What do you need to protect yourself and others from?
COVID-19 is not airborne, it is passed from person to person through droplets and surfaces. So, sneezes, coughs, contact with the natural mucous in eyes, mouths and noses – or surfaces where any traces of these things have been left – are ways of passing on the infection. However, it isn’t passed between people just by breathing the same air.
What precautions should your PAs or carers be taking?
If you are living in your own/family’s home, anyone providing direct care to a member of the household who has a possible or confirmed case of coronavirus, the person providing care should use:
- Disposable gloves, that should be binned after a session of contact is complete;
- disposable apron, that should be binned or, if designed as re-usable, decontaminated (cleaned in soapy water 77degrees Fahrenheit or higher, or with a 10% or higher solution of bleach – if it won’t damage the item – or with a sanitiser containing at least 70% pure alcohol or higher) immediately after use;
- fluid-resistant surgical mask that should be binned after a session of close contact (less than two meters) is complete;
single use4 single use4 single or sessional use4,5
risk assess single or sessional use4,5,8
Direct care or visit to any individuals in the extremely vulnerable group or where a member of the household is within the extremely vulnerable group undergoing shielding9
single use4 single use4 single use4
do the following Aerosol generating procedures for You?
- Tracheotomy/tracheostomy procedures
- Open suctioning
- Non-invasive ventilation (NIV), Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP), Continuous Positive Airway Pressure ventilation (CPAP)
- High-frequency oscillating ventilation (HFOV)
- High-flow Nasal Oxygen (HFNO)
- Induction of sputum
If so, you should be providing them with:
- Disposable gloves, that should be binned immediately after use
- Fluid-repellant coverall/gown, that should be binned or, if designed as re-usable, decontaminated immediately after use
- Filtering face-piece respirator, that should be binned or, if designed as re-usable, decontaminated immediately after use
- Eye/face protection, that should be binned or, if designed as re-usable, decontaminated immediately after use
Source: From Public Health England, UK: COVID-19: Guidance for infection prevention and control in healthcare settings. Version 1.0