How to Keep Yourself Safe from Exposure to COVID-19
To ensure all CATC employees are knowledgeable, and can keep themselves, as well as our patients safe from exposure to COVID-19, CATC is committed to:
- Provide COVID Health and Safety training.
- On-going communication to the organization noting any changes to guidelines, protocols and required actions primarily via emails and cascaded communication plans.
- Maintaining all COVID-19 information, material, and communications for access by all members of the CARE team.
- Utilizing posters in the workplace as a visual reminder for both staff and patients.
- Ensuring procedures and guidelines are updated as required utilizing the Ministry of Health and applicable provincial bodies guidance.
- The leadership teams will conduct daily / weekly huddles with front-line teams.
- All employees have access to the CATC-COVID-19 Hotline (1-855-232-8551) – (Monday to Friday from 8AM to 6PM, and Saturday to Sunday 8:30AM to 12:30PM) for any questions regarding screening, symptoms and/or support for our patients. This will be monitored and managed by the Quality Team.
CATC will stay current on symptoms of COVID-19 by monitoring changes to the provincial guidelines:
- All members of the CARE team are required to complete a COVID-19 Self-Screening and sign-off on the CATC COVID-19 Screening Acknowledgement at the beginning of their shift. Managers when onsite will review sign-off sheets for compliance.
- Any individual who does not pass screening is instructed to not enter the workplace and contact their manager immediately.
- Should your screening answers or health status change during your shift, alert your manager immediately.
- All essential and/or expected visitors (e.g. cleaners and couriers) will be screened upon entrance and sign the acknowledgement available at the front area.
- A CARE team member who is symptomatic will be encouraged to be tested. They will be advised to adhere to provincial guidance regarding safe clearance to return to work.
Control the Risk of Transmission in the Workplace
CATC Canadian Support Centre:
- CATC is utilizing a staggered approach for employees to arrive/depart at different times of the day for days in the office (i.e. work shifts, and breaks).
- The team is divided in “pods” to reduce the number of employees in the office each day. Employees are only to report to the workplace on days assigned for their pod and are working remotely on the alternate days.
- Established work-from home arrangements, virtual meetings, reduction of employees at the worksite, and limiting the number of employees within the workplace.
- Established and posted an occupancy limit for our premises to ensure social distancing protocol is maintained, including:
– Maximum of 3 people are to be in the kitchen at a time.
– Maximum of 4 people in the Boardroom. Virtual meetings are encouraged vs. face-to-face meetings whenever possible. Extra chairs have been removed from the Boardroom to ensure a maximum of only 4 people.
– Maximum of 1 person at the communal printer.
Frontline CARE Teams:
- Implemented measures to ensure employees and patients are at least 2 metres apart, wherever possible.
- Changes to how tasks are completed:
– Removal of all unnecessary items from the waiting rooms including extra chairs, children’s toy stations, donations, paper posters, etc.
– Employees will no longer handle any patient belongings including lock boxes.
– Employees will no longer collect patient empty carry bottles as a general practice.
– Patients will not be required to sign their daily dosing sheets until further notice.
– Each employee window has a plexi-glass barrier to reduce transmission between the employee and patient(s).
– Chairs in the waiting room will be appropriately spaced (6 ft) to maintain social distancing between patients. Symptomatic patients will be greeted curbside and will not enter the site until confirmed negative or cleared of COVID-19.
– All employees, visitors, and patients, unless medically exempt, will be mandated to wear a face covering while on site.
– Physician appointments will be reduced in volume and staggered to minimize the number of patients in the site at one time.
– Supply management to include weekly inventory checks in all locations for all COVID-19 supplies including disinfectant and personal protective equipment.
– Implementation of COVID-19 Protocols and Policies for employees who choose to travel for non-essential travel.
- Communicated rules and guidelines to employees on how to conduct themselves via various communication methods:
– Employees are always required to wear face mask and approved eye protection (subject to applicable provincial bodies guidance) while in the workplace.
– Employees will wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) including gown, gloves and face shield while performing direct close contact patient care. Training is provided on appropriate use.
– Employees are instructed to minimize excessive items and papers on desks to allow for general cleaning and disinfecting to be performed.
