An Individual we support is affected by COVID-19
Where the individual has appropriate family / support network within their household they will be approached to provide care during the “Self isolation period”
All non critical support will be suspended during the “Self isolation period”
All support to access non essential community activities such as day services / social activities will be suspended during the “Self isolation period”
Where the individual receives critical support and has no family /support network within the house hold then an appropriately trained replacement member of staff will be identified and sent to cover the care to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the client.
If a member of our team is affected by COVID-19
Allcare Nurses Agency refer and follow the current guidance set out by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Public Health England
Including, but don’t exhaustive:
- Full support to remain away from work during the “Self isolation period”
- Facilitate home based working where appropriate
- Informing all relevant individuals that have come into close contact with the infected person
- Inform all relevant statutory bodies – as required
Provision of Critical / Essential care and support services
Priority will be given to critical clients when deploying Staff / care team
Every effort will be made to keep familiar staff assigned to clients wherever practicable. In the absence of a familiar staff member being available to provide care and support then and appropriately training / skilled replacement staff member will be provided from the available staff to ensure that the client receives a safe and effective service during this critical time.
Non front line staff
Where a member of staff can execute their job and responsibilities via home working this will be implemented.
Remote access to essential systems and information will be provided.
Regular contact from the management team will be maintained to ensure the smooth and safe running of the service and the welfare of the workers that are isolated.
Furlough of staff
Allcare Nurses Agency will follow all guidance and instruction issued by government bodies throughout COVID-19 crisis.
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy – Public Health England
GuidancUpdated 10 March 2020
1. Background and scope of guidance
This guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:
- the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
- how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
- what to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting
- what advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas, as outlined by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) (full list is available here)
- advice for the certification of absence from work resulting from COVID-19
2. Information about the virus
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 to 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, they have not been infected.
3. Signs and symptoms of COVID-19
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
- difficulty in breathing
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
4. How COVID-19 is spread
From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres or less) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.
Respiratory secretions produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes containing the virus are most likely to be the main means of transmission.
There are 2 main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:
- infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or possibly could be inhaled into the lungs.
- it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching door knob or shaking hands then touching own face)
There is currently little evidence that people who are without symptoms are infectious to others.
5. Preventing spread of infection
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
- put used tissues in the bin straight away
- wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. See hand washing guidance
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
If you are worried about symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.
Further information is available on the PHE blog and NHS.UK.
Face masks for the general public are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no evidence of benefit from their use outside healthcare environments.
People who have returned from Hubei Province, including Wuhan, in the last 14 days should stay at home whether they have symptoms or not. This includes avoiding attending an education setting or work until 14 days after they leave Hubei Province.
People who have returned from Hubei Province, including Wuhan, in the last 14 days should avoid attending work. They should call NHS 111 for advice and stay at home.
Advice is in place for what to do if you have returned in the last 14 days from specified countries or areas which is being updated on an ongoing basis.
With regards to travel information to China or other countries for individuals working in the UK, we recommend following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) country advice pages.
At present, FCO advises against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel COVID-19 outbreak. The FCO also advises against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).
6. How long the virus can survive
How long any respiratory virus survives will depend on a number of factors, for example:
- what surface the virus is on
- whether it is exposed to sunlight
- differences in temperature and humidity
- exposure to cleaning products
Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 72 hours.
We know that similar viruses are transferred to and by people’s hands. Therefore, regular hand hygiene and cleaning of frequently touched surfaces will help to reduce the risk of infection.
7. Guidance on facemasks
Employees are not recommended to wear facemasks (also known as surgical masks or respirators) to protect against the virus. Facemasks are only recommended to be worn by symptomatic individuals (advised by a healthcare worker) to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to other people.
PHE recommends that the best way to reduce any risk of infection is good hygiene and avoiding direct or close contact (closer than 2 metres) with any potentially infected person.
Any member of staff who deals with members of the public from behind a full screen will be protected from airborne particles.
The regulations were laid in Parliament on 9 November 2021 and subject to parliamentary passage will come into force on the 1 April 2022. If the regulations are approved, unvaccinated individuals will need to have had their first dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine by 3 February 2022 (this date is subject to change), in order to have received their second dose by the 31 March 2022 deadline.
3rd February 2022 – Deadline for existing staff to received first vaccination
1st April 2022 – Regulation comes into force – all Frontline staff must have received 2 vaccinations.
