The Department of Human Services (DHS) is working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) to ensure preparations for a response to a possible Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the state and as a result, has issued a Health Alert with pertinent information. DOH is the lead agency for the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19. At the time of this dissemination, Pennsylvania has zero confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Strategies to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF) (Source: CDC)
- If you have questions specifically regarding COVID-19 in relation to health care settings, DOH has provided resources here.
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Source: CDC).
- Information on what to do if you are sick.
- For questions about ODP regulatory compliance related to COVID-19, providers can submit inquiries to the licensing resource account. Otherwise, please visit the DOH site, which has several downloadable documents that can be used for information dissemination, or call 877-PA-HEALTH.
- The Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre of the Philadelphia region released an update on the COVID-19 for individuals with deaf and hard of hearing needs.
Again, DHS is supporting DOH in the disseminating of information related to COVID-19 and all guidance is provided by, and should be sought through, DOH.
All providers are encouraged to:
- Review internal infection control protocols and emergency backup plans for events in which a provider does not have adequate staffing to meet individuals’ health and safety needs.
- Evaluate staff adherence to provider infection control protocols.
- Evaluate capacity to implement emergency backup plans in the event staffing is impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
While COVID-19 is raising international concern, it presents an opportunity to evaluate preventative infection control measures. Medically fragile individuals, those in congregate settings, and the staff that support/interact with them are all at increased risk for infections of all kinds, not just COVID-19. As always, the best response is prevention and the best prevention is good infection control.