There is no mistaking the challenge of this global pandemic. We remain committed to providing safe, quality care. Together, we will get through this.
How to Protect Yourself
Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person and between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). The CDC has found that it is transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or can possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms (asymptomatic).
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you are working from home or out of work, organize your time and keep your schedules as normal as possible, so life can still feel manageable.
Keeping things orderly in your personal world combats feeling of helplessness. Do things that give you a sense of control. Clean a cabinet. Make a homemade lunch and eat it on schedule.
To stay calm and centered, breathe in short bursts through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 6, and slowly release for a count of 8. Do this every 10 past the hour for a few minutes or whenever you’re feeling anxious. Exercise is important to helping manage stress, depression or anxiety. Your body’s natural serotonin is an important mood stabilizer. Thought stopping can be effective at preventing you imagination from spiraling out of control.
Choose to be creative. Enjoy a current hobby or learn and begin a new one. Spend time with pets and do something nice for yourself. Challenge yourself to appreciate “living in the moment.” Practice short meditations to help you focus on the present. It’s important to remind yourself that this is only a temporary situation and help do what you can to assist others safely.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19: Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Or at least two of these symptoms: Fever, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, and New loss of taste or smell. Children have similar symptoms to adults and generally have mild illness.
Stay home if possible. Wash your hands often. Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others (stay 6 feet away, which is about two arm lengths). Keep away from people who are sick. Stock up on supplies. Clean and disinfect frequently touched services. Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel. Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy. Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and may different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, and now with the virus that causes COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir. However, the exact source of this virus is unknown.
Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure because the incubation period for this virus is 2 to 14 days. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.
At this time, Pacific Coast Hospice facilities do not have a confirmed case of COVID-19. We continue to provide all levels of care to our community. Pacific Coast Hospice has taken all appropriate and necessary precautions for the safety and well-being of our community. In compliance with our infectious disease protocols, we will remain vigilant and continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Arizona Department of Health guidelines. We have instituted a moratorium on non-essential visitors to our facility, and we’ve limited our in-person groups by changing to telephone and video chat methods. Our staff screen for fever and symptoms twice daily, before every shift. We keep detailed records on contact tracing should we encounter community transmission. We have appropriate stock of PPE and continue to monitor those needs daily.
To contain the spread of a contagious illness, public health authorities rely on many strategies. Two of these strategies are isolation and quarantine. Both are common practices in public health, and both aim to control exposure to infected or potentially infected persons. Both may be undertaken voluntarily or compelled by public health authorities. The two strategies differ in that isolation applies to persons who are known to have an illness, and quarantine applies to those who have been exposed to an illness but who may or may not become ill.
Isolation refers to the separation of persons who have a specific infectious illness from those who are healthy and the restriction of their movement to stop the spread of that illness. Isolation allows for the focused delivery of specialized health care to people who are ill, and it protects healthy people from getting sick. People in isolation may be cared for in their homes, in hospitals, or in designated healthcare facilities. Isolation is a standard procedure used in hospitals today for patients with tuberculosis (TB) and certain other infectious diseases. In most cases, isolation is voluntary; however, many levels of government (federal, state, and local) have basic authority to compel isolation of sick people to protect the public.
Quarantine refers to the separation and restriction of movement of persons who, while not yet ill, have been exposed to an infectious agent and therefore may become infectious. Quarantine of exposed persons is a public health strategy, like isolation, that is intended to stop the spread of infectious disease. Quarantine is medically very effective in protecting the public from disease.
While the risk of this virus to the American public continues to grow over time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:
We are working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this public health threat.
Yes. When Pacific Coast Hospice admits a patient with a positive or presumptive positive COVID-19, or they are showing symptoms of disease & are identified as high risk a Limited Care Team will be established. One staff member from each discipline will be assigned, one alternate will be designated for RN and CNA. Only the designated team members will be permitted to make in-person visits, in line with our goal on minimizing spread of disease. Telephone call or video calling visits “tele-medicine” from ALL disciplines will be strongly encouraged. We encourage Social Worker and Chaplain visits to utilize tele-medicine, unless it is not in the best interest of the patient, as determined by the patient/family & IDT team. The RN must make one in-person visit no less than every 14 days. Frequencies may be adjusted as necessary to balance oversight of patient’s condition and the goal of minimizing the spread of disease. RN may perform PRN tele-medicine visits as ordered. We will work with you to identify a primary place for care in your home, and education on implementing social distancing and proper use of PPE.
For patients, Pacific Coast Hospice follows the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CMS) and state/local health departments that are based upon many factors such as test availability, facility concerns, and the impact of a test result altering the care plan. In conjunction with the philosophy and goals of hospice, testing for COVID-19 is generally not appropriate. However, home isolation protocol and other CDC recommended precautions may be used, regardless of test confirmation. Healthcare Workers with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 are prioritized for SARS-CoV-2 testing. Because Healthcare Workers have extensive and close contact to vulnerable populations, even mild signs or symptoms (e.g., sore throat) of possible COVID-19 should prompt consideration for testing. Clinicians should use their judgment to determine if HCP have signs or symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether HCP should be tested. When a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified, interviewing and testing potentially exposed co-workers should occur as soon as possible to reduce the risk of further workplace transmission. As part of community contact tracing efforts, viral testing is recommended for Healthcare Workers who have had close contact with persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the community (including household contacts).
Pacific Coast Hospice firmly respects every person’s right to privacy. While we will not share the identity of COVID-19 staff/patients by name (unless required by law to authorized officials), we have agreed to publish relevant statistics publicly on our Transparency Statement page. As of the time of publishing, we have not had any patients or direct employees with COVID-19.
REFERENCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, April 24). How to Protect Yourself & Others. Retrieved May 5, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html