Senior Center Guidance
Updated March 26, 2020 5:00 PM
- COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus that has now spread globally.
- While anyone can be infected, most people experience mild symptoms and do not need to go to the hospital.
- Symptoms are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
- People most at risk for severe disease are older adults and those with underlying conditions such as heart disease.
- Multiple cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Kansas
- Sedgwick County Health Department is closely monitoring this issue and is coordinating with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
- We anticipate more cases of COVID-19 in Sedgwick County in the coming days or weeks.
- Sedgwick County has issued a stay at home order until April 23, 2020
What Does This Stay at Home Order Mean for Our Organization?
All businesses have been ordered to close until April 23, 2020 unless listed as an essential service or critical to essential activities. More information can be found on the Stay at Home Order website.
- Questions regarding the stay at home order or essential services and businesses can be sent to stayathomeFAQ@sedgwick.gov or by calling 316-660-9000.
- Frequently asked questions regarding the stay at home order.
Sedgwick County Health Department monitors and investigates reports of disease every day, from whooping cough and chickenpox to tuberculosis and HIV. Staff are trained in methods to reduce the spread of disease. You can help, too. COVID-19 is a new disease but it spreads the same as the flu, through respiratory droplets (ex. coughing and sneezing).
I Do Not Know if My Organization is Essential – Who Can I Ask?
Questions regarding the stay at home order or essential services and businesses can be sent to stayathomeFAQ@sedgwick.gov or by calling 316-660-9000. Frequently asked questions regarding the stay at home order.
We Are an Essential Service or Business. What Should We Be Doing Now?
In addition to the guidance below, the stay at home order has outline the following definition and steps for businesses.
- "Social Distancing Requirements" means maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.
- Essential Businesses are required to comply with the following social distancing requirements when possible:
- Designate 6-foot distances. Designating with signage, tape, or by other means 6-foot spacing for employees and customers in line to maintain appropriate distance;
- Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products. Having anti-microbial soap and water or hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers;
- Separate operating hours for vulnerable populations. Implementing separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers;
- Online and remote access. Posting online whether a facility is open and how to best reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely; and
- Protective equipment. As supplies are currently available and become available, providing employees who have frequent contact with the public with protective equipment, including but not limited to gloves and masks.
Recommended strategies for essential organizations to use now:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:
- Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
- Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
- Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
- Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
- Send home sick employees
- Sedgwick County recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
- Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
- Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
- Provide disposable Clorox wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
- Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel.
- Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
- If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should call 316-660-7300 for more support
Additional Measures to Prevent the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus
- Post signs at the entrance asking people not to enter if they have symptoms of respiratory infection
- Post signs throughout the facility to encourage hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette (cover your cough and sneeze) and discourage touching your face with unwashed hands. Post materials in the languages used by the populations you serve. Print materials are available here on the CDC website or from the Sedgwick County Health Department.
- Place alcohol-based hand sanitizer at all entry points and key points in your facility. If not possible, use signs directing to the nearest sink to wash hands with soap and water.
- Assist clients or others who have physical difficulties performing hand hygiene as possible and ensure the assisting person performs hand hygiene themselves after assisting.
- Create a daily cleaning schedule so staff regularly disinfect touched surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, bathroom fixtures (sink handles, toilets), countertops, work stations, tables, chairs, and elevator buttons.
- Keep pens for clients separate from your own and clean them daily.
Organizational Preparedness Activities for Your Facility
- Develop or review business continuity plans for how to keep critical services going if staffing levels drop due to illness or staff taking care of ill family members or friends or children that may be temporarily out of child care or school settings.
- Critical services may include providing nutritional services to clients or checking on clients who become ill to see if they require medical attention (if the client does not have family or friends available to do so).
- Be prepared to change your practices as needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., prioritize clients or temporarily suspend some services if needed).
- Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so the facility is able to operate even if key staff are absent.
- Ensure you have adequate supplies of soap, paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizers, cleaning supplies, and garbage bags.
- You can find more information on organizational preparedness on the CDC website
Prepare Staff, Volunteers, and Clients
- Ensure sick leave and other absence polices are in place to support staff to stay home if needed
- Do not require a healthcare provider’s note as this will place more stress on the provider’s office
- If visitors, volunteers, employees, attendees, and others become ill with respiratory symptoms while at the facility, they should be separated from others and sent home as soon as possible. Make sure your employees, volunteers, visitors, and clients are aware of these policies.
- Sick persons should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or cough into elbow or shoulder if tissues not available) and perform hand hygiene immediately after.