 72 hours?
- Are you experiencing any respiratory symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath?
- Are you experiencing any new muscle aches, chills, or severe fatigue?
- Have you experienced any new change in your sense of taste or smell?
- Have you had any gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?
- Have you traveled in the prior 14 days outside New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island?
If an employee answers YES to any of these questions they should NOT be allowed to work and should be sent home. If they answered YES to any of the first 6 questions they should be encouraged to contact their primary care provider for guidance and advice on testing and medical care.
If the employee answered YES to number 7; they cannot work and must self quarantine at home for the next 14 days. COVID-19 testing does not exempt them from the 14 day quarantine. In this case consider having the employee work remotely during this time period.
There are some exceptions to the travel rule or if the person has had close contact with a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 but these do not apply to non essential employees.
Please download the newest version of the Playbook and stay informed as we all do our part to fight the spread of COVID-19. Remember this is not just to keep ourselves safe and well; it’s also to keep our friends, loved ones, and those more susceptible to the virus safe and well.
Marta J. Silakka RN, BSN, CCM, COHN-S