Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Accra Home Care Clients
Accra offices are currently closed to the public. Please contact us at 952-935-3515 if you need to reach us. We will have staff available to answer your questions from 8am – 4:30pm on Mondays through Thursdays, and Fridays from 8am – 4pm. Also please review the updated information below.
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.
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.
Update | July 25
Executive Order 20-81 requires Minnesotans to wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings. More information here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facecover.html
Updates | July 14
Accra is now distributing masks on a “request” basis. When requested by a client, we will send out three surgical masks and one cloth mask for each caregiver/PCA a client has actively working. Clients can email us at email@example.com or call us at 952-935-3515 with their request.
Accra PCA/Homemaker/245D clients will be receiving a face shield for each active staff person they have working.
A face shield should be dedicated to only one caregiver. They should be immediately cleaned when they are visibly soiled, whenever they are removed such as when leaving the client home, and at least daily (after every shift) prior to putting them back on (See cleaning guidance below).
After cleaning, a face shield should be stored in a paper bag and labeled with the caregiver’s name to prevent accidental sharing between caregivers. Face shields should be closely examined prior to each reuse to ensure the integrity of the foam pad, elastic strap, and clarity of the visor. To clean the face shield:
- Carefully wipe the inside and then the outside of the face shield using a clean cloth saturated with neutral detergent solution, rinse if needed.
- Carefully wipe the outside of the visor using a clean cloth or wipe saturated with a disinfectant solution; be sure it remains wet for the required contact time. Lysol or a similar product will suffice.
- Wipe the outside of visor with clean water to remove residue.
- Fully dry (air dry or use clean absorbent towels).
Updates | May 20
Surgical Masks to be issued to Caregivers
Limited Supply of Cloth Masks Available
Through the generosity of employees, their families, friends and the community, Accra has been fortunate to receive a limited supply of homemade cloth masks to assist Accra clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are interested in receiving a homemade cloth mask, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we run out of cloth masks, we will keep a waiting list. In addition, this week we will begin distributing surgical masks to our clients to provide to their caregivers for use when providing their direct care.
Expanded Testing Available in Minnesota
There is now a statewide strategy to test all symptomatic people, isolate confirmed cases, and expand public health surveillance tools. Governor Walz hopes to test as many as 20,000 Minnesotans per day, through a new partnership between the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic and the health systems. This increased testing and tracing will help improve control of the pandemic and support the safe re-opening of society. Most clinics and hospitals across the state have the ability to collect samples (specimens) for lab testing.
Call your health care provider before going to the clinic or hospital to be tested. To find a testing location visit: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/testing-locations/index.jsp.
In addition, Minnesota Community Health Clinics are able to offer free testing to those without insurance; you can search for a location at this web address: https://mnachc.org/community-health-centers/find-a-health-center.
CDC Updated Guidance on Covid-19 Symptoms
In late April, the CDC made six additions to its official list of COVID-19 symptoms to help doctors and patients better understand who might be sickened by the novel coronavirus. The newly added symptoms include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Visit this web address for more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
CDC Updated Guidance on Home Isolation
The CDC has updated its recommendation on when isolation can end for people who have tested positive, or experienced symptoms. Now CDC is recommending remaining in isolation until at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, in addition to meeting other criteria related to fever and other symptoms. For more information, visit web address: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html and topic area “How to discontinue home isolation.”
- To best protect Accra’s clients and staff, all Accra offices are closing to the public through May 29th. 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.
- Apple has developed a screening tool to help people take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of COVID-19. Accra believes this could be a helpful way to protect your health and the health of your caregiver. iPhone users can download the Apple COVID-19 app in the app store. If you do not have an iPhone, visit https://www.apple.com/covid19.
- Please be aware that we are recommending that all caregivers follow the MDH and CDC guidelines and wear a mask when in public and when they care for clients. We would also recommend that clients consider wearing a mask to protect your caregiver when you are not able to maintain social distancing. Please see information in the caregiver section of this webpage for links and more information.
- MDH is suspending the fingerprint requirement of the background study for all Direct Support Professionals. Please see information in the caregiver section of this webpage for more information.
- If you are looking for any additional care coverage, remember you can consult the Accra Job Board at www.accrajobboard.org. If you have any questions, or need technical assistance, call us toll free at 866-935-3515.
- 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 email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.