Home Health Guidance
Updated December 17, 2020 10:00 PM
I am a worker for an essential business or healthcare agency that visits homes. What do I need to do?
The Sedgwick County Health Department encourages individuals to practice the following prevention basics:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- A list of products approved to kill coronavirus can be found HERE.
- Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent novel coronavirus infections.
Sedgwick County Disease Reporting Hotline
No cost COVID-19 testing for healthcare workers, asymptomatic or symptomatic
Dial (316) 660-1022, Sedgwick County Health Department
Report that you work in a medical clinic
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Submit the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on Health Department Services for Medical Clinics
Due to increased testing supplies and the capacity to sample more residents, the Sedgwick County Health Department is expanding the criteria for COVID-19 testing which will assist in tracking and controlling the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The expanded criteria include workers who aid and treat people who are sick or who work in group living situations. These front-line workers, who will be tested with or without symptoms and at no cost, include:
- Medical clinic staff and other healthcare workers (home health, hospice, hospital, long-term care, pharmacy workers)
- First responders (EMS, Fire)
- Law enforcement
- People who work in group settings such as detention facilities, residential schools, and group homes.
- To receive a test, dial (316) 660-1022, Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) and tell the SCHD call center you work in a medical clinic.
- A SCHD staff member will ask you questions and will provide testing information for testing at the Sedgwick County Extension Center, 7001 W. 21st ST N, Wichita. Sampling for COVID-19 testing is performed Monday through Friday mornings by appointment only. There is no cost to the individual for sampling or testing.
- If you have symptoms, do not go to work until test results are returned.
- Always practice good hygiene and social distancing. Stay away from others while sick.
- If you do not have symptoms, you can go to work until test results are returned.
- While waiting for test results, practice good hygiene and social distancing. Wear a face covering, face mask, or respirator and other personal protective equipment (PPE) as appropriate for your job.
- After sampling, SCHD staff will contact you with your results within one week.
- If you have symptoms AND
- Test results are negative, stay home according to your facility’s policies for general illness. Usually, this is when fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
- Test results are positive, stay home isolated from others until 72 hours after symptoms stop (per KDHE Guidance) or 7 days after symptoms start – whichever is longer.
- If you do not have symptoms AND
- Test results are negative, continue with good hygiene and social distancing. Wear a face covering, face mask, or respirator and other personal protective equipment (PPE) as appropriate for your job.
- Test results are positive, stay home isolated from others until 10 days after test date.
- Medical clinic staff should be tested:
- When they have symptoms
- At least once when asymptomatic
- As needed, staff can be tested again after at least 14 days have passed from the last test date.
- If prolonged close contact to someone with COVID-19 (including 48 hours before symptoms onset) without a mask or respirator occurs
- When COVID-19 transmission occurs in the facility
- Patient samples obtained by the Health Department are for a molecular test that detects coronavirus particles in a person’s body. This is not an antibody test that tests for immunity.
- People with no symptoms could test negative or positive. They could not be infected (negative test), be infected without symptoms (positive test), or have a virus level too low for the test to detect (false negative test).
- The molecular test is for a point in time. A person can test negative one day but a later test may be positive.
- If an exposure to a confirmed COVID case occurs and a front-line worker is in quarantine, the front-line worker should be tested 5-7 days after exposure to increase the likelihood of the test detecting the virus if the person is infected. During quarantine, a person who tests negative must still be quarantined for 14 days from last exposure to a COVID-19 case. Healthcare workers may work during quarantine if asymptomatic as long as appropriate PPE and other precautions are taken.
What should I do before I visit a home?
When you are scheduling your visit, assess the situation:
- Has anyone in the home traveled within the last 14 days to/from a state, county, or country identified as a hot spot?
- Has anyone in the home been exposed to an individual diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Is anyone in the home showing signs of illness including:
- A fever greater than 100 degrees,
- Cough; and/or
- Shortness of breath.
If the answer to any of these questions is YES or the occupant(s) prefers not to have a worker in their home, the visit should be rescheduled or, if possible, conducted virtually. (As a general rule, reschedule the visit for no earlier than 14 days).
If there are no indications of risk/illness or the visit cannot be conducted virtually, proceed with the on-site visit as long as the occupant(s) are comfortable doing so.
What do we do if we are required to enter the home and the individual is symptomatic or been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Read about the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required to conduct a visit safely.
- Minimize contact as much as possible
- Avoid touching any surfaces if possible
- Washing your hands or use hand sanitizer before, during, and after the visit
Sedgwick County Health Department: https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
Kansas Department of Health and Environment: http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/index.htm