– Employees will maintain appropriate social distancing from one another while working in the site.
– Anytime an employee will need to remove their mask to eat/drink during break time are to do so in a room alone.
– Employees who smoke will take all smoke breaks separately.
– Employees will ensure that all patients can socially distance a minimum of 6 ft apart and monitor occupancy restrictions. If they are unable to do so, patients will be asked to wait outside.
Implemented effective cleaning and hygiene practices:
- Employees are required to complete a COVID-19 Cleaning Checklist which requires hourly wipe down using approved disinfectant in all high touch areas.
- It is all employee’s responsibility to wipe down all shared common surfaces before and after using them (e.g. printer, microwave, hoteling desks, phones, dosing counters etc). Where possible, staff are encouraged to not share workstations.
- Our workplace(s) have enough handwashing stations on-site for all our workers. Handwashing locations are visible, and easily accessible. Training is provided on proper handwashing procedures.
- Should an employee be unable to handwash, hand sanitizer is available at all common areas of the workplace and is easily accessible.
Potential or Suspected Exposure of COVID-19 at the Workplace
- If an employee develops symptoms while at work, they are expected to isolate themselves and contact their manager immediately.
- The employee will be asked to isolate until a confirmed negative COVID result can be obtained or they are deemed safe to return to work by the public health authorities.
- If tested, the employee will be expected to obtain confirmation of the test results for our files.
- The Quality Team or their manager will reach out to the staff member; discuss symptoms, public Health instructions, clearance protocols, provide support and fact sheets as required.
- The Quality Team, Human Resources and/or manager will inform all employees at the site for notification of potential exposure, provide them with direction and determine risk to other staff and patients.
- Employees will be asked to take extra precautions, self-monitor, and check-in with their immediate manager on symptoms during isolation.
- Order additional site cleaning as required.
- Ask the patient to provide documentation to confirm their diagnosis, if available. If they do not have supporting documents, confirm details of where they were tested and obtain/document consent to request results.
- Alert the physician via email and document in the patient record.
- Schedule a phone appointment for the patient with the physician ASAP to determine an appropriate care plan which may include curbside dosing, special carries, delivery etc.
- Assess if CATC is required to isolate any of their employees that may have been exposed to the patient.
- Ask employees to take extra precaution, self-monitor and check in with them daily.
- Order additional site cleaning as required.
Managing New Risks in the Workplace
- We will establish regular check-in’s with employees about how they’re coping and request for feedback.
- Implementation of cross training between CATC roles, should the virus spreads throughout one site, we are prepared to move our employees into different roles to be able to operate.
- Implementation of pods/shifts where feasible.
- Minimize staff working at multiple sites where possible without adverse impact to sustained operations.
- We are also prepared to transition all employees that are capable of working from home – to work remotely – should the virus spread throughout a site.
Analysis of the Effectiveness of COVID-19 Safety Plan
- We are committed to reviewing the COVID-19 Safety Plan monthly, and as needed.
- We will conduct an analysis to identify areas of where there may be a risk of COVID-19 transmission, either through physical proximity or through contaminated surfaces:
– Involvement of our employees will be considered to identify areas where people may congregate, and/or surfaces that should be included in the cleaning plan(s).
– Involvement of the Joint Health and Safety committee (for applicable locations).
– Consideration of entrances and exits, floor markers, and service counters.
- We will continue to consider industry-specific protocols, and guidance from the government.
- We will ensure that we are compliant with all orders, guidance, and notices issued by the provincial government, and any relevant legislation.
- We will ensure daily screening, update the COVID-19 Screening Acknowledgement, and monitor any changes issued by the provincial government.
- We will continue to communicate policies and procedures related to COVID-19, and ensure that employees are trained, and policies are enforced.
- We will review workplace protocols, and policies to ensure that they are still appropriate.
- We will communicate changes to the CATC COVID-19 Safety Plan to employees.
- We will ensure employees are aware of the CATC-COVID-19 Hotline for any questions regarding screening, symptoms and/or support for our patients.
Canadian Addiction Treatment Centres
Date Developed: November 30, 2020
Developed by: Human Resources
Contributors: Quality Assurance