From 1st January 2022 – All new staff commencing employment within Allcare Nurses Agency will be required to provide evidence they have received 2 vaccinations or medical exception.
9. What to do if an employee or a member of the public becomes unwell and believe they have been exposed to COVID-19
If the person becomes unwell then they are to return home immediately, a Lateral flow test is to be completed.
If they test positive then they must follow current government advice and isolate for 7 days. They are to complete a Lateral flow test on day 6 and day 7 – if these are negative the person can stop isolation after 7 days.
If the person tests positive on day 6 and 7 they are to continue isolating and testing daily up to day 10.
If the person continues to test positive after day 10 they can still stop isolation
10. Returning from travel overseas to affected areas
People who have returned from area within under containment measures they should call NHS 111 for advice and stay at home.
Advice is in place for what to do if you have returned in the last 14 days from specified countries or areas which is being updated on an ongoing basis.
All other staff should continue to attend work.
11. What to do if a member of staff or the public with suspected COVID-19 has recently been in your workplace
For contacts of a suspected case in the workplace, no restrictions or special control measures are required while laboratory test results for COVID19 are awaited. In particular, there is no need to close the workplace or send other staff home at this point. Most possible cases turn out to be negative. Therefore, until the outcome of test results is known there is no action that the workplace needs to take.
12. What to do if a member of staff or the public with confirmed COVID-19 has recently been in your workplace
Closure of the workplace is not recommended.
The management team of the office or workplace will be contacted by the PHE local Health Protection Team to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and advise on any actions or precautions that should be taken.
A risk assessment of each setting will be undertaken by the Health Protection Team with the lead responsible person. Advice on the management of staff and members of the public will be based on this assessment.
The Health Protection Team will also be in contact with the case directly to advise on isolation and identifying other contacts and will be in touch with any contacts of the case to provide them with appropriate advice.
Advice on cleaning of communal areas such as offices or toilets will be given by the Health Protection Team. and is outlined later in this document.
13. When individuals in the workplace have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
If a confirmed case is identified in your workplace, the local Health Protection Team will provide the relevant staff with advice. These staff include:
- any employee in close face-to-face or touching contact
- talking with or being coughed on for any length of time while the employee was symptomatic
- anyone who has cleaned up any bodily fluids
- close friendship groups or workgroups
- any employee living in the same household as a confirmed case
Contacts are not considered cases and if they are well they are very unlikely to have spread the infection to others:
- they will be actively followed up by the Health Protection Team
- if they develop new symptoms or their existing symptoms worsen within their 14-day observation period they should call NHS 111 for reassessment
- if they become unwell with cough, fever or shortness of breath they will be tested for COVID-19
Staff who have not had close contact with the original confirmed case do not need to take any precautions and can continue to attend work.
14. Certifying absence from work
By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. This does not need to be fit note (Med 3 form) issued by a GP or other doctor.
A Self- Isolation Note can be used to cover the self-isolation period. These can be obtained from the gov.uk website.
Your employee will be advised to isolate themselves and not to work in contact with other people by NHS 111 or PHE if they are a carrier of, or have been in contact with, an infectious or contagious disease, such as COVID-19.
We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home due to suspected COVID-19, in accordance with the public health advice being issued by the government.
15. Advice for staff returning from travel anywhere else in the world within the last 14 days
Currently, there are minimal cases outside the listed areas and therefore the likelihood of an individual coming into contact with a confirmed case is extremely low.
These staff can continue to attend work unless they have been informed that they have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
If individuals are aware that they have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should contact NHS 111 for further advice.
The latest country information is available on the NaTHNac Travel Pro website.
16. Handling post, packages or food from affected areas
Employees should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of work. There is no perceived increase in risk for handling post or freight from specified areas.
17. Cleaning offices and public spaces where there are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19
Coronavirus symptoms are similar to a flu-like illness and include cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Once symptomatic, all surfaces that the person has come into contact with must be cleaned including:
- all surfaces and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
- all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones
Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids do not need to be specially cleaned and disinfected.
If a person becomes ill in a shared space, these should be cleaned using disposable cloths and household detergents, according to current recommended workplace legislation and practice.
18. Rubbish disposal, including tissues
All waste that has been in contact with the individual, including used tissues, and masks if used, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. It should be put in a safe place and marked for storage until the result is available. If the individual tests negative, this can be put in the normal waste.
Should the individual test positive, you will be instructed what to do with the waste.