With COVID-related mask mandates easing in California and elsewhere, people are enjoying the ability to go mask-free after two years. Mandates do remain in some high-risk settings, and many people will prefer to continue wearing a mask out of personal preference.
If you or a loved one are receiving in-home care or assistance, there are several considerations to keep you and your caregivers healthy. Here are some questions you should ask when hiring an agency or a private caregiver:
- Are you a licensed Home Care Organization, with a California HCO license? The state of California requires home care aides to be vaccinated and boosted, or accommodated with weekly testing.
- Does the agency have COVID protocols for caregivers? What are they? These might include quarantining after a COVID exposure, or a symptom watch for caregivers.
- Does the agency provide COVID training, and do they supply personal protective equipment (PPE) for the caregivers? The California rules are outlined by Cal/OSHA.
- Does the agency provide paid sick leave for employees? (You don’t want a sick person in your home because they feel that they must work.) California recently added COVID supplemental paid sick leave to its laws.
You may also want to know what the current COVID transmission risk is in your area. Anyone can find this info at: CDC Transmission Risk.
Windward’s ongoing precautions
At Windward, the answer to all of the above questions is “yes.” Protecting our clients’ and employees’ health has always been our top priority, and all of our team members are committed to safety. During the COVID pandemic, we have responded quickly to the new and often changing guidelines from the CDC and other government health officials.
Even at this stage of the pandemic, all Windward home care aides (HCAs), Aging Life Care Managers®, and home health RN Case Managers continue to:
- Wear face coverings in client homes.
- Change their face coverings and clothes and properly launder used items.
- Undergo specialized training in infection prevention and control.
- Practice proper sanitization, handwashing, and PPE use.
- Carry personal health kits, including gloves, hand sanitizer, and face coverings.
- Regularly monitor their temperatures and overall health.
Extra steps we will continue taking for our clients include:
- Maintaining supplies of PPE.
- Creating and delivering robust PPE kits for clients as the need arises.
- Monitoring staff and client symptoms closely.
- Staying up to date on CDC, OSHA, and state and county health official recommendations.
- Implementing special procedures to protect client and staff safety upon discharge from a hospital or a congregate living arrangement.
The last couple of years have been very difficult for many people. We are here for you. Trust the care management, home care, and skilled nursing experts who have served San Diego for 18 years and have received a Top Workplaces distinction from The San Diego Union-Tribune for three years running (2019, 2020, and 2021).