Dear AHF Employees,
We are entering another year of the Covid-19 epidemic. During this period AHF has responded with policies to help maintain the safety of our clients as well as our staff while continuing to serve without interruption. You have had to adjust to different policies as the policies have been adapted to the current state of the epidemic. We have, and will continue to create policies relative to the current situation.
Due to the Omicron variant and the marked increase in COVID-19 cases, all employees are to be masked while at an AHF facility. At AHF Healthcare Centers N-95 masks are required for all staff. At other facilities, surgical masks or N-95 masks should be worn. Masks that have not been potentially contaminated may be reused for a period of one week. If you feel sick or think you may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to work. If a person feels ill or becomes ill at work they should go home immediately or remain at home. The sick employee must also fill out a COVID-19 report form. They will be contacted by the COVID-19 response team and advised on appropriate actions.
COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person by the air we breathe, so the number of people we are near and the longer we are in contact increases our chance of infection. Because the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, each business line will be taking the necessary precautions to decrease the chance of infection while maintaining ongoing function. Please follow the current advice provided by your manager.
While the Omicron variant is not as susceptible to the current vaccines, being vaccinated and obtaining a third dose of vaccine offers protection and will help prevent severe illness. Having had COVID-19 offers no protection against Omicron. Vaccination protects the vaccinated person, but also may help keep the vaccinated person from infecting others, including our patients.
It’s also important to remember that you are susceptible to COVID-19 both at home and at work. Following the measures outlined above and the safety guidelines of public health agencies will help you and all around you remain protected.
Proper medical mask handling and wearing is important to reducing coronavirus spread.
To see how to properly put on and remove a medical mask, watch this video.
COVID-19 Handout Posters
- Coronavirus & HIV: know the facts
- HIV COVID-19 – Patient Facing Advisory Posters
- Location Editable Hours Template: COVID-19 Notice
- Employee Covid-19 Saftey Poster
AHF COVID-19 Policy Documents
- AHF Employee Advisory
- COVID-19 Essential Activities Exemption
- HCC COVID-19: WEB Training
- On-Going PPE Inventory (Submit)
- COVID-19 - Information for people living with HIV
Admin Staff Resource Trainings
Infection Prevention and Control Committee Advisory
The COVID-19 pandemic involves the entire world including the US. The virus that causes COVID-19 has become more infectious as it infects more people, so our policies have had to be modified over time. Because of this, all employees must take appropriate steps to protect our clients, other employees, and themselves.
What is AHF doing?
A COVID-19 response team (CRT), with representatives of multiple departments, meets often to monitor the situation and respond as required. They are monitoring the situation and are developing policies and procedures that are designed to minimize risk for clients and employees.
Each facility has a designated infection prevention and control officer to monitor and enforce COVID-19 related issues. But the employee is responsible for stopping the spread of this virus and allowing AHF to continue to serve. No employee should work while ill. Masking policy and distancing restrictions including during meals must be followed. Remember, preventing infections at home allows AHF to serve its patients.
No employee should be sick at the workplace. If you feel ill at work go home. If you are sick at home stay home. A COVID-19 report form needs to be filled out and a member of the CRT will contact you with directions.
The departments of medicine and nursing have communicated and will continue to communicate with HCC clinical leadership (Medical Directors, Nurse Managers) for implementation of the screening procedures and response to persons at risk.
What should you do?
Do not come to work if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. Instead, submit the COVID-19 incident form and notify your manager, which will be reviewed by a member of the CRT to determine the next steps as they relate to coming to work. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 it is likely you will be able to remain at work, but you should fill out a COVID-19 incident form and submit it as soon as possible. If at work please use an N-95 mask if available and decrease contact with others until advised on appropriate quarantine by the CRT.
It is critically important that all employees follow the requirements for the use of personal protective equipment, including masks, washing hands. Since some people with COVID-19 have minimal or no symptoms but are infectious, screening does not identify all infectious people. The use of PPE decreases the risk of becoming infected.
Many infections occur outside of work so precautions should be used at all times. Various locations have different requirements; however, minimizing contact with people including gatherings, especially indoors, decreases the chance of becoming sick, as does wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth.
How will vaccines change what we do?
Vaccines that help prevent COVID-19 are available. These vaccines are safe and effective. All employees without a contraindication to Covid-19 vaccination should be vaccinated as soon as they are able to be vaccinated. Vaccination will help prevent people from becoming ill and cause those who do get infected to be less likely to have severe disease, which will help end the epidemic for all.
How one acts in the workplace should remain the same even after vaccination. Personal protection measures need to be maintained.
What should I do to help patients?
- Communicate calmly
- Provide factual information
- Follow the Department of Medicine policies and procedures for screening persons in our healthcare centers
- Advise patients to notify the HCC prior to arrival if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness. Care can be arranged to minimize exposure to others and patients can be directed to receive care in the most appropriate locations (home, clinic, hospital)
- Review the use of personal protective equipment and be prepared to assist patients and others with use
What should I do to protect myself?
- Wear a mask appropriately.
- Get vaccinated
- Minimize contact with employees and others
- Open windows if possible
- Wash hands often.
- Clean contaminated surfaces.
- Remember most infections occur at home, so consider ways to reduce the chance of infection, such as avoiding multiple people, and wear a mask whenever at risk, which is greatest indoors.
- Do not come to work or stay at work if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or an exposure. Wait at home while the CRT determines if your symptoms/exposure are high risk.
What if I encounter a situation that I am not sure how to handle?
Contact the COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) at [email protected] or your supervisor and/or HCC clinical leaders.
What if I want more information?
The CRT will try to answer questions about our policies.
COVID-19: Clinical Information - PNP & Downloadable information
- COVID-19 Policy v20200317
- COVID-19 Training Scenarios v20200318
- COVID-19 Social Distancing v20200325
- COVID-19 Appointment Distancing v20200317
- COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire v20200320
- COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment Policy v20200324
- COVID-19 Nurse Advice v20200316
- COVID-19 Cleaning Policy v20200320