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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates

Office Closure

Accra offices will be closed to the public through April 10th. Please contact us at (952) 935-3515 if you need to reach us. We will have staff available to answer your questions from 8am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Also please review the updated information below for clients and caregivers

The safety and wellbeing of our clients, caregivers and employees is Accra’s highest priority.

Our response team is actively coordinating with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), closely monitoring this evolving situation and developing specific action plans to address this situation.

Helpful Resources

It’s natural to be concerned about COVID-19, but the best way to address that concern is to stay informed. General information about the virus can be found at:

The Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

The Minnesota Department of Health: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

Information for PCAs and caregivers in the home

As the Coronavirus situation in Minnesota rapidly evolves, we are making changes to our operational practices to do our part to help prevent person-to-person transmission of the virus, and keep our employees, caregivers and clients safe. Please see the updates below:

To best protect Accra’s clients and staff, all Accra offices are closing to the public through April 10th. Please contact us at (952) 935-3515 if you need to reach us. We will have staff available to answer your questions from 8am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday.

  • With the closing of Minnesota’s schools, emergency childcare may be available to parents or guardians working in the healthcare industry. Letters are available to you if you need employment verification or any assistance. Please contact our office at (952) 935-3515; these letters can be mailed or emailed. For more information on school closings and child care, you can contact the state hotline at 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504.
  • Contact your Accra case manager if you have any questions about the care of your clients.  If you have specific questions about COVID-19, call the MDH general hotline at 651-201-3920.   If you or your client may have symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your medical provider by phone, inform them of your concerns and then follow their specific instructions.
  • A reminder that you must report to the Human Resources department if you have a positive COVID-19 test result at employeebenefits@accracare.org.
  • We have an employment verification letter for caregivers (stating that they are an essential employee.) This is not a mandatory document to carry, but some caregivers are more comfortable carrying it with them during the time of the Governor’s “Stay at Home” Executive Order. A copy was sent via mail and email to your attention. If you still need a copy, please email us at employeebenefits@accracare.org.

Information for Accra home care clients

  • If you have specific questions about COVID-19, call the MDH general hotline at 651-201-3920.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your medical provider by phone, inform them of your concerns and then follow their specific instructions.
  • Please notify us if you have a scheduled Accra visit and are experiencing any symptoms, by calling 952-935-3515. We will then discuss your symptoms and make a plan prior to the home visit. (see more information about symptoms below).

As the Coronavirus situation in Minnesota rapidly evolves, we are making changes to our operational practices to do our part to help prevent person-to-person transmission of the virus, and keep our employees, caregivers and clients safe.

Please see the updates below

  • To best protect Accra’s clients and staff, all Accra offices are closing to the public through April 10th. Please contact us at (952) 935-3515 if you need to reach us. We will have staff available to answer your questions from 8am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday.
  • Accra is now limiting in-home and in-person interactions when possible while continuing to provide services to clients. That means most of our meetings will now be done by phone, online or email.
  • We encourage you to review your staffing plans listed in either your Care Plan or CSSP, to assure you alert any back-up caregivers. Hopefully it will not be necessary to implement a back-up plan, but in the event that some staff may need to be off if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or if their family schedule is disrupted by a diagnosis within their family, you’ll want to be prepared. As a reminder – you can access Accra’s Job Board on our website at: https://accrajobboard.org/. If an emergency should arise, as you would have before, the recommendation is still to call 911.
  • Remind your staff that they can utilize their PTO if any is accrued, and also, that they should report to the Human Resources department if they have a positive COVID-19 test result at employeebenefits@accracare.org.
  • With the closing of Minnesota’s schools, emergency childcare may be available to parents or guardians working in the healthcare industry. Letters are available to your employees should they need employment verification or any assistance. Please have your employee contact our office at (952) 935-3515. These letters can be mailed or emailed. For more information on school closings and child care, you can contact the state hotline at 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504.
  • As always, you are encouraged to call your QP or service coordinator for questions related to client care, and we also have a team at Accra available to address other concerns at 952-935-3515.
  • We have documents that may be helpful to you: An employment verification letter for caregivers (stating that they are an essential employee); and a “client certification lack of exposure form” that helps determine if caregivers might be at a heightened risk for providing services to you. These were sent via mail and email to your attention. If you still need a copy, please email us at employeebenefits@accracare.org.

Helpful community resources

Free grocery delivery for Metro Mobility customers

Metro Mobility has started delivering grocery orders to its Twin Cities customers in an effort to keep those customers and drivers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Metro Mobility customers can place an order at a grocery or pet store online, then schedule pick-up and delivery with Metro Mobility.

Visit this link for more information: https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation/Services/Metro-Mobility-Home/Grocery-Delivery.aspx

Free Meals for Kids

With Minnesota schools closed, nonprofit Hunger Impact Partners has created an app that can be downloaded to find nutritious school meals for children age 18 and under. The “Free Meals for Kids” mobile app will help families and kids in need find and access free meals at nearly 400 schools and other sites across Minnesota.

Visit this link for more information: https://hungerimpactpartners.org/

Two free months of internet service for low-income applicants, low rate after that

Comcast is taking immediate steps to help connect low-income families to the Internet at home. New Internet Essentials customers will receive two free months of Internet service, which is available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month plus tax.

Apply by April 30, 2020. https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19

Designated shopping hours for vulnerable individuals at several retailers

Shoppers who are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, which includes older adults and those who have compromised immune systems, are able to shop at select stores during designated hours not accessible to the general public. The intent is to provide an opportunity for those individuals to be the first to shop after overnight cleaning and stocking, so they have increased access to essential products. Participating retailers include:

    • Target, Tuesday & Wednesdays 7am – 8am
    • Walmart, Tuesday 7am – 8am
    • Costco, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8am – 9am
    • Lunds and Byerlys, every day 7am – 8am
    • Lowes, Tuesday & Wednesday 7am – 8am

Food Shelves

Many families face uncertainty when it comes to their next meal. Food shelves, now more than ever, are a vital community resource. If you are in need of food, a map of Minnesota food shelves can be found at www.minnesota.cbslocal.com/foodshelf

Due to changing community health precautions, you are encouraged to visit the selected location’s website or social media page for the most up-to-date information.

Mental Health Support

While officials have encouraged social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it does not mean we should emotionally isolate from others. It’s important to continue to check in with family, friends and loved ones. Just like physical health, mental health needs to remain a priority during this time. If you need someone to talk to:

    •  WARM line, (651) 288-0400 or text “support” to 85511
    • Crisis Team, dial **CRISIS
    • Crisis Text Line, Text MN to 741741
    • NAMI MN has virtual support groups available, visit www.namimn.org/support

Information for Accra employees

  • If you have specific questions about COVID-19, call the MDH general hotline at 651-201-3920.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your medical provider by phone, inform them of your concerns and then follow their specific instructions.
  • If you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or you have a confirmed diagnosis, please contact our Human Resources team as soon as possible via email at employeebenefits@accracare.org .
  • Please continue to access the Accra sharepoint site dedicated to the COVID-19 situation to stay current.

Typical Symptoms of COVID-19

COVID-19 symptoms, which may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Tips to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the virus

Below are everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease, including COVID-19:

  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  (If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.)
  • Perform hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand rub before and after all patient/client contact.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.  If a tissue is not available, sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